Child custody is one of the most difficult and emotional parts of any contested divorce. It is not uncommon for two parents to agree on all of the financial issues, child and spousal support, and property division, only to find it impossible to come to any agreements about how their children will be raised post-divorce. It is understandable too; we love our children and we want what is best for them. This point, wanting the best for our children, is the great irony of child custody litigation. Ask any parent whether they believe dragging their children through months or years of custody litigation is healthy for them. They answer will be a resounding, “No.” Yet that is exactly what happens in so many family law cases. Continue reading
If you dig deep enough into your memories from high school English class you will know that quote is from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. And while Romeo waxes poetically about why Juliet’s name should not matter, the truth (as they both learn), is that a name is very important.
For many married couples, one of the parties changed their legal name as part of the marriage ceremony. It could be a Husband/Wife who took the other party’s name or it could be a situation where both parties moved to a hyphenated surname. The symbolic act of changing your name at marriage is meant to show the world the joining of two people. However, what do you do when those same two people decide they want a divorce? Continue reading
There are many different enforcement methods available for child support. Although contempt is always an option, it involves the other parent ending up in jail and can be a costly and expensive process to prosecute. Some of the best incentives for the other parent to pay child support already exist as a matter of law without the supporting parent having to do anything. For instance, child support arrears can never be discharged in bankruptcy, so they stay with the support obligor for life. Further, they accrue rate at the legal rate of 10 percent. What kind of investments today gets you 10 percent? Not many.
There is, however, another incentive that many parties and even many attorneys are not familiar with: Continue reading
Termination of spousal support jurisdiction is always a highly contested issue. The party paying support wants spousal support terminated as soon as possible, and the party receiving support would prefer support be paid forever. Which party will get what they want will depend on the facts of the case.
At the outset I want to explain what we mean by “terminating spousal support jurisdiction” What we are actually saying is the point at which the Court decides no spousal support will ever be due from one party to the other. It is the final decision that spousal support is no longer necessary.
There are different reasons why a Court might terminate spousal support, but for the purpose of this blog we are looking at the Court’s authority to terminate spousal support jurisdiction pursuant to Family Code §4322. Continue reading
San Diego is home to the nation’s largest concentration of military personnel. San Diego’s seven military bases serve the approximately 100,000 active duty service men and woman and their families (the total rises to 175,000 when dependents are taken into account.) In addition, San Diego is home to 60% of the ships in the fleet of the U.S. Navy, and 1/3 of the active duty force of the U.S. Marine Corps. In fact, the military and its spending in the region accounted for 26% of the jobs in San Diego in 2011. None of this accounts for the more than 250,000 veterans who call San Diego home. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that San Diego family law attorneys handle many military dissolution actions.
For the most part, military divorce is very much like any other divorce. The issues, such as child custody, child and spousal support, property division are the same as any other family law case. However there are aspects of military divorce that are unique to service men and women. In this blog, I will discuss some issues military members confront concerning child custody and visitation. Continue reading
We have discussed the issue of domestic violence and domestic violence restraining orders in many different contexts on our blog before. In this post, we will discuss an issue that just about every party with a restraining order faces: how to renew his or her restraining order. Continue reading
The “Right of First Refusal” is a concept originating from contract law that grants the holder of the right the option to enter into a business transaction with the owner of something before the owner may enter into a transaction with a third party. Put more simply; before you can sell your widget to a third party, you must ask whether I want to buy the widget. So why are we blogging about a contractual right on a family law blog? Continue reading
Almost every divorce case that comes through our office will have spousal support (also called alimony) as a major issue. Whether we represent the party who will pay spousal support or we represent the party who will receive spousal support, one of the first topics we discuss is how the IRS will treat spousal support payments.
The IRS will treat spousal support as “income” to the recipient and a “deduction” for the payor so long as all of the requirements of IRC §71 are met. These requirements are often referred as the “Seven D’s.” Continue reading
Much like Kleenex, Band-Aids, or Xerox (products that have become synonymous with the brands that popularized them), Uber has become synonyms with ride-share applications. Even if you take a Lyft, most people will still say “taking an Uber.” Having an on demand driver 24/7 at your fingertips makes it hard to imagine how we survived before Uber was created. Uber has solved many problems people did not realize they even had. There is one problem it has not solved…transporting your children in a co-parenting relationship. Continue reading
If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know that child custody and visitation are fluid orders as that often change with the needs of the child. This makes a lot of sense because a 3 year-old is very different from a 16 year-old and will therefore have a very different child sharing schedule. Also as a frequent reader, you know that a change in the time sharing percentage of the children often justifies a change in the child support orders. Small changes in the time share percentage are unlikely to make a big impact. Big changes in guideline child support require major shifts in the child sharing percentage. Continue reading