Experienced Thorough Aggressive

confidential-lock-means-restricted-words-and-forbidden-257x300If you have been following the Brangelina news as closely as we have, you may have heard in early December 2016 that Brad filed an emergency motion with the Los Angeles court requesting that the Court’s records relating to the parties custody dispute be “sealed.” Brad’s request was denied.

This may have left you with many questions: What does it mean to have records under seal? Why would this be necessary? What are the requirements to place records under seal? And why was Brad’s request denied? Read on for answers! 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.taxes-300x200

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

Under California law, once a party is served with the summons and petition for dissolution, they have 30 days to file a formal response with the Court. After this 30 days is expired, the petitioner has the option of filing for a default judgment granting them everything they asked for in their petition, including the dissolution of the marriage once the six month statutory cooling off period is completed. However, the respondent can come back within six months, under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, and get the default judgment set aside as if it never existed. Would such a default judgment also set aside the actual dissolution of the marriage, or do parties always remain divorced once they are divorced by the family court?remarry-300x199 Continue reading

Much like Kleenex, Band-Aids, or Xerox (products that have become synonymous with the brands that popularized them), Uber has become synuber-1-300x200onyms 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

You decided you want a divorce, you file for a divorce, and then…*crickets*… your spouse, for whatever reason, has decided not to participate in your divorce. Perhaps your spouse doesn’t understand the legal process, doesn’t want to get divorced, or he/she is upset that you filed for divorce and intends to do anything possible to make your life more difficult. If this sounds like you, don’t worry. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO GET A DIVORCE, even if your spouse chooses not to take any part in it.feuding-cups-1-1315590-300x225

If you are experiencing the problem above and you wish to proceed with a divorce even in the face of an uncooperative spouse, you will need to seek a default judgment. In order to do so, you must follow very specific procedures to ensure that you will be granted a divorce. The following is a very general overview of the required steps (note that there may be additional forms or procedural steps that must be taken within each subsection which are not covered here). 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.  Alchild supportso 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

christmas-two kidsMy favorite holiday song is Andy Williams’ version of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  Something about that song encapsulates everything that is special about the winter holiday season.  There are the lights, the food, the family, and the nostalgia of being a kid at Christmas.  Now that I have a family of my own, seeing this special season through the eyes of my own children makes it all feel that much more real and special. However, for many divorced or divorcing parents the winter break is a difficult time.  In this blog I want to address a couple common issues that divorcing parents face and with them provide some advice for enjoying the holidays in spite of the difficulties of a divorce. Continue reading

school-balloons-represents-youth-male-and-learnedChange is a big part of any divorce. When you have children, dealing with change can be one of the most difficult parts of the divorce.  No matter how many times people tell you that “kids are resilient and everything will be okay” it doesn’t make it any easier.  The truth is, most kids handle divorce well especially when their parents are able to successfully co-parent.  Nonetheless, there is one change that no amount of co-parenting can make easier.  That is changing schools.  Most families only have one residence which means that at least one parent will need to find a new home.   If that new home happens to be in the same neighborhood as the former family residence, then changing schools should not be an issue.  More often than not however, one parent moves to a residence that is zoned for a different school than the children currently attend.

So what do you do? Continue reading

checking stocksAs we’ve mentioned many times over on this blog, support (both child support and spousal support) can be very complicated in California. In some instances, the relevant statutes provide the Court with vast discretion that needs to be clarified in subsequent court cases. One of those Court cases is the Pearlstein case which deals with the determination of income resulting from capital gains.

In Pearlstein, Husband sold a substantial amount of shares in a business. In consideration for the sale of his shares, Husband received shares of another business and cash. What Husband ended up doing with the stock and cash he received from the sale is the key to the case: he did not sell the shares and he reinvested the cash.

Continue reading

If you have children and are currently going through the divorce process or have been recently divorced, you have probably already realized that the holidays as you’ve come to know them will be different from now on. The Thanksgiving holiday, as family-centered as it is, is one of the most difficult holidays to get through if you are just getting used to this idea.  What follows is a brief overview of custody issues during the holidays and some tips on getting through the Thanksgiving holiday this year.Gobble Continue reading