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California Family Code section 1612 lays out what can and cannot be included in a premarital agreement. The most important issues in just about any premarital agreement are the property rights of the parties and whether or not there are any limitations on spousal support.

If I am trying to protect what I own coming into the marriage or if I am expecting a large inheritance, can a prenuptial agreement help me? Wedding Signature

Yes and no. Many times, if a party is just trying to protect what they already have or protect the separate character of a future inheritance, a premarital agreement may not be necessary. This is because even without a premarital agreement, property acquired prior to the marriage is the separate property of the acquiring spouse. Property acquired by inheritance or by gift is also separate property, even if it is acquired during the marriage. There are still some pitfalls to be wary of here.

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home-158089_960_720There are so many reasons a client wants to remain in the family home after the divorce proceedings have been filed.  Often it is a custodial parent who wants to provide normalcy for their children.  Other times it is for financial or emotional reasons, or a combination of the three.  Whatever the reason, unless one party agrees to move out of the residence,  a court order will be required to exclude a party from living in the family residence.

Deciding who will remain in the residence at the beginning of a case is a problem nearly every family law litigant will face; requiring the assistance of the court in reaching that decision is far less common.  In most cases, one or both parties will decide to leave the family residence.  In these situations it is important to have a written agreement about who is leaving, who is staying, and how the expenses related to the residence are going to be paid.   These agreements are where most of the controversy lies, especially with regard to the payment of the expenses.  That is an issue that should be addressed in a separate blog.

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BetheHourglassnny Frankel married Jason Hoppy in 2010, and had their baby girl Bryn the same year. Unfortunately, their union didn’t last long, as they announced their split in 2012. Almost 4 years later, it was recently announced that the nasty divorce battle is finally over for these two.

At first glance, we would have thought that this divorce battle raged on for so many years because of custody disagreements regarding the couples’ daughter. But no! It turns out that they were able to settle their custody issues fairly early on, in 2014. Rather, the main point of contention between the parties has been the $7 million New York apartment that the couple moved into together when they first wed.

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We write a lot about child custody and visitation issues, and many of our blogs are advice driven.  For most clients their current divorce will be their only divorce.  Much of what they are dealing with is foreign to them; especially when it comes to custody issues. As parents we want what’s best for our children, but often the emotion and turmoil surrounding a divorce can get in the way of making the best decisions.

One thing I have found to be helpful for children is to continue on doing the extracurricular activities they have always done.  It provides stability and continuity in an otherwise new and changing circumstance.  Extracurricular activities also provide children a way of expressing themselves and maintaining a healthy confidence; both of which are important as they adjust to their new lives.

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mercedesFor years, Christina Estrada’s life read like a fairytale; former international supermodel fell in love with a billionaire Saudi Arabian sheikh, raising a daughter and sharing a mansion in the British countryside with an unlimited monthly budget to spend on whatever their hearts desired. She is quoted describing her married life as “magical.” Unfortunately, just as with most fairytales, the magic came to an end and reality set in when the sheikh obtained a divorce in 2014 in Saudi Arabia, under Islamic law, without Christina’s knowledge. And that was AFTER he had already married a 25-year-old Lebanese model, without Christina’s knowledge…and obviously while he was still married to her.

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The OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApsychological evaluation is often the most important document for a parent in a divorce case. Yet the manner in which psychologists create these reports is difficult to understand, even for many family lawyers. In this multi-part series, we will examine psychological evaluations, one of the most important tools the Courts use to determine custody and visitation. In this first part, we will discuss one of the most important questions when it comes to such evaluations: Why should I request one?

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One of the firsringing moneyt issues a new client will ask us about is support.  Whether it is child support, spousal support, or both, support is one of the most important issues in your family law case.  It’s easy to understand why.  During your marriage income and expenses are shared and over time you find a happy medium between the amount of money you have coming in and the amount of money you have going out to pay expenses.  After you separate, the income doesn’t change, but the expenses will often double.  That means two rent payments, two food bills, two utility payments…the list goes on.  If you and your spouse were just making ends meet before the separation, odds are it will be twice as difficult now that expenses have increased. Continue reading


On June 13 Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from her fourth husband, Michael Lockwood. While Lisa Marie isn’t the only star we’ve written about to go through multiple divorces, her specific case highlights a common and sometimes very complicated issue in divorce which occurs when one spouse has taken control of the finances and the other has little to no involvement in financial matters (the so-called “out spouse” is the one who stayed out of financial matters during the marriage).   Continue reading


The Court of Appeals just issued what could be a very important opinion on the issue of commingling separate and community funds in certain accounts. The name of the case is Marriage of Cooper and it is a stark reminder of the perils that may result from mixing separate and community funds in the same account. This case stands for the proposition that once separate property funds are deposited into an investment account held in both parties’ names, those funds lose their separate property character and become community property. However, the spouse who contributes his or her separate property to the jointly titled account has a right of reimbursement under Family Code section 2640. So what does this mean in plain English and how will it affect future cases?  Continue reading


As a cast member of the Real Housewives of New York, Jules Wainstein is no stranger to drama. Surprisingly though, Jules’ impending divorce from husband Michael Wainstein filed in June has already been deemed the most dramatic divorce in Housewives history. And while it may be the most dramatic divorce the show and its cast have ever seen, Jules’ situation is actually not all that uncommon out here in the REAL, real world.

According to all of the press that the couple has received as of late, it would seem that Jules caught Michael cheating on her with one of her close friends. At that point Michael was prompted to file a petition for divorce after their eight year marriage. Since then, numerous accusations of domestic violence have surfaced, along with recent pictures of police outside the couples’ apartment. Continue reading