In a recent blog post “Your Spouse’s ‘Hidden’ Assets – A Checklist” mentioned in the South Carolina Family Law Blog, Georgia Family Law Attorney Steve Worrall provided a useful and extensive list of assets that are often overlooked or hidden in divorces and legal separations. In California, all assets acquired during marriage by either party are presumed to be community property. It is important that prior to the division of property or property settlement in a family law case, all valuable assets are identified and located. The list of assets below is not exhaustive but is a great tool for litigants and attorneys alike.
1. Frequent flyer mileage
2. Security deposits (e.g., utilities, car lease)
3. Timeshare property
4. Leased vehicles, cell phone, other items
5. Stock options
6. Memberships (e.g., country club)
7. Bond or deposit for country club
8. Unused vacation, sick leave
9. Patents, copyrights, royalties
10. Income tax refunds
Read more of this post.
California child support is based on a complex formula that takes many factors into account. This formula is called guideline child support. One of the primary child support factors is the income of each parent. A change in either parents’ income caused by the loss of a job, a pay-cut, or a new job will result in a corresponding change in the guideline child support. Read more of this post.
I provide a free initial consultation for family law matters. This gives me an opportunity to meet with a potential client, learn about their situation and decide how I can most effectively represent them. I then prepare a detailed representation agreement that describes the specific legal services that I will provide in that particular case along with a fixed fee for those services. In a prior post, I suggested five questions to help you choose a family law attorney. Below are five things to bring with you to an initial consultation to help you and the family law attorney evaluate your case. Read more of this post.
Hiring the right family law attorney for your case can make your divorce easier, less expensive and more peaceful. Attorneys and law firms have different structures, philosophies and billing models. When you consult with a divorce attorney, these five questions may help you choose the right attorney for you.
In a divorce proceeding, bifurcation is the division of the divorce into two or more parts. In California, bifurcation is governed by California Family Law Code Section 2337. There are two types of bifurcation. In the first, the parties bifurcate the divorce by severing the issue of marital status from all other issues to obtain a “status-only divorce.” In the second, the parties bifurcate a single key issue from the rest of the case, and have a mini-trial to resolve that key issue. Both types of bifurcation can be especially useful to people getting divorced in today’s economic downturn.
Certain parts of a divorce such as the division and valuation of property, child custody, child support and spousal support can take longer to resolve than we would like. This is equally true whether the parties are negotiating or are preparing for trial. They may bifurcate the issue of marital status and reserve the court’s jurisdiction over all other matters. This can give them the peace of mind knowing that they are divorced, can move on with their lives, and can even remarry, while knowing that they will have the time necessary to properly resolve the other divorce issues.
Filing for dissolution of marriage in California requires that one of the parties meets certain residency requirements. Specifically, he or she must have been a resident of the state of California for the last 6 months, and of the particular county where the case is filed for the last 3 months. I wrote about California’s residency requirements for a dissolution of marriage in a previous blog post.
After the petition for dissolution of marriage has been filed with the court and properly served with a summons on the other party, the parties must wait a minimum of 6 months to become divorced. This 6 month waiting period cannot be shortened no matter how simple the matter, how amicable the parties, or how much they want the divorce to be finalized. In many cases, the parties are able to resolve all marital issues including division of property, spousal support, child support, and child custody in less than 6 months and are left counting the days until they can be divorced. Read more of this post.
Here are three legal terms that you should think about if you are thinking about filing for divorce:
One part of a divorce is the division of property. California is a community property state. All property obtained by either party during a marriage is presumed to be community property and jointly owned 50/50 unless the acquisition of the property was the result of a gift or inheritance. Any property acquired during a marriage that can be traced to separate property is also separate property. All other property, including property that was acquired before marriage or after the date of separation, is separate property. Certain actions and/or agreements Read more of this post.
You can file for divorce in California if you have adequate grounds and meet the residency requirements.
California is a no-fault divorce state. Legally adequate grounds for divorce, under California Family Code Section 2310 are “incurable insanity” and “irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable dissolution of the marriage.” Residency for purposes of divorce requires that one party has lived in the state of California for the last 6 months, and in the particular county where the divorce will be filed for the last 3 months.
As an additional, optional, feature of my Los Angeles Divorce and Family Law Practice, my clients have 24×7 access to all of their case documents and calendar on our secure online site.
Simple- If you can access your email on the internet, you can access your account. To access your account, first, log in with a provided name and password. Then, you will see an overview of the most recent information, and tabs to click for messages, calendars, and uploaded files.
Increased unemployment, continuing devaluation of investments, and a severe downturn in the housing market. These financial pressures can strain any marriage, but a survey of divorce lawyers across the county suggests that they are not leading to an increase in divorce. According to a recent article on Avvo, “Survey: ‘Divorce Down, Post-nuptials Up'” , family law attorneys across the country are reporting a slight decrease in clients seeking divorce, and a large increase in requests for post-nuptial agreements.
When you hire a family law attorney you usually pay for his time, neatly broken down into 6-minute increments. This is called hourly billing. Every month, you get a bill detailing the time that was spent on your case and how much this time has cost you. The more time the lawyer spends on your case, the more you pay. With hourly billing, you do not directly pay for the lawyer to resolve your legal issues or solve your problems, you simply pay for his time. At some point during your case, you may ask your lawyer, “how much more is this going to cost?” The typical response, if you are paying your lawyer by the hour, is that it depends on how much more time is required. This billing arrangement is unpredictable and rewards inefficiency. You never really know how much your divorce, custody, or support issue will cost until it is resolved. And the longer it takes the lawyer to accomplish a task, the more money you’ll be charged. Read more of this post.