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Military divorces are different, right from the beginning. If we're talking about a service member who's on deployment, we have to know where he or she is in order to serve the member with the petition for dissolution of marriage. In some situations, there is no way to find out, because the nature of the member's current deployment may mean that th…
 
Senior Divorce For Those Over 50 According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, the overall divorce rate has decreased slightly. However, the divorce rate among people over 50 has increased substantially. In 1990, the rate was one in ten. In 2009, the rate was one in four. In other words, nowadays 40% of all divorces involve spouses over…
 
California’s legislature has given husbands, wives, and domestic partners of any persuasion the right to dissolve their marriages or domestic partnerships on the basis of irreconcilable differences. Fault is not an issue. Singing,“You cheated, you lied, you said that you loved me,” in Family Court gets you nowhere. The process is also form driven. …
 
Self control is an old virtue. Lately it seems people have less of it in private and public than they used to have. This is too bad, particularly if you are going through a divorce. Losing it completely at home is also a good way to start one, because it will probably get you arrested and kicked out of the house. At the hearing on whether to issue …
 
California's Domestic Violence Prevention Act was passed in 1993, signaling a zero tolerance policy for civilian domestic violence. Since 2001, the Department of Defense has also had a zero tolerance policy for domestic violence in the armed forces. The definition of domestic violence covers a lot of ground. Here are the basics from the California …
 
Dividing a military pension is a minefield Dividing a military pension is like walking through a minefield. From the perspective of both the service member spouse and the non-service member spouse, unexpected and unwanted results are an ever present risk. Why should it be so hard? One reason is that military pensions are the creation of federal law…
 
Divorce and PTSD The first question for an attorney representing a service member is whether his client has PTSD. Clients don't come in the door with their psychological issues written on their foreheads, and asking someone if they've been diagnosed with PTSD is probably not the best way to start a succesful relationship. On the other hand, there a…
 
Child custody in military divorces often looks different than it does in civilian divorces. Many young men marry their high school sweethearts before they enlist. Their wives travel with them to wherever they are based. Soon there are small children. The combination of low pay, stressful parenting, and homesickness often destroys the marriage. With…
 
High Conflict Divorce Cases and Mental Illness Divorce lawyers refer to some divorces as "high conflict cases." Over the past few years we've realized that some form of mental illness drives many of them. High conflict cases usually involve child custody and visitation. The parties cannot agree on anything and fight about everything. The cases go o…
 
As a serving sailor or marine, you have a right to treatment of PTSD Whether you are a serving sailor, marine or retired service member, you have a right to treatment for PTSD. Federal statutes and regulations creating the Veterans Administration and governing the care it provides guarantee the availability of multiple treatment options. If you've …
 
Separate Property in A Divorce There are many things to consider if you’re thinking about divorce. One of the most important considerations is records. If you have what you think is separate property, be prepared to defend it, because you have the burden of proof. Proving that “no” community property has gone into your separate property is the prob…
 
If a divorcing couple has minor children, child support will be one of the main issues in their divorce. Here are five things to remember about how child support works. To find out how much you will pay or receive, someone has to do the following five things: 1. Determine Custody. Joint legal and joint physical Joint legal, sole physical, visitatio…
 
Why is divorce so expensive? And why does it take so long? Why is divorce so expensive? There are many reasons. Let's look first at dividing the assets. Most middle class couples have more than one checking account, savings account, and money market account. Let's take them and cut them in half. First we have to know the date of separation, because…
 
1. Withdraw half of the money you have in joint bank accounts, and put it in a new account in your name alone at a bank where nobody knows your spouse. This includes all checking, savings, and brokerage accounts. Your spouse and his or her lawyer will profess to be shocked. Pay no attention, but be sure to do this before the petition is filed. Stop…
 
The phrases contested divorce and uncontested divorce can be misleading. Let’s take contested divorce first, because its meaning is clearer than uncontested divorce. From the court’s viewpoint contested means that the case ended with a trial, the judge decided the issues, and the decision is attached to the one page mandatory judgment form as the t…
 
Many people ask about the difference between legal separation vs divorce. Sometimes they ask because they are not sure their relationship with their spouse is irretrievably broken. Sometimes they ask for religious reasons, or because legal separation sounds better to them than divorce. Sometimes they ask because they’ve heard group health insurance…
 
Child custody and visitation determinations are undergoing a seismic shift. Traditionally a parent's behavior was described. Now it is diagnosed. For example, instead of Dad being self-centered, Dad is now narcissistic. Of course, narcissism has been around for a long time. Narcissus was the beautiful son of two Greek gods, who fell in love with hi…
 
High Net Worth Individuals and The Premarital Agreement Living happily ever after is a lofty goal. Unfortunately, not every couple manages to obtain it. When one or both parties are high net worth individuals, a divorce typically presents more complicated issues than otherwise. High on the list are premarital agreements. "Do you have one?" should b…
 
The DVPA Provides immediate legal protection for victims of domestic abuse California's Domestic Violence Prevention Act (the "DVPA") was passed in 1993. Its objective is to provide immediate legal protection for victims of domestic physical abuse and emotional abuse, in the form of temporary restraining orders and injunctions against the abuser. P…
 
Child support must be calculated according to a complex formula set forth in the Family Code. It is complex because it is supposed to be perfectly fair, unlike the simple and arbitrary formulas used by other states. Except in rare cases, the only inputs are the average gross monthly incomes of the parties and the percentage of time each spends with…
 
The California Family Code is Explicitly Asexual Regarding Child Custody Proposing to slice a child in half to resolve a child custody dispute between divorcing parents would certainly be frowned upon today. On the other hand, children in the middle of a custody battle between Mom and Dad frequently tell their therapists they wish they were dead. W…
 
Calculating Spousal Support Spousal support tends to be a dirty word to the high earner spouse in a divorce. He or she is likely to come away thinking the amount ordered by the court is outrageously high, and that they got the shaft while the low earner got the mine. They are also likely to think that they have been singled out to suffer more than …
 
There are two kinds of custody and two ways to allocate them between parents. The first kind of custody is legal. The second is physical. The first way to allocate custody is to award it to one parent. This is called sole custody. The second way is to award it to both parents. This is called joint custody. Physical Child Custody & Legal Child Custo…
 
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