When two spouses become embroiled in a divorce they often put their children on the "back burner," turning instead to their own personal crises inherent in this kind of a life-changing event. The spouses often devote their attention to hiding and minimizing assets and looking for ways to "get back at" the other spouse. One of the things that bring children squarely into the fray all too often, however, is the issue of is child support. Child support, as its name implies, is a means of providing money from the higher earning parent to the lower earning parent in order to provide for the necessities of life (and other items as well) for the benefit of the minor children. Under California law, parents are required to continue providing financially for their children both during and following a divorce. Children are, after all, dependents of their parents, regardless of whether the parents are married or divorced. As such, both parents are legally responsible for providing for their children's welfare. In the case of a divorce, the clearest way to provide for a child's financial welfare is through a child support order, as this calls for the payment of money on the child's behalf. This leads to the concept of child support, payments that help to support a child during and following divorce.
In a divorce, both spouses are required to fully disclose their assets. This disclosure is considered a "fiduciary duty" that are very serious, very important and essential disclosure for both parties to a dissolution proceeding. Disclosing assets is necessary in order to ensure that they are fairly divided. In a perfect world, both spouses would be honest about which assets they have and how much each asset was worth. Mutual honesty would allow dissolution proceedings to move smoothly and get both spouses situated in their new, separate lives. Unfortunately, though, honesty is often one of the first casualties in a divorce. One spouse may try to cheat financially, either hiding or undervaluing their assets. Often, the other spouse may never realize that financial cheating has taken place. If the spouse does detect cheating, however, they can take legal action against their ex-partner. Legal action in this case means filing a claim for breach of fiduciary duty.
In sport and in the working world, persistence is considered a virtue. Those who succeed, whether they are MVP of the team or President of the company, are often praised for how they "refuse to take 'no' for an answer." Ironically, when the games are over and the board meetings have ended, this same quality can result in negative consequences in another forum. A "determined" person may find him or herself facing legal action if a desired lover or friend begins to feel threatened by repeated unwelcome advances.
In the world of magic, one of the hardest tricks is to make an object disappear. Magicians spend countless hours working to convincingly make objects vanish from view. Unfortunately, magicians are not the only ones capable of performing disappearing acts. During divorce, one spouse may try to make assets disappear from the view of the ex-partner. Assets include everything from a piece of property, to a boat, to a baseball autographed by Babe Ruth. Regardless of what form it takes, a hidden asset is an omitted asset.
One of the most controversial issues of divorce is that of spousal support. Spousal support, commonly known as "alimony," often makes a bitter divorce downright sour. After all, it is a common perception among those who pay spousal support that they should not be required to pay their ex-spouse their hard-earned money each month. Of course, those on the receiving end of these payments are very often dependent upon them and would frankly be in dire financial straits without these payments. Matters can become especially tricky if the earning the more money is required to pay alimony to a spouse that, in the paying spouse's opinion, "caused" the breakup of the marriage (through an extra marital affair, for example). "You mean that not only is he allowed to cheat on me but I now have to actually pay monthly support??? How can that be fair?"
Feinberg & Waller, APC is pleased to report a recent win in a very complex, international Hague Convention family law battle. The case involved the parents of a young child who, up until her abrupt removal by her mother had lived in France with both parents for over two years. The mother took the child to the United States and, it was argued, wrongfully retained the child in the United States in contravention of the Hague Convention, an international treaty generally designed to provide rules on where child custody disputes are to be determined. It took father roughly fourteen months to locate his daughter so as to be able to bring the proceedings for her recovery in the Los Angeles Superior Court.