California Family Law Blog

When is Spousal Support Appropriate?

When celebrities divorce, we invariably hear about disputes over "alimony." In California, alimony is called "spousal support." When a married couple divorces, the court may order the higher earner - husband or wife - to pay money to the lower earner for some period of time, as determined by the trial judge. There are two types of spousal support: "temporary support" is paid while the divorce case is working its way through the system to maintain the financial status quo between the parties, and "long term" support (sometimes called "permanent support," notwithstanding it is not always actually permanent in duration), the purpose of which is to help the supported spouse get on their feet so they can support themselves. Long term support starts (typically) when the case concludes.

"Essentials of California Family Law" Sixth Edition now available!

The updated 2019 Sixth Edition of The Essentials of California Family Law by Marshall W. Waller, CFLS, is available for purchase just in time for the upcoming October 2019 California Certified Family Law Specialist Exam.

Marshall Waller originally compiled the text while studying for certification as a California Family Law Specialist. The book has been updated to serve as a useful study guide for attorney's taking the 2019 California Certified Family Law Specialist examination. In other words, it is written for the education of family lawyers. It is a valuable resource that can also be used not only by attorneys preparing for the family law specialist exam but also as an everyday practice guide for family law attorneys. Now for the first time, you can purchase this exclusive lawyer-to-lawyer book and gain a privileged view of California family law.

What if your child gets ill before your parenting time begins?

One of the hardest parts of a divorce is not spending as much time as you'd like with your kids. You look forward to every weekend and school break, trying to make each moment count. Unfortunately, life sometimes has other plans.

Picture this: you're getting ready to pick up your child from your former spouse when you receive a call that the child has become ill and isn't sure that they should leave. You understand that your child may not feel comfortable, but you also want to receive all the time with your child that your custody agreement promises.

How Is Paternity Established in Divorce Proceedings?

When a child is born during a marriage or a man demonstrates a commitment to a child he lives with, California law assumes the identity of the father. However, there are times when paternity isn't clear; in such cases, paternity must be established before custody, visitation or child support will be ordered.

The Impact of Fiduciary Duty during Divorce Proceedings

Like a corporate partnership, marriage creates a financial relationship in which each spouse owes a fiduciary duty to the other. This requires the highest good faith and fair dealing when financial transactions are concerned. This also includes the obligation to make full disclosure to the other spouse of material facts concerning assets and liabilities (and a variety of additional information) in which both spouses share an interest.

Where to find hidden assets during your divorce

If you are going through a divorce, chances are that you feel many different issues pulling you in all directions. While you may have more pressing matters on your mind, such as the welfare of your children, you should not overlook the importance of asset division. Obtaining a fair settlement or court order is critical if you want to maintain financial security in the first months and years after your divorce.

When both spouses provide a full and honest disclosure of assets, this allows the couple in mediation or a judge in a litigated divorce to equally divide the property according to California law. However, what can you do if your spouse is less than honest about his or her assets?

What Happens To Pets In A Divorce?

Historically, pets have been treated like property in divorce, subject to the same property division rules as the family home or the car. This has generated concerns, as most pet owners see their pets as members of the family, not assets with a monetary value. The California legislature has responded to these concerns by passing a law that will dramatically change how dogs, cats and other pets are treated in a divorce. 

Trying to break free from a financially abusive spouse

When you think of abuse in a relationship, you may think of physical violence or even emotional trauma. What may not come to mind is financial abuse, but this is more common than you may realize, and it may result in long-term harm of you are the target of this behavior.

You may not consider yourself a victim of financial abuse, especially if your spouse has provided you with a nice home and other things you need and want. In fact, your friends may envy your lifestyle. However, when it comes to money, you may feel like a prisoner, unable to make decisions about spending for household items, let alone planning for a major change in your life, such as seeking a divorce.

How is Martial Property Divided During Divorce in California?

When dividing marital property pursuant to divorce in California, the rules are clear, but are also often confusing. California is a community property state, and as such all property acquired during marriage is divided 50/50. Most states do not operate under community property rules, preferring instead to use a system of property division known as "equitable division." Equitable division gives the court much more discretion in applying concepts of "fault" to the decision of who gets what in a divorce. California, however, is what is known as a "no fault" state, meaning fault is not considered in this context of deciding who gets what, because (to put it simply) all assets and debts acquired during marriage belong equally to both spouses and must be divided equally upon dissolution of marriage.

Seven co-parenting resolutions for the new year

Newly single people often make personal new years' resolutions. Lose weight, eat healthier, visit friends. In addition to working towards your better self, you may consider creating a new years' resolution towards or with your co-parent. 

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