We spend a lot of time discussing the intricacies of divorce, so this post is dedicated to the basics in California. Why? Because simply knowing the basics can save you time and money, and we’re all about that. [Read more…]
According to the California Family Code a married couple is in a “fiduciary” relationship, which is, they are duty bound to deal fairly with each other. Under the law, however, each of them may enter into a transaction respecting property with each other or any other person of their choosing just as though they were unmarried. [Read more…]
Divorce Advice: Is Your Marriage in Trouble? Whether you’re on your first marriage or your third, the following signs outlined in a recent HuffPost Divorce article should be red flags. Divorce may be just around the corner if you don’t attempt to fix the issues in your relationship. More than 75% of marriages in California end in divorce, which is an alarmingly high statistic. As a California-based family law firm, we witness the problems couples in Orange County face, and the below 10 items can be a great checklist for your relationship. Be weary of these marriage issues: [Read more…]
It looks like Michael Jackson’s parents Joe and Katherine are heading for divorce court after 60 years of marriage. The Jackson’s have been estranged for over five years ago, and Joe currently resides in an apartment in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Katherine Jackson, 80, has filed for the divorce. Rumors are circulating that Katherine blames Joe for Michael’s demise, and there have long been reports of abuse against all the Jackson children by Joe. “She’s been humiliated by him for too long. She’s absolutely livid. There’s no going back,” a source close to the Jackson family said. Katherine Jackson has filed for divorce twice during her long marriage. Both times she decided against finalizing the divorce primarily for religious reasons – as a Jehovah’s Witness she doesn’t believe in divorce. [Read more…]
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie won an undisclosed amount of money from a lawsuit that they filed against News of the World. The publication is said to have said that the couple were separating and had a custody arrangement in place. The publication’s article did significant damage to the couple’s reputation, and as such a public apology is said to be underway.
It was also said that the couple met with Sorrell Trope, a well-known divorce attorney for the stars. Trope denied the claims and revealed that he has never met with either Brad nor Angelina. The suit was a claim against the 1998 Data Protection Act, which covers the misuse of private information.
A word to the wise: really do your fact checking before reporting about possible star divorces and other controversial topics!
It’s said that the settlement will be donated to the couple’s charitable foundation, so the money they were awarded will go to a good cause.
Hoping to grab a bite before your meet with your attorney at the courthouse? Just getting out of court and need a resting spot before you return home and fight that traffic? Don’t want to deal with the crowds at the justice center cafeteria?
Try one of these 10 lunch spots near the Lamoreaux Justice Center (341 City Drive in Orange). They’re some of our favorite nearby restaurants.
A couple becomes married by common law when there is no official ceremony, but the two people consider themselves married and meet certain criteria. However, not all states recognize common law marriage, and California is one of them, which brings us to common law marriage myth number one.
Myth – All states recognizes common law marriage
Most states, including California, DO NOT recognize common law marriage. Colorado, Rhode Island, Washington, DC, and a handful of others do acknowledge common law marriage.
Myth – There is no way to have a common law marriage in California
If you live as a married couple (by common law) in a state that recognizes common law and you move to California where you decide to pursue a divorce, the courts will work with you. However, this issue quickly becomes a complicated legal matter and should be discussed with an attorney.
Myth – Common law marriage occurs when you live together for seven years
You can live together for one year or 20 years, but unless you meet very specific criteria you won’t be considered married by common law.
Myth – You are married if you say you are married
As mentioned, you must meet specific criteria to be considered married by common law, which includes: 1) Living in a state where common law marriage is recognized; 2) Acknowledging your partner as your spouse or taking your partner’s last name; 3) Filing joint tax returns; and 4) Acknowledging that you plan to marry.
Myth – Courts don’t order support or property division for couples who never married
In California, the court recognizes palimony (Marvin claim). This means that if a couple lives together for an extended period of time and splits, he or she may have a right to receive support and/or a right to certain property acquired during the relationship. Always speak with an attorney to discuss your unique situation.
We previously introduced you to the Elkins Family Law Task Force, a committee established by the Judicial Counsel of California to improve the efficiency of the California Family Law Courts. The Task Force set out to review the system as it is and has followed up with a series of recommendations for improvement.
Much of these improvements have to do with implementing “More effective child custody procedures for a better court experience for families and children” (from the Report to the Judicial Counsel). More specifically the Task Force seeks to:
- Improve educational programs and professional development opportunities for judicial officers to more effectively address the needs of California children.
- Improve funding for child custody mediation services that result in more time for mediators to work with families.
- Allow for confidential mediation sessions giving parents more freedom to speak openly.
- Make it easier for parents to communicate with the judge about their parenting plan (could include additional forms).
- Create better defined roles of child custody evaluators and investigators.
- Make it so courts can choose to allow a minor’s participation in a divorce on a case-by-case basis. If a child needs his or her own counsel, courts should monitor the bills and cap fees, if appropriate.
- Demand that Child Welfare Services expeditiously investigate all situations of alleged child abuse and neglect, even if a parent has not filed an action with the court.
- Put cases that include physical and sexual child abuse allegations on a fast track bringing in mediators, investigators, and judicial offers right away to ensure child safety.
- Reduce number of children interviews to one, which will minimize the child’s participation in the case.
- Create new legislation to allow the family court’s access to reports and information relating to investigations completed by California Protective Services that does not interfere with due process or privacy rights.
Ever read an article from a celebrity magazine or paper and wonder what all that legal jargon means? The following definitions explain many of the terms often used by reporters to describe celebrity divorce.
Divorce Paperwork – TMZ reported that Charlie Sheen and wife, Brooke Mueller, have not “lawyered up” for a divorce, but the couple has gotten paperwork together in case they decide to file. Divorce paperwork refers to a “petition,” plus other necessary documents needed by the court to initiate a divorce. It’s possible the term also refers to copies of prenuptial agreements, financial records, etc. that will help both sides determine how to divide marital property.
Estranged Spouse – The LA Times reported that Dwayne Wade’s estranged wife, Siohvaughn Wade, filed a lawsuit against Dwayne and his current girlfriend, Gabrielle Union, for emotional stress. While not a legal term per se, “estranged” is commonly used when referring to a former spouse. Technically, the term means one whom was once loved, but later becomes alienated by the other. [Read more…]
Earlier this month, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered LA Dodgers owner, Frank McCourt, to pay his wife, Jamie McCourt, $637,159 in temporary spousal support on top of covering her lawyer’s fees. This monthly payment is meant to cover expenses related to the eight homes in her name plus living expenses.
In the same hearing, the judge ordered Ms. McCourt to sell the couple’s Cabo San Lucas home (don’t worry, she gets to keep the other seven for now). With the McCourt’s marriage and personal finances in a bit of a tangle, what do you suppose this means for the LA Dodgers?