Santa Clarita Divorce Blog

  • Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage Also Affects Divorce

    || 22-Jul-2015

    Late in June 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex marriages across the nation, effectively dismantling 13 state bans. Immediately people from coast to coast were either cheering or jeering in response to the decision and it seemed a rift was forming between parties as they expressed their beliefs one way or the other. But what many people still have not done ...
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  • Why Do Some People Choose a Legal Separation Over a Divorce?

    || 6-Mar-2015

    The decision to get a divorce from your spouse is one of the most life-changing things you can ever decide to do. For many people, it is the pathway to a brighter future. But for others, divorce seems almost too final and definitive. If you are facing similar circumstances, a legal separation may be the best option for you. Legally separating from your spouse has numerous benefits that divorce ...
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  • Changes Being Made to Child Support and Spousal Support Laws

    || 21-Oct-2014

    Family Code 218 is intended to overrule a decision related to In re Marriage of Boblitt, which was decided in February of 2014 by the California Appeals Court. Essentially, the Boblitt Court made post-judgment discovery more cumbersome. For instance, if a moving party in a child support or spousal support modification request sought discovery related to the opposing party's income and assets, ...
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  • On August 7, 2014, the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Second Appellate District, District Eight, deciding the matter of In re J.T., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law, released a decision that adds additional clarification to grandparents wishing to exercise periods of visitation with their grandchildren. It is important to note, however, that this case only applies to ...
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  • Whether it be a petition for dissolution or a petition for legal separation, one of the most critical issues you must face from the onset is establishing the date of separation. I'll explain why; in California, community property is defined by the family code as follows: "Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property, real or personal, wherever situated, [and debts] acquired by a ...
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  • Child Custody: The Variations of Legal & Physical Custody

    || 2-Jul-2014

    It is important for you to recognize that in Family Law proceedings, the Court is concerned with the best interests of the children and, absent exceptional circumstances, assumes that frequent contact with both parents is advantageous to the children. You may want to speak with me from time to time regarding any conflicts or difficulties encountered between you and your spouse. In the meanwhile, ...
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  • Spousal Support

    || 25-Mar-2014

    California law provides that spouses are entitled to receive " spousal support ", i.e. alimony, from each other based on many factors, the most important of which are the respective income of both parties (or the lack thereof), the duration of the marriage, and the marital lifestyle. Spousal support is the term for "alimony" under California law. No matter what you call it, ...
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  • Child Support: Mandatory & Discretionary Child Support Add-Ons

    || 17-Mar-2014

    Guideline Child Support Child support in California is determined by a statewide formula which includes multiple factors including, but not limited to: The custodial time share between the parents of the minor children; The gross pre-tax earnings of each parent; and Certain permitted deductions, which includes mandatory retirement contributions and health insurance. Lawyers and family court judges ...
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  • Financial Assistance for Attorney Fees

    || 18-Feb-2014

    All too often, one of the divorcing parties in a marriage has primary (or sole) access to the martial financial resources. This presents problems for the spouse that does not have control to ensure that he or she has access to legal representation. Similarly, there are situations when a legal dispute is initiated regarding a Petition to Establish Custody, or a modification of support ( child or ...
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  • Fiduciary Duties, Disclosure and Sanctions

    || 10-Feb-2014

    During the course of the marriage, and continuing through the dissolution proceedings and until the assets have been distributed, spouses have fiduciary duties to one another, which will be explained in the following paragraphs. Inextricably intertwined with and part of spouses' fiduciary duties is the duty to truthfully and fully disclose assets and liabilities. California Family Code section ...
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  • The Process of Discovery In many divorce cases, you or your spouse may not know all the information that is needed to deal with or resolve many of the issues involved in your Dissolution proceeding. One of the tasks for an attorney and his or her client is to seek such information, e.g., to identify and place a value on the community assets and liabilities. Discovery is the legal term for ...
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  • California Family Code section 1612 provides that parties to a premarital agreement (PMA) may contract with respect to the rights and obligations in property, choice of law, spousal support, and virtually every other issue, other than those deemed contrary to public policy or law (i.e., child support). Essentially, a PMA is nothing more than a written agreement between prospective spouses made in ...
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  • Calculating California Guideline Child Support

    || 27-Feb-2013

    Calculating California Guideline Child Support In order to create consistency with regard to child support awards, the Legislatures in California have created an algorithm that considers multiple variables in the overall calculation of child support. This algorithm is the heart of what is commonly referred to as the "Dissomaster", a computer program used by the Courts to calculate child ...
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  • Cohabitant's Rights and Domestic Partnerships in California

    || 31-Jan-2013

    I often receive calls from persons who just ended a relationship with their significant other with whom they were cohabitating. Invariably, the questions focus on what rights they may be entitled to under the law with respect to property rights and support. The law is very clear in this regard. Only married persons and those registered as domestic partners are vested with the community property ...
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  • The Department of Justice reports that there are over 2.5 million reported acts of domestic violence every year, which result in over 4000 deaths. Needless to say, these statistics are concerning. Domestic violence has no boundaries; it reaches every race, religion and Scio-economic class. California Probate Code section 13700 defines Domestic Violence as follows: Abuse committed against an adult ...
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  • I often receive calls from people who are contemplating divorce or have just been served with a Petition for Dissolution. Invariably, the questions asked are how long will this process take, and how much does it cost. Frankly, there is no way to know because the answer to both questions depends entirely on the parties themselves. For instance, there are two paths to accomplish the ultimate goal of ...
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  • I often receive calls from parties who were just served with divorce papers (formally referred to as the Petition for Dissolution). Needless to say, this can be a traumatic event when the receiving party is unaware of his or her spouse's desire to divorce. If you are served with a Petition for Dissolution, there are important issues that are triggered upon your receipt. For instance, upon ...
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  • Child Custody and Child Visitation in California

    || 30-Oct-2012

    California Family Code section 3020(a) provides: " The Legislature finds and declares that it is the public policy of this state to assure that the health, safety, and welfare of children shall be the court's primary concern in determining the best interest of children when making any orders regarding the physical or legal custody or visitation of children… ; and (b) The ...
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  • Martinelli Law Group Sponsors School Event

    || 25-Oct-2012

    Our office is always looking to provide the highest level of assistance we can for the individuals and families that we serve. Divorce is a complex issue and the emotional nature of these cases only adds to the complication. We look to give our clients relief in these cases, and find the end results that they are hoping for. We offer personalized and attentive representation to everyone we serve. ...
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  • Protecting Yourself in Community Property

    || 17-Oct-2012

    In the state of California, the model of community property is followed. This is the way that property will be divided up between a married couple that is seeking a divorce. Marital assets will be included and this typically involves anything that was gained by either party during the marriage, aside from personal gifts or inheritance. Some items can be counted as separate property and will not be ...
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  • The Division of Debt upon Dissolution in California

    || 12-Oct-2012

    California Family Code section 910 provides: " Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, the community estate is liable for a debt incurred by either spouse before or during marriage, regardless of which spouse has the management and control of the property and regardless of whether one or both spouses are parties to the debt or to a judgment for the debt." As I shared in a ...
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  • The Division of Property upon Dissolution in California

    || 2-Oct-2012

    California Family Code section 760 provides: " Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state is community property. " At dissolution, community property is divided equally between the spouses. This 50/50 split is presumptively correct and the courts will rarely ...
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  • Welcome to our new Santa Clarita Divorce Blog

    || 1-Jun-2012

    We are pleased to announce the launch of our new Santa Clarita Divorce Blog with an RSS feed located here.
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