I’ve presented these articles which I have written because I feel they offer good information for my clients. Reading them at your leisure will help you better understand your situation. If you have any questions regarding what you’ve read here, especially how it may relate to your own family law issue, please feel free to contact my office. We will be happy to arrange a consultation to discuss all your questions.

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2018 Federal Tax Reform and The Effect on Family Law

The tax reform bill currently making its way through the U.S Congress could have potentially seismic effects on California family law. The proposed legislation, which repeals itemized tax deductions such as medical expenses, state income taxes, attorney’s fees, and unreimbursed business expenses, calls for notable changes to the tax structure of spousal support.

The current proposed changes to the tax code shift spousal support tax responsibility. If passed, spousal support payments may no longer be (1) tax deductible to the payor, and (2) taxable as income to the recipient. These changes will have significant ramifications for individuals who pay or receive spousal support. This proposed elimination of “above-the-line” tax deductions on spousal support will undoubtedly cause a ripple effect on California family law. Let’s look specifically at the effect of eliminating tax deductions on spousal support.

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What Happens on Social Media May Not Stay on Social Media

Social Media posts and jurisdiction in the State of California

Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat have drastically changed the way we communicate. Today, an estimated 1.96 billion people worldwide interact in increasingly varied ways across a rising number of social media platforms. It is imperative that the law, as well as the interpretation of the law, adapt to this constantly changing dynamic.

In Marla Gwen Hogue v. Jerry Dean Hogue, Super. Ct. No. 16-DV-00352, a recent case out of the Third Appellate District in the California Court of Appeal, the Court ruled that California had personal jurisdiction over Jerry, an estranged husband, after he sent his wife, Marla, a video message through social media. The video, sent in December 2015, contained a mock suicide where Jerry pretended to shoot himself in the mouth with a shotgun. This social media message was subsequent to a 20-year history of domestic violence perpetrated by Jerry against Marla.

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Reasons Why an Affair May Actually Matter

California is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning the grounds by which one may obtain a divorce are limited to irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity1). With regard to irreconcilable differences, this means that a spouse’s affair, or other bad behavior, will not have any bearing on the divorce because a spouse only needs to state that the couple cannot get along — that is, the couple has irreconcilable differences.

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1.Note: there are other grounds to obtain a divorce, the other grounds refer to marriages that are void or voidable. This blog post does not address those grounds.
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The Simple Bare “Necessaries”

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
That’s why a bear can rest at ease
With just the bare necessities of life”

       –   “The Bare Necessities” from Disney’s The Jungle Book

On August 30, 2017, the published portion of the decision by the Court of Appeal of California for the Third Appellate District, in a case entitled Direct Capital Corporation v. Grant Brooks, distinguished in divorce between the common necessaries of life and the necessaries of life as well as with the implications of whether a married person is responsible for the debt incurred by their spouse prior to the date of separation.

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Truth and Consequences: Shirking Spousal Support Obligations

While most Family Law courts recognize a prevailing precedent that no one may be compelled to work after the usual retirement age of 65 in order to pay the same level of spousal support as when they were employed, courts are concurrently wary of individuals who deliberately shirk their support obligations by refusing to work, retiring early, or restructuring the ownership of their assets to avoid their support obligations.

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Immigrant sponsorship and spousal support obligations

Reprinted from the Tuesday, August 29, 2017 Los Angeles Daily Journal, Cara L. Boroda’s article titled “Immigrant Sponsorship and Spousal Support Obligations”.

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Great Expectations

Family law litigation can be difficult, not just because of the emotions but also because children are often involved, and because it can become a costly and arduous process for the parties. Nonetheless, one of the bigger problems is the challenging issue of managing expectations. The attorney wants to please their client. The client wants to win. A family’s future is at stake.

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A family law attorney, in addition to being a zealous, strong and compassionate advocate, must also be able to resolve community property and support issues that may involve tax returns, business balance sheets and a variety of financial asset statements. The content of these documents, which corporate lawyers work with regularly, can often reveal an interesting story which, when presented by a skilled family law attorney to the court, potentially yields great results for the client. The following issues typify the types of concerns on which family lawyers and corporate attorneys often interface.

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Swiping Right on the “Right” Family Law Attorney

While many of us are used to “swiping right” to choose the person with whom we may (or not) share an intimate relationship, the process of choosing the right family law attorney should be a carefully vetted process, and not necessarily one in which simple boxes (for example, gender and age) are checked.

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Beware These Divorce Pitfalls

A divorce, for most people, is a pivotal and life-changing experience. It is an event that can have dramatic ramifications on your future, both financially and emotionally. Yet, while you are in the throes of the divorce, it is important to remember that the way you conduct yourself in your divorce may have consequences after the divorce is final. Be certain to review the following issues with your divorce attorney, and always ensure you consider the risks before you engage in specific conduct, or prepare court filings, that could affect your future.

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Marlo says...
“A great way to help alleviate your concerns is to learn more about the process. Reviewing this information could also help you develop questions you hadn’t thought of before.”