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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Why Divorce Cases Don’t Settle

Imagine a divorce which has been ongoing for several years.  The experts essentially agree on the numbers for valuing the marital estate; the lawyers essentially agree on the options for resolution.  Hours and hours have been spent working to settle the case, yet the case still does not settle. How can this be, given the time and hard work involved?

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So, You Want to Litigate….

Litigating is intellectually stimulating for many lawyers; it is competition at its best. We love to strategize a case; prepare witnesses; present novel arguments to the court; and we love the cross examination of witnesses.  It is what we were trained to do.

Parties often want to litigate because they want their day in court and want to “prove” the other side wrong.  Sometimes litigating a case is the only option because the other side will not work to resolve differences; or, the other side’s assessment of the case is so “off base” that a fair settlement cannot be achieved.

While many lawyers enjoy litigation, most clients do not share a lawyer’s point of view, but have no choice except to go to court.  Therefore, if you find yourself in the position of a litigated divorce or custody case, here are some tips that will enable you to assist your lawyer in managing the process:

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Abuse of an Animal is Domestic Violence

Many people know that a few months ago, my husband and I lost our thirteen year old Dachshund, Bagels.  While Bagels had been ill, there were no signs that her condition was worsening, so we were shocked by her sudden death.  This loss not only left us sad, but also left our other dog, Bessie, very sad too.

As a result, this weekend Bessie and I sought out to adopt a Dachshund so Bessie can have some company.  As I sat watching all of these dogs looking for good homes, knowing that many had come from hoarding and other forms of abusive homes, it reminded me of how difficult it is to fathom how and why someone would be abusive to an innocent animal.

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The Perpetrator’s Fame Makes Domestic Violence More Visible

Everybody is talking about the Ray Rice domestic violence act caught on tape.  The incident is violent, painful to watch.  It is unfortunate that we must bear witness to a violent event to raise the awareness about domestic violence, which is a real problem in our society.  Each year our legislatures and courts further develop this area of the law to create greater protections for victims of these incidents, yet it seems the public often takes domestic violence lightly until we come face-to-face with a highly visible example.    Then, as often occurs, people tend to minimize or dismiss what happened because the perpetrator is famous or highly talented; for example, Chris Brown seems to have rebounded just fine after his assault on Rihanna.

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“War of the Roses” or “Kramer vs Kramer”?

“When we finally decided we would be divorcing, I couldn’t get these certain movie scenes out of my head. I grew up watching films like Kramer vs. Kramer and The War of the Roses and I just remember the pain those families went through and the emotional damage it caused? Was that what I was in for?”

Trust us, you’re not the first person who has mentioned those iconic films to us. While they are dramatized, they are certainly rooted in reality. People fear that their situation will erupt and become just as bad as those movies.  While it is possible this may occur, it is also possible, and much more likely, the situation will not occur if both parties share the same fear that they could be the next “War of the Roses”.  When people share this same fear, they also usually share the same desire to resolve their differences more amicably through an alternative process such as mediation.  At Van Oorschot Law Group, our founding partner, Marlo Van Oorschot, takes her knowledge and skill of litigation into the mediation room to serve as a mediator to assist parties in resolving their differences amicably.  Marlo brings her knowledge of the legal issues and the current legal environment in court into the mediation, to move parties from a place of conflict to a place of resolution. Before things spin out of control contact us. We can help ensure no one ends up dangling from a chandelier.

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What Now?

“The arrangement was clear. I would put my career on hold, stay home and raise the children. Sure it made sense at the time. But now I find my marriage is ending. And once I accepted the reality of the situation, the fear of future financial security set in. And I’ll be honest with you, it’s overwhelming. How do I re-enter the workforce after all these years? What if support from my spouse is not enough to maintain the standard of living which existed during the marriage? How will I feed and clothe my children?  Where will we live?”

This situation is common to many of our clients. These fears are legitimate and they require experienced legal and financial advice to help bring about clarity and the ability to guide a business-like decision about your financial future.  Our staff is here to guide you in building a good foundation for your future after divorce.

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When the Wealthy Divorce: Confidentiality

Certainly not every high profile celebrity-type divorce is handled in a confidential manner, as evidenced by the public divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt.  However, by and large, high profile divorces are handled quickly and quietly, the best recent example probably being the divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

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The Good Legal Experience Is Not Much Different From a Good Dining Experience

This past weekend my husband and I went out to dinner with a friend.  We chose a restaurant which I knew to have wonderfully fresh, well prepared culinary delights.  While no doubt, the food at a restaurant is important, so are the service and the entire experience of the meal.  We have all been to restaurants where the food is good, but the service or ambiance lacks something to be desired such that you never return to the restaurant.

When we were at dinner, the food was delicious; but what was extraordinary about the meal was our waiter.  Our waiter was knowledgeable about the food, the ingredients, the preparation style, the cocktails –everything.  In conversing with our waiter, he confessed he is a “foodie.”  No wonder – this is why it was so evident he had a passion for the food he was educating us about and serving! Our waiter truly transformed our experience from that of a meal to that of an experience where we were guided from beginning to the end through a culinary delight.

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What NOT to Do in Court

I just left the Ventura County Courthouse where I sat and listened to people plead their case to the family law judge. Some made a pitch about why their child support should be reduced, using arguments not supported by any legal or factual basis.  Others had reasons why the judge should excuse their non-appearance at a prior court date, which resulted in orders they did not like because they weren’t there to contest them. Then there was a father who told a story how he is now the custodial parent to his young child because the mother threatened to kill the Child Protective Services social worker.  Really – this stuff just cannot be made up.

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From Parent to Pariah

“My children and I always shared a close and loving relationship.That is until the divorce. Now, my kids don’t want to see me, won’t talk with me, and want to tell the judge how much they despise spending time with me. What happened?”

While this might sound like a movie, many parents – especially fathers – face this horrible turn of events. Over our last 20 years we’ve seen this situation happen all too often. That’s why we know how to react and how to help you. While this is not an easy situation to fix, the key to success is early intervention.  As soon as this turn of events occurs, quick legal action is required in an attempt to intervene and change the course of events about to unfold. Don’t wait. Be proactive. We can help.

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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.”