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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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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You’re divorced. Now what?

In the divorce process, love is indeed a battlefield. But, at some point, that battlefield clears, usually when you and your soon-to-be former spouse finally sign on the dotted line, officially announcing yourselves as ex-wife and ex-husband. 

But, just because you’ve signed your final divorce agreement, dividing all the property, finalizing the custody arrangements and support payments, you are still technically married. Thus, while you may be excited to begin your next chapter as your single self, you must wait until that final divorce agreement is signed by the Judge.

But, when that day comes, and you find out that are, in fact, truly divorced and finally single, what do you do now? 

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The Right Way to Communicate With the Children About Divorce

I sat in the judge’s chambers along with the other attorney listening to a child testify about how she just wanted her mom to pay attention to her.  In another case, children who used to have a loving relationship with their father were testifying about their refusal to now spend time with their father.  On each occasion, the children appeared scared.  As for the parents, in each occasion, one parent was visibly saddened by the involvement of their children in the divorce while the other parent seemed relieved that their children’s voices were being heard by the judge.

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The California Supreme Court Agrees with Frankie Valli: “Big Girls Don’t Cry”

In an echo of the famed singer’s long-ago hit, Frankie Valli’s former wife may be crying, as she lost her bid to deny Frankie his community property interest in a life insurance policy.   Imagine, paying the premiums on a life insurance policy with community funds, building a cash value and then when sick ensuring that your spouse will have no problems upon your death by naming her the sole owner and beneficiary of this policy.  But, before death occurs, divorce beats you to the punch.  Now, that gesture of good planning is used against you in a bid to deny you your property interest in a valuable life insurance policy.  Seems unfair?  The California Supreme Court agrees.

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Clients are Often Their Own Worst Enemy

Imagine a divorcing mother so desperate to control her own case that her conduct in the courthouse hallway results in her loss of custody of her children.  Imagine a husband losing his most valuable asset in the divorce because he was so desperate to “win” his case that he lies to the judge and is caught.  These stories are true and are examples of how clients – not their lawyer, not the judge, not the system, and not their spouse – are sometimes their own worst enemy.

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Sperm Donors May Have Parentage Rights

Imagine you and your girlfriend strongly desire to have children.  You are unable to do so naturally, so you jointly decide to seek medical assistance.  You donate sperm and your girlfriend is inseminated; 9 months later, a baby!  You and your girlfriend jointly raise this child until the unfortunate ending of your relationship.  You seek to have a custody schedule implemented, when your girlfriend announces you have no legal rights because you donated sperm through a sperm bank.  What?  Can this be true? Up until last week, yes!

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Baby Boomers: California Dreaming Requires Planning When Divorcing

There are 80 million Baby Boomers and they are getting divorced in record numbers. Recent and newsworthy divorces in this demographic involved Al and Tipper Gore, and the unforgettable daily onslaught of Frank and Jamie McCourt splashed across the television, Internet and newspapers.  These are good examples of people getting divorced after decades of marriage; however, they may not be good examples of the real life legal issues mere mortals, like you, me, our parents and grandparents face when divorcing. The financial stakes involved in these high-profile divorces should not trivialize some of the issues we – the mere mortals – would face in the ending of a long-term marriage.

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Tug of War: Summer Vacation

The Matzo has been eaten.  The Easter eggs have been found.  It’s now time to think about summer, which is often stressful for families going through a divorce or custody litigation.  It’s sad but true, for many, planning summer vacation with the children is like the game of Tug-of-War, a sport that directly pits two teams against each other in a test of strength.  However, in this familial game of Tug-of-War, the children are the center line on the rope, which each parent is struggling to get into their possession.  While the actual sport of Tug-of-War is ancient in its origin and thrilling for the participants, I can safely say that in my twenty years of practicing family law, no parent and no child enjoys the proverbial Tug-of-War over summer vacation plans.

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