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What’s the Difference Between a Contested Divorce and an Uncontested Divorce?

Donald Trump, Jr. was served with divorce papers in early 2018. His wife, Vanessa, had filed for an uncontested divorce in a New York City court, hoping the process would unfold smoothly. Months later, the couple’s divorce proceedings are now classified as contested. This indicates that the couple hit a few bumps in the road as they navigated their divorce. What is an uncontested divorce? What is a contested divorce? Is sone better than the other? Why would an uncontested matter suddenly be classified as contested? These are all important questions if you’re thinking about getting divorced. Our attorneys explain the differences between uncontested and contested divorces in California. Two Types of Divorce Proceedings There are two ways divorce proceedings … Continued

3 Ways the New Tax Law Could Affect Your Divorce

You may recall that a tax bill was passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by the president in late 2017. On January 1, 2019, the provisions of that new tax law became effective. The next time you file a federal income tax return, you’ll notice that things are a bit different. If you’re in the middle of a divorce, or simply thinking about getting a divorce, you’ll need to know how these changes in the tax law may affect you. Our attorneys discuss three major changes that could change how you approach or structure your divorce. Alimony Payments No Longer Tax Deductible When spouses are married, it’s not uncommon for one to earn less than the … Continued

What Can I Do If I Think My Spouse is Hiding Assets During a Divorce?

When you get a divorce, you and your spouse will be required to disclose all of your assets and debts. This process helps to ensure that both spouses walk away from the marriage with an equal share of marital property. Failing to honestly and fully disclose your assets is unlawful. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop some people from being less than truthful during the financial disclosure process. Do you suspect that your spouse has hidden or fraudulently concealed assets in your divorce? Your concerns may not be without cause. Spouses in a contested divorce can sometimes go out of their way to make the process more difficult than it needs to be. This is often true in high net worth situations. … Continued

Divorce Rates Down as Young People Wait Longer to Get Married

Millennials have been accused of killing many things: beer, paper towels, bars of soap, and even popular restaurant chains like Applebee’s. A new study finds that Millenials may also be responsible for the decline of something else – divorce. According to the report, the divorce rate dropped 18 percent between 2008 and 2016. That’s thanks in large part to young people staying in their marriages. Young People Are Getting Married Later in Life One reason that divorces have declined in the United States is because young people waiting until they’ve matured to get married. This is particularly true for women. In the 1950s, the average age of a bride was 20. By 1990, women were 24 when they first got … Continued

Liability for Martial Debts and Disputes After Divorce

In 2015 and 2016, singer Mary J. Blige and her then-husband rented a mansion in Beverly Hills. The landlord claims that the singer and her husband abandoned the property, left it in a state of disrepair, and failed to pay rent for at least 4 months. Attorneys for the landlord are currently seeking nearly $60,000 plus the cost of attorney fees from the now-divorced singing sensation. Liability After Divorce After 12 years of marriage, Mary J. Blige filed for divorce from her husband in 2016. Nearly two years later, the couple was able to finalize the terms of their high net-worth split. Even though the couple is now divorced, they are still facing legal issues from when they were together. … Continued

Four Signs of Divorce

How can you know if your marriage is at risk? What signs tend to indicate that a marriage is in trouble? As experienced Los Angeles divorce attorneys, we have helped thousands of clients through an incredibly difficult time in their lives. Our years of experience have allowed us to witness the inner workings of failing marriages and the signs that tend to indicate a divorce may be on the horizon. If you think that your marriage is in trouble it is important to be aware of the top four signs of divorce. Fighting More Than Usual When you first got married you may have enjoyed a honeymoon period where everything was wonderful. You may not have agreed on every decision, … Continued

Stars Fishburne and Torres Formally File For Divorce After 15 Years of Marriage

Another heavyweight Hollywood couple is calling it quits. Laurence Fishburne, who stars on the sitcom Blackish, recently filed for a divorce from his estranged wife, Suits star Gina Torres, after 15 years of marriage. The couple, who have been formally separated for over a year, will have to tackle complex divorce issues including a division of assets and agree on a custody arrangement for their 10-year-old daughter. Disposition of Marital Assets It appears as though Fishburne and Torres have been working together over the past year to settle on amicable terms for their split. Reports state that they have entered into a preliminary agreement about how their property should be divided. If all goes as planned, the couple will formally … Continued

The Consequences of a Divorce for Harvey Weinstein

The number of women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct continues to grow. So far, at least 60 women have come forward with their own stories. It is no surprise that Georgina Chapman, Weinstein’s wife, has begun to reconsider her marriage. According to many reports, Chapman has started to shop for a divorce lawyer. Weinstein not only faces possible criminal charges and sexual harassment lawsuits, but also a crumbling marriage. Weinstein’s actions, however, do not only affect him. Weinstein and Chapman have two kids who will have to deal with the divorce, as well. Considering the Best Interests of the Children When Chapman files for a divorce she will likely request sole physical custody of her children. Parents … Continued

Can You Sue for Defamation in a Divorce?

Family law controversies can be complicated. Tensions and emotions often run high. It may not be uncommon for one spouse or parent to say or write something negative about the other. Many times, these statements are considered to be a normal part of a divorce, alimony hearing, or child custody battle. Hurtful or untrue statements are just a normal byproduct of a messy legal battle. When do those harmful statements become defamatory? When can a spouse or parent pursue civil damages for what the other has said? If your spouse or co-parent has said or written something defamatory about you, and you may be able to recover compensation through a civil lawsuit. What is Defamation? First, it is important to … Continued

Jurisdiction in California Divorces

Gone are the days when young couples get married, buy a home, and stay in one place for the duration of their lives together. It seems that now, more than ever, couples are less likely to establish long-term ties to a particular geographic location. It is not uncommon for young couples to move across the country for a new job, a new school, or simply to try something new. While this lifestyle can be a great way to see new places and try new things, it can create difficult circumstances should the couple decide to get a divorce. California Residency Requirements In California, a spouse can petition for a divorce if the residency requirements are met. A California court will … Continued

Interstate Divorce Modifications And Move-Aways

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, most people move about twelve times in their adult lifetimes. Statistically, most of these moves occur before age 40, so most relocations involve minor children. Even a “local” move can upset the delicate balance that is a family’s weekly schedule, because driving from Upland to Long Beach can feel like traveling from the earth to the moon. Longer-distance moves, such as out-of-county or out-of-state moves, often complicate things even more. Child custody and visitation orders are based on the best interests of the children, and that is not a fixed value, as what is “best” for the children always changes over time. Since many or most relocations also involve job changes, family support obligations … Continued

Is Social Media the Future of Serving Divorce Papers?

A Time Magazine article published in 2015 made a bold claim. Titled “You Can Now Serve Divorce Papers on Facebook,” the article discusses a New York divorce case where a wife used Facebook to serve divorce papers on her soon-to-be ex-husband. Anyone who catches a glimpse of this title may be intrigued by what the title seems to promise. Yes, the Manhattan Supreme Court held that the wife could use the social media platform to serve divorce papers on her husband. But does this mean that social media platforms can be a petitioner’s choice for service of process of a divorce summons? A review of the case and California law helps to provide our best assessment. Serving Divorce Papers in … Continued

How to Get a Summary Dissolution of Marriage in California

Summary dissolution offers some California couples an alternative to divorce. If both spouses or partners are in complete agreement about how the marriage or domestic partnership will end, summary dissolution can be a great tool. However, if there are any disputes over property or any desire to collect spousal support, summary dissolution may not be the proper way to end the union. Requirements for Summary Dissolution in California There are certain qualifications couples must meet before a California court will grant a summary dissolution of a marriage or domestic partnership. Some qualifications apply to each spouse individually, while others apply to the couple as a whole. A couple may successfully petition the court for a summary dissolution in California if … Continued

Alternatives To Divorce Litigation

If your considering a divorce but are concerned with going to court, then there are two alternatives you should consider: (1) Mediation, or (2) Collaborative Law. Mediation Mediaton is a negotiation between you, your spouse, and a neutral third party (known as the mediator). The mediator does not make a decision, but rather helps the parties come to a mutual agreement. What to Expect in Mediation Typically, the parties divide the cost proportionally between themselves. Prior to the session, which normally takes place in an office setting, the mediators review the pleadings from both sides to familiarize themselves with the cases. After each side makes brief opening statements, the parties retire to different rooms to mull over settlement offers and … Continued

Divorce And PAS

According to one prominent observer, the child custody fight brewing in the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie divorce indicates the beginnings of parental alienation syndrome. By most accounts, Ms. Jolie filed her divorce petition with little warning. Mr. Pitt may have been taken aback by the filing, because several weeks elapsed before he filed a formal response. The swift nature of the proceeding is not in and of itself a “red flag,” because of sudden marital trauma, such as abuse or infidelity, occasions many divorces in California. However, some events in the wake of the filing tell a different story. Ms. Jolie immediately asked a judge to basically cut off contact between Mr. Pitt and the couple’s children, a rather extreme measure … Continued

What Happens First In Divorce Cases?

When it comes to criminal investigations, police often say that the first 48 hours are critical. After that time, memories fade, evidence is lost, suspects go into hiding, and the chance for a successful resolution basically plummets. Things do not happen quite that quickly in California divorce cases and the early results are only preliminary, but the first 480 hours (20 days) are arguably the most critical ticks of a clock in these matters. Absentee spouse cases, a phrase that is explored below, are sometimes almost completely resolved in the first twenty days. The divorces cannot be finalized until the waiting period expires, but in many cases, absentee spouse petitioners are simply waiting for the clock to wind down at … Continued

Trailblazing Divorce Laws From California

Modern divorce and family laws in the Golden State and elsewhere in the Union largely came about from the personal experiences of two California men. 27-year-old Ronald Reagan met 21-year-old Jane Wyman on the set of “Brother Rat,” a nondescript B-movie, and the couple married in 1940. By all accounts, Mr. Reagan was quite happy, and according to some sources, he went to great lengths to preserve the relationship, even when he and Ms. Wyman, who had already been divorced twice, started to drift apart in the late 1940s. When she later filed for divorce on the grounds of cruel treatment, the allegations may have stung Mr. Reagan, even though the accusations may have essentially been pro forma. That experience … Continued

Brangelina Split Highlights Divorce Complexity and Trends

Any couple faces the challenges of marriage, but Hollywood couples are in the spotlight with an enhanced focus on the details of their private life. With this comes added complexity, particularly if the marriage ends and children are involved. Fans of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie expressed their shock in the hours immediately after the news broke that Hollywood’s pre-eminent golden couple was calling it quits. Their divorce demonstrates several common trends among not just celebrity divorces but those across the U.S. Read on to learn more about these concerns and why it’s so important to hire the right divorce lawyer to help you. Less Hope for “Golden Couples” Part of the reason the Pitt/Jolie divorce is making so many headlines … Continued

How Gambling Affects Your Los Angeles Family Court Case

With Las Vegas and Reno only a few hours away from Los Angeles, and with a number of popular casinos beckoning here in California, many Californians go to gambling establishments for an evening of fun and recreation. However, there are a small portion of adults who are adversely affected by gambling. Approximately 2-3% of adults suffer from addictive gambling disorders. Those who cannot control these disorders can see serious impacts on their own lives and on the lives of their loved ones. Even those who do not have serious gambling addictions can get themselves into financial troubles that could affect a family court proceeding. How Can Gambling Affect a Family? Like any type of addiction, gambling can lead to the … Continued

California’s Community Property Law

California is a community property state and one of only nine community property states in the United States. The others include Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Most of the states follow an equitable distribution theory. In California, as well as in the other community property states, when two individuals marry, they become one; they become one legal community. By forming this one legal community, any property they acquire during the marriage is community property. All property in the community property estate is subject to distribution upon divorce. Distributing property in such a manner is often difficult, time-consuming and emotionally draining. If you are going through a divorce and need assistance, call attorney Hossein Berenji at … Continued