What to Expect When You Have to Go to Court

Courtroom drama makes for good TV.  Whenever I hear the all-t00-familiar “Duh Duh” tone of Law and Order, my heart skips a beat.  (Incidentally, I learned courtroom procedure from Law and Order.  True story.)

Exciting as it may be, courtroom drama does not belong in Family Law.  I will be the first to say it – the courtroom is NOT where you want to resolve your family law issues.  You are not suing Walmart for your slip and fall.  

How to Keep Your Divorce Affordable: 8 Tips

Expensive Divorces

January is divorce month for divorce lawyers!!!  With attorneys’ rates being 250 – 1000/hour, how can anyone afford divorces these days?

Without further ado, my tips for keeping your divorce affordable.

  1.  Hire an experienced mediator.  If you can agree on one thing, should be how your divorce is handled.  Research mediators and find an experienced one who both of you trust.  Sit down with this mediator and hash out your issues.

If you’re paying child support, but your income fluctuates, Ostler-Smith is your friend

Ostler Smith Bonus Support, child support

Many of you know that California has a guideline formula to determine “child support” in divorce cases, found in California Family Code 4055.  Some of you may even know there is a free child support calculator offered by the California Department of Child Support services.

Calculating child support when you two agree on 1) % timeshare; 2) amount of income; 3) all dedutions and child-support add-ons is EASY PEASY.

Divorce and the 10-Year Rule

Divorce and the 10-Year Rule

Divorce 10 Year Rule: I just had another caller today whose husband is trying to file a divorce at 9 years, 6 months.  She is frantic and trying to figure out how to stop it because she thinks it has something to do with alimony and how she can’t get it for life now.

Relax!  The 10-year-rule is much ado about nothing.  Let’s find the text of the California Family Code that states anything about 10 years.  

Handling Child Custody Battles

child custody battles, California

Nothing breaks this family lawyer’s heart more than a bitter custody battle.  I remember one episode of Law and Order which starts off with a father’s supervised visitation.  Father is portrayed as being very close to his daughter, who clearly loves him.  The monitor stands by, uninterested and purposeless.  Later, the mother accuses the father of rape (which is later proven untrue), and father loses all custody.  This leads to rage, and father pours burning oil on mother,

Surviving the Holidays Without Your Children

It’s December again!  My office tends to see an uptick of restraining orders during this period.  Not necessarily due to increased violence, but rather as a strategy to obtain custody of the children over the holidays.  

Hopefully, this blog post will help you if your parenting plan doesn’t provide you with custody this year (or in odd years).

  1. Have Christmas one week (month) early!  As with all things involving children, plan accordingly.  If your parenting provides you with Christmas custody on EVEN years,