Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law
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divorce Archives

Using an expert witness in divorce

Every divorce is as unique as the people involved. Some will be business-like with few areas of disagreement, while others will be highly emotional and litigated in court. In the latter case, expert witnesses are useful for providing insight when the spouses have differing views on an issue. This may be the fitness of a parent, the worth of an ongoing business, real property or earning potential.

Confidentiality of mediation; an alternative to tradition

Mediation is an increasingly popular format for couples who wish to file for divorce. There are several benefits that stem from keeping the divorce out of court. Topping the list is a faster resolution process because clients are not at the mercy of a crowded court schedule, and a quicker resolution can also mean less expense. Many couples also like the fact that they themselves will find solutions for their disputes rather than having a stranger, a judge, decide. It also appeals to those who like privacy because mediation typically does not involve a public record of the case's details.

Clues that a spouse may be hiding money

It is commonplace for one spouse to handle the family's finances, but with tax season upon us it does not hurt for the other spouse to pay attention. Understanding a family's financial plan is good for a healthy marriage and necessary when one files for divorce or plans to do so.

Divorce and the digital footprint

Social media is now part of the fabric of how we engage and interact with others. Regardless of how one feels about its many pluses and minuses, that information is playing an ever increasing role in filing for divorce. Now posts of dinners out with the family, sporting triumphs, vacations, and other important activities are documented on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms.

Prenuptial agreements can make sense for students

It is common knowledge that couples usually wait longer these days before getting married. Some will even be in a long-term committed relationship but have no interest in marriage. However, love is unpredictable and others find themselves making marriage plans while in undergraduate or graduate school. If this is the case, it can make sense to consider a prenuptial agreement even when the couple are still in school and do not have full-time employment.

Filing for divorce using mediation

Mediation is notable for being an alternative form of dispute resolution. It is a form of collaborative law that usually avoids courtroom litigation, which in turn reduces the stress upon the family, the expense of the divorce process and can even provide a format for parents who must continue to work together while raising children. It is also appealing to some for being more private because records of court litigation are generally available to the public.

Sometimes Legal Separation is the Best Option

Separation may be the best option for some couples. It can be a major step towards divorce, it can be an end unto itself, or it can even act as a break while the couple tries to regroup. These can be informal, or they can be more formalized by filing for legal separation or drafting a legal separation agreement. Preparation of a Judgment of Legal Separation is necessary to formalize the agreement.

ATROS protect assets during divorce

Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATROS) consist of orders that go into effect automatically upon the issuance of a summons in conjunction with a divorce petition, legal separation, nullity or paternity action. It is similar to  commonly used restraining orders to protect individuals when going through divorce. Instead of physical protection, however, it is financial protection to ensure that a spouse does not engage in financial indiscretions or rearrangements of assets. General examples would be:

Divorce and drug testing

Alcohol and drug use have long been a source of conflict for couples getting divorced, perhaps even more so today with the well-publicized opioid epidemic raging across the country. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a parent may want a coparent or ex-spouse to undergo drug testing.

California has new confidentiality laws for mediation

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed SB 954. While it does not take effect until January 1, 2019, this law requires lawyers to inform clients about confidentiality guidelines regarding mediation. Lawyers will now need to provide and get a written confirmation that they have briefed the client and the client understands the consequences. This protects attorneys from legal malpractice accusations by a client who is unhappy with the outcome.

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Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law