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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
The issue of pet ownership or custody has become more common in recent years. Now Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 2274, which allows the courts to assign joint or sole ownership of the pet. Much as a judge would consider the welfare of the child, the courts will consider the care of animal as well. The pet can even be placed with one party temporarily until all of the details of the divorce are determined.
Trust is an important element in successfully resolving legal issues collaboratively. According to a former state Supreme Court judge who now handles mediation, it is often mutually beneficial to engage in good faith negotiations during mediation, but one must still guard against the other side trying to gain an unfair advantage.
Coparenting involves many challenges, particularly when the parents are divorced. One source of potential conflict is the role that sports play in the children’s lives and the potential choices of which sports kids want to play. As a rule, sports are great for children’s development but the viewpoint of the parents may differ widely. Some parents come from families place a high emphasis on participating in sports, while others may have emphasized other activities.
A divorce is one of the most difficult challenges that many will face, particularly those acrimonious disputes that end up in court. After such a draining experience, many simply want to put it behind them and move on to the next chapter in their lives. Unfortunately, the same details of your personal life that were hashed over in front of a judge are now a matter of public record, this includes financial matters like the value of your estate, details of your private life at home and other details.