Free Consultation May Be Available 916-900-1336
Main Menu

Sacramento Family Law Blog

When would a therapist recommend a divorce to a client?

Many Sacramento couples who are considering a divorce will first consult a therapist for advice. Do such counselors ever recommend divorce? The answer, according to a recent study, is both surprising and unclear.

Most therapists will go to great lengths to avoid giving specific advice on whether a divorce is a good idea. Even though a couple may disagree sharply in the therapist's office, the therapist will try to avoid direct advice and instead try to help the couple reach an independent decision. Most therapists try very hard to avoid even subtle suggestions about whether a struggling couple should end their marriage. Most therapists will attempt to direct the couple to consider emotional understanding and behavioral modification that may save the marriage.

What is commingled property in a California divorce?

When divorcing couples in Sacramento think about dividing their property, they believe that property can be divided into two classes: marital property and separate property. Marital property is divided 50/50 between the spouses, while separate property belongs to the spouse who owned it prior to the marriage. But, sometimes, property division can be complicated by the commingling of assets. What exactly is commingled property?

Commingled property is property that was separately owned before the marriage but was invested in an asset that provided income or appreciated in value during the marriage. The income or appreciation in value produced by the separate asset during the marriage is commingled property and is treated as community property, that is, the income or appreciation in value is divided equally. The asset itself remains the separate property of the spouse who owned it before the marriage.

Determining if a child support modification is possible

As situations change, sometimes the surrounding aspects must change as well. In the case of a divorce with children, some changes may require modifications in the child support requirement.

Whether a party is seeking a higher or lower payment, it is important to understand the factors that may affect the viability of receiving the said request. There are a few factors to consider that may help in determining if a child support modification is possible.

What is a child custody evaluation?

The emotional status of children is a crucial issue in many California divorces. If the mental health of a child is disputed by the parents or if the court has other reasons to inquire, the court may order a child custody evaluation. Judges use the evaluations to assist them in determining the "health, safety, welfare and best interest of children with regard to disputed child custody and visitation issues."

The evaluation uses a court-appointed investigator, who can be a probation officer, a domestic relations investigator or other evaluator chosen by the court to conduct the evaluation and report the findings to the court. The scope and nature of the evaluation is usually defined by the court in the order that requires the evaluation. The evaluator's final report is filed with the court and served upon the parties or their attorneys and upon any independent counsel representing the child.

Understanding the right to reimbursement in a California divorce

Most Californians who are considering divorce understand that assets acquired during the marriage must be divided equally between the spouses. One of the important exceptions to this rule is the so-called right to reimbursement. This rule states that if a spouse contributed money or other property to acquire a marital asset, that spouse is entitled to reimbursement for the payment or contribution separate from the division of property in the marital estate.

The contribution for which reimbursement is sought must come from a source of funds that can be separately identified as belonging to the spouse seeking reimbursement. The amount that is reimbursed does not bear interest, is not adjusted for inflation and may not exceed the net value of the property at the time of division.

Resolving "move away" custody issues

California law requires parents involved in a divorce to submit a jointly drafted parenting plan to the court. Working out a child custody and visitation plan can be an arduous task for one or both parents. Regardless of the effort invested by the parents, such a plan can be rendered useless if the custodial parent decides to move to another city or another state and take the children along. What happens then?

The answer depends upon several factors. Most important is the type of custody awarded by the court in the divorce proceeding. A parent who has been awarded sole physical custody (or primary physical custody) generally has the right to move away with the children unless the other parent can demonstrate that such a move would harm the children. If custody is joint, neither parent can move and take the children if the other parent objects. The parent who wishes to move can overcome such an objection by showing that the move would be in the best interests of the children.

Getting your ex-spouse to pay attorneys' fees in the divorce

One of the most common questions individuals ask when they are seeking a divorce is how will the attorney's fees be paid. In most civil cases, courts follow the so-called American rule and require the parties to pay their respective attorneys' fees. The same rule usually applies in divorce cases, but California law contains three important exceptions that may allow one party in a divorce to recover attorneys' fees from the other party.

If the economic situations of the two parties are vastly different, the court may order the spouse with more assets to pay for the other spouse's lawyer. Such an order is not intended as a penalty; rather, courts use the rule to create a level playing field on which both parties will be represented. Other cases in which the court may order one party to pay the attorneys' fees of the other party include paternity disputes, applications for restraining orders, enforcement of an order requiring the payment of child support and situations in which the court finds that one party's income and needs preclude payment of attorneys' fees.

Can mediation help a high-value divorce?

When it comes to divorce in Sacramento area, the more money and property involved, the more challenging the separation process. Many high-value couples do not realize that the moment they file their divorce papers, their situation becomes public. Privacy can be a very valuable commodity if you want to keep friends, neighbors, colleagues and even strangers from knowing about your marital assets and divorce details

Because high-asset divorces often end up turning into long, contentious and bitter court battles, you might want to consider mediation.  

Rep. Darrell Issa may be pulled into fellow congressman's divorce

Contested divorces often ensnare friends and business associates of one or both parties. Rarely, however, does a divorce pit one congressman against another. This unusual spectacle is now unfolding as Ohio Rep. Michael Turner is attempting to compel California Rep. Darrell Issa to give deposition testimony in his divorce.

Turner commenced divorce proceedings against his wife in May 2017, according to court filings in the county where Turner lives. The complaint alleges that their marriage is a "fraudulent contract." According to Ohio law, fraudulent contract means that one party to the marriage made a false representation upon which the other party relied and which invalidates the marriage contract. The fraudulent contract apparently consists of an alleged extra-marital affair between Issa and Turner's wife, who is a Washington lobbyist.

Modifying an order for child support in a California divorce

As anyone who has experienced a divorce can attest, life is not certain. That observation applies to many post-divorce situations, including the payment of child support. As many people in Sacramento have come to realize, the completion of the formal divorce proceeding does not always mean that disagreements and court appearances will never happen. The circumstances in which divorced parents and their children find themselves after divorce cannot always be predicted, and, for this reason, California law has procedures for modifying orders for child support.

The ex-spouse who wants to modify the child support order must bring a motion before the court and demonstrate that circumstances have changed since the entry of the last child support order. The change can take any of several forms:

  • The income of one or both parents has changed, or one parent has become unemployed
  • One parent has been incarcerated
  • One parent has become the parent of a child with a different partner
  • The child has experienced serious medical problems
  • Other significant financial changes are affecting the living or visitation arrangements of the child

Firm Location:

Gary, Till & Burlingham
5330 Madison Ave., Suite F
Sacramento, CA 95841

Phone: 916-900-1336
Fax: 916-332-8153
Sacramento Law Office Map

Firm Numbers:

Visa | MasterCard | American Express | Discover Network
Review Us