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Ventura California Family Law Blog

Protecting yourself while leaving an abusive marriage

Although domestic violence affects millions of families across the United States and many here in California as well, there is still a lot of stigma attached to reporting it. Too often, people experiencing abuse at the hands of their spouse may avoid reporting issues to the police, seeking medical care or even telling their family members about how dangerous their marriage has become.

When they reach a point where they need to leave for their own safety or to protect their children, the victims of spousal abuse often find it is difficult to get people to believe their claims. While anyone fearing for their immediate safety should take action right away to protect themselves, walking away from an abusive marriage isn't always the best way to handle it. You may want to spend some time considering how to gather evidence that can protect you during and after a divorce.

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.

The lawyer drafts a disclosure and has it signed by the client before the mediation process begins. It will feature a sample disclosure. There should also be language about the mediation process being a safe harbor for speaking the truth.

Tax Fraud During Marriage Creates Big Problems in a Divorce

Many people who are self-employed will indulge in a culture of trying to pay Uncle Sam as little as possible, often dishonestly, by misrepresenting their business expenses so they are reporting very little income. The end result of this practice can have grave effects on both parties.

New bill allows California courts to decide pet custody

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.

Set to go into effect January 1, this law is in response to judges increasingly having to get involved in the pet issue, finding ways to equitably resolve them when both side wish to keep the animal.

Managing child custody exchanges when parents don't get along

Child custody exchanges are not always the happiest moments. It's hard for one parent to say goodbye to his or her child during a child custody exchange -- even if the visitation period is only for a couple of days. However, if the parents don't get along and constantly bicker and fight when they see one another, child custody exchanges become even more difficult.

Here are a few things that parents need to keep in mind during child custody exchanges to avoid legal problems:

Banker tries but cannot outrun alimony payments

A British couple's highly publicized split in 1997 is still not resolved. With the couple moving separately to the United States in 2009, the bitter battle remained in the English courts. According to a ruling in 2013, banker Yan Assoun should be paying three-times the $132,000 he pays annually, per the original agreement. This is because Assoun now earns in excess of $1 million.

Dallas and Manhattan courts now involved

University professor caught trying to hide assets

Dividing marital assets is a complicated process that involves itemizing a complete list of bank accounts, real property, and other possessions of value. The list must be as comprehensive as possible with the understanding that some assets (such as stocks) will fluctuate in value. In a perfect world, the couple looks at the list and comes to an equitable agreement with help of their attorneys. However, the temptation to deceive or mislead can prove to be too appealing for some spouses.

Deceit leads to criminal charges

Wife and daughter fight over care of actor Tim Conway

Actor Tim Conway is famous for his offbeat comedy roles and particularly as a cast member of the Carol Burnett show. Unfortunately, the 84-year-old actor now suffers from advanced stages of dementia.

He currently lives in nursing facility that his daughter Kelly claims provides excellent and skilled care. His second wife Charlene, who is not Kelly's mother, reportedly wants to move him to another facility that according to the daughter does not provide care by registered nurses around the clock. His current care also includes a full-time care by RNs as well as speech therapist that helps Conway with his swallowing. Conway is essentially unresponsive and needs help performing basic functions.

How will abuse impact the outcome of a California divorce?

People get divorced for a broad range of reasons. Some couples just grow apart over the years. Other times, there are more serious issues, including addiction, gambling problems or abuse. If you plan to divorce your spouse due to a pattern of abusive behaviors, it is totally reasonable to wonder how that abuse will impact the outcome of your divorce.

There are many factors that contribute to how abuse affect your divorce, ranging from whom your spouse targeted to what form of abuse you had to endure. While every case is different, there are some general standards in place as far as spousal abuse with California family courts and divorce.

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