Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law
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divorce Archives

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.

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.

Negotiating in good faith

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.

Kids sports and the divorced parent

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.

Are your divorce records public?

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.

Part 2: 5 more ways to ease kids’ transition in divorce

In a recent post, we discussed an article by noted California-based clinical psychologist Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D., which is an excellent overview of how separated parents can help make the transition go more smoothly for their children. The previous post listed five tips for helping children cope. We now present five more tips.

Changing passwords is important during divorce

It’s long been a recommended practice to change the locks on the doors of the family house during divorce. This is particularly applicable when the split was not an amicable one. Now in the modern era where digital privacy is an issue, it’s recommended that families that may have previously shared email passwords, passwords for bank accounts, passwords for phone bills or other online accounts need to change those passwords.

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Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law