Articles Posted in Spousal Support

british-pound-300x200The British divorce court sided with a English lady who was a stock market whiz person who made $13 million dollars during her marriage.  Originally the Divorce Court had sided with the ex spouse husband and gave him a cut of all her stock earnings thus making him quite wealthy upon a short term marriage. Julie Sharp a stock trader by profession in England reduced significantly her husbands share to only $2 million dollars rather than the traditional split down the middle. Why did the family law court in England do so? Well the time honored scenario of the equal split down the middle for spouses did not seem to sit well with them. In California family law Court Spousal support is used to determine the standard of living scenario to make the ex spouses live according to the standard they had while married.  This situation usually has more impact upon lengthy marriages.  In California a long term marriage would be considered 10 years or more.

Mrs. Sharp was an energy trade on the British stock exchange.  In 2015 the British family law Court made a ruling giving her ex 2.74 million pounds.  Later the London appeals Court lowered it to 2 million pounds. The London appeals court has been on a recent trend of not equally splitting the assets as it had done in the past to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of a divorced couples assets. Now they have changed and seem to be permitting the ex spouse whom may be the bread winner to keep more of their earnings and shortchanging the less wealthy ex spouse with less money.  Thus it appears the London appellate court is deviating from fairness to a more of who makes more money prevails attitude.

They further state that nonworking spouses will be awarded “special contributions” for their time in the marriage. What exactly is a special contribution is uncertain.  It seems to be a new trend that certainly favors the spouse who makes more money and takes away from the spouse who does not work. The idea that there is a financial partnership among married people is starting to be thing of the past and is a disturbing trend on the idea of marriage in the United Kingdom.  The benefits of marriage seem to be seem to be on the downside in British culture.  Nothing like this has arrived in California or United States just yet.  However, if ever this type of ruling did appear I assume it will be fought with great zeal in the Family Law Court system.

In the recent case of Haskell v Haskell the Court ordered a spousal support order and issued a divorce judgment when one of the spouses did not attend the hearing.  Can the Court enter a final order for spousal support when a party does not appear? And can the order be set aside for failure of the due process requirement?  These are the issues the Court dealt with on appeal from Mr Haskell.

Pamela Haskell had filed for temporary order of spousal support.  Notice was given to Dusty Haskell via mail which was a proper method of notice accepted by the Court.  At that time both parties lived together in the same residence and the mail for Dusty was placed on a table that was available to him and was known to him to have his mail. After the temporary spousal support hearing was held by the Court they issued temporary orders giving Dusty Haskell temporary Spousal support in the amount of $4,000 per month.  Thereafter, Pamela Haskell gave notice of the result of the hearing by placing notice on a box in the house visible to Dusty Haskell when he would come home.

A final Spousal Support Hearing was held and Dusty Haskell did not attend after it was determined by the Trial Court that he had been given proper notice. The Financial declaration of the wife Pamela Haskell was used to determine final amount of Spousal support.

In the modern day and age of the internet and facebook, instagram, twitter and all other sorts of social media outlets people have fallen into the trap of airing their dirty laundry during their divorce to the public to view and offer ill fated advice.  Do not trust the 3rd party input from social media.  Do not rely on a layman opinion regarding your divorce or family law matter that may negatively impact you during the divorce proceedings.  If you have spent the time and resources to hire a family law attorney and then head to facebook or other social media to share your intimate experiences about your divorce or all other issues regarding your dissolution of marriage then you are asking for a lot of trouble.

Studies have shown that leaking personal information to the public seeking affirmation of your personal business during a divorce can lead you down a very troubling and damaging road that cannot be undone.  Airing dirty laundry should be done to a friend on the phone but not to the public where the divorcing parties have access to your personal business that might not be so flattering to you during the divorce proceedings.  Do not undermine your lawyers efforts to effectively fight for your rights to spousal support, child support, child custody and property division as well as any custody issues you are vigorously fighting for by posting pictures of you out partying or drinking alcohol.  And do not post provoking pictures of your new boyfriend or girlfriend when you are trying to fight for your credibility in Family Law Court.

Julia Rodgers, founder of Holistic Divorce,  states “Couples should keep divorce-related issues away from the public. Doing this gives them the power to control the narrative and solidifies their case. In this age where comparison and blame-shifting is rife, couples are tempted to tell the world who’s at fault. However, doing this helps nobody.” This statement is very true.  Using social media to play the blame game and cast blame at the other spouse during the divorce only will in the end hurt you from achieving what you want to succeed from doing. That is to walk away from the divorce without losing all your assets and keep your personal life in tact.

In South Caroline the legislature is going to engage the topic of lifetime Spousal support.  They want to discuss whether the party who must pay for the rest of their live to the other party support is justified.  It has been a long standing law in family law court that a marriage lasting a certain period of duration must allow one party that is not financial equal to the other party lifetime spousal support. In California if the marriage lasts more than 10 years one party is can receive lifetime spousal support.  The lifetime spousal support can only be awarded of course if one party is at a economic disadvantage in earning capacity.

In South Carolina the State Senate will hear arguments from some special interest groups and local attorneys who oppose the lifetime spousal support law. There were many changes that were anticipated in being heard in the South Carolina Senate.  There are several bills being offered to be discussed by the South Caroline Senate. First off to the Senate is that there is no de facto life time spousal support.  That means that any judge reviewing a long term marriage does not have the automatic authority to mandate life time spousal support.

In addition, the South Carolina Senate will consider if they have to consider the party who is paying support’s spouse’s income. This is important, because Judge’s usually address and take into account how the parties are living post separation.  Often a party will remarry or they will have another partner whom they live with.  The most important factor a Judge will look at is if the other party remarries.  That alone can be the sole reason not to award spousal support to a party in need.  However, often a judge will take into account the party who pays support and his or her living conditions.  If that person resides with person who makes substantial income the payor of spousal support can be imputed with his or her income in the Judges decision to award spousal support. South Caroline now wants to rid the Judge considering the payor spouse’s significant others income as well.

Royalties, tips, and gratuities represent income available to pay support.  This type of income may present some difficulty in terms of guideline support calculations.  If the income is regular and predictable it should be included in gross annual income for purposes of calculating support.  See Family Code Section 4058(a)(1).

If this form of income is sporadic, there are two potential methods of inclusions.  First, it may be deemed income when received and the payer would pay a percentage of the amount received under the statewide guideline provisions that address periodic payments such as bonus payments.  That schedule provides for a specified percentage of any bonus or overtime to be paid “as and for” child support.  The actual percentage will vary depending on the amount of the bonus or overtime.  (i.e. Smith/Ostler).   Alternatively, as with income from stock options, the court could adjust the child support award under Family Code Section 4060 or 4064.

Contact a Costa Mesa Divorce Attorney today for help.

In ordering spousal support, a court must consider “documented evidence” of any history of domestic violence between the parties, including emotional distressed suffered by the supported party resulting from the violence. Fam C Section 4320(i).  Forms of documented evidence may potentially include items such as photographs, police reports, medical records, emails, and diary entries.  See Marriage of Cauley (2006) 138 CA4th 1100.

Criminal Convictions:  the criminal conviction of a abusive spouse must be considered in making a reduction or elimination of spousal support award in accordance with Family Code section 4325.  Under Section 4325, there is a rebuttable presumption against the award of spousal support to a spouse who has been convicted of a criminal act of domestic violence against the other spouse within 5 years before, or any time after, filing of the dissolution proceeding.  To rebut the presumption, a court may consider, among other things, documented evidence of a convicted spouse’s history as a domestic violence victim.  Rebuttal requires proof by a preponderance of evidence.

Contact an Orange County Divorce Lawyer today for help.

When going through a divorce or financial matter, you will almost certainly have to fill out an Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150 form).  This form is required if financials are at issue. Let me explain further.  If you want to modify or implement a child support, spousal support or attorneys fees and costs order, an Income and Expense Declaration is required.

The form also requires the party to attach the last 2 months of paycheck stubs (or a Profit and Loss Schedule C statement) and the preceding two years of tax returns.

When completing the Income and Expense Declaration, it is best to have an attorney check it to ensure the figures are accurate. Further, on page 3 of the form, you will have to itemize your monthly expenses so you will also want an attorney to check that the numbers coincide with the gross monthly income coming in.

Clint Eastwood’s wife, DIna Eastwood, has filed for divorce.

Dina Eastwood, a 48-year-old former TV news anchor, cited “irreconcilable differences” with Eastwood, 83, in a divorce petition filed in a Monterey County, California, court Tuesday.

She filed separation papers last month but withdrew them days later.

After being separated for over a year, Ashton Kutcher is finally pulling the plug on his marriage to actress, Demi Moore. The couple were married for 7 years and do not have any children together.

Kutcher’s filing does not indicate that the couple has a prenuptial agreement. If that is the case, from an Irvine family lawyer’s perspective and according to California community property law, all property acquired by the parties during the marriage will be split equally.

Additionally, since the couple was married for 7 years, the higher wage earner will have to pay the other spouse spousal support for one-half of the length of the marriage.

It’s been nearly a year since Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore announced their split and yet neither spouse has officially filed a divorce petition, leaving many people wondering what’s taking so long.

According to the New York Post, disagreements regarding the financial terms of the divorce settlement may be to blame for the hold-up.

“Two And A Half Men” star Kutcher was the highest-paid actor on TV last year, raking in some $24 million — considerably more than Moore. However, he reportedly does not want to give his estranged wife a big pay-out in the divorce settlement. Sources told the New York Post that the couple’s lawyers are trying to negotiate the settlement privately to avoid going before a judge in what would no doubt be a very public court dispute.