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Bay Area Family Law Blog

If your spouse asks for a divorce, it's time to make a plan

You were eating dinner when your spouse suddenly stood up and asked for a divorce. It looked like they'd been thinking about it for a while, and they handed the paperwork straight to you. You were surprised, because everything seemed okay.

Now that your spouse asked for a divorce, you may not be sure of what steps to take next. It's emotionally traumatizing to have to think about the situation at all, let alone going to talk to your attorney about it. So, what should you do?

Is your child trying to 'fill the gap' after your divorce?

When you decided to get a divorce, it was to help you move on from a relationship you didn't feel was healthy or appropriate any longer. You knew your children would struggle with it, but you also knew that you'd be in a better place without being with their other parent.

One issue that almost immediately cropped up, though, was that your children started trying to fill in for the other parent. Instead of playing after school with friends, your oldest would come home and start cooking for you. Instead of doing homework or playing a game online, your younger child would come to be close to you when you seemed upset, checking over and over if you were feeling better.

States matter in the geography of divorce

If you're thinking about entering a state of matrimony, you probably don't care what state you're in. Other than a few details, like jurisdictions that allow people to self-affirm their wedding, states have similar approaches to marriage. This is why federal law allows states to recognize marriages officiated in any other state in the United States.

But the borders you are in matter more when it's time to think about divorce or separation. The difference between state governments may mean different tax obligations but certainly includes one of two basic principles on how marital assets are divided between individuals.

Shield your child from conflict to prevent long-term trauma

You and your spouse don't get along, and you're divorcing. The problem is that your custody case is becoming more conflicted and complex every day. Your spouse is fighting to keep your children from you, and you're fighting back. You're both building up animosity against one another, and it's a very frustrating situation to deal with.

A high-conflict divorce and custody battle can lead to problems between you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, but you should also know that this kind of conflict can weigh heavily on children. If they see continuous conflict and repeated disputes, they may suffer from anxiety, depression and other ill effects.

Overwhelmed as a single parent? Ask for help

Parenting through divorce isn't always simple. Your kids are who they are, and they're going to react in ways that you're not always able to predict. Sometimes, the way you want to parent and the way you have to parent will be at odds with one another.

Even more complex is the situation with your ex- or estranged spouse. Even if you both are able to communicate with each other, you may have significantly different ideas about how to raise your kids.

California is a community property state. What does that mean?

When you got married, you probably didn't care whether California was a community property or equitable distribution state. You figured you would remain married and would never need to know the difference.

Unfortunately, your relationship with your spouse is no longer what it used to be. Now, you are contemplating divorce, and you want to know more about what it means to live and end a marriage in a community property state.

The Presumption of Undue Influence in Interspousal Transactions

Pursuant to California Family Code section 721 spouses have fiduciary duties when entering a transaction with each other. This includes "a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing," and neither spouse "shall take any unfair advantage of the other." When one spouse gains an advantage over the other in an interspousal transaction, a presumption of undue influence arises. It is up to the advantaged spouse to show the court that the other spouse was not unduly influenced in the transaction.

AAML Collaborative Divorce Seminar

Collaborative divorce works because the professionals involved have experience and training specific to the practice. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) Collaborative Law Committee will be hosting a seminar on June 12-14, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. This three-day event will be comprehensive training to cover the fundamentals and the joy of rediscovering the foundations and principles of Collaborative Practice. The seminar is limited to 50 participants, and it is open to attorneys, financial professionals and mental health professionals.

Through a series of intensive lectures, role play and interactive sessions, participants will spend the three days getting a well-rounded review of the Collaborative law process. The sessions will be led by some of the field's leading experts:

Dividing property? Know the rules and protect your share

When you have property to divide during a divorce, it can be difficult to choose how you want to split it. As you may have realized by now, California law does require that you split your property 50-50, unless you and your spouse can agree to different terms.

Sometimes, that arrangement works out well, but in other cases, you may feel that you're losing more than is fair. In any case, it's smart to talk to your attorney about your property because your case could be more complex than you think.

10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys recognized Marisa C. San Filippo for the fifth year in a row as one of the "10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction". 

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the "10 Best" list must pass AIOFLA's rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research, and AIOFLA's independent evaluation. AIOFLA's annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the attorney selection process.