For some non-working ex-spouses about to receive alimony, the promise of easy street may seem within grasp. After all, once the alimony and/or child support payments are settled, that can replace one's ordinary income, right? One might never have to work again!

Not so fast, says the court.

If you refuse to work while actually being able, your alimony and/or child support payments could be impacted, and the court could intervene.

When it comes to custody arrangements, parents often ask: does the child have a say at all in the custody decisions and schedule?

The answer is sometimes yes, but mostly no. Here are a few answers to common questions from parents regarding the role of a child’s preference. The answers are not always easy, but parents should know all the facts before going into the situation.

Though retirement may be the last thing you are thinking of when getting a divorce, it’s good to know that there may be some benefits that you accrued during your marriage.

Even if retirement is far off, the following benefits are worth investigating now for when the time comes.

Joint custody

Divorce is tough on everyone involved, but if there are kids in the picture, it makes it all the more complicated.

Of all the sticking points in a divorce settlement, the parties’ custody arrangement for their kids can be the most contentious. Luckily, courts recognize how complicated it can be for parents leading two different and separate lives to also co-parent. There are many established options for how to divide custody time between parents.

When a marriage ends, it's always a difficult time, even in the most amicable situations.

The division of assets and debts can make it even harder, as no doubt each side has a different idea of what a fair deal is.

When it comes to dividing real estate, many might wonder what California law has to say about recouping payments made on a house purchased during the marriage. Can any of it be reimbursed? It turns out, under certain circumstances, the answer is yes.

What is Domestic Violence?

We all may have a stereotypical picture of what domestic violence is in our heads, but the legal definition is actually broader than you might think. Yes, domestic violence can be battery, assault or sexual assault. But in California, other things can fall under the umbrella of domestic violence, including harassment, stalking, destroying personal property, disturbing the peace, or even indirect threats.

If you can show that any of the above is happening and that you have a “reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury,” the court will issue a temporary restraining order and possibly a permanent restraining order.   

While fathers can arguably be just as close to their children as mothers, there is still a prevailing idea in society that moms have a special bond with their children—perhaps as far as interpersonal relationships go, it’s hard to imagine anything closer.

Does a “mom privilege” exist as far as the law is concerned? While every situation is different, the simple answer is no. 

The following are some common myths that both moms and dads mistakenly believe exist. 

Going through a divorce can easily be one of the most difficult times of your life. It’s not easy to change your life so drastically, or go through the process of dividing up assets and deciding how the future will play out. Even if the process is relatively friendly and a mutual decision, transitioning to newly separate lives can be jarring.

Many of my California clients ask if certain special circumstances can impact the terms of their divorce settlement, such as rampant infidelity or domestic violence. Here’s how that plays out in court.