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Cannon-Carey: A Lesson in High Net-Worth Divorce

Nick Cannon took the twins he shares with estranged wife Mariah Carey out for breakfast in Los Angeles last Friday. Later, the doting dad, 34, posted an image of a Tic Tac Toe game to his Instagram, gushing: #Nothing like some breakfast and a morning game of Tic Tac Toe to get your day going in the right direction! XO’s #DemKids is nice with it! #Geniuses.



After living apart for several months, the host of America’s Got Talent filed for divorce on December 12. Around that time he took to Twitter to say: “I will never say anything negative about @MariahCarey We are forever a family rooted in love.

And indeed, it seems the two are making it work, at least in terms of co-parenting.

His breakfast outing was obviously a ‘farewell till the next time,’ as just a few hours he updated his Instagram with a photo of him on the way to the airport captioned: ‘Another Friday Another Flight.’ He’s currently in the middle of auditions for the upcoming season for AGT.


Co-parenting, and the act of co-parenting can be difficult for two parents to establish. The word implies that two parents are able to cooperate and communicate efficiently, but that’s not often the case. This becomes glaringly obvious when it’s realized that the main reason two people end a relationship is because of inability to communicate with each other.

But, unfortunately, when it comes to co-parenting, communicate is a must. If you cannot forge that relationship, the number one person, or people being hurt, are the children you share. Making this harder is the idea that even if your number one intention is to communicate effectively, you still have no control over the other person in the co-parenting relationship.

Being a Better Co-Parent

Regardless of how the other parent acts, there are some things that you can do to make the situation better. Realizing that you can improve the situation by improving yourself can help ease the stress. Here are some things that you can do:

Accept that you might not be able to control every situation. 
It might be easy to be aggravated by everything your co-parent does, but why spend your time and energy? You can’t change what you can’t change. Instead, channel that energy into creating quality time and moments with your kids. Learn and accept that you are not able to control everything. This can be hard, but it’s important. And that acceptance will free up emotional energy that can and should be spent elsewhere.

Be PRESENT with your kids.
When you are upset about something your mind is there, dwelling on that anger. If something that your co-parent does upsets you, place it to the side and don’t let it get in the way of the time you have with your children. Studies show that being present is the most important thing we can give our kids. Pay attention to them! And practice being mindful of the time you spend with them.

Make your home a calm and secure environment.
You can’t control anything your co-parent does. You can’t change them. But you can change you, and you can control you. So ensure that your home is a calm, grounded, and secure environment for your children. This will provide them with a calm and stable environment during a time that not feel that way. They should feel safe during this time – especially if the co-parenting schedule is new. Being able to give your kids stability will ensure they grow up feeling stable.

Focus on what is GOOD.
It’s not uncommon for divorced co-parents to feel guilty about what the effects of the divorce will have on their kids. You can focus on all the wrong things, but isn’t it better to focus on what’s GOOD? Two parents that love them. The secure and stable home that you’ve created. All the good moments you share. That cannot be taken away by your ex. These good-feeling moments are a great influence on your kids. So remember all the good stuff!

Cannon – Carey Property Division

While it seems they have gotten a hold on co-parenting, one aspect of the Cannon-Carey divorce that still might need some ironing out is the marital property the two share.

Cannon is in the process of moving into a $3 million luxury six bedroom, eight bathroom estate on the east coast ‘to keep the twins out of the spotlight.’ Cannon’s net-worth is over $20 million. He is paying $11,000 a month for the house, with an option to purchase the secluded Saddle River estate in New Jersey.

Carey will be staying on the West Coast and kicks off her Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace on May 6. She has been spending most of her time in Southern California in preparation for the Sin City run.

Despite having their separate living arrangements, the two seem to be locked in a legal dispute over the division of their assets. Cannon just filed a lawsuit that alleges Carey, along with the couple’s business manager, Michael Kane, sold the couple’s Bel Air Mansion for $4 million less than the asking price without involving him in the sale.

Marital Property Division


California is a community property state, as opposed to an equitable distribution state.

In community property states, all property the couple acquires during the marriage is divided equally. During a divorce settlement, issues such as financial need, ability to earn income, or which spouse is at fault for the divorce are not taken into account when dividing property.

In equitable distribution states, which are the majority of states, marital property division takes into account the financial situation of each spouse. This is different than the 50/50 breakdown of community property states. Though equitable distribution is more flexible, it can be harder to forecast the outcome. This is due to the fact that many factors are taken into account during the settlement negotiations.

When it comes to dividing marital property, there are four concerns that need to be addressed:

  • Identification of marital assets that are owned by you and your spouse
  • Assets need to then be categorized as marital or non-marital property.
  • Value will be assigned to the assets
  • A plan will be constructed over how to divide these assets. This plan will be made in accordance with state laws.

Marital Property

Not all property is considered “marital property.” It should also be noted that marital property does not only consist of dividing furniture and household items, but also all other financial assets such as bank accounts. And the definition of marital property can vary from state to state. You should work with a divorce attorney that can advise you on your state specific laws regarding property division. Typically though, marital property includes any property that is acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage. And property acquired by either spouse before the marriage is usually not considered marital property.

Non – Marital Property

That being said, in some states, property acquired during the marriage can be excluded from marital property. Such types of property include:

  • Gifts or inheritance granted to one spouse during the marriage.
  • Property purchased with separate funds acquired by one spouse before the marriage.
  • Property that was excluded in a prenuptial agreement.
  • The asset is the result of increased value of separate property that was acquired before the marriage.

Preparing Your Finances for Divorce

If you know there will be issues regarding the division of marital assets prior to filing for divorce, there are some things you should do. Namely, you should consider separating any joint financial obligations that are under both of your names. Joint credit accounts should also be considered during the division process. Because of this, it’s advised that you separate any joint accounts. Here are some tips to consider when facing marital property division:

  • Each spouse should have access to a complete set of all financial documents.
  • Each spouse should establish their own line of credit, in their own name.
  • Close all joint credit card accounts.
  • Create a formal written agreement that outlines the activity on any joint credit accounts until all accounts can be separated.
  • Open separate bank accounts.
  • If you must maintain a joint bank account, make sure you have a written agreement outlining the purpose of the account and what the funds will be used for. You might consider that each spouse sign any checks written from that account.
  • Freeze any investment assets to ensure that neither spouse may misuse funds.
  • Change the title to your home to “tenants in common.”

Working with a Divorce Attorney

Divorce can be a difficult process, not just for emotional reasons. There are many aspects of a divorce that will need to be legally decided upon, including: child custody and visitation, spousal support, and marital property division. A family law attorney will also be able to provide you with advice on how to create a successful co-parenting situation. This can include the creation of a co-parenting schedule that outlines weekly visits, but also holiday schedules, and other major events. These things can be even harder to work out in a high net-worth divorce. State laws will also play a large factor in how things are divided and settled. Because of this, it’s advised that you work with a local divorce attorney that will be able to advise you specifically in accordance with your state law.


Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

Collaborative Law Divorce

Consider Collaborative Divorce

For those seeking an alternative to a litigious divorce, you might consider collaborative divorce.

“By the end of the divorce trial, spouses can become enemies,” says attorney Joryn Jenkins. “Litigation makes people be mean to each other. … But people usually don’t know that there’s another option,” she said, “and lawyers don’t tell them.”

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce offers a gentler and kinder approach that can also equate to less time and less money spent. During the collaborative divorce process you work with four people: two lawyers (one for each spouse), a mental health coach, and a financial professional. The team works together to put together your divorce agreement, including alimony, child support and visitation, and marital property division.  “The rewards of collaborative divorce are huge,” said Jenkins. “You learn to work out issues and say things in a better way.”

Shorter Time and Less Hit to the Wallet

On average, a collaborative divorce can save you time and money. The average collaborative divorce is $32,000 in comparison to a divorce that goes to trial, during which you may pay $100,00. “People are raiding their retirement accounts just to pay for divorces,” said Rackham Karlsson, a collaborative attorney that practices in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Going to court can be more expensive, more time intensive and corrosive for children.”

According to Jenkins, the average collaborative divorce can take three to four months to settle. She added that trial cases can drag on for three years. There’s also no control over the timing, process, or the outcome of the case because it’s up to the judge to make the final decision.

Collaborative Divorce

If you feel you might be a good candidate for collaborative divorce, you should contact a collaborative divorce attorney that can hear your case and start putting together a team.

Source: CNBC, How to avoid a nasty and costly divorce war, February 26, 2015

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

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Divorce: Know What You’re Getting Into

Even the “simplest” of divorces can equal a big hit to your wallet. It’s important to know what you’re facing in terms of finances when you face divorce.

A “Simple Divorce” Example

Jennifer Zoschak, partner at a family law firm, handled the divorce of a couple that had been married for over 20 years. The wife earned 40 percent less than the husband. Because of this Zoschak knew alimony (spousal support) would most likely be a portion of any divorce settlement.

It was assumed that the divorce would be fairly straight-forward. But a year later the husband was still against paying any form of alimony. The case had to go to trial. The judge ultimately granted permanent alimony. And at the end of it, this “simple divorce” wound up costing $300,000 in legal fees.

Couples Have Power to Keep Divorce Fees Low

It’s easy to blame lawyers and the law system for high fees. But it’s also important to remember that you have way more control than you think. “The cost of a divorce is entirely based on how reasonable, fair and honest the couple is with each other,” said Zoschak. “If they can communicate calmly, not lie about assets or income and not fight about inconsequential minor things, I can do a divorce for $1,500 and have it finalized in a matter of weeks.” Remain calm, be willing to negotiate, be prepared, and you too can have a lower costing divorce. Here’s how!

Keeping Your Legal Bills Low

There are a number of tips you can take to reign in your divorce before it spins out of financial control:

  • Don’t fight over minor parenting issues. This means don’t argue over exact drop-off and pick-up times, days spent with you, etc… Be willing to negotiate and…
  • Be flexible.
  • Your lawyer is not your therapist. Attorneys work on an hourly rate. You’re paying them to handle issues related to property, finances, and your children. You’re not paying them to listen to your grievances.
  • Be prepared. Going into your divorce you should have: detailed financial statement listing sources of income, assets, and living expenses. You should also have a credit report.
  • Focus on the facts. If you stick to the facts and keep the emotions out of the way you will be able to get to the root of negotiations without spending time arguing.

Working with a Divorce Attorney

The most important thing to do if you are facing what could be a litigious divorce is work with a divorce attorney. And even more important is that you find a divorce attorney you feel comfortable with. A divorce attorney will be able to walk you through all aspects of a divorce including: alimony, marital property division, and child support.

Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case.  For advice on divorce you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Source: CNBC, Getting divorced without breaking the bank, February 9, 2015

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

Collaborative Law Mediation

Mediation: What to Do and What Not to Do

Are you about to enter a mediation session? Here are some tips that will help you navigate what might be unfamiliar waters.

Prepare Your Financial Documents

Make a list of all the assets you have. It should include any and all financial information you have. This is not limited to, but might include: bank accounts, mutual funds, retirement funds, real estate, vehicles, time shares, businesses, stock. You’ll also need to list your debts, such as monthly payment on your mortgage and home equity lag, credit cards, private loans, and car loans. Make sure you have all the information, or at least as much as you can gather. Try to make sure this information is organized and clear to the mediator.

Don’t Get Emotional

Mediation is meant to be a negotiation process. Getting emotional, and heated in your emotions will not allow you the clear head you need for the mediation process. This is not the time to be hurtful or try to “get back” at your ex-spouse. This is the time to negotiate, and not argue. By working with your negotiator you can think about what you are looking to accomplish. Remember that it must be in the scope of what’s possible and realistic.

Negotiate, Don’t Argue

The past is the past. It cannot be changed. This, however, is a forward looking, proactive process. You will find this refreshing, and very helpful. Arguing is something that you have done before, and it does not work. Negotiating, however, works and works well. So the first question to ask yourself is: What do I want? Think about that. Then, together with your mediator, you can think about how to accomplish what you are looking for, within reason and within the scope of what is possible. And be forthright about what you want.


For advice on mediation, you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Source: The Huffington Post, How to Prepare for Your First Mediation Session — Your Eight Steps Plan, October 17, 2013

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

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A Cheap Wedding Might Save Your Marriage

A recent study done by two economics professors at Emory University, found a correlation between couples who went cheap on their wedding and the length of marriage. Turns out, cutting down on the big day splurges might actually indicate your marriage will last longer.

The professors also found similar link between less-expensive engagement rings and lower divorce rates.

The Study

The surveys were completed by 3,151 adults in the United States who are married, or have been married. The authors believe this is the first time the correlation between wedding expenses and the length of marriages has been examined.

The research also shows that women that spent more than $20,000 on their weddings were divorced at a rate roughly 1.6 times higher than women who spent between $5,000 and $10,000 on the big day. It also showed that couples who spent $1,000 or less on their nuptial ceremony had a lower than average rate of divorce.


Though the authors of the study, Professor Hugo M. Mialon and Andrew M. Francis, didn’t examine why this might be, they do have a few theories.

“It could be that the type of couples who have a … (cheap wedding) are the type that are a perfect match for each other,” said Mialon. “Or it could be that having an inexpensive wedding relieves young couples of financial burdens that may strain their marriage.”

Average Wedding Cost

According to a survey of 13,000 brides and grooms done performed by the wedding website,, couples in the U.S. spent an average of $29,858 for their 2013 weddings.

“The wedding industry has long associated lavish weddings with longer-lasting marriages. Industry advertising has fueled norms that create the impression that spending large amounts on the wedding is a signal of commitment or is necessary for a marriage to be successful,” said Francis. “Overall, our findings provide little evidence to support the validity of the wedding industry’s general message that connects expensive weddings with positive marital outcomes,” he said.

The More the Merrier?

But maybe it’s not just cheaper = happier. It could also be that more people actually equals merrier. The study additionally found that the more people that attend the wedding, the lower the divorce rate.

“This could be evidence of a community effect, i.e., having more support from friends and family may help the couple to get through the challenges of marriage,” Francis said. “Or this could be that the type of couples who have a lot of friends and family are also the type that tend not to divorce as much.”

For advice on divorce, you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Source:, Want a happy marriage? Have a big, cheap wedding, October 13, 2014

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

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Why You Might Consider Other “Divorce” Options

The fact that divorce is common in the U.S. is not a startling one. It’s almost common knowledge that one out of two first marriages end in divorce. And for second marriages, the rate is two out of three. When it comes to third marriages, nearly three out of four end in divorce. With how common divorce has become, it makes sense that more harmonious options have been put on the table – namely the process of a collaborative divorce. This approach focuses on finding a positive end result that satisfies both parties.

Collaboration and Collaborative Divorce

The process of collaboration is used to settle many different disputes that range from street gangs, competing businesses, and even disputes that happen between nations. Suzy Eckstein, a family law attorney and practitioner of collaborative divorce, believes clients and divorcing clients should be made aware of the option they have between choosing a standard divorce and a collaborative divorce. “Very often, a divorcing client comes to an advisor and asks for help and guidance around this overwhelming process,” she said. “It’s really important that they have an understanding of and information about their choices in the divorce process. And [collaborative divorce] has the potential to create more durable agreements that serve everyone and avoid repeated litigation.”

Multiple Experts Used in Collaborative Divorce Process

The collaborative divorce process “provides you and your spouse or partner with the support and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court.” During this process a couple will seek the expertise of multiple experts – financial, mental health, and child specialists. All these experts will work with the spouses’ respective attorneys to resolve differences and disputes.

Building Your Collaborative Divorce Team

Working with a trusted attorney to help compile a whole collaborative divorce team will be crucial to getting through the process. A lawyers skilled in collaborative law will be able to make suggestions and guide you through the process. This form of dissolving your marriage can be a less stressful and sometimes less expensive option. Because of this, it’s definitely an option you should consider.

For advice on divorce or collaborative divorce, you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Source: ThinkAdvisor, Collaborative Divorce: A Win-Win Dissolution, August 25, 2014

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

Collaborative Law Divorce Family Law Mediation

Collaborative Divorce

Divorce doesn’t have to be a traumatic process according to practitioners of collaborative divorce.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce approaches the divorce process from a different place – a place where you can avoid the court system while putting negotiations and decisions into the hands of the spouses. By utilizing specially trained professionals, opuses are able to come to a decision together.

Collaborative Divorce v. Mediation

Collaborative divorce should not be confused with mediation. In mediation, a couple works with one neutral party. But in collaborative divorce, each spouse has their own team of professionals – including their own attorney, financial advisors, etc. Both spouses and their respective teams meet to identify issues and create solutions.  The time it takes to work through the process is heavily dependent on the issues that need to be worked out. The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals did a survey on the duration of the process and found 58 percent of collaborative divorce cases were completed in less than nine months.


The types of professionals you will need for your collaborative divorce team will vary based on the specifics of your divorce. Professionals may include:

  • financial neutrals
  • child specialists
  • mental health professionals
  • business valuators
  • real estate evaluators

This team can help you emerge with a solid footing following your divorce. “You can tell who’s gone through the collaborative process vs. litigation,” said Amy Wolff, a specialist in the financial issues associated with divorce. “The clients who have used the collaborative option emerge from the process more ready to focus; they can bounce back more quickly.” Approaching divorce with the mindset of it being “collaborative” can help ease the tensions surrounding the divorce process.

Source: CNBC, Collaborative divorce can ease emotional, economic stress, May 2, 2014

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550