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Finding the Silver Lining of Divorce

When we’re little kids we imagine finding our prince or princess and riding off into the sunset that is “happily ever after.” We never think that “happily ever after” will end in divorce. Yet, for a lot of people, that’s exactly where their story ends up.


Finding the Silver Lining of Divorce

It goes without saying that divorce is a difficult process. Whether or not there are kids involved, a number of thing need to be worked out: child custody arrangements, child support, spousal support, marital property division. A family law attorney will be able to help you with these aspects of ending a marriage. But you’ll also need help working through the tougher parts of ending a marriage: emotionally tiring and stressful aspects of ending a mrriage. It not only changes your entire lifestyle, it changes you. If you can step back, you might just realize how it changes you in a good way. Here are some positive aspects of a divorce that you may want to consider. In the end, you might just be grateful for the little things that you learned from going through one of the hardest processes you could go through.

You, After Divorce

Sure, you have to legally be an adult before you can get married, but that doesn’t make you mature. If you had to take a maturity test before tying the knot, chances are marriage wouldn’t even exist. In truth, we often enter marriage still in a childlike state due to the faith we’ve put into the idea of “soul mates” and the fairy-tale romances we’ve been told that end in happily ever after. We might have been blind to the fact that marriage requires a whole ton of effort, and on your part, not the part of a fairy godmother. There’s also a good chance we never set down the wounds of our childhood. Those patterns that we picked up as children (yeah, those ones we never dealt with) all get taken along with us, becoming patterns that impact our marriages and adulthood.

Divorce is like the evil step-queen, yelling in your tear-streamed face. She’s not going to let you go on being the prince or princess that you thought you were. You’re going to have to create some magic of your own, on your own, perhaps for the very first time in your life.

Confidence After Divorce

Divorce can knock your confidence level down to zilch. You’re probably feeling pretty defeated because you weren’t able to hold your marriage together. And if infidelity played a part, then you’re also wondering where you fell short and why your ex-spouse decided to look elsewhere. All that, plus the idea that the whole dating scene has completely changed and now you have to get back out into, can lower your confidence level to below zilch. It’s terrible. But that’s only the first half of the story. Here’s when you re-write the second half.

When you successfully complete something that in your mind you just knew you could not do, you gain confidence. Having to re-frame your assumptions about your weaknesses and limitations, forces you to find a way to believe in yourself. Facing your fears and surviving gives you strength. And after battling through opposition you can emerge, sure, bruised and battered, but knowing that you didn’t give up.

Yup, it’s true, hindsight is 20/20. You have to walk through something, get a far way ahead of it, and only then can you look back and see just how important that process was. At that point you can see the beginning, the middle, and the end, and how that end is so clear and empty of emotional and clutter. Take this new clarity and run with it. That perspective can give you amazing information you need to change your own behaviors and to improve your future relationships.

Gratitude After Divorce

After you lose everything, you take nothing for granted. Divorce can be like losing everything:  past memories, your present marriage, and future dreams. Let that be your determination to survive. But this is also a time to lean on friends and family that stepped up and stood by. They will lift you up, even when you can’t lift yourself. Be grateful for them, and try to show them that you are. If not now, then try to later.

When you have felt pain, you honor and respect that pain in others. Divorce can make you more empathetic towards people facing any form of loss. You will move towards acceptance and forgiveness of your situation and your ex. And with this movement will come the ability to see things from other people’s viewpoints, making you a better friend, and a better person to be in a relationship with (down the line, when you are ready for one).

Divorce wipes away the ego that believes it’s shameful to ask for help. After you admonish this, you will be able to accept help for yourself, and then be able to offer help to others who are in need.

It’s easy to blame your ex, to place the responsibility for the divorce in his or her hands. We also might realize that all too often we have looked to them to provide happiness, or support for making decisions. This interdependency ends with divorce. It’s good to be interdependent, but divorce requires that you learn to be independent. You’re going to be steering this ship on your own. You’re going to have to be responsible for your own things now: happiness, support, etc. Let this empower you though, rather than make you feel lost or scared. You’re completely in control now. You can change. It’s your life now.


Divorce teaches us that no matter how much we want something to be true, we can’t force it into being. All those choice you made have consequences. And maybe now you are being forced to see them. Sure, you might have said “divorce will never happen to me,” but now it has. You’re going to have to admit that it can happen to anyone. Let this “slap” of reality force you to embrace acceptance while also redefining expectations. You’re not immune to anything.

Divorce can be a longer process with more setbacks than you had ever imagined before you took that first step. Just when you think that the worst is behind you, BAM! It hits you again. Two steps forward, one step back has never been more true. It takes grit to survive.

Divorce can be a wake-up call. Often times people realize they were living in a kind of “auto-pilot” mode when they said their “I dos.” The clarity and awareness you have after saying your “I Un-dos” might provide you with a sense of awareness that wasn’t there before. A lot of people turn to meditation and yoga during divorce because it settles the mind to allow for awareness. This mindfulness and consciousness will be helpful moving forward in your new life.

Divorce is also a way to test your abilities… all of them. Your negotiating skills, your financial skills, your balanced budgeting skills, co-parenting abilities. You are the only problem solver now. You will need to work out how to afford your rent on a portion of the budget you once had. You will also need to learn how to co-parent, potentially with an ex you hate (for now). But the more you are placed in these new positions, the better you will become at those tasks.

Wisdom from Divorce
Divorce can be an opportunity for reflection and analysis. You are now raw and ready to learn new ways of doing things, in addition to just learning new ways to move on and cope.

Working with Professionals During and After Divorce


There are so many emotional things that you will need to work through when you decide to end your marriage. You might want to consider reaching out to a therapist or life-coach to help you through the emotional aspects. They can coach you on coping techniques and skills that will help you come to terms with your divorce.

A Family Law Attorney

But when it comes to the actual legal process of a divorce, you’ll want to work with a skilled family law attorney There are a number of things that need to be considered during a divorce: child support, spousal support, marital property division, and other things. Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case.  For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.


Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

Family Law

Co-Parenting During Halloween

Halloween can be a hard day for divorced parents that share children. Every parent loves seeing their kid dressed up. But how do you split the day up or split up the fun?

Co-Parenting During Halloween


Depending on what form of child custody you have, deciding on how Halloween will be spent can be difficult. There are different forms of child custody: legal custody, physical custody, sole custody, and joint custody.

Physical Custody

Physical custody means a parent has gained the legal right (typically through a court ruling) to have a child live with him or her. Usually, if a parent has physical custody they also have sole custody of the child, which means the other parent has visitation rights.

Sole Custody

There are two forms of sole custody a parent can have: sole legal custody or sole physical custody. Courts seem to be moving away from awarding sole custody to one parent as more information is coming out about the importance of having both parents in a child’s life. In cases where a parent has been deemed unfit due to a history of neglect or abuse, a known dependency on drugs or alcohol, or a new parent that has been deemed unfit, a court will usually award sole physical custody to one parent.  It’s advised that unless a parent has demonstrated the above issues, that you do not seek sole custody, due to the importance of having both parents in a child’s life.

While the trend is to award joint custody, in cases where courts do award sole physical custody the parents still usually share joint legal custody (which means both parents are able to make legal decisions regarding the child), unless a parents has been deemed unfit to make those legal decisions.

Legal Custody

Legal custody allows a parent to make decisions regarding various aspects of a child’s life, including: education, religion, and medical care or legal issues.

Joint Custody

Joint custody is able to be awarded to the parents if they are divorced, separated, no longer living together, or if they never lived together but still shared a child. The awarding of joint custody to both parents means each parent is able to make decisions regarding the child. Joint custody also comes in various forms, including: joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or joint legal and physical custody. Usually if a couple shares joint physical custody they also share joint legal custody. But if a couple shares joint legal custody they do not always also share joint physical custody.

Learning to Co-Parent

The key to establishing a good co-parenting relationship is to remember that your kids are part you and part your ex-spouse. And hopefully this realization will help you manage those angry, frustrated, and sad emotions.

Managing Emotions


“The biggest obstacles to successful co-parenting are emotions,” says Alisa Peskin-Shepherd, principal of Transitions Legal, a family law practice that specializes in mediative divorce. “Emotional obstacles are usually anger, resentment and jealousy. Often parents have a hard time separating those feelings toward their former spouse from their attempt to focus on their children.”

The idea of focusing on your children might seem obvious, but that can be really difficult when you receive that text from your ex that makes you want to throw your phone directly into their face. There are some tips that can help though! Here are some tips from parents who have actually found the magic combination to a successful (meaning they don’t completely resent each other) co-parenting situation.

Building a Successful Co-Parenting Situation

Give Yourself a  ‘Timeout’

“Take time to reflect on how your behavior and your decisions are affecting your child,” says Peskin-Shepherd. “Especially where there is constant disagreement, try to accept that you are not going to change the other person and find a way to make something work without being dependent on the other parent’s response.”

If you are not able to give yourself a timeout, and find that you are still stewing about conversing with your ex, consult a “co-parenting coordinator,” attorney or counselor – with or without your ex-spouse. This objective third party can be a great sounding board for ironing out your co-parenting relationship.

“Our expectations that two people who didn’t get along when they are married will suddenly be able to co-parent without some help is not reasonable,” Peskin-Shepherd says.

According to Alison Willet, a Birmingham resident and psychologist who has worked with high-conflict divorce, it is crucial for ex-spouses to heal fully from the pain that stems from their divorce if they plan to find a way to co-parent effectively.

The mother of three daughters and two step-daughters goes on to say, “People going through divorce need to take the necessary time to grieve the end of this major relationship and remember that at one time, they loved or cared about the other parent. When parents are psychologically intact, it will be easier for them to put the needs of their children first.”

Play to Your Ex’s Strengths (This Might Be Very Difficult)

By now you know what your ex is good and and what they’re not so good at. So play fair when it comes to your kids and your ex’s abilities.

“You probably know your ex-spouse better than anyone else,” says Chris Tucker, father of Finn, 9, and Simon, 7, and step-dad to Lucas, 6. “Play to those strengths – not in a manipulative way, but in a spirit of making the best use of one another’s talents.”

Tucker’s situation is: he has his boys two-thirds of the year; their mother visits monthly from Virginia. She also takes them over school breaks and summer. Tucker, his wife, his ex-wife, and her husband all work as a unit to parent the children.

“We like to think of ourselves – Colleen, her husband, my wife and I – as members of a family ecosystem,” says Tucker. “This means that everyone involved is invested in and accountable for raising our kids, and it goes a long way in building trust and mutual respect.”

Commit to Cooperating

This can be the hardest part of a co-parenting relationship – cooperating.

According to mother Shaindle Braunstein-Cohen, “Effective co-parenting does not require friendship, but it does require cooperation.”

“My ex and I get along when we have contact, but we never have contact outside of our son,” she says. “When my son wanted to show his dad his new room in our new home, he did. Successful co-parenting involves only one thing: loving your child more than you hate your ex.”

When her ex moved out-of-state, Braunstein-Cohen gained full custody of her 14-year-old Seth.  When he wants to see his dad or vice versa, both her and Seth’s father to make it happen. “Sure, that meant I had many holidays without him, but it wasn’t about me,” she says.

You can’t keep living in the past either.

“The kids can become an obsession, a club to beat your ex over the head with,” says Braunstein-Cohen. “You can’t live in the past, and you also can’t live in the future. Just live in the now. The moment is here; it’s what you’ve got. Make the best of it.”


Get it in Writing

Peskin-Shepherd advises parents to put everything in writing. That means that all plans and agreements should be kindly communicated to the other parent. This should be part of your working situation. If it’s in writing, it is harder for one person to argue about the agreed arrangement. This should be done for even the smallest things if you know that there is potential for arguments later down the road. This is especially necessary for vacation time and scheduling, agreements regarding financial decisions, and paying for child’s needs. A majority of these things will be part of your child custody agreement, but anything that comes up out side of that should also be agreed to in writing.

Vacation time and money issues are common post-divorce problems, says Peskin-Shepherd. “Parents can agree on how to pay for extracurricular activities, summer camps, boots and winter coats,” she says. “Have a mindset of cooperation to avoid problems. Likely the compromise your ex-spouse is asking of you today will be the one you need tomorrow.”

Set High Intentions

Keely Henry dealt with an ugly divorce. She did not want it to affect her son, Sullivan, 8. “I knew I could not let this ugly experience lead our lives,” she says. “I was going to have to communicate with my ex over the course of our son’s life. The only thing to do was set the ideal on a higher notion, above emotional distress.”

Because of that, Henry and her ex decided to celebrate holidays and birthdays with Sully together, which means including Henry’s new life partner and her ex’s partner, the woman that her husband left her for. “We all collaborate on my son’s parenting, with his dad and I as the final sayers,” she says. “It really is simple. Set the goal for the higher, not the lower.”

Let Go of Wanting Control

Even thirteen years after their divorce, Jodi Rubin and her ex-husband disagree about the same things they did not agree about when they were married. But they’ve been able to reach a place of mutual respect that allows them to co-parent their three children, Jordan, 19, Paige, 15, and Ethan, 13.

“It’s not about you,” says Rubin. “Instead of worrying about each other, worry about the kids. It’s a parent’s job to turn their children into productive and emotionally healthy adults, and you can’t do that if you’re focused on each other.”

Silence your Support System

Your friends and family will want to defend you, but there’s nothing helpful about your mother sending your ex a nasty email. The support system should remain impartial, and if they’re not, you need to intervene.

“There were times I had to check my mom as she ranted and raved about what went down,” Henry says. “Or girlfriends – awesome friends who had not been married or had children – not understanding how I could handle some of the things the way I did. There were moments I could hardly do anything but scream and cry – and I did, but on my own watch. There will be tough times. You can get something positive from them.”

Keep Your Ego in Check

It goes without saying that you’re going to doubt your parenting ability and fear that your children will want to be with the other parent. But you have to resist the urge.

“It’s easy to see your ex-spouse as a threat,” says Tucker. “Remind yourself that your ex is also your children’s parent and would also step in front of a bus for them. Trust that they also have your children’s best interests at heart.”

Says Braunstein-Cohen, “Be totally honest with yourself. Everyone has ego involved; they want their child to know they were not at fault, that they are a better parent. Let it go and really think about what makes your kids happy.

“Obviously you don’t agree or sometimes even like each other very much – that’s why you got divorced,” she adds. “Get over it.”

Divorce Law LA

For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

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Dempsey Cancels Divorce

It looks like Patrick Dempsey and his wife Jillian are no longer getting the divorce they filed for over a year ago.

Dempsey Cancels Divorce

According to a source, the Grey’s Anatomy star and his wife of 15 years, Jillian (nee Fink) have been working to reconcile their marriage. The same source says the divorce plan has been cancelled. “For the past year, Patrick and Jillian have been working on getting to where they are right now. They are not dating anyone else, and only each other,” the source told People magazine. “There are no more divorce plans. Patrick and Jillian plan on being a family again.”

The two filed last January, but according to the source, “The divorce made Patrick miserable. It was definitely a wakeup call.”

It seems Jillian’s recent Instagram of the two together, celebrating Patrick’s 50th birthday confirms that the divorce is off.

The couple shares three children: Tallula, 13, and twins Sullivan and Darby, 8.

Cancelling a Divorce


Just because a couple begins divorce proceedings, that does not mean they have to continue and complete a divorce. In fact, a divorce can even be called off once all the paperwork has been filed.

Stopping a divorce once the paperwork has been filed is dependent on the intentions of both spouses. Namely, both spouses need to agree why the divorce is being cancelled. Both spouses also need to agree to get back together and officially cancel the divorce.

The next consideration is where the paperwork is in the process of the filing. If a judgment has not been formally issued then the parties can stop the divorce upon mutual agreement. Naturally, it’s better to stop the divorce earlier in the process, rather than once it has gone through the majority of the process.

Request to Withdraw Divorce Petition

If both parties have agreed to cancel the divorce, the couple next needs to file a request to withdraw their divorce petition. This may require additional filing fees and court costs, and may also require that the couple attends counseling or mediation so that a court can determine if the decision to cancel the divorce is not only mutual, but based on a sound agreement.

Finalizing Withdrawal

Once the withdrawal is finalized, all divorce proceedings are cancelled, and the couple remains legally married. Property returns to being considered community property and any child custody agreements are cancelled.

Issues to Consider

There are some additional considerations to take if you wish to stop the divorce hearings. They include the following:

  • A spouses can change his or her mind at any point and continue with the divorce
  • Were there any reasons for why a spouse might have considered full custody, such as abuse or neglect? Do these issues need to be resolved before the couple can continue their marriage?

Pretending to Stop the Divorce

Sometimes a couple will pretend to stop the divorce in an attempt to delay the finalization of the divorce. This can be for any number of reasons. Falsely attempting to cancel a divorce may be considered divorce fraud and will be subject to investigation. The party attempting to falsely stop a divorce may face legal consequences, such as contempt of court or even criminal charges. This is why a court will often require counseling or mediation in order to determine that the couple actually wants to continue their marriage.

Working with a Lawyer to Stop a Divorce After Filing

It’s always advised that you work with a family law attorney when it comes to divorce, or stopping your divorce. There are several issues that might arise that a lawyer will be able to provide advice for.

Another Option – Legal Separation

While divorce might seem like the only option, remember that legal separation is also available. Legal separation allows couples to live apart and take a “break” from each other, while also ensuring that each spouse’s legal rights are protected via a legal separation agreement. Legal separations can also be called: “judicial separation”, “separate maintenance”, “divorce a mensa et thoro“, or “divorce from bed-and-board.” All these terms refer to the legal process by which a married couple formalizes a de facto separation while remaining legally married.

Formal Legal Separation Agreement

It’s always advised that you sign a formal legal separation agreement. This agreement outlines child support and visitation, property division, and any other aspect of a marriage.  An attorney will be able to prepare this legal and binding document. This will offer you legal protection should your spouse fail to live up to his or her obligations and will also also hold up in court.

The following should be included in the legal separation agreement:

Spousal Support

Benefits – With legal separation spouses are able to retain certain benefits that were available during the marriage, such as health insurance.

Home Residency – If a couple shares a home, it should be decided at this time what will happen to the residency during the separation. The agreement should include information regarding who is able to live in the home, who is responsible for maintaining the home, and who is financially handling the home.

Joint Accounts – A legal separation agreement outlines who has access to those joint accounts such as joint checking, savings, and credit accounts. It’s often advised to close or freeze these accounts during the separation. Each spouse will then need to obtain their own personal accounts.

Protection from Acquired Debt – A legal separation agreement will shield you from being responsible for debt acquired during the time of the legal separation.

Why Pursue Legal Separation?


There are advantages with legal separation, including:

  • Spouses are able to maintain benefits such as a spouse’s health care plan or military benefits.
  • Staying legally married for 10 years allows couples certain social security benefits.
  • The separation period allows for a “cool off time,” during which parties can work to resolve their differences. Couples can then decide to either pursue a divorce or resume the marriage.
  • In some religions divorce is not allowed or recognized. Legal separation allows these religious couples to live separate lives while still remaining married and true their faith.
  • Legal separation can be used to solve immediate problems in couples who are uncertain about moving forward with divorce.

Steps to Follow for Legal Separation

Here are the steps you will take to acquire a legal separation:

  • Consider working with a family law attorney that can advise you on all the necessary steps of your legal separation.
  • You and your spouse will need to decide on grounds for the separation
  • Fill out a Form FL-100 Petition. This form includes options for divorce (dissolution of marriage) or legal separation.
  • If you have children under 18, you will need to complete Form FL-105/GC-120 which provides information to the court regarding children.
  • File Form FL-100 at your local county court. Pay any necessary fees. If you receive public benefits or have low income, you might be eligible for a fee waiver.
  • Serve your spouse with a copy of the court papers if they were not filed together. There will need to be proof of the serving, which can be done through various means such as a process server. A family law attorney can advise you on how to obtain this proof.

Moving Forward with Divorce

If following your legal separation you and your spouse decide to move forward with a divorce, you will still need to file a divorce petition and go through the formal divorce process. Since a legal separation agreement has already been created and you mutually agree all aspects of your marriage, chances are you will be able to file an uncontested divorce. If there are still unresolved issues, you might decide you need a court’s help to come to a decision. It’s important to remember though that just because you are legally separated, that does not mean you are officially divorced. A judge will need to sign off on the final divorce papers and agreement before you can declare yourself “single.”

Working with a Divorce Attorney

It’s always advised that you consider working with a family law attorney. They will be able to advise you on any number of issues, including: child support, spousal support, marital property division, child visitation, etc… A lawyer from the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA will be able to guide you through the divorce process. The Divorce & Family Law Offices of Divorce Law LA will provide you with the highest level of expertise and professionalism from our skilled attorneys. Our Divorce and Family Law Practice spans a wide spectrum of areas that include: divorce, high net-worth divorce, marital property division, child custody and visitation, and child support.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550










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Divorce and Your Bank Account

No one has ever said that divorce is a cheap process. For the most part, if you and your spouse are unable to come to a decision on things, divorce can be an expensive process with an expensive aftermath.

To Consider Before You Divorce

If you are unhappy and unable to continue your marriage, then divorce might be the best option for you. There are some financial considerations you will need to make. Here’s a little of what you can expect:

  • Living as a single person costs more. This can be increasingly true for couples that share children.
  • Your standard of living might drop because of increased living costs that are no longer being shared.

But there are ways to minimize the financial damage. You’ll want to review these steps if divorce is in your future.

Minimize Financial Pain During Divorce

Work with a Lawyer

Negotiation versus Litigation in a Slip and Fall Case

Even if you have decided that you don’t want to work with an attorney, at least consult one so that you are aware of your rights and options. You need to protect yourself. Even the most amicable of divorces can get sticky when it comes to ironing out the legal ramifications and you’ll want to do the best you can when it comes to protecting yourself. Remember that bitterness can cause people to do things they wouldn’t normally. Most lawyers offer a free first consultation.

Look at Your Credit Reports

You are able to pull free credit reports three times a year. These reports show all of the credit accounts that exist in your name, in addition to those you share with others. You’ll want to look for new accounts opened in your name and any changes that are unexpected. Your credit score can be damaged by a spouse that fails to pay joint bills.

Close and Monitor Your Joint Accounts

A lot of times divorcing spouses will move money from joint accounts to individual accounts so that the other spouse is unable to recover the cash. A lot of times this leads to large amounts of debt on joint credit cards, for which the innocent spouse is also responsible for.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:

When you have a joint account, each account holder is responsible for the full amount of the balance. The card issuer can seek to collect the amount due from either account holder.

Because of this, it’s advised that you close or freeze your shared financial accounts, including credit cards, joint bank accounts, and lines of credit. You will then need to open lines of credit under your own name. You might consider moving to new institutions to avoid confusion. If your spouse is resistant to this, try to do it on your own by consulting the account rules in the contract you signed when opening the account. You can also ask your bank to help.

Remember to also remove your spouse’s name as an authorized user from your personal accounts.

If you must retain a shared account because of costs related to children, try to limit it to one. Make sure to monitor the activity on the car by requesting balances and records of the most recent transactions. You can do this from an ATM, bank branch, or online.

Document Your Money — All of It

Try to locate every single marital financial resource, including:

  • All accounts and assets held jointly and individually. Record the balance, date, account number, authorized users, and contact information for each bank or creditor.
  • Incomes, property, retirement plans and all other assets owned jointly and individually. This should include vehicles, homes, jewelry, furniture, brokerage accounts, and insurance policies.

Make sure you keep everything in one place. Regardless of if you work with a lawyer or not, the court will need statements and documents pertaining to all accounts, assets, bills and debts. Organize everything in a file cabinet. Include:

  • 401(k) statements
  • Insurance policies
  • Real estate purchases
  • Mortgages and refinances
  • House appraisals
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Money market accounts
  • Tax returns

Work with a Divorce Financial Analyst

You might consider working with a divorce financial analyst that can help with your settlement by:

  • Locating assets. This also includes hidden assets.
  • Ensuring information about family finances is accurate and complete.
  • Developing a long-term forecast of how your divorce will affect your finances when it comes to retirement needs, tax liabilities, and benefits.
  • Developing a realistic household budget so that you know where you stand in terms of life insurance, health insurance, and cost-of-living increases.
  • Appraising and/or valuing assets.
  • Preparing financial affidavits that describe your financial and tax implications when it comes to various divorce settlement options.
  • Mediating a financial agreement between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Get Your Name on the Deed

Regardless of if you are getting divorced or not, make sure your name is on titles and deeds of property you own together. This is important for all spouses, and can become an issue in cases of a spouse passing away.

This property is considered marital property in the state of California, and will need to be divided should you divorce your spouse.

When it comes to dividing assets during a divorce there are various concerns you will need to deal with when it comes to dividing the marital property.

What State do you Live in?

Keep a Journal in Your Personal Injury Case

State laws govern how the marital property will be divided. You will need to do your research and check with an attorney to see if you live in an equitable distribution state or a community property state.

Other Considerations

There are four other steps that need to be considered when diving marital property:

  1. Identify the assets owned by you and your spouse
  2. Categorize all assets as marital or non-marital property
  3. A value will need to be assigned to the assets
  4. Devise a plan for the division of assets that is in accordance with state laws

No Fault Divorce Laws

Though most states separate the division of marital property from grounds for divorce due to no fault divorce laws, most states do consider any financial misconduct when it comes to dividing marital property. What this means is if you or your spouse has foolishly spent money then you or your spouse will most likely be penalized when it comes to dividing marital property.

Separate Join Financial Obligations

If you feel the division of marital assets might be a contentious point between you are your spouse, you might want to consider separating financial obligations prior to starting the divorce process. Marital property does not only mean furniture and household items, but also joint credit accounts. Each spouse should have access to a complete set of all financial documents. You’ll also want to close all joint credit card accounts. If you’re not able to fully separate the accounts, draft a formal written agreement outlining the activity on the remaining joint accounts. Freeze any investment assets – this will ensure neither spouse misuses funds until everything has been agreed upon. You might also want to consider changing the title on your home to read “tenants in common” until the final agreement regarding marital property has been decided upon.

Change Beneficiaries & Rewrite Your Will

After your divorce you will need to change the beneficiary on your assets, including  insurance or stocks, bank accounts or retirement accounts. You’ll also want to update your will too if it lists your spouse’s name.

Have a Financial Plan

You’ll need to know how to budget according to your new income amount. Putting this together before entering the divorce process will help you understand your needs following the divorce so you can come to a settlement that works.

Make sure you plan for college tuition, child care, children’s lessons, sports and activities, and your own retirement, taxes, transportation and housing.

Financial Future

Considering your financial situation after your divorce can feel daunting and overwhelming, but if you take the right steps, you can be sure to set yourself up for financial freedom. It might take some tweaks, but consider the fact that you are now completely in charge and able to make your own decisions regarding how your money will be spent. Embrace it, and embrace the freedom you now have.

A Family Law Attorney

When it comes to the actual legal process of a divorce, you’ll want to work with a skilled family law attorney There are a number of things that need to be considered during a divorce: child support, spousal support, marital property division, and other things. Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case.  For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

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Divorce Appeal Not Granted for Jamie McCourt

A California appeals court has not granted Jamie McCourt, the ex-wife of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner a bid to toss out the couple’s divorce agreement.

Financial Agreement During Divorce Will Stand

Los Angeles’ 2nd District Court of Appeals has decided the financial settlement arrived two during Jamie McCourt and Frank McCourt’s divorce settlement will remain as is.  Jamie McCourt had sought to appeal the divorce settlement on claims that her ex-husband had not provided her with accurate estimates of the baseball team’s value in addition to television broadcast values.

The team was sold for $2 billion in 2012, after the couple finalized their divorce in late 2011.

Set Aside Divorce Agreement

Jamie McCourt contended that the divorce agreement that paid her $131 million, in addition to other luxury homes and property, should be set aside because Frank McCourt had not provided accurate estimates of the team’s value.

Jamie McCourt Had Knowledge of Value

The appeals court ruled on findings that Jamie McCourt’s lawyers had received a 220,000 page document during the divorce that discussed, at length, the value of the team. The appeal court also contended that at one point, during her role as a team official, Jamie McCourt had reviewed a document that estimated the combined value of the Dodgers and television rights to be more than $2.4 billion.

The unanimous ruling found no reason to overturn the divorce agreement on the claims that McCourt had been misled by her ex-husband.

Jamie McCourt filed for divorce in October 2009.


Source: ESPN, Court rejects Jamie McCourt’s appeal, February 25, 2015

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

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Appealing a Divorce Settlement

Either spouse is able to appeal a court’s decision on the divorce judgment – regardless of if the settlement came through settlement agreement or a court. Certain decisions, certain rights, and certain obligations are able to be challenged.

Quick Note

While either spouse is able to appeal a court’s decision to a higher court, it’s unusual for the appeals court to overturn the initial decision.

Appeal a Divorce Settlement

If you disagree with the ruling and decide to appeal it, your lawyer will file a brief containing your legal argument tat the court judge incorrectly applied the law when making his or her decision. The opposing side will file their brief stating the trial judge was correct in making his or her decision. Appeals court is heavily reliant on the “record,” which is a written version of what occurred in the first trial and new evidence is usually not introduced during the appeal. Because of this, the success of appealing depends on what occurred during the trial. After the appeals court makes its decision, you are not able to appeal it further.

It’s important to remember that you cannot appeal an agreement if you agree to it. So if you are in agreement regarding property, child support, etc…and that agreement is approved and then finalized by a judge, you are usually stuck with the terms decided to in that agreement. If you’re still in disagreement with anything in the settlement, you are are able to modify the divorce judgment.

Modifying a Divorce Settlement

After a divorce judgment has been entered, you’re still able to change certain aspects of it including: child custody arrangements, visitation schedules, child support, and alimony (spousal support). This is called a “motion to modify” the divorce judgment. You will usually file this in the same court where the divorce was originally filed and thus where the judgment was issued.


Source: FindLaw, Appeals and Motions to Modify the Divorce Judgment, 2014

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

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$1 Billion in Divorce Settlement

In one of the largest divorce judgments ever, Continental Resources Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm will pay nearly $1 billion to his ex-wife.

$999.5 million Divorce Settlement

Following the nine-week divorce trial, Oklahoma Special Judge Howard Haralson ruled oil magnate Hamm, 68, should pay Sue Ann Hamm, 58, a total of $995.5 million, thus making her one of the 100 wealthiest women in the United States. The two were wed in 1988 and had no prenuptial agreement. Sue Ann Hamm was also an executive at Continental at one point.


The amount, though large, is smaller than what her lawyers sought. The ruling also will not require Harold to sell any of his shares of Continental. He currently holds 68 percent of Continental’s shares. His stake is currently worth close to $13.9 billion, which has dropped from before the trial began, when his stake was more than $18 billion.

Divorce Settlement

While Judge Haralson’s ruling is subject to appeal, the judge placed a lien on 20 million shares of the company’s stock to secure the judgement. The judge also ordered Hamm to pay his ex-wife about one-third of the funds, which equates to $322.7 million, by the end of the year. The remaining payments, $650 million, in installments of at least $7 million per month. Much of the trial centered on how much of Continental’s growth could be attributed to Harold Hamm’s management decisions, in order to thus provide lawyers with a better understanding of his net worth.

Among the assets that were awarded to Sue Ann Hamm, was the couple’s $17.5 million ranch in Carmel, California, and a home estimated to be worth $4.7 million in Oklahoma City.


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

Source: Reuters, Continental Resources CEO ordered to pay $995 million in divorce, November 10, 2014

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550