What Constitutes Annulment?

Annulment is likely one of the most misunderstood areas of Family Law. Having worked as a Family Law Paralegal for more than four decades, I find that most people have a false belief of what constitutes annulment. Most believe a short-term marriage, i.e., months long, qualifies them for annulment. Not true. Such a short-term marriage […]

Financial Records

Keep Your Financial Records

When parties get married, they rarely think of their relationship ending in a divorce. Unfortunately, some couples eventually do get divorced, which may then require proof of the character and value of their property and debts. California is a community property state, which means that all property and debts acquired during marriage will be divided […]

Dividing Support Order Divorce

Dividing a Support Order in Divorce

Filing a Paternity matter serves the best interests of both parents and the minor child(ren). Court-ordered child custody and visitation orders can be entered, as well as child support orders. Without formal custody, visitation and support orders entered through the court, each parent has the absolute right to insist that the minor child(ren) remain in […]


Support Orders involving Fluctuating or Bonus Income Ostler/Smith Order.

When the payor spouse receives fluctuating bonuses, a support order must be carefully drafted.  Let’s take a look at a relatively common situation in support order cases. Husband is the high income earner and receives a base salary plus bonus or commission pay which fluctuates based on performance.  This is commonly addressed using a percentage […]


Pensions and Retirement Plans at the Death of Participant Spouse

  Can you divide a retirement plan when the participant spouse dies before entry of an Order dividing the plan? In California, Pension and other retirement plan contributions made during marriage are considered community property. Any contributions made prior to marriage or after separation are the separate property of the contributing spouse. Determining the community […]