Mansouri Law Offices
Call to Schedule Your Consultation

Los Angeles Family Law Blog

We assist California parents going through a divorce

When two people in California become parents, they naturally want to do all they can to be the best parent they can be. They want their child to grow up in a happy, healthy, loving environment. So, while it can be a difficult adjustment, if a child's parents' marriage is failing, it is often better for all if the parents divorce. After all, after the divorce is settled, a child will no longer be exposed to fighting parents, and can develop a separate, meaningful relationship with each parent that will allow them to thrive.

When children are involved in a California divorce, a parenting plan will have to be established. This plan should be made with the best interests of the child in mind. It is hoped that divorcing parents can work together out-of-court to develop a parenting plan on their own. By doing so they have more say in what the final plan will look like, and therefore may be more satisfied with it. Of course, sometimes the relationship between the two parents is so toxic that this type of cooperation simply isn't feasible. In these situations, parents can turn to the court to establish a parenting plan.

What is considered community property in a California divorce?

In California, while a couple is married, they may decide that when it comes to their property that, "What's yours is mine, and what's mine is yours." And, this is the way California law also treats community property. This is an especially important distinction couples should keep in mind should they decide down the road to divorce.

When a couple is married, any property accumulated during the marriage belongs to both spouses as a community. Each spouse has a right to it, regardless of which spouse uses it or bought it. Community property can include not just things a couple bought while married, but also a couple's take-home pay, and anything bought with that pay while married. This means that even if a spouse bought something solely with his or her own earnings, if the thing was purchased while married, it may be considered community property, and therefore both spouses have a right of ownership over it.

Are you facing a high-conflict divorce with a narcissist?

Over the years, the person you thought you married may have fallen away. What you are left with is a person who refuses to take responsibility for his or her actions and blames everyone else for his or her failings. Your spouse may lack empathy and blame you for everything that goes wrong -- even, or especially, if it wasn't your fault.

If this describes your spouse, then you married a narcissist. Now that you want to get out of the marriage by filing for divorce, those behaviors will more than likely only intensify. A narcissist can't be wrong, and your spouse may fight tooth and nail to portray the role of the victim and to "make you pay" for leaving. You may want to prepare yourself for a highly contentious divorce.

A child support modification may not always go as expected

Child support can be a sticking point for many parents in California who are no longer in a relationship with one another. Of course, parents want to give their child the best upbringing they can. However, some parents may feel like they pay too much in child support. They may feel it is simply more than they can afford, or they may not approve of how their ex is spending the money. Conversely, some parents may feel like they do not receive enough in child support. They may feel that they are struggling financially to raise their child or they may feel like their ex earns enough to warrant higher payments.

For these reasons, either the paying parent or the receiving parent may move the court for a child support modification. However, upon moving the court for an increase in the amount paid, they may be surprised to find their payments will be going down, or vice versa. This is because there are many factors that go into calculating a child support award. For example, each party's income and the amount of time they spend with the child could affect how much child support is awarded. The court will take all of these factors into account when deciding on a child support modification, and will either increase the amount paid, decrease the amount paid or keep payments the same, depending on the circumstances.

What are some common misconceptions about divorce and money?

When a couple in California goes through a divorce, financial issues such as property division and spousal support will come up. There is often confusion about exactly how the settlement of these issues will affect a person financially. This post will go over some misconceptions a person might have with regards to money and divorce.

Sometimes a couple gets divorced because one party had an affair. The party who was cheated on may think that, due to the affair, they will automatically have an advantage when it comes to property division and spousal support. However, this is not always the case. These days, all states permit "no-fault" divorce wherein neither party needs to show that some sort of wrongdoing took place. A divorce settlement is not meant to be punitive. Instead, it is simply meant to see that divorce legal issues are resolved in an appropriate manner.

Family law courts could benefit from divorce parenting program

Going through a divorce is hard on the entire family. Of course, parents in Los Angeles experience a bevy of emotions when it comes to divorce, as they come to an understanding of their new normal as a single individual. However, children may also need help coping with the transitions divorce brings to their lives. Therefore, parents going through a divorce will likely want to take every measure they can to ensure their child weathers the change in a healthy manner.

Psychologists from Arizona State University have addressed this topic by developing a parenting program in the early 1990s to help children of divorce. Called the "New Beginnings" program, it helps parents going through a divorce develop appropriate parenting skills. It initially involved recently-divorced mothers with children between the ages of 9 to 12. The mothers would go to 10 two-hour group classes. There were also two individual sessions. One of these lasted for 60 minutes, and the other lasted between 20 to 30 minutes. The program emphasized spending quality time with their child, ways to discipline their child and ways to keep the child from becoming enmeshed in the conflict the parents may have with one another.

How to protect your rights against parental alienation tactics

Is yours a divorce where it became clear early on in the process that the other adult involved was not going to make things easy for you? Like most good parents in California, you really just wanted to work out a fair and agreeable parenting plan, then allow the rest of the divorce process to unfold as swiftly and amicably as possible. You assumed your former spouse also had your children's best interests at heart, that is, until he or she started to try to alienate them from you.

Such nasty and vengeful behavior happens so often it now has an official name: Parental Alienation Syndrome. It usually begins with one parent demeaning, degrading, insulting or complaining about the other parent in front of the kids. It can quickly escalate into something far worse, however. That's why it's critical to know where to turn for support if a PAS problem arises.

How are retirement assets handled in property division?

Married couples in Los Angeles spend many of their working years building a solid retirement plan. They may have 401(k)s, pensions, IRAs and other investments. They may be anticipating the day that they can retire, and do things together like travel, play golf and spend more time with family and friends, all things made possible through a well-rounded retirement plan.

However, life is notoriously unpredictable, and it is entirely possible that a couple will get a divorce before they have retired. When this happens, they will be faced with dividing the assets they accumulated while married, including retirement assets. Retirement assets in particular are an important part of property division, as they are often a couple's most valuable assets. In fact, a 2016 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that dividing retirement accounts is the second most common item fought about by couples in the divorce process.

Considerations to keep in mind in a high net worth divorce

When a couple in Los Angeles divorces, they may find that their disagreements carry on throughout the divorce process. After all, each party does not want to get short-changed in the final settlement. The stakes are raised in a high net worth divorce, where a significant amount of money is involved.

First, couples in a high net worth divorce should not simply agree to whatever their ex wants, just to get the whole divorce process over with as quickly as possible. Similarly, one spouse may feel guilty about their failed marriage and because of that may agree to give their ex more than their ex is due. However, agreeing to a settlement that is not in one's favor can affect a person for the rest of his or her life. So, it is important for people to take their time and assess the situation objectively when working through their divorce legal issues.

Summary dissolution may be an alternative to divorce for some

One thing some married couples in California who are constantly fighting can actually agree on is that they want to end their marriage. However, they may be discouraged in thinking that divorce is a lengthy process that will cost them a lot, financially and emotionally. They may wonder if there are any alternatives. While most couples in California seeking to end their marriage will have to go through the normal divorce process, it may be possible in certain situations to end a marriage through a "summary dissolution."

There are certain requirements that must be met for a couple to obtain a summary dissolution. First, the marriage must have lasted for less than five years (spanning from the date of the marriage to the date of separation.) The couple must not have any biological or adopted children together, either prior to the marriage or while married. In addition, the couple cannot be pregnant. The couple cannot own land or a building. The couple cannot rent any land or buildings other than their residence and then only if they do not have a one-year lease or option to buy.

  • Super Lawyers
  • State Bar Of California | CBLS | California Board Of Legal Specialization
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • LACBA | The Los Angeles County Bar Association

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Contact Us

Mansouri Law Offices
350 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 330
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Phone: 310-853-1006
Fax: 310-277-8500
Map & Directions

Review us
Email Us For A Response