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October 2011
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December 2011

Does Maria Shriver Have A Prenup? Why Did Arnold Put His Movie Career On Hold?

Read the entire article on Forbes magazine

Arnold and Maria

Image via Wikipedia

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past week or two, I’m sure you have already heard the news: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have separated.

Of course, whenever there’s a high-profile celebrity break-up like this, I am bombarded with questions from the media and prospective clients. People wonder about all sorts of things. Are Schwarzenegger and Shriver headed towards divorce? If so, will it be contentious? How will their (quite sizeable) assets be divided?


The importance of locating documents

We always advise our clients at the start of a divorce case to locate important documents and store them in a safe place often outside the home. Even though there are laws for the mandatory disclosure of income and assets in a divorce proceeding, the discovery process can be very expensive if your spouse decides to hide the ball and forces you to go to court to compel production. If you know where the tax returns and bank statements are it makes more sense to make copies before they dissappear. Nowadays you can even store such information on the internet using facilities such as dropbox.


Los Angeles Divorce Attorney

Los Angeles Family Law Attorney

Divorce Lawyers|Attorneys Los Angeles, Beverly Hills

California Prenuptial, Prenups




In the recent case of Cuccia v. Cuccia, No. 2010-CA-00083-COA in Mississipi (Decided June 14, 2011) the Court of Appeals decided that one legitimate factor in reversing a sole custody award to a woman was the boarding of dangerous dogs on her property. Julie Ann Cuccia testified she ran a dog boarding and training business as well as a dog rescue operation on the marital property and in the residence. She testified at the time that she was housing thirty-six dogs on the property and in the residence. The menagerie included numerous Rottweilers and pit bulls. Furthermore, on one occasion, the record indicates that a Rottweiler on the property engaged in a fight with another Rottweiler at the residence, wherein the instigating dog brutally attacked the other animal with such viciousness that the dog was eventually euthanized for safety purposes.

Los Angeles Divorce Attorney

Los Angeles Family Law Attorney

Divorce Lawyers|Attorneys Los Angeles, Beverly Hills

California Prenuptial, Prenups



The importance of accurate expense information

Here is a great post from Mark Chinn's Family Law site: 


Every divorce case is a financial planning negotiation and requires the development of detailed budget, asset and liability information.  Assets and liabilities are relatively easy to pin down with documents and appraisals.  Accurate budget information is another thing altogether.

Clients are usually told to sit down with their checks and credit cards and average the expenses in different categories over the past 12 months.  Usually, clients short cut their work and use educated guesses.  However, this is a mistake. The budget of each party is a real key in the negotiation or trial.  It plays a key role in alimony and child support. It also plays a key role in determining whether a settlement is adequate.

Budget software is an absolute must when it comes to calculating budgets.  The most common and very inexpensive software for this purpose is Quicken.  Checks and other expenses can be easily inputted into the program, and detailed and accurate reports generated even by novices in accounting or computers.

I recently attended a mediation where the woman had nearly doubled her actual budget on her financial statement.  My client had entered all of his financial information into Quicken for years.  Suffice it to say, the Quicken documentation carried the day on the actual budget for negotiation purposes.  It saved a lot of negotiation time and probably gave the other side comfort that the numbers we were offering would suffice for her needs.

Los Angeles Divorce Attorney

Los Angeles Family Law Attorney

Divorce Lawyers|Attorneys Los Angeles, Beverly Hills

California Prenuptial, Prenups




Oh My Gosh

The ingredients sounded innocent enough – two boys aged one and three and a bag of flour. But it was a recipe for disaster.

A mother in the U.S. emerged from a visit to the bathroom to find her entire living room covered in flour, with the guilty culprits – her two young boys – happily playing in the mess even as she expressed her shock.

She uploaded a film of the scene to YouTube and it’s already been watched nearly 750,000 times.


Not all white on the night: The two toddlers are oblivious to the carnage they've caused

Not all white on the night: The two toddlers are oblivious to the carnage they've caused

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2064462/Flour-power-Mothers-shock-toddlers-cover-living-room.html#ixzz1eSVMkTGl


Obesity Fuels Custody Fights

The Wall Street Journal reports: The nation's waistline is expanding, and so too is the role of obesity in child-custody battles in the U.S. Family-law practitioners and legal experts say mothers and fathers in custody lawsuits are increasingly hurling accusations at each other about the nutrition and obesity of their children, largely in attempts to persuade judges that their kids are getting less-than-optimal care in the hands of ex- and soon-to-be-ex-spouses. Read the entire article

Los Angeles Divorce Attorney

Los Angeles Family Law Attorney

Divorce Lawyers|Attorneys Los Angeles, Beverly Hills

California Prenuptial, Prenups



Only in France

This from the UK Telegraph about the aftermath of a french divorce. The report claims that a 51-year-old man was fined under article 215 of France's civil code, which states married couples must agree to a "shared communal life". A judge has now ruled that this law implies that "sexual relations must form part of a marriage".

The rare legal decision came after the wife filed for divorce two years ago, blaming the break-up on her husband's lack of activity in the bedroom. A judge in Nice, southern France, then granted the divorce and ruled the husband named only as Jean-Louis B. was solely responsible for the split. But the 47-year-old ex-wife then took him back to court demanding 10,000 euros in compensation for "lack of sex over 21 years of marriage". The ex-husband claimed "tiredness and health problems" had prevented him from being more attentive between the sheets. But a judge in the south of France's highest court in Aix-en-Provence ruled: "A sexual relationship between husband and wife is the expression of affection they have for each other, and in this case it was absent. "By getting married, couples agree to sharing their life and this clearly implies they will have sex with each other."

How much praise should we give our kids



The same day that I read the above report in the Onion, I was listening to this wonderful show on NPR involving a discussion with Carol Dweck, a professor of Psychology at the StanfordDepartment of Pscychology.  Her research, real this time, found that kids who were given kudos for their effort (you tried really hard) as opposed to their sense of self (you are really smart) had higher self-esteem and were more motivated.  She has some interesting thoughts on the 7th grade wall about smart kids who coast through school up to that point and find that they have to suddenly work harder to learn.  Listen to the show.Professor Dweck also has a great site and all her articles can be downloaded as PDF's.  Go to her site.




This Judge is not fit to be on the bench hearing family law cases

I was shocked when I read the news regarding the Texas Judge who was videotaped beating his 16 year old daughter with a cerebral palsy because she had downloaded music from the internet. STORY

This is a Judge who hears family law cases. The police and the judical commission are investigating.

Please join me in writing to the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct to remove this Judge from the Bench. 

Hypertexting and family law

I recently heard this accusation from an attorney in a custody case. "Your client is crazy, she's sending 20 texts a day to my client. She is harassing him and trying to micromanage custody." So I did a little digging. It turns out that this is how the two young parents communicated before they separated and its probably how they will continue to communicate in the future. He sends just as many texts. Then I did a little more research and was astonished to find out the statistics on texting between young teens and adults.  The Nielsen Co. analyzed cell phone bills of 60,000 subscribers at the request of The Wall Street Journal. Nielsen's study contrasts with another done recently that finds text messaging to be on the rise, but not to the same degree. The average 13- to 17-year-old sends and receives a whopping 3,339 text messages a month, and adults' use of text messaging is starting to climb -- although to nowhere near the levels of American teens. Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, in its research, said that teen texting averages 50 messages a day -- compared to the 100 a day average cited by Nielsen. the Pew reports found "Adults who text typically send and receive a median of 10 texts a day; teens who text send and receive a median of 50 texts per day," Pew said, adding that a very small number -- 5 percent of adult texters send "more than 200 text messages a day or more than 6,000 texts a month. Fully 15 percent of teens 12-17, and 18 percent of adults 18 to 24 text message more than 200 messages a day, while just 3 percent of adults 25 to 29 do the same." I have read elsewhere reports that 10 % of adults between 18-25 thought it was OK to text while having sex. Seriously. From a legal viewpoint this raises numerous concerns. I've read that Judges complain about jurors texting during the trial ( at least they were not texting and having sex during the trial). As a family lawyer it is of concern because in a custody case you always want to advice a parent not to do anything (especially if it leaves a trail) that indicates pathological behaviour. So where does this leave the lawyer who complained about my client's excessive texting. Perhaps it says more about how out of touch that lawyer is with the modern world. After all, she is just getting around to using email.




Study Finds Every Style Of Parenting Produces Disturbed, Miserable Adults

Great satire from the Onion


SANTA ROSA, CA—A study released by the California Parenting Institute Tuesday shows that every style of parenting inevitably causes children to grow into profoundly unhappy adults. "Our research suggests that while overprotective parenting ultimately produces adults unprepared to contend with life's difficulties, highly permissive parenting leads to feelings of bitterness and isolation throughout adulthood," lead researcher Daniel Porter said. "And, interestingly, we found that anything between those two extremes is equally damaging, always resulting in an adult who suffers from some debilitating combination of unpreparedness and isolation. Despite great variance in parenting styles across populations, the end product is always the same: a profoundly flawed and joyless human being." The study did find, however, that adults often achieve temporary happiness when they have children of their own to perpetuate the cycle of human misery.



Factoids about the Kardashian Marriage from the Guardian newspaper

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries: 

• How many months K & K knew each other before getting engaged: 6

• How many months they were engaged: 3

• How much Kim made from the wedding thanks to magazine deals, etc:$17.9m

• How much she therefore made per hour of the 72-day marrige, as calculated by New York Times' investigative journalist Don van Natta Jr:$10,358.80

• The current minimum wage in California: $8 an hour

• How many hours the E! special of their wedding lasted: 4

• How many months E! spent promoting the wedding, daily: 3

• How many months they were actually married: 

• Kim & K's wedding cost: $10m

• Donald Trump's last wedding: $1m

• Price tag on one vase on K & K's wedding list: $7,500

• How much the wedding cake cost: $6,000

• How many Vera Wang wedding dresses Kim had for the wedding: 3

• How much each wedding dress cost: $20,000

• How much her mother Kris spent on a face lift for the wedding: $50,000