What is the first thing a woman should do if her husband leaves and sates he wants a divorce?
If she hasn’t already done it, she should check the bank accounts to see if he took any of the money. She should then open her own bank account and transfer half the money to her separate account (California is a Community Property state).
What should a woman consider when choosing a divorce attorney?
It is important that she is comfortable discussing all aspects of her marriage with her attorney so she needs to feel free to communicate with her attorney.
What is collaborative law and how is it different from mediation?
Collaborative law is the process of working with both sides and guiding them through the maze of forms, rules and processes that is the California Family Law system. The two sides are supposed to work together to reach an amicable resolution.
Mediation the process of using a third party independent to persuade the other side to pay more or take less. Mediation is non-binding and helps negotiations because a disinterested third party evaluates your clients’ case and will point out any weaknesses.
What is the top mistake you see women making during a divorce?
I know it’s a cliché, but women tend to think divorce is about revenge. California is a no-fault state so we rarely get into the emotions of the divorce so it is difficult to constantly tell my clients that the court is not interested in the sordid details of the reason for the divorce.
What to do with the marital home? Should a woman move out if she plans on divorcing? Should a woman keep it in lieu of other marital assets?
The answer depends on the women’s ability to pay the mortgage. Usually the women stays in the home while the man generally leaves (I have had cases where both stay because of cost.) Also, are there children and would leaving cause a major disruption in their lives, on top of everything else.
What advice would you give clients to get a divorce with the least possible conflict and pain for all of those involved?
I would appeal to their rationale side. California has set rules and formulas for divorce and support. It really is all about the math. Generally, if the couple choose to fight it out, I can point to my initial assessment at the end and show them how much money they could have saved but for the fight.
If a woman feels that her spouse is neglecting the children or putting them in danger, what are her options as far as supervised visits and obtaining full physical and legal custody?
California strives for equal parental responsibilities and as a parent that is what I generally seek. However, if one parent is truly neglectful, I will apply for an order from the Court for supervised visits. Full physical and legal custody is difficult to obtain. It must be shown to the court that one parent is causing physical or emotional harm to the child(ren).
If a woman’s husband and his attorney is lying about her or marital property to the courts, what should she do?
Hire and attorney who can litigate the matter for her. This is the scenario where attorney’s are truly valuable and can make a difference.
Are women judged more harshly than men during divorce proceedings, if they had extra-marital affairs?
This does not generally apply in California.
How does social media affect the divorce proceedings?
Internet advice is always correct and never wrong. Right? I spend more time trying to explain internet advice and placing the advice into context. Most non-attorneys just don’t understand the nuances of the law and that blanket advice is worth the price they paid for it.
Is there any other advice you would like to give to a woman who is just beginning the divorce process?
Venting is healthy. Vent away. However, venting to your attorney costs $300+ per hour. I will be happy to listen to your venting but maybe your friends are a better support group (and cheaper) for you. I know you want to rip your spouse’s heart out and your friends will agree with you. You may also consider hiring a divorce coach, it’s their job to empathize and gain clarity. On the other hand, my job is to collaborate and guide you through the process.
319 Diablo Road, Suite 202, Danville, CA 94526
Years in Practice: 7
Is there anything else that you would like potential clients to know about you?
I am a no non-sense attorney who will tell a client the way it is, not what they want to hear. I prefer to resolve the case amicably versus cause a huge fight just to drive up my fee’s. As a father of 3 awesome daughters and a child of divorce myself, I know that fighting amongst the parents adversely affects the children. As parents, our number one priority is our children and I will remind everyone of that on a daily basis.