Men who are involved in divorce, or are contemplating divorce, bring special issues to the Family Law Judge. The case that a man presents is vastly different in presentation relative to the issues, as the case that is brought by a woman or a mother. Men usually are far less aggressive and take a posture that is far too conciliatory at the initial stages of litigation, with the hope that a settlement will be reached. Men are also victims of settlement negotiations, which either change on a frequent basis or break down and end in total frustration. The Law Office of Alan Edmunds has been representing men in family law litigation for over 25 years. This law firm is well acquainted with the issues that are important to men and how they should be properly presented to the court. What appear below are some suggestions and discussions on these issues. This material is not intended to be exhaustive, but only provided to offer suggestions. This material is not legal advice and is not intended as such. If you are involved in a divorce, child custody case or a support case, please call our office or consult an attorney.
In the area of spousal support, men are often treated in a historic manner by the courts. The old adage that “the man pays” is still ingrained in many judicial minds. The good news is that there are several approaches that can be taken by a man to reduce or eliminate spousal support. In the State of California there is case authority that women can be ordered to make job contacts and also seek and maintain full time employment. Specific requests must be made for this at the support hearing.
Men should also be aware that unemployed women can be found to have an earning capacity. To accomplish this, many experienced attorneys use a Vocational Assessment of the unemployed wife to establish an earning capacity. This is an excellent tool to reduce spousal support awards when the opposing party is unemployed.
Many men also have unemployed spouses that receive passive income from other sources. Frequently, parties fail to mention passive income to the courts. Trust proceeds and personal injury awards are just two examples where passive income can be realized. These issues should be brought to the attention of the court. If you have questions about spousal support, do not hesitate to contact the San Diego divorce attorneys at The Edmunds Law Firm.
The days have long passed when only women were given custody of children. Today, the Law Office of Alan Edmunds has been very successful in obtaining Court Orders where men were given the primary physical custody of the children. In that area of custody the issues become very complex.
A man who is involved in a child custody case should focus on “the best interest of the child”. Often the courts require mediation through Family Court Services Mediation in the Family Courts of California. There are alternative ways, however, that may be utilized by the man seeking custody. One important aspect is to have a custody evaluation done by an expert who has been approved by the courts. Men often overlook this possibility, and in so doing, eliminate an excellent opportunity to overcome a negative Family Court Services Mediation report that might have been written favoring the woman.
Men should realize that Family Court Services Mediation counselors have limited time and resources in which to make a recommendation to the court. If there are no other recommendations received, other than those from Family Court Services Mediation, the court often follows the recommendation provided by the mediator. Once again, the man can overcome this recommendation by utilizing outside experts. A custody evaluation or a psychological evaluation, where the issues dictate, can be very useful in this area.
Frequently, men are faced with a situation where the opposing party wants to move out of the state with the minor children. In California “move away cases” require the Court to send the parties to Family Court Services Mediation. The case law in this area has been changing over the last 7 years. If you have questions about children’s residence being changed out of the county or out of the state, consult an attorney immediately. Time is of the essence in these cases. The notice requirements are usually very specific and must be followed as Court Ordered.
Child support is an issue that is very important to men in divorce litigation. The primary components of child support include the income of the parties and the percentage of time share that the child spends with each parent. If a man has the child a majority of the time, than the amount of support that he pays could possibly be reduced to zero. Again, the Court examines the incomes of both parties and the time share that the child spends with each parent. Overnight visitations are extremely important for a man in a custody case. This law firm encourages men to spend as much time as possible with their children. It benefits the child and also benefits the father in the litigation.
Another area that is very contentious in divorce litigation is the division of property. Frequently, experts are hired to evaluate businesses and property. Negotiations between spouses involved in a divorce are often unsuccessful because there are no values being placed on physical assets, real estate, or business opportunities. This law firm has extensive experience in the utilization of experts in the areas outlined above. These are just a few of the many areas available where experts can be hired to assist a man involved in litigation.
Mediation is a very important option for men to consider who are involved in divorce. Mediation can save a great deal of time and money and bring the parties to complete resolution without the acrimony and distress of litigation. Men are encouraged to seek resolution through mediation. A party should consider mediation first before bringing a divorce into the court room. This law firm has over 25 years of experience in mediating divorce cases, custody cases and large asset cases.
If you have any questions about this do not hesitate to contact our San Diego divorce lawyers immediately.