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Divorce / Legal Separations

Division of Assets

We help identify community and separate property and determine and divide assets. Most of the time, all assets acquired during marriage or domestic partnerships (excluding gifts or inheritance) are community property.

Support

We file the necessary paperwork with the court to establish temporary and permanent spousal support for married couples or registered domestic partners. We also establish child support and assist in modifying support obligations.

A few important notes regarding support:
In a dissolution of marriage, normally the spouse paying support can deduct the payment and the spouse receiving support is taxed on the payment.

In the dissolution of a Registered Domestic Partnership, the partner who pays support may not deduct the payment from federal taxes, but the partner receiving support may be taxed on the amounts received.

Child support is not deductible or taxable in most cases.

Same Sex Marriage/Domestic Partner Dissolutions

We handle dissolutions for Registered Domestic Partners.

Same sex couples who married in Massachusetts, Iowa or other countries or states where same sex marriage is legal or had civil unions in Vermont or other states that grant marriage equivalents can dissolve their relationships in California courts.

Same sex couples who married in California may dissolve their marriage in California even if they do not reside in California, if their home state does not recognize their marriage.

Note that since January 1, 2005, registered Domestic Partners are required to dissolve their relationships in family court, the same as heterosexual couples.

And, for those times when court is the only option, we’re here to litigate and get the right result for our clients.

Child Custody

Our philosophy is very simple: we do what is best for the children. We assist clients in developing parenting plans and help to determine the sharing of custody after separation.

We have the resources to make sure that the emotional and psychological needs of the children are met after separation.

Same-Sex Parenting

A significant decision in the state of California has serious implications for same-sex couples and their children. In the California Supreme court case of Kristine H. v. Lisa R., a same-sex couple had a child using assisted reproduction.

Before the child was born, the couple sought and was granted a court judgment declaring that both women were the child's legal parents. After the couple ended their relationship, two and one-half years later, the birth mother filed an action seeking to vacate the judgment and have the court declare that she is the child's only parent.

As co-counsel on the case, Diane Goodman argued that both women remained the child’s legal parents. In their groundbreaking decision, the California Supreme Court held that the birth mother was barred from challenging the judgment and indeed, both women were the legal parents.

We assist clients who are same-sex couples in legalizing their relationships with children — Family Formation.

And, for those times when court is the only option, we’re here to litigate and get the right result for our clients.