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San Mateo California Family Law Blog

Money problems are often the source of divorce

The rate at which American couples end their marriages has been around 50 percent for decades, and studies show most divorces result from money problems. Some believe it is impossible to have a successful marriage when money issues are at the forefront of family problems. Studies show that couples in California who have money problems during a marriage often do not communicate about finances, and the problems often end in divorce.

Over 50 percent of couples have little or no savings, which adds to the financial stress in a marriage. There is no sense of security living paycheck to paycheck with no savings to cover unexpected expenses. Experts suggest starting small and creating an emergency fund with 2 percent of each paycheck and increasing that amount with raises. They recommend having three to six months of take-home pay in the event of a job loss or other emergency.

High asset divorce incentives to consider before 2019

Right now may be the best time for those who are well off financially to get divorced. With the upcoming changes in tax laws, it may be beneficial for wealthy clients to act fast and have their agreements signed before the end of the year. In California and elsewhere, the tax burden can shift dramatically by waiting until 2019 to pursue a high asset divorce.

Professionals are working to devise workarounds for those who cannot complete agreements before the December 31, 2018 deadline. Some options to consider instead of alimony are tax-exempt retirement accounts and property change of ownership in a settlement. Converting child support payments to unallocated support that helps both spouse and children, and it is deductible, but only until 2019. 

Don't delete it: social media and divorce proceedings

Facebook and Instagram are public hubs for sharing the most exciting parts of your life. Photos of couples and posts about new life developments are available at the tap of a screen, making staying connected easier than ever before.

After a breakup, it may feel cathartic to rid your social profiles of any reminder of your former partner. However, resisting this temptation can be a necessary part of your legal strategy in a divorce.

For rocker Slash, money is no object during a high asset divorce

For some, there is a burning desire to move on with their lives after a relationship ends. The desperate need to free themselves from their estranged spouse has them shelling out millions in a high asset divorce. In California, a member of a hard rock band has asked the courts to sign off on his divorce settlement that will leave his ex-wife very comfortable

Slash, the lead guitarist for Guns n' Roses, is ready to sign away over 6.6 million dollars to be free of his wife of seventeen years. He has agreed to pay $100,000 for spousal support that will continue for the rest of her natural life or until she remarries. The music icon first filed for divorce in 2014, but he never followed through, even after accusations of bigamy against his wife surfaced in 2016.


The struggle that most dads face today is the limited amount of time they get to spend with their kids. Studies show that even with no criminal convictions and no extenuating circumstances, dads receive only 35 percent of child custody time post-divorce. In California and other states, fathers say that parenting is extremely important to them, and they are eager to take a more active role.

Social media prenups are gaining in popularity

Prenuptial agreements are a difficult subject to approach for most couples. Many people consider them bad luck. It can feel like bad taste to discuss the end of a relationship.

However, more Californians are now considering the possibility that true love has an expiration date.

What is palimony?

A California divorce attorney coined the word palimony in 1976. They used it in a case where Michelle Triola Marvin sued her ex-boyfriend Lee Marvin, claiming they had a verbal agreement to evenly split all earnings and property.

While the case was eventually dismissed by the California Supreme Court, it created a new form of asset division.

Time is running out on an important tax exemption for divorces

If you are considering a divorce, now may be the time to move forward. Divorces with possible alimony payments are about to pass an expensive deadline.

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act takes effect on January 1st, 2019. As you may know, this law removes alimony from the list of tax-deductible expenses.

Child custody often involves grandma and grandpa

More children are spending part of their childhood living with grandma and grandpa than ever before. In California and other states, the number of child custody cases involving grandparents has doubled since 1970, with a 7 percent increase since 2013. A study from the Centers for Disease Control shows that 3 percent of kids live away from their parents nationwide, and two-thirds of them are being raised by grandparents.

With retirement on the horizon, thoughts of travel, socializing and relaxation come to mind for most older individuals instead of becoming full-time parents again. After being cast back into this familiar role, grandparents may have mixed feelings of anger and resentment over being robbed of the simple and ordinary pleasures of grandparenthood relationships. However, some grandparents report taking on this new responsibility of child-rearing has given them a new sense of purpose and involvement.

More women are required to pay alimony as primary breadwinners

For decades, when couples divorced, it was the man who paid support to his ex-wife mainly because men earned higher incomes. Typically, women were stay-at-home moms or in lower-paying jobs, and she would receive alimony when the marriage ended. Today, in California and many other states, women are now holding more powerful, higher-paying positions with many being the family breadwinner.

A recent survey showed an increase in the number of women paying alimony, spousal support or maintenance to their ex-spouses. Many are surprised to learn they may be required to pay support; some are resentful and even mad about it. Today, with women being the primary financial support in four out of 10 families, the trend is on the rise as they continue to earn more money.

California Family Law And Litigation

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