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The Ten Commandments of Family Law Litigation

photo by @jbtaylor via PhotoRee

There are many ways to resolve a dispute. To save our Clients’ time, money, and stress, we first recommend Collaboration. However, it takes two to collaborate. If you find yourself in a situation where collaboration is not possible,  we recommend following The Ten Commandments of Family Law Litigation:

I. Always take your file with you everywhere.

II. In your journal, make an entry of every significant event, conversation, discussion, and action of your spouse at the time it occurs.

III. In your ledger, make an entry for every financial event in your case in order to assure a complete accurate and legible record. (Example: each time support is paid out or received.)

IV. Memorialize every agreement with every person who is interested/involved in your case; keep/send copies.

V. Meet and confirm strategy with your attorney in person; explore alternative dispute resolution; confirm everything in writing.

VI. Know your strategy; do not deviate without advice and counsel from your attorney.

VII. Participate in preparation of your case: draft, document, investigate, gather information and pre-interview witnesses.

VIII. Let your attorney know when he/she is on-track as well as off-track.

IX. Schedule regular Spit & Growl sessions: don’t let resentments accumulate with your attorney or staff.

X. Keep your account current: offer security.

What Does Assembly Bill 939 Mean for You?

Family Law touches the innermost aspects of a Californian’s life. It determines how often a parent will see his or her child, how much support they will receive, how they’ll be protected from domestic violence, and more.  Last month the governor signed Assembly Bill 939 and as a result, we’re looking at profound changes to the legislature after the first of the year. These changes will significantly impact members of the family law bar, the bench, and the public.  Listen now as Ron and Robert talk about what this important bill means for you.

To download a PDF of Assembly Bill 939, click the following link: Assembly_Bill_939

Like what you heard? Subscribe to Ron and Robert on Divorce on iTunes.

Eggs Benedict and Case Law

Woody Allen tells a story about his friend, Eggs Benedict.  See, Eggs had a problem.  He thought he was having a heart attack because he was having chest pains, and Woody was having the same problem in the same chest area.  So he said, why don’t you go to the doctor, you pay the $25 for the medic, and you tell me what happens! And Eggs says, OK, and goes to the doctor.

A few days go by and Woody doesn’t hear a word from Eggs.  So he picks up the phone, he calls his friend’s mother and he says, Where’s Eggs? And she says, You haven’t heard? He died. Woody hangs up the phone, runs to the doctor, spends $100, gets all these tests and the doctor says, You’re fine. And Woody says, well I just don’t understand it. I have all the same chest pains that my friend had, I should be dead! So he calls up the mother and says, I just don’t understand it. Eggs said he had a chest pain, he went to the doctor, and he died. And the mother says, I know, it’s just awful. He was walking down the street, he’d just been to the doctor and the doctor said he was fine, and then he was hit by a bus.

The law is nebulous. It’s an entangled web of gray area and it changes all the time, so what you get is not necessarily what another person gets.  As lawyers it is our job to look at the facts carefully, we have to see what’s different in your case.  Just because your friend got a divorce last year and got the house doesn’t mean this year you’re going to get the house. The law is a flowing ebb and tide in water. It’s intangible.

Family law is codified in California and there are new cases all the time. How do people find out what the law is if they want to do it on their own?

Unfortunately, lawyers and legislature have made it difficult to do that. There are some areas of law that are black and white, but most areas of law are grey. When you have something like custody, where the best interest of a child is at stake, it’s not a question of who’s the better parent, it’s a question of what’s the best interest of the child? What is that standard? There are hundreds of cases that tell us that. And for as many cases on one side of an issue, there are the same number of cases on the other.

For a look at some recent cases, click here.

Vintage Law Collaborative

Mary Anne Loughlin and Patrick Greenlaw interview Ron Supancic for CNN’s DayWatch in 1991. The topic? Divorce and property settlement in California. There’s even a reference to the old classic film, War of the Roses.  Check it out!

The Law Collaborative – Ron on CNN from The Law Collaborative on Vimeo.

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