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Kathy Minella

Pros and Cons of Living With Your Spouse During a Divorce

By | Divorce
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Should You Live With The Person You’re Divorcing?

Probably due to economics you and your soon to be ex are cohabiting until the divorce finalizes. Living with your spouse during a divorce is not a normal situation, and it’s not a marriage, nor is it a roommate situation. It is complicated.

These waters require legal council. Rarely can a married couple live together while divorcing. If they do it is due to financial reasons.


When the marriage vows and contracts fail, there is a great deal that needs to be worked out.  Trying to deal with it between you and your spouse won’t work when you can’t keep the marriage contract, how will the two of you work out anything as roommates?

First Things First

Figure out a budget.  One of you if not both, are going to be moving. Financially things need to be figured out, and this is not the divorce settlement, although some of the marriage baggage may transfer into the situation if there is distrust in the area of finance. There is no reason you can’t work through a short term financial arrangement.

Suspicion of each other won’t work if you need to live together until the dissolution of the marriage and separation of goods and lives.  If there are similar incomes, then consider an equal split.


Whatever made the marriage fail does not mean you can’t work through separation while cohabiting. If there are children involved, you need to work through parental issues.  If the raising of children was part of the problem in the marriage, it won’t change in divorce.

Work through each having equal and quality time with the children.


Living with your spouse while divorcing requires giving each other space. You’re not a couple, and may, in fact, have moved on with someone else. Letting go and giving the other person space is only logical, and while it is not the best idea to bring a new romantic interest home, it could happen. You may need the same space.

Be willing to work through privacy issues and it is a two-way space, and do it before it happens. Plan, and make sure you are not harboring hopes of getting back together with your soon to be ex-spouse.

Bottom Line

If you can’t work through finances, trust, and parental issues, then you can’t stay under the same roof.  The good news is, you’re not unusual.  Most people can’t live with a spouse when they are on the road to divorce. When things go wrong in a marriage, two people don’t trust each other. Living together while going through a divorce is never recommended.

That is the hardest road to take. If there is an abuser in the relationship, this can’t be an option no matter the financial hardship. Carefully consider the possibilities, and make the best choice for you and your children.


Look to legal council for solid advice as to your alternatives. Call upon financial advisors for options. Don’t give up, and don’t be discouraged. There are always viable solutions.

The experienced attorneys at Minella Law Group can guide you through the process to finalize your divorce efficiently allowing you to move forward in your life. For more information or to schedule a consultation or call us at 619-289-7948.


Why is Jurisdiction So Important?

By | Family Law Blog | No Comments

We should start with what is jurisdiction exactly, jurisdiction is the legal authority for the court to hear a case.  If the court does not have jurisdiction, it simply cannot hear the case and you will have to take the case to the appropriate jurisdiction.

Watch Kathy Minella Explain In Depth

How do you know if San Diego court has jurisdiction?

Sometimes it is very obvious to determine where jurisdiction is.  

For example, if your divorce was processed in San Diego and never registered anywhere else, jurisdiction will remain in San Diego.  

Another example would be if your child custody order was made in San Diego and the child still remains in San Diego, of course San Diego would be the appropriate place to litigate custody.  

There will always be times where it is not obvious but as a rule of thumb…

If the child is not in San Diego and neither party is in San Diego, it is highly likely jurisdiction resides somewhere else.  


Any issues concerning child custody are governed by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act also referred to as the UCCJEA.

 The UCCJEA requires the action involving the child to be filed in its home state.

This is either where the child has lived for at least 6 consecutive months prior to the case being filed, or if the child is no longer in the state, where the child lived within the six months before commencement of the proceedings.   

If an action has already commenced and a parent is seeking modification, another state can modify the original order only if the new state has jurisdiction as the home state and the original court declines to exercise continuing jurisdiction, or the proposed state is a more convenient forum, or no one including the child lives in the original state.  

It is important to contact an attorney in the proper jurisdiction to hear your case, as if you file a case in the wrong jurisdiction you will have to start all over again in the proper jurisdiction.


Any issues concerning child support are governed by the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act or UIFSA.  

This gives continuing jurisdiction to one state to avoid conflicting orders. Just as with custody, the originating state will always have jurisdiction over support so long as one of the parents remains in the state.

This is important as the guidelines applied will be based on the originating state. As an example, say the child support order was created in San Diego and parent and child move to Nebraska, the child support order will remain at California guidelines so long as the payor lives in California even though parent and child have a lower cost of living in Nebraska.  

Reverse that if the originating order is in Nebraska and parent and child move to California, they will receive child support based on Nebraska standards so long as the payor remains in Nebraska despite the higher cost of living in San Diego.

If you believe San Diego court has the ability to hear your case contact our office.  If you need to find an attorney where your case should be hear you can always contact the bar association in that jurisdiction to find an attorney who specializes in family law to assist you.  


Do I Qualify For Summary Dissolution

By | Divorce | No Comments

Dissolution is the official term for divorce in California.

There are two ways you can obtain a dissolution in California: standard, which is the most common form of divorce, and summary, which is a shortened version of the divorce process.

Not everyone can use summary dissolution to end their marriage as there are very specific requirements that must be met for the court to approve your divorce.

Watch Kathy Minella Explain More

Who Qualifies for a Summary Dissolution?

There are strict eligibility guidelines for a California summary dissolution and all of them must be met to proceed. In addition to those listed above, it is required that:

  • At least one of you has lived in California for at least 6 months, and in your county for at least 3 months before filing the petition.
  • Both of you must agree to summary dissolution and the grounds of irreconcilable differences.
  • Neither of you may own real estate or hold a lease with an option to purchase.
  • Neither of you has more than $40,000 in separate, or non-community, property.
  • Neither of you has incurred more than $6,000 in debt, excluding car loans, since the date of marriage.

Both of you must also read and sign a summary dissolution booklet that is provided by the state. The booklet explains the entire process and contains helpful worksheets for dividing assets.

How to Obtain a Summary Dissolution

There is less paperwork required for a summary dissolution than there is for a regular one, but you must file with the superior court clerk a Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution that includes a property settlement agreement.

A Judgment of Dissolution and Notice of Entry of Judgment must also be prepared. Six months after filing, your divorce will be final.

You do not have to appear in court and afterwards you are free to remarry. At any time during those six months either you or your spouse can stop the summary dissolution process.

If you are looking for a fast resolution to your marriage, summary dissolutions can be the right option for you as long as you meet the necessary requirements.

To learn more about whether you may qualify, or for help in starting the process, talk to a qualified California family law attorney.

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technology in divorce

An App For Divorce? A Divorce Attorney’s Response To The New Wave of Tech

By | Divorce | No Comments

This article has been updated for 2021

Recently, NextAvenue.Org published a blog on the new wave of technology as it relates to divorce services. As a divorce attorney in San Diego, I am always interested to understand the new trends in the divorce space. Below is my commentary on the article, as well as a reprinted version of the original blog post.

– Kathy Minella


Watch Kathy Explain More About Divorce Apps

A Divorce Lawyer’s Take on The New Wave of Tech In Divorce

Technology is becoming a major player in law with a focus on automation.  I think there are good and bad aspects to this new trend, being that law is still so driven by individuals. 

If you have a simple divorce with no custody or very few assets to divide, using divorce apps can be a great way to streamline the process and minimize the expense.  However, I would never recommend it when there are custody issues or major assets to divide such as stock accounts, retirement accounts, or even real property. 

There is a lot of use for applications, however, such as co-parenting communication apps like Family Wizard or Talking Parents.  It keeps all communication in one place and is easy to present to the court in the event it becomes necessary. It also ensures there is no manipulation that can easily occur with texts or emails.

Also, if there is a way to better record keep support payments, I am all for it! It is the payor’s burden to prove payments have been made so you better ensure your record keeping is superb.

Any technology that gives users information at their fingertips can be both a good and bad thing depending on what it is being used for.  The information should be used at your own risk.

Continue reading to find the original blog post and decide for yourself: Is using an app for divorce a good thing?

Original Post: “How Technology Has Changed Divorce”

technology in divorce

Original Content Published on NextAvenue.Org and written by Stacey Freeman

Thanks to technology, we can buy groceries online. We can search online for a job, a pet, even a spouse. And if for whatever reason that spouse doesn’t work out, we can go through the divorce process online, too.

But when you’re divorcing, can a website, or a collection of them, be a substitute for face-to-face interaction? Based on the growing number of users who frequent sites specializing in divorce, the answer appears to be “Yes.”

For Divorce, It Takes a Digital Village

Divorce is disruptive — good and bad. And change, even the good kind, can send even the calmest, coolest and most collected individuals into a tailspin. Not to mention, divorce can also be expensive, stressful and isolating for those going through it.

The good news is that today, separated and divorced people can find a community online with others in similar situations without so much as leaving their home.

Divorce is complicated and emotionally charged, even with the use of these unprecedented and innovative technological improvements.

If it is information you’re after, lawyer Erin Levine’s Hello Divorce site provides a wealth of it. Specializing in California divorce law, Levine’s goal is to make divorce more accessible to those who may not have the knowledge or experience yet, and show them they have options.

Even if you are not living in California, Hello Divorce’s blog is still worth reading for its concise, straightforward articles on topics ranging from what to do if your spouse announces he or she is gay to the unique issues facing boomers who divorce.

The Major Players in Divorce Sites

Divorceify, founded by two divorce attorneys and a lawyer-turned-programmer (all women), offers customized divorce recommendations and matches you with professional help from all over the United States. From mediators and financial advisers to divorce coaches and attorneys, Divorceify can save users time and money and alleviate stress. Having confidence in the people helping to complete the divorce will make the process a little less daunting.

PartUs, created by lawyer Krista Andrews, provides divorce management software to law practices looking to streamline the divorce process in one place. FamilyDocket and offer divorce management systems for lawyers, with the added feature of allowing them to communicate with their clients on the site and share documents.

One-stop-shops Wevorce and it’s over easy, also created by attorneys, provide platforms for families going through the divorce process from start to finish, offering monthly plans based on the services you choose from their respective menus.

A Fresh Start After Divorce

Once the divorce itself is over, divorced life comes with its own set of rules and obstacles to navigate.

Apps such as OurFamilyWizard (created by a divorced dad) and Coparently (from a techie son of a divorced couple) are useful for family management when children and teens are involved. They help parents communicate by creating calendars, discussing expenses and sharing important information about their children. Apps like these make co-parenting easier because they offer technology that fosters cooperation and communication.

SupportPay, founded by a divorced marketing exec, is an app that lets divorced parents make automated support payments online, alleviating financial and emotional stress for both spouses because of its reliability and predictability — no more missed payments or confusion.

For divorcées not sure what to do with their diamond ring, Worthy offers a secure online auction platform to sell it to a pre-screened community of buyers. The diamonds are valued before every auction by Worthy’s in-house gemologist and the Gemological Institute of America. Sellers can have a check in their hands in as little as three days.

Has Technology Taken the Emotion Out of Divorce?

With so much knowledge at our fingertips, it is easy to forget that less than three decades ago it wasn’t possible to connect with people from around the world, access information and assemble the best team of people to help us, all within seconds.

Divorce is complicated and emotionally charged, even with the use of these unprecedented and innovative technological improvements. Although technology has automated the divorce process and arguably removed some of the emotion from it for the better, there is still plenty of emotion to go around, which can be positive as well.


If you have any questions about family law or divorce services in San Diego, please don’t hesitate to contact me.