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Is Spousal Support For You?

Often during a separation or divorce, individuals are faced with many challenges throughout the process.

Though the marriage might be coming to a close, a spouse may still need financial support in order to start a new life. Whether or not a spouse is entitled to spousal support is dependent on a series of factors. It can prove to be difficult for both parties during a time of high stress, and it is important that facts,  as well as the entire alimony process, is handled professionally and efficiently within a timely matter.

Here is some helpful information on what spousal support is and if it could be the right option for you in your time of need.

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Divorce in California: Insights From A Family Law Attorney

Divorce proceedings in California can be complex, but with the guidance of a knowledgeable family law attorney, individuals can navigate the process with greater clarity and confidence. As an attorney specializing in family law in California, I have extensive experience dealing with the intricacies of divorce cases in this state.

In this blog post, I will provide valuable insights and guidance specific to divorce in California.

  1. Understanding California’s No-Fault Divorce:

California is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that neither party needs to prove wrongdoing or assign blame to obtain a divorce. The most common ground for divorce is irreconcilable differences, where the spouses’ marriage cannot be saved. As a family law attorney, I assist clients in understanding the no-fault divorce system and its implications on their case.

  1. Community Property and Division of Assets:

California follows the principle of community property when it comes to dividing marital assets and debts. This means that property and debts acquired during the marriage are generally considered community property and are subject to equal division between the spouses. As a family law attorney, I help clients navigate the complexities of property valuation, characterization, and the equitable division of assets.

  1. Child Custody and Support Guidelines:

Child custody and support matters are of utmost importance in divorce cases involving children. California courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements. Understanding California’s child custody and support guidelines is essential. As a family law attorney, I work closely with clients to develop parenting plans that prioritize the children’s well-being and advocate for fair and reasonable support arrangements.

  1. Spousal Support and Alimony:

Spousal support, also known as alimony, may be awarded to one spouse during and after divorce proceedings. California courts consider factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity, and the standard of living during the marriage when determining spousal support. As a family law attorney, I guide clients through the complexities of spousal support, advocating for fair and reasonable outcomes.

  1. Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution:

California encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, to resolve divorce disputes outside of court. Mediation can offer a more collaborative and cost-effective approach, allowing couples to reach mutually beneficial agreements. As a family law attorney, I facilitate mediation processes, helping clients navigate negotiations and find amicable resolutions.

  1. Legal Requirements and Timelines:

Understanding the legal requirements and timelines involved in divorce proceedings in California is crucial. From filing the initial divorce petition to completing necessary forms and attending court hearings, there are specific steps and deadlines to follow. As a family law attorney, I ensure my clients are aware of these requirements, guide them through the paperwork, and advocate for their rights throughout the process.

  1. Post-Divorce Modifications and Enforcement:

Life circumstances can change after a divorce, necessitating modifications to custody, support, or other agreements. Additionally, enforcement of court orders may be necessary if one party fails to comply. I assist clients in California with post-divorce modifications and enforcement proceedings, ensuring their rights and interests are protected.


Divorce in California involves navigating specific laws and regulations that may differ from other states. Seeking the guidance of a skilled family law attorney familiar with California’s divorce process is essential. With the right legal support and a clear understanding of the relevant aspects, individuals can approach divorce in California with confidence, working towards a fair and equitable resolution.

Contact us today to schedule an initial case assessment or ask any questions to our legal team.

What is a California “Minor’s Counsel?”

California "Minor's Counsel

If you have minor children and are getting divorced, you and your spouse – with the help of attorneys – can often work out questions of custody, visitation, and other related issues with the help of your attorneys.

In some California cases, however, the court will appoint a person known as a minor’s counsel to represent the children.

The following explains what a minor’s counsel is and what their role in a divorce case is:

What is a California “minor’s counsel”?

A minor’s counsel is a lawyer appointed by the court to represent the best interests of the child. Attorneys who fill this role must meet the training, experience, and education requirements mandated by California law.

After they’re appointed, they gather information in several different ways, including interviewing the child, reviewing court files and relevant records such as school and medical reports, and investigating further if necessary. If the child has wishes they’d like to share with the court, this is also done through a minor’s counsel.

When is a minor’s counsel needed?

Most divorce cases involving minor children can be resolved without the help of a minor’s counsel. However, in some cases, the court will decide that a minor’s counsel should be appointed. This is sometimes done based on a recommendation from a parent, one of their attorneys, the child, a relative, or other parties with knowledge about the case, or the court can decide that having a minor’s counsel is in the child’s best interests without a recommendation.

The following are some of the circumstances that might prompt the court to appoint one (or more, if there are multiple children):

  • The divorce case is highly contentious.
  • The parents have an extended legal history.
  • The child is under stress due to the divorce dispute.
  • Claims of abuse, neglect, or child abduction have been made.
  • The court needs more information about what’s in the child’s best interests.

Although most divorce cases don’t require the help of a minor’s counsel, this position can help the court decide what’s in the child’s best interests in more complex cases. With each parent being represented by an attorney, a California minor’s counsel represents the child’s interests and gives related information to the court.

It is imperative to have a skilled family law attorney advocating for you and your child. Dont leave your time with your child up to chance, put yourself in the best position possible by having zealous representation.


Attorney Kathy Minella is on the court appointed list as a minors counsel. She is regularly appointed to assist the court in difficult and complex custody cases. Our attorneys are skilled in presenting custody cases in court that demonstrate the best interest of the child. Please call 619.289.7948 for more information. 






[image courtesy of pexels]


Prenup vs Postnup in California: The Difference

how do you officially change your name after a divorce

Gone are the days when getting prenup or postnup seemed a bad omen for the marriage. Currently, about 51% of prospective couples believe prenups and postnups do not mean a lack of faith in marriage but insurance to your finances and emotions in case of divorce.

Unfortunately, the terms prenup and postnup are often used interchangeably while they have different meanings. What is the difference between prenups and postnups, and which applies to your case?

Keep reading for these answers.

Differences Between Prenup and Postnup

Some of the major differences between prenups and postnups are:


Prenups are signed by engaged couples who expect to get married soon. Although the prenup is signed before marriage, it becomes valid after the couple ties the not.

On the other hand, postnups are signed by couples after they are already married. A prenup may be signed days, months or even years after the marriage. The couple decides when the terms of the agreement become effective, which may be a date before or after the signing date. A past date can go back to their wedding date.


A prenup mainly looks at the property owned by the prospective couple before marriage. However, the postnup covers property earned before and after marriage. If the marriage has already lasted for a while, it gets tricky to agree on the community property since it should be divided 50/50. It also has to consider businesses and property that didn’t exist before the marriage.

Validation of the Document

Signing a prenup becomes valid if it meets California’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act and is signed by both parties. However, a postnup becomes valid after being approved by the court.

Before the court approves the postnup, they need to confirm that each spouse came to the agreement voluntarily and that the agreement is fair to both parties. The court does not validate the document if the agreement does not meet such legal requirements.

Should You Get a Prenup or a Postnup?

If you are yet to say ‘I do’, don’t wait until you are married to get a postnup. Instead, get a prenup since it is easier to acquire than a postnup.

Fortunately, getting a postnup is only complicated but not impossible. Therefore, if you are already married, don’t hesitate to get a postnup as it will come in handy in case you separate or divorce your spouse. Either way, seek legal advice to ensure that you come up with a prenup or postnup that will help you in the future.


If you or your family is need of legal assistance, we offer a no cost consultation.