Domestic Violence and Spousal Support

AdobeStock_73154055.jpegA woman approached us with questions regarding issues with spousal support in her marriage that involved domestic violence. She reports that throughout the couples’ four year marriage she was unemployed. There were several instances of domestic violence and several police reports made, but no arrest of the husband ever occurred. Still, she was granted a DVTRO, or a domestic violence temporary restraining order, by their family court judge. However, she has been unable to locate her ex-husband to have him served with the restraining order. He is now suing her for spousal support. Her question: since she was a victim of domestic violence by him, can he still be granted spousal support and attorney fees? She continues to struggle to find a job and has been living on no income.

We advised her not to worry- because she is unemployed and has no income, no Court is going to make her pay spousal support, so that needn’t concern her until she gets a job. Even then, if he’s employed, chances are he would be making more money than his ex-wife, and he would be paying her spousal support. Nonetheless, she probably would not get more than two years of support from the date the couple separated – they had a short marriage. Unless she knows he’s working and getting a paycheck he can garnish, her first order of business should be to find work for herself.

For more information on domestic violence and spousal support, please visit our website: http://stanprowse.com/spousal-support-california

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Child Custody Military Style: a different kind of battle

military child custodyAn active-duty military serviceman recently approached us with an inquiry regarding his wish to gain custody of his two sons, as the other siblings are over 18 years old and living independently. He and his wife had divorced in early 2013; at the time, both parents agreed it was in the children’s best interest to live with their mother. Since that time, he was stationed across the country in Virginia. On a visit back to California to see his newborn grandchild, it came to our potential client’s attention that his sons were living under unstable conditions. His ex-wife had been evicted, and since had taken the two younger children to live with a friend. Her driver’s license was suspended, her vehicle registration expired, and her car uninsured. These realities were very concerning to this man, hence why he came looking for a “quick resolution” to gain custody of the two boys.

The first thing this man needs to accept is that a quick resolution is highly unlikely. California has jurisdiction over the two children, and they won’t be able to move with him to Virginia without a successful motion in the San Diego Family Court for sole physical custody. The man’s ex-wife will presumably put up a fight, with or without the help of an attorney. He must also take into consideration what his sons want, as judges are supposed to listen to the feelings of children regarding child custody if they’re over the age of 14. This man needs to look at this situation holistically and see that the process for gaining custody after almost three years will be an uphill battle. Of course, nothing is impossible, and a military man equipped with perseverance most likely has the skill set to see this type of battle through. We wish him good luck!

For more information on military child custody, please visit our website at http://stanprowse.com/modifying-child-support-marine-or-sailor

Divorcing a spouse with Narcissistic Personality Disorder

FamilyFightOur client writes, After 30+ years of mental abuse, she finally feels safe enough to divorce her husband. She is the sole bread winner and he is convinced she is hiding money from him. His attorney claims he is unable to work and appears to be on a fishing expedition, looking for money that isn’t there. She is looking for a lawyer who can handle NPD and fair spousal support negotiations.

Our Answer:

By fishing expeditions, I trust you mean they are bludgeoning you with document production demands, interrogatories, and subpoenas. Many attorneys are famous for this. One way to deal with it may be to overwhelm them with a mountain of paper. The usual way to begin overcoming the ‘unable to work’ routine is to start with a motion (RFO) for an order that he go through a vocational assessment. You have to prove that he has the ability and opportunity to work. As to NPD, “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” you see a lot of it in Family Court. We have extensive experience with this and are able to help.

For more information on Divorce and Narcissism please visit, Please visit our website: http://stanprowse.com/child-custody-and-child-visitation