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In a Dissolution of Marriage in the State of California, all  community property must be equally divided, absent an agreement to the  contrary.  Therefore, a fundamental determination must be made as to the  character of all property.   It is presumed that if an asset is  acquired during the marriage that it is community property.   The burden  of proving that an asset is separate property is on the party claiming  the separate property interest.

Was the property owned by a property prior to marriage and therefore  ones separate property?  Was an asset gifted to a party thereby  distinguishing the property as one’s separate property?   Determining  the characterization of property is not always a straight forward issue.   Often assets are commingled and require the individual claiming the  separate property characterization of the asset to provide a tracing of  the separate property.

In order to divide a community property assets equally, the value of  an asset must be determined.  Often this involves obtaining  documentation through discovery, an appraisal or business valuation.  

The Family Law attorneys at Greenman, Lacy, Klein, Hinds, Weiser can  assist you with ensuring an equitable property division.  Contact us at  (760) 722-1234 for assistance.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a serious and all too frequent problem.  If you are reading this but afraid or unable to contact us, please know that there is a Domestic Violence Self-Help Clinic at the Courthouse to help you.  Call 911 if you are in immediate physical danger.  There are many resources to help you, including the Women's Resource Center.

Domestic Violence takes on many forms as discussed in Family Code Section 6345.  It is not limited to physical contact.  Breaking things, blocking a door, putting a foot behind a tire, threats, harassment, incessant texting, and other behaviors meant to intimidate, scare, or control can be prohibited by the court.

Unfortunately, sometimes people try to use allegations of domestic violence to attempt to influence custody or remove the other parent from the home.  We are experienced in dealing with that too.

Child Custody


Child custody and visitation issues are often the most emotional and  important issues involved in the breakdown of a relationship.  The  decisions made relating to children impact all parties for years to  come.  When making an initial determination of custody and visitation,  the court uses a best interest standard.   Parties are required to  participate in mediation through the court sponsored Family Court  Services.  If the parties are unable to reach an agreement through the  mediation process, the mediator will make a recommendation to the court.

The court will make both legal custody orders and physical custody  orders.  A party with legal custody has the ability to make decisions  relating to a child’s health, safety, education, and welfare.   Often,  parents share joint legal custody.  Physical custody orders relate to  the day to day child sharing arrangements.  The court promotes frequent  and continuous contact with both parents provided such contact is in the  best interest of the minor children.  


Child Custody and Visitation orders previously made can be modified  if a modification is in the best interest of the minor children and in  some cases if there has been a change in circumstances since the prior  order. 

A common custody issue that arises are “move away” requests by one  parent.  If one parent is requesting an order allowing them to relocate  with the minor children, the court must determine whether it is in the  best interest of the child to relocate with the moving parent or remain  with the non moving parent.  In determining whether the best interest of  the child in relation to a move away request the court will consider  numerous factors included but not limited to:

1) the children’s interest in stability and continuity in the custodial arrangement; 

2) the distance of the move; 

3) the age of the children; 

4) the children’s relationship with both parents; 

5) the relationship between the parents including, but not limited  to, their ability to communicate and cooperate effectively and their  willingness to put the interests of the children above their individual  interests; 

6) the wishes of the children if they are mature enough for such an inquiry to be appropriate; 

7) the reasons for the proposed move; and


8) the extent to which the parents currently are sharing custody.

The Family Law attorneys at Greenman, Lacy, Klein, Hinds, Weiser will  provide you guidance to help navigate the complex world of custody and  visitation when dealing with your most valuable asset . . . . your  children.

Spousal Support


The goal of spousal support is to reduce the economic divide and  impact of divorcing spouses.  Spousal support is within the discretion  of the court.   It is the goal that the supported party become self  supporting within a “reasonable period of time.”  In marriages that are  less than 10 years in duration, a “reasonable period of time” is  generally defined to be ½ of the length of the marriage.  In marriages  in excess of 10 years in duration there is not a specific guideline to  define a “reasonable period of time.”   The facts of each case will  dictate the duration of spousal support.  

In all cases, absent an  agreement, spousal support terminates upon the death of either party or  the remarriage of the supported spouse.

Unlike, child support, there is not a formula that is used to  calculate spousal support.   In determining spousal support, the court  must consider a variety of factors outlined in Family Code Section 4320  which include but are not limited to:

(1) the earning capacity of each party;

(2) The extent to which the supported party contributed to the  attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by  the supporting party;

(3) The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support; 

(4) The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage;

(5) The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party;

(6) The duration of the marriage;

(7) The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment;

(8) The age and health of the parties;

(9) Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence;

(10) Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.

Previously issued spousal support orders are potentially subject to  modification based upon a showing of a change of circumstances.

The Family Law attorneys at Greenman, Lacy, Klein, Hinds, Weiser can  provide you assistance and advice relating to your spousal support  issue.

Child Support


In California, both parents have a legal duty to provide financial  support for their children.  The Court may order either or both parents  to make regular payments to cover a child’s living and medical expenses.

The amount of child support is determined by a number of factors,  including the incomes of each parent, the amount of time each parent  spends with the child, and some qualifying expenses of the parents and  child.  As may be expected, each of these factors has nuances and  challenges in determination.  The Family Law Lawyers at Greenman, Lacy,  Klein, Hinds, Weiser can help ensure that the property amount of child  support is determined based on your circumstances.   


Mediation is a process whereby the parties to a divorce meet with a  neutral certified family law specialist in an attempt to resolve their  disputes.  These disputes may include child custody, child support,  spousal support and division of property and debts.

Sometimes this involves a few meetings and sometimes many, depending  on the complexity of the issues.  The process is confidential,  voluntary, and the information protected from use in contested  litigation in Court.  

In mediation the parties have the power to participate in decisions  which will affect their lives and the lives of their children.  They are  not leaving those decisions to a Judge who may or may not be familiar  with them or their issues.  For many mediation can save time, money and  the stress involved in a traditional divorce. benefits.

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