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AttyCBradford
AttyCBradford, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 617
Experience:  Criminal Defense and Family Law Attorney serving California Statewide
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Resolved Question:

Hello. My husband has been to a divorce lawyer who labels himself as a mediation attorney. As I understand it, a mediation lawyer represents BOTH parties interests in the divorce process. Am I wrong in this? I saw the client/attorney agreement form but the client is my husband, and not both of us. So I am confused. If my husband is this attorney's client, I find it hard to believe that the mediation process, if conducted through this attorney he has found, would be impartial and unbiased. We have a complicated pre-nup, my husband is abusive and narcissistic and knowing him, he will pay for expensive counsel just so he wont have to pay me a dime. I on the other hand, have no money of my own because I was financially dependent on him and can not afford an attorney. So I am a bit dubious using this "mediation attorney". I feel he wont be fair on my part. Could you please explain this process or maybe shed some light on this situation. Any advice would be appreciated. In terms of setting a date of separation, would this be the date I moved my stuff out the house and left or the date (which was earlier, that he asked for a separation)?


 


I also wanted to know if the courts are at all sympathetic to the abused partner in domestic abuse divorces (mental/emotional and few incidents of physical abuse) or if they do not take this into account when reviewing the case?  I have been made dependent on him and he did not want me to work, so I lost my career and have no money of my own. The prenup excluded me from everything before and during the marriage. There are no kids.  Would I be able to get an increased alimony award for pain and suffering from the abuse?


 


My fourth question is about determining amount of alimony he will need to pay. He asked me how much alimony I was expecting, but I dont know what would be a fair figure so I need to know how they would calculate it, using what factors?


 


Sorry for so many questions...

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AttyCBradford replied 1 year ago.

AttyCBradford :

Hello!

AttyCBradford :

I am a CA attorney and in CA we DO NOT represent both parties to a lawsuit and I would be weary of any attorney who is purporting to do so. If you want to hire a "mediator" I would recommend hiring a mediator and not an attorney. If the client agreement is between your husband and this attorney then that attorney probably does not and could not possibly have your best interest at heart.

AttyCBradford :

The only time a situation like this would be feasible would be if the two parties are completely in agreement about the divorce

AttyCBradford :

If I have answered all your questions then please press accept so I can get credit for my work and leave positive feedback. If not, and you have additional questions pelase do not hesitate to ask and I will respodn promptly

Customer:

thank you for your answer. I had three other questions on the same page. Did you see them? :(

AttyCBradford :

no i didn't :( could you repost them and I will be glad to answer

Customer:

sure

AttyCBradford :

Here is one: In terms of setting a date of separation, would this be the date I moved my stuff out the house and left or the date (which was earlier, that he asked for a separation)? THE DATE OF SEPARATION IS THE DATE THAT THE ONE OF YOU ESTABLISHED AND COMMUNICATED THAT THEY NO LONGER WANTED TO BE IN THE MARRIAGE, SO yes it could be the date you moved your stuff out or it could be the date he asked for it.

Customer:

I also wanted to know if the courts are at all sympathetic to the abused partner in domestic abuse divorces (mental/emotional and few incidents of physical abuse) or if they do not take this into account when reviewing the case? I have been made dependent on him and he did not want me to work, so I lost my career and have no money of my own. The prenup excluded me from everything before and during the marriage. There are no kids. Would I be able to get an increased alimony award for pain and suffering from the abuse?


 


My fourth question is about determining amount of alimony he will need to pay. He asked me how much alimony I was expecting, but I dont know what would be a fair figure so I need to know how they would calculate it, using what factors?


 


Sorry for so many questions...

AttyCBradford :

As for being sympathetic that could all depend on the judge that you end up with. And some are and some aren't. Generally this is not taken into consideration as CA is a no fault state meaning it doesn't matter why someone wants the divorce just that it is done with a hearing and fairly.

AttyCBradford :

As for getting increased alimony for pain and suffering probably not alimony is calculated off of incomes and put into a program and a number comes out

AttyCBradford :

gross income

AttyCBradford :

Generally alimony falls around 20% of the paying party's income

Customer:

He initially wanted the divorce so I moved out, but since I moved out he has been ambivalent and "isnt sure"...so its hard to dtermine if we are really separated or not

AttyCBradford :

There could be an argument either way but really all the date of separation determines is the length of the marriage for spousal support purposes and then property issues

Customer:

My husband is a business owner and has never disclosed his income to me, nor shown me his bank accounts so I can only hazard a guess. I know he will try and hide his income somewhere (not sure where tho) and likely be dishonest on his papers about his income so what can I do about that? Will the courts do discovery into this before awarding alimony or just base it off what his papers say?

AttyCBradford :

oh yes. He will have to file what is called an income and expense declaration. Do not just simply agree to a number that you are not comfortable with. You should consider hiring an attorney and seeing if you can get your attorney's fees paid for by your soon to be ex hubsand

Customer:

Will I get a chance to look at his income/expense declaration?

AttyCBradford :

Yes he will have to provide you with a copy

Customer:

How soon after he files the papers would I be able to get any alimony or would I have to wait until the divorce is finalized?

AttyCBradford :

you would need to file a request for order for spousal support, its a form FL-300 and ask the judge for it, most likely about 30-60 days

Customer:

So if I ask for it upfront, will that decrease my chances of getting a fair alimony payout?

Customer:

Also, while we are in this limb state where hes got the papers but still isnt sure, is there any way I can get any monetary support if no papers have yet been filed?

AttyCBradford :

no alimony is generally paid in monthly installments if you want a lump sum then that would be an offset to the community property generally speaking. I don't know the specifics of your case and can only provide general information

Customer:

Also, while we are in this limb state where hes got the papers but still isnt sure, is there any way I can get any monetary support if no papers have yet been filed?

AttyCBradford :

Generally no, unless he is willing to give it to you

Customer:

I see. OK. Thank you so very much for your answers. I may be back with more soon!

AttyCBradford :

you are welcome please press accept and provide positive feedback so I can get credit for this conversation and help another customer thank you best of luck

AttyCBradford :

in the future you can always request me for another question

AttyCBradford :

thank you

AttyCBradford, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 617
Experience: Criminal Defense and Family Law Attorney serving California Statewide
AttyCBradford and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, one follow on question: I have not been working for the entire marriage. YYou mentioned above that spousal support is determined by income. My income during the marriage was thus zero, but since I am going to have to find work soon to support myself, if I get a job, will they in any way take that into account when the judge determines alimony amount?

Expert:  AttyCBradford replied 1 year ago.
They will temporarily set spousal support based off of your zero income but you will be given what is known as a Gavron Warning, meaning that you need to use your best efforts to find employment. Then yes, once you have an income your husband could ask for it to be modified.
AttyCBradford, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 617
Experience: Criminal Defense and Family Law Attorney serving California Statewide
AttyCBradford and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

PS . We were only married 2 years, so I could only expect at the most a year's worth of alimony , so would this law still apply and can he decrease it in this case, if temporary spousal support is what I will be getting?

Expert:  AttyCBradford replied 1 year ago.
Yes you would only be entitled to a year .... but there may be an argument for longer but not likely a successful one.
AttyCBradford, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 617
Experience: Criminal Defense and Family Law Attorney serving California Statewide
AttyCBradford and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. My husband's atty in LA said he "mailed in" the petition for divorce to the OC court. That was 3 days ago and it is still not showing in the court system, according to the law firm I am working with. If I go ahead and file before his petition is put into the system, would they still keep HIS petition that he sent in but got delayed somewhere as evidence such as the FL150 sheet he sent in?


What I am trying to establish is, if my petition gets admitted first and I serve him first, would his FL150 that HE sent in as the petitioner still stand as an official submission? What I am afraid of is that if I file and serve first, he will intentionally change his FL150 and send in an amended one...(to my detriment) Thank you

Expert:  AttyCBradford replied 1 year ago.
If they go with YOUR case, then no his FL150 that he filed will not be held by the court. However, if you hav a copy you could submit it as evidence he is SUDDENLY changes his income
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. The only way I know this information is because i still have access to his email on his old ipad. I dont think a printout from an ipad could be entered into evidence, can it? Especially since he had not signed it at that point, and subsequently printed and signed it.


Maybe then it would be better for me to lay low and wait to become the respondent.

Expert:  AttyCBradford replied 1 year ago.
No most likely not, it would be hearsay.
AttyCBradford, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 617
Experience: Criminal Defense and Family Law Attorney serving California Statewide
AttyCBradford and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

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