An American billionaire’s ex-wife is claiming approximately $1 million a month as alimony, alleging that she needs the 9-digit sum to support their 3 young children, all under 10 years old. The couple was married for more than 10 years.

The $1 million monthly alimony covers costs for luxuries including a private jet, vacation accommodation, office space and professional staff, groceries and dinners, as well as stationery.

In the United States, the alimony awarded depends on the applicable state law, which often provides criteria for its determination.

California Alimony Law

Alimony is a legal term that refers to spousal support after the termination of a marriage or a divorce. In the state of California, the goal of alimony is to provide the claimant-spouse with an amount sufficient to support himself/herself within a reasonable period. The amount of alimony is determined by several factors, such as the earning capacity of each spouse and the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.

Ideally, divorcing couples are able to negotiate among themselves the terms of alimony and related matters in an agreement out of court. When the parties fail to agree, the judge presiding over the divorce case will decide for them and consider factors such as:

  • The marketable skills of the spouse claiming support
  • Market demand for those skills
  • Costs of completing education or training to develop more marketable skills or a job
  • Length or duration of the marriage

Alimony or spousal support can be a difficult legal issue. There are two types of alimony that you can apply for — temporary and permanent alimony. Alimony that is provided while divorce proceedings are pending is called temporary alimony while the court order for regular and long term payments after divorce is referred to as permanent alimony.

A family law attorney can help you:

  • Understand alimony, the factors affecting it and how long it will last
  • Assist in calculating alimony
  • Prepare appropriate court forms for claiming alimony

If you are contemplating divorce or terminating your marriage, it’s important to obtain advice from an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and enforceable in court.

In Carlsbad, California, the lawyers at Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP have years of experience in obtaining spousal support for clients. We also handle other family law issues such as child custody, divorce, child support, paternity issues, prenuptial agreements, domestic violence, and estate planning.

Call us today at (760) 722-7669 to speak to an attorney about your situation we offer a free initial consultation.

When a marriage breaks down, a couple can choose to have a separation or to seek a divorce. Divorces come in two types: contested or uncontested.

Uncontested divorces are often known as “no fault” divorces where the filing party claims irreconcilable differences. As well, there is usually an agreement between the two spouses/partners about what is being asked for from both sides.

Contested divorces are ones in which there is a disagreement about the divorce situation, such as for what the partner or spouse is asking in the divorce.

Many divorces that we hear about in the media are considered to be uncontested. Paula Hatton recently filed for divorce from singer Robin Thicke, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’. Another famous couple, Kris Jenner (also known as Kris Kardashian) and Bruce Jenner decided to officially end their marriage after nearly a year of being separated. The two reportedly agreed on everything and filed for divorce together – a true uncontested divorce situation.

Important Things to Know

Even though an uncontested divorce means that both spouses/partners agree on what is happening during the divorce, they still must go to family court under California law. The court must officially end the couple’s marriage. If it does not, the spouses/partners may be responsible for each other financially – such as paying off credit cards or loans. Furthermore, neither spouse/partner can remarry until their marriage is officially ended.

Consult a Family Law Attorney

Even if you will be obtaining an uncontested divorce, it is still important to consult with a family law attorney experienced in handling divorces. An uncontested divorce still requires the spouses/partners to agree on certain things, come up with an agreement and divide up marital assets. A divorce attorney can make this process much easier and less complicated.

Additionally, an uncontested divorce can become contested if something happens that one of the spouses/partners does not like. Having a divorce attorney that knows your case from the start will be invaluable if you suddenly have to go to trial to obtain a divorce.

The attorneys at Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP have years of experience handling divorces. We value our clients, and we dedicate our time and resources to ensuring that each divorce goes as smoothly as possible. We are also skilled at family law litigation if it turns out the case must be litigated. For a consultation, we welcome your call to our office at (760) 722-7669.

Kelsey Grammer may have earned his fame playing the lead role on the 90s American sitcom, “Frasier” and racking up a cool $1.6 million per episode, but his now ex-wife earned her fame playing out their messy divorce on the show “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”.

As we watched the tears and struggles that both parties endured, one thing became apparent: this divorce would have gone a lot more smoothly for Kelsey and Camille if they had signed a prenuptial agreement before their 13 year marriage went awry.

Another famous couple that many suspect didn’t sign a prenup: Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Though not divorced, Ellen has allegedly said that prenuptial agreements are “unromantic”, leading many speculators to believe that her $63 million fortune would be on the line should they ever choose to end their marriage.

Why Prenuptial Agreements are More Important for Same Sex Couples

While Ellen’s supposed views on prenups are widely shared amongst couples, a prenuptial agreement can be the kindest and most nurturing action that a couple takes. With a strong prenuptial agreement in place, a huge financial burden is lifted from everyone’s shoulders and both parties are agreeing to a fair and expected separation outcome should their relationship come to an end.

Prenups are even more important for same sex couples for two key reasons:

  • Many same sex couples have already been living in a domestic partnership for some time, often already sharing substantial financial assets, home equities, etc.
  • Though the US Supreme Court supports same sex unions, individual states can’t be forced to acknowledge same-sex marriages that took place in other states.

This can make the division of assets even messier and more chaotic for those ending a same sex marriage. Add in the fact that it can be difficult to establish when the relationship began and thereby tally the value of the assets at stake – then a same sex divorce without a prenuptial agreement can leave one or both parties facing a bleak financial future.

We at Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP offer our clients the experience and professionalism of our established prenuptial agreement lawyers. With a reputation for drafting thorough, ironclad prenuptial agreements, our law office is a top choice for couples in the Carlsbad, California area. For more information on prenuptial agreements, please contact us online or give us a call at (760) 722-7669.

Closely intertwined in divorce cases are issues of spousal support. In the United States, where laws governing spousal support are not gender-sensitive, more men are now asking for alimony from their breadwinner ex-wives. Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Simpson are proof of the increasing trend of women paying spousal support.

If you are considering filing for divorce or annulment, it’s important to consult a family lawyer about your spousal support issues.

What is spousal support?

Also known as “alimony”, spousal support is the amount paid by one spouse to another when the marriage ends. There are two types of spousal support: temporary and permanent. A judge may order one party to pay temporary support while divorce proceedings are pending. Permanent spousal support refers to the regular and long-term payment aimed at providing the supported spouse with the means to maintain the same standard of living he or she previously enjoyed while married to one another, after the divorce.

Legal help for spousal support

Money is frequently a sensitive and hotly contested issue in divorce and separation proceedings. Ideally, former spouses are encouraged to enter into a support agreement voluntarily and out of court.

Without a voluntary agreement, a judge will make a decision after considering various factors such as:

  • Job skills of the supported spouse
  • Time and cost of obtaining appropriate education to hone those skills and to gain more job skills
  • Financial capacity of the paying spouse
  • Spouses’ respective debts and assets
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Age and health of each party

Duration of spousal support

The period to provide alimony generally depends on the agreement of the parties. Without a support agreement, the obligation to provide alimony will depend on the circumstances of the supported spouse. Thus, alimony may end when the supported spouse remarries or cohabits with another or when his or her income and resources improves making them self-sufficient.

In Carlsbad, California, the Fischer & VanThiel Law Firm has years of experience in complex family law issues, helping clients obtain the fair value of spousal support that they need. We also handle other family law cases such as divorce, legal separation, child custody and visitation, paternity test and property division. Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation at 760-722-7669.

News of a US court ordering a Hollywood actress to pay child support recently made headlines in the United States – changing perception that child support is the sole obligation of a child’s father.

Fighting for child custody and support is often thought to be a tough battle for fathers who feel that courts prefer to grant custody and support to mothers. However, as more mothers succeed in the workforce and earn higher incomes than fathers, it is possible to obtain court approval for a father’s rights of custody and child support.

Child custody

In awarding custody to one parent, the court takes into consideration several factors all contributing to the ‘best interests of the child.’

These factors include:

  • The age, gender, physical and mental health of the child
  • Parents’ physical and mental health
  • Parents’ ability to provide food, shelter, clothing, and medical care
  • Child’s living pattern
  • Quality of education in the child’s current situation
  • Preference of the child, if over 12.
  • Emotional bond between parent and child
  • Parent’s lifestyle and other social factors

With these in mind, it is certainly possible to obtain a successful outcome in fighting for a father’s rights to custody.

Child support

Child support is the amount that a non-custodial parent pays to a custodial parent for purposes of defraying the child’s expenses such as food, clothing, education and health care.

In California, the amount of child support is determined through a legal formula that considers various factors such as the amount of time that the child spends with each parent, the needs of the child and the income of each parent. A father who has sole child custody may also obtain child support from the child’s mother.

If you or your spouse is considering a divorce or separation, a Carlsbad family lawyer can help you sort your legal issues and help you in pursue father’s rights in court.

In Carlsbad, the law office of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP has more than 50 years of combined experience in family law cases, helping parents, regardless of gender, obtain child custody and support that promotes the child’s best interests.

We also handle other family law matters such as divorce, spousal support, California temporary restraining orders and adoption. Call us today at (760) 722-7669 for a free initial consultation.

Various studies on domestic violence in the United States indicate that incidence of domestic violence in teenage relationships is high. It is believed that it occurs in 1 in every 3 teen dating relationships, with 20 to 25% of teen females experiencing physical and sexual assault while dating someone.

In such situations it is important to seek legal help in obtaining temporary restraining orders against the perpetrators to help prevent further violence – and even save lives.

Teenager gets a restraining order against boyfriend

A teenager who previously made headlines by suing her own parents for support is once again in the news, this time, for obtaining a domestic violence restraining order against her boyfriend. Ironically, the defendant in the domestic violence suit is the same boyfriend that triggered a conflict between the teenager and her parents when she moved out and legally sought support from them.

A judge granted her application for restraining order based on the teenager’s allegations that her boyfriend choked her with his hands during a recent quarrel. Another hearing has been set where both parties are expected to appear, after which the court may decide whether to make the restraining order final.

In California, courts may issue domestic violence restraining orders against:

  • Spouse or a former spouse,
  • Person you are dating or used to date,
  • Person you are living with or used to live with
  • Other closely related persons such as a parent, child, brother, sister or in-laws

Depending on its contents, a restraining order can order another to:

  • Stay away from the protected person, including that person’s children, relatives and other members of the household
  • Stay away from the home and workplace of the protected person and their children’s schools.
  • Stay away from pets of the protected person
  • Move out of the house, if living together with the protected person
  • Not have possession of a gun
  • Release or return certain properties

In Carlsbad, California, the law firm of Fischer & Van Thiel, L.L.P. has over 50 years of combined family law experience, helping clients obtain temporary restraining orders when deemed necessary under the situation.

We also handle other family law cases such as divorce, child custody and visitation, child support and domestic violence. Call us today at (760) 722-7669 for a free initial consultation.