Archives for December 2012

Single for the Holidays

Divorcing before the new year is tough, especially when you are surrounded with family and friends who are already coupled off.  Take for example the marriage between New Girl star Zooey Deschanel and Death Cab for Cutie singer Ben Gibbard.  They recently finalized their divorce on December 12, 2012.  This couple has been separated since Halloween 2011 and filed for divorce last year on December 27.  Even though the divorce was both mutual and amicable, it must be hard to be single during the holidays when you’ve been in a partnership for years.  However, don’t let that discourage your ability to explore during the new year.  A new year calls for a celebration.  Here are some great tips to help reidentify yourself as a single person. [Read more…]

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Dennis Rodman- Contempt of Court in Child Support Hearings

In the past week, Dennis Rodman found himself held in contempt of court.  Consequently, he has  been ordered to pay $500,000 in back child support to his ex-wife, Michelle Rodman.  In addition, Dennis also has a debt of $850,000 to Michelle.  The accumulating amount of money owed has driven Dennis into informal probation by the Orange County Superior Court.  If his streak continues, he could find himself sentenced to jail if he refuses to pay.  However, Dennis’ attorney argues that the amount owed to Michelle is wrong and has settled on $500,000 outside of court.  The lack of communication between both parties led Dennis to inadvertently pay less than he owed.  He was not present during a previous hearing that ordered him to pay additional child support and was not properly served with a new order.  Because of this, Dennis’ attorney is fighting to have his $500,000 payment cleared.

Being in contempt of court means that a person has disobeyed and disrespected the court’s authority.  Once a person is held in contempt, the judge has the power to impose sanctions for acts that have been disruptive to the court’s regular process.  The judge can sentence the person of contempt to jail or issue a fine.  To be a person found in contempt of court, the prosecutor must prove that there is contempt in the existence of a lawful order, the potential contemnor’s knowledge of the order, the potential contemnor’s ability to comply, and the potential contemnor’s failure to comply.  There are two  types of contempt in the United States: direct or indirect and civil or criminal.  Direct contempt occurs in the presence of the judge and the judge will notify that a party is acting in contempt of court.  The offending party is given an opportunity to respond and then the judge can make the decision of whether or not to impose a sanction immediately.  Indirect contempt does not happen in the presence of the court but does disobey the court’s prior order.  In this case, the offending party will not have the opportunity for a rebuttal.  A civil contempt of court isn’t considered a criminal offense, although some cases have been identified as one.  In that case, sanctions for contempt may be criminal or civil.  A criminal sanction must be proven to be one then a punishment can be imposed unconditionally.  For civil sanctions, a party’s compliance with the court’s order will lift the sanction for good.

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Kardashian-Style Rumors for the Jenner Parents

According to sources from the National Enquirer, the famed Jenner couple of the hit reality series “Keeping up with the Kardashians” is fighting an uphill battle to keep their marriage alive. More specifically, Bruce Jenner has been fighting to keep his marriage alive with a lot of patience.  It isn’t until recently that Bruce decided that he has had enough of Kris’ desire to spend her time treating him like a “doormat” and flirting with younger men.  It is rumored that Bruce has already consulted with a friend who works as a sports entertainment lawyer, whom has made an effort to value all the assets of the Kardashian-Jenner empire if Bruce decides to go forward with a divorce.  Although the Jenner couple is only rumored to be heading toward divorce, it is a good precaution to seek a divorce lawyer and set up a consultation.

When you are seeking a divorce lawyer, there are certain things you have to consider.  First off, how much experience does your lawyer have? Experience is a great factor in understanding and expecting the judge’s decisions in your jurisdiction.  If the lawyer you have chosen has been in the field for a long time with great feedback from previous clients, it is a good indication that you have chosen a good lawyer.  However, having exceptional credentials does not necessarily make your lawyer a good lawyer for you.  You have to be able to comfortably communicate with your attorney.  There has to be a sense of trust and confidence in him/her. Divorce is a strict process as much as it is an emotional one. You are entrusting your lawyer with legal advice that can change your life in regards to alimony, custody, and property distribution. There are confidential financial circumstances you have to discuss including shared assets, income, tax returns, financial statements, and standard of living, just to name a few. You need to be able to have enough trust in your lawyer to offer you the best legal advice based on your situation. Your attorney should be able to present a strategy to your case where mediation or arbitration can resolve your case.

There are more factors about your divorce and your divorce lawyer that people do not normally think about.  Make sure that if you are considering a divorce, make an appointment for a consultation with a lawyer!

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Kimora Lee Simmons, Djimon Hounsou: Who Gets Child Custody?

It is hard enough to go through a child custody case with a divorcing couple, but how do you do it with an unmarried couple? We see it all the time with couples in Los Angeles and Orange County, and each couple approaches the situation differently.

Kimora Lee Simmons, Djimon Hounsou at the Inception premiere in July 2011

Kimora Lee Simmons, current president and Creative Director for JustFab, and actor Djimon Hounsou have been together for more than 5 years and have a three-year-old son, Kenzo Lee Housou. While Simmons stated they were “kind of” engaged, the law has no proof of their marriage. Even if they “have remained happy, loving, co-parenting friends and family” (Simmons), who is the legal guardian of their child?  According to the law, the unmarried mother is to be the primary or natural right to custody of a child born out of marriage. She will have the legal right to custody, care, and control over the child and her rights are superior to those of the father or any other person. The only way the father is to have custody of the child is if there is proof of the mother being unfit to take care of the child or if she abandoned the child completely. It seems as though the mother has all the custody rights in this situation, but unmarried fathers can also take action to have custody of their children as well. Most states will recognize the legal father of the child if his name is on the child’s birth certificate, thus, having an equal hand in a custody battle in court. However, an unmarried father cannot win primary physical custody over a mother, assuming she is a fit parent, but can establish some custody or have visitation rights. Child custody is mainly based on the best interests of the child and the custody consideration can prevail over the rights of either parent.

It’s tough raising a child in the Hollywood/Los Angeles lifestyle, and it’s even harder without a partner to help. We hope the couple can figure out the best arrangement for Kenzo and each other.

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