Articles Posted in Discovery

In San Diego, California, absent a marital agreement stating otherwise, income earned during a marriage is considered marital property. As such, if a couple decides to divorce, it is crucial to determine the date of their separation, as any earnings accrued after that are considered separate. In a recent California divorce action, the Court discussed the factors evaluated in determining when the separation occurred. If you or your spouse wish to end your marriage, it is wise to confer with a San Diego family law attorney to discuss how the decision could impact you financially.

History of the Case

Allegedly, the parties married in 2007. The husband filed a divorce petition in June 2017. The parties disputed when they separated: the wife argued that separation occurred four months after they married, while the husband contended they did not separate until he filed for divorce. The case proceeded to a bench trial, after which the Trial Court adopted the husband’s reasoning. The wife appealed, arguing that the Trial Court failed to assess her conduct and intentions with regard to the marriage in consideration of the threats of deportation and domestic violence she received from the husband.

Determining When Separation Occurred in California Divorce Actions

On appeal, the Court declined to adopt the wife’s reasoning and affirmed the Trial Court’s judgment. The Court explained that the determination of the date of separation is an issue of fact, and it is established based on a preponderance of the evidence. When reviewing a Trial Court’s decision, the Court considers whether there is substantial evidence to support it, taking into account all reasonable and legitimate inferences. Continue reading

During a typical divorce case, the parties are often required to provide testimony and other evidence through some form of discovery. Discovery enables the parties to obtain information about their separate and community assets and debts, among other vital information. As with most aspects of a divorce proceeding, California law governs the parties’ participation in discovery. Because evidence in a family law matter can play such an integral role in the outcome of the proceedings, it is important to understand how the discovery process works in California, and how it applies to your case. For help sorting through the intricacies of your divorce, you are encouraged to contact an experienced family lawyer from the local San Diego area.

A recent California court case illustrates how the use of discovery in a divorce proceeding can become quite tedious. Here, the parties were married for 13 years, were partners in a dental practice, and had no children. In 2013, husband filed for divorce. The couple amicably agreed that husband would buy out all of wife’s shares in the practice for $400,000. From this point forward, the proceedings took a negative turn. Husband’s counsel sought to engage in discovery with wife via her counsel, by sending interrogatories (questions) and a demand for the production of documents.

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