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Bitcoin and Divorce- Cryptocurrency Is the New Frontier For Divorce Cases, And Some Lawyers Are “Crypto Ignorant”

Posted by Marcus Morales in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Bitcoin, Etherum, Ripple and other cryptocurrency have taken over the media. In short cryptocurrency are digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography and/or blockchain technology for security. People can use these cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services or as an investment. They typically can be traded for an amount in US dollars. When looking over bank statements and financial records the past couple of years in California divorce cases, we have noticed a couple of key words popping up in regards to cryptocurrency which signals red flags. One term is "coinbase." Coinbase is a digital exchange and wallet where cryptocurrency can be stored, purchased, sold and received. Think of coinbase like an online bank for cryptocurrencies. If coinbase pops up in any financial records, you will want to request and subpoena all records from the other parties' coinbase account. The other party may be storing and failing to disclose cryptocurrency in his or her coinbase account to avoid giving you your fair share upon divorce. Why is this important? Bitcoin alone as of December 29, 2017, is worth over $14,500 per bitcoin. Thus, the other party may be hiding tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars from you. Also, keep in mind that parties can receive money for work provided, or goods sold, in the form of cryptocurrency. Instead of receiving a check for a job the other provides, they may receive a bitcoin payment that will not be traced back to their bank account. Finding this cryptocurrency can show the actual amount a spouse is earning, leading to a difference in the amount of child or spousal support. Most attorneys will not request any documents related to cryptocurrencies. Thus, it is important to discuss with your counsel your potential concerns with regards to cryptocurrencies and your divorce case, as it may lead to a significant difference in your financial settlement or support payments. If you have a question in regard to Cryptocurrency or divorce case, feel free to contact our office at (805) 845-5405.

Expert Depositions- you can request documents from expert 3 business days before the deposition- CCP 2034.415

Posted by Marcus Morales in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If an expert deposition notice calls for the production of documents or materials (including ESI), the deponent must produce them no later than three business days before the scheduled deposition. If you would like to review your case with a Santa Barbara divorce lawyer, call Morales Law. Divorce is tough, get a tough lawyer. (805) 845-5405.

Spousal Support- My Spouse Makes Good Money, Do I Have To Pay Her Spousal Support?

Posted by Marcus Morales in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If your spouse is earning good money, the questions will be is your spouse self-supporting, meaning they earn enough money to maintain the standard of living acquired during the marriage. If your spouse can, then your spouse would not be entitled to receive spousal support from you. An award of support to a spouse who already is self-supporting is an abuse of discretion as such an award cuts against the grain of Family Code § 4320(l). Marriage of Ficke (2013) 217 CA4th 10, 24, 157 CR3d. If you have Santa Barbara spousal support questions, or are going through a divorce in Santa Barbara, call Santa Barbara divorce lawyer Marcus Morales for a consultation (805) 845-5405. Divorce is tough, get a tough lawyer.

Spousal Support- What if My Spouse Spends Too Much Money?

Posted by Marcus Morales in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ordinarily, to the extent martial expenses reflect marital lifestyle, the focus should be on actual expenditures during the marriage- NOT ON THE APPLICANT SPOUSE’S “ESTIMATED” EXPENSES BASED ON THE “WISHES AND DESIRES” FOR A PARTICULAR LIFESTYLE. Marriage of Hoffmeister (1987) 191 CA3d 351, 362-363, 236 CR543, 549-550; Marriage of Smith (1990) 225 CA3d 469, 487-488, 274 CR 911, 921. However, the “actual” martial standard of living (“actual martial expenditures) takes on REDUCED SIGNIFICANCE where the evidence shows that standard was UNREASONABLE IN LIGHT OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES DURING THE MARRIAGE. Here, the point of reference should be based on what would have been a REASONABLE standard of living prior to separation. Marriage of Smith, supra, 225 CA3d at 485-486; Marriage of Simpson (1992) 4 C4th 225, 235. Support BELOW the actual martial standard of living is warranted where the parties lived BEYOND THEIR MEANS during the marriage. If the evidence shows, e.g., the supporting spouse worked excessive hours during the marriage, or borrowed heavily to support a higher-than-income lifestyle, the support award should reflect what would have been a REASONABLE martial standard of living based on the parties’ average income (rather than actual expenditures). Marriage of Smith, supra, 225 CA3d at 485-486; Marriage of Weinstein (1991) 4 CA4th 555, 565-566. Average income is the measure of martial standard of living is particularly appropriate where, as here, there was evidence the parties lived beyond their means. Marriage of Ackerman (2006) 146 CA4th 191. If you are going divorce in Santa Barbara, or have spousal support questions in Santa Barbara, call Santa Barbara Divorce Lawyer Marcus Morales today at (805) 845-5405. Divorce is tough, get a tough lawyer.

Spousal Support Factor- Saving Money During The Marriage

Posted by Marcus Morales in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When determining the amount of spousal support (alimony), one spouse will receive, the court will attempt to determine what the martial standard of living was during the marriage. The parties’ history of saving money during marriage should be considered as an element of their martial standard of living. Marriage of Drapeau (2001) 93 CA4th 1086, 1097-1098, 114 CR2d 6, 14-15; Marriage of Witgrove (2004) 120 CA4th 1317, 1329, 16CR3d 489, 498. Thus, if the parties' saved lots of money during the marriage, this could lead to a larger spousal support figure. If the parties' did not save fund during the marriage, it could lead to a decreased spousal support figure. If you have spousal support questions in Santa Barbara, call Santa Barbara divorce lawyer Marcus Morales today at (805) 845-5405. Divorce is tough, get a tough lawyer.

Tax Dependency Exemption in California Divorce

Posted by Marcus Morales in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Who gets to the claim the tax dependency exemption in California during a divorce case? The parent with whom the child resided with for the longest period of time during the taxable year gets the exemption. See IRC § 152(c)(4)(B)(i); Bjelland v. Commr., TC Memo. 2009-297, aff'd Knochelmann v. Commr. (6th Cir. 2011). If both parties spend an equal amount of time with the child, IRC §152(c)(4)(B)(ii) provides the party with the higher AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) is entitled to the dependency exemption. If you are going through a divorce in the Santa Barbara area, call Morales Law for a free consultation. (805) 845-5405.

Are Term Insurance Proceeds Community Property or Separate Property

Posted by Marcus Morales in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Generally, characterization of a term insurance policy (i.e. life insurance, homeowners insurance, etc.) depends on the source of funding of the premium for the final term of the policy (Marriage of Burwell, 221 Cath at 17, 164 CR3d at 712; Minnesota Mut. Life Ins. Co v. Ensley (9th Cir 1999) 174 F3d 977, 983 (applying California Law)). When the final premium is paid solely with community property, the proceeds of the policy are community property (Logan, 191 Cal. App. 3d at p. 321). Conversely, when the separate estate pays for the final premium with no help from the community, the proceeds are a separate asset. For example, this issue may arise when a party purchases a house before marriage (separate property) and then the separate property house burns down in a fire during the marriage. If the homeowners insurance policy was paid with community earnings, during marriage, the homeowners insurance policy proceeds should be deemed community property. This is not legal advice and you should always consult a lawyer. Call Morales Law at (805) 845-5405 for a free consultation with a featured Santa Barbara Divorce Lawyer.

Reasonable Self Defense Is Not Abuse When Requesting Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Posted by Marcus Morales in Uncategorized | 0 comments

IRMO Valerie and Louis G, the court affirmed that within the meaning of family code section 6203 (domestic violence statute), a person who responds reasonably to an aggressor does not commit abuse. In re the Marriage of Valerie and Louis G. (Cal. App., May 16, 2017, D558422) If you have been involved in a domestic dispute, call Morales Law today for a free consultation (805) 845-5405.

In Re Marriage of Olson Changes Procedure For Seeking Modification of Child Custody and Child Support After Default

Posted by Marcus Morales in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Second District Court of Appeal recently held that a mother seeking a modification of child custody and child support, after she defaulted and did not file a response to the divorce action and judgment was entered against her, had standing to seek the modification. This is in contrast to prior cases which ruled the default precluded standing to the defaulted party. Under Olson, a party who has defaulted may file a request for order to modify child custody and/or child support. See In re Marriage of Olson, 238 Cal. App. 4th 1458 (2015). Call Morales Law today for a free consultation into your family law case (805) 845-5405.

Interest On Family Law Judgments

Posted by Marcus Morales in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If your family law judgment does not have an interest on late payment clause, can you collect interest? "Part of a judgment of dissolution which awards money in lieu of an in-kind division of non-monetary community property is a money judgment on which interest accrues from the date of its entry." IRMO Pollard (1988) 204 Cal.App.3d 1380, 1382. In short, if you have an equalizing payment as part of your divorce judgment, you may collect interest from the date of the Notice of Entry of Judgment. Interest accrues a the rate of 10 percent per year (CCP § 685.010(a)). Interest commences to accrue on a money judgment on the date of entry of the judgment (CCP § 685.020(a)). If a money judgment is partially satisfied, interest ceases as to the part satisfied on the date the part is satisfied (CCP §685.020(c)). The date a money judgment is satisfied in full or in part is the earliest of the following times: (1) the date satisfaction is actually received by the judgment creditor. (CCP §685).020(d)(1)). If you are waiting for a delayed payment, or received a delayed payment in a family law case, you may be entitled to interest. Call Morales Law today for a free consultation. (805) 845-5405.

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