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Friday, May 29, 2015


A lot of people come to divorce mediation thinking that they want a 50/50 parenting plan. It sounds like a great idea – fair, even, and good for the children. And it is all these things. However, it is also hard to make it work unless both parents are both flexible and committed to the plan.
Under a 50/50 parenting plan, the children spend half of their time with each parent. That means that the parents will have to live near each other and near to the children’s schools. We often recommend that parents split the week – for example, one parent gets Monday and Tuesday, while the other gets Wednesday and Thursday; and then they have alternating weekends. This way the kids know which house they will be at each day; and neither parent goes too long without seeing their children. This consistency is good for children who generally thrive with routine. It is also good for the parents – they know which days they can work late or socialize after work.

To make the 50/50 parenting plan possible, the kids will need to have clothes and school supplies at each home. In addition, the parents will have to be flexible because the children’s school and after-school activities may require changes on short-notice. Also, the parents must have the kind of jobs that allow them to be home in the evenings for a set number of days. Changes to the parents’ jobs can quickly make the 50/50 plan difficult to do.

Information provided by-Randi M. Albert, JD & Michelle Weinberg, LMFT

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/


"Mommy and daddy are getting a divorce."

To children, those fateful words can mean a range of things, depending on their age. A baby or toddler won't understand them at all but may pick up on your somber tone and be confused or frightened by it; an older child may worry that she'll wind up like a friend at school who sees her dad only rarely, or that she'll have to move to a smaller house and share a bedroom with her little sister.

To continue viewing this article by Mary Garner Ganske please click below:

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

Thursday, May 28, 2015


You should not agree to enter into a premarital agreement until:

1. You have had an opportunity to read and fully understand its contents;

2. You have consulted with an attorney who specializes in Family Law to find out whether the premarital agreement is appropriate for you; and

3. You have had adequate time to think about it.

A premarital agreement is a very serious matter with legal consequences that you may not agree with in the event of a dissolution. You should not sign the agreement if you are not fully agreeable to its contents. A couple should not make attempts at writing their own premarital agreement; both parties should seek attorneys who are fully competent and familiar with laws relating to premarital agreements.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --


Don't prenups indicate a lack of trust? Even though one in ten couples enter into some kind of prenuptial or premarital agreement (“prenups”), many fianc├ęs remain reluctant to consider a prenup because they believe it seems unromantic and indicates a lack of trust. There are several reasons why this reluctance is misplaced.

To continue viewing this article by Susan Bishop please click below:

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


1. LEGAL CUSTODY is held by the parent(s) with the authority to make decisions in all aspects of the child(ren)’s life. This includes but is not limited to: religion, welfare, and health. Generally, parties have joint legal custody meaning that both parents have equal authority over their child(ren).

2. PHYSICAL CUSTODY is held by the parent(s), or guardian(s) who the child physically resides with. Joint physical custody means that both parents have significant periods of physical custody, regardless of disproportionate time allocations. Sole physical custody means that only one parent has most of the responsibilities of raising the child.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/


Often when a dissolution occurs, a child has a preference of where s/he wants to reside. The court must give due weight and consider the child’s wishes, assuming s/he is of “sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference as to custody. (Cal.Fam. Code 3042(a)). It is important to note that maturity levels very between children of the same age category, thus there is no actual chronological age which sets a standard. Courts have the ability to be receptive to a child’s preference as they reach adolescence or even younger depending on the child’s individual maturity.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Typically spousal support is paid in installments for a certain length of time or until the death of one of the spouses or the remarriage of the recipient. Unlike child support, and unless otherwise agreed spousal support is taxable to the recipient and deductible by the paying spouse under the rules of the Internal Revenue Service. Combining spousal support and child support into family support is a strategy many high earning spouses should use as they are better off paying family support and deducting a combination of child support and spousal support. Typically alimony is paid in pre-tax dollars and child support is paid in after-tax dollars. That means a dollar of spousal support may cost the paying spouse 60 cents whereas a dollar of child support costs $1.40, assuming the paying spouse pays 40 percent of income in taxes.

Child support in California ends on the emancipation of a child. Emancipation, meaning the child coming of age and capable of self-support. California has its own version of the Child Support Guidelines to help calculate an appropriate amount of support in a case.
Spousal Support might continue beyond the emancipation of the last child, and unlike child support, it is not determined by a set of published Guidelines. Judges have enormous discretion when awarding spousal support and look to the factors enunciated in Fam Code 4320 when awarding permanent support.

Difficulties arise that require discovery when spouses are self employed or not completely candid regarding their earnings. Other complexities arise when a party works below their capacity, refuses to seek employment or is co-habitating.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

Friday, May 22, 2015


Why not get a professional consultation, particularly when you believe you don’t need it; you know you are plenty smart; your friend is a lawyer; or divorce is too darn expensive?

Fear and procrastination are huge inhibitors to getting the information you need. Don’t wait until it looks like the handwriting is on the wall. Be pro-active even if you are not the spouse who desires to leave.

You should get a consult even if you get a tiny inkling that divorce is where it is going.  Many times your partner will confiscate all of the bank accounts, leave you without access, cut up the credit cards, take the children, take the furniture, and change the locks. You will want to withdraw enough money for your attorney’s fees and necessities of life, without drawing a concern from the court.

Some believe that they cannot possibly consult with a professional because their spouse will find out, and will go through the roof. Some folks are simply in denial. Others believe they are too clever to have to get a lawyer; they can just go on line, or get a Nolo book on Divorce. Think of all of the money they can save! Not so!

Nine times out of ten, people go into denial or stick their head in the sand. Then during this time, he or she, may create a violent situation which can be blamed upon the other, the police are called, and then you may be facing a fairytale about a “long” history of abuse and find yourself in jail because you “are the primary aggressor” or you were under the influence of alcohol. Under rare circumstances the allegations can also be, you bathed or sleep with the baby inappropriately, with intent to sexualize the child.

Your spouse may claim that you are an alcoholic and that the 12 year old is fed up with you. The twelve year old goes along with the plan because he never gets time with the other parent because of…really he or she has been part of an extremely dysfunctional family and the child is unable to see the other parent.  The child becomes very aligned with the absent parent and then it becomes those two against you. Custody can be changed under those instances.

A good lawyer will tell you about the 3.5 process options available around your jurisdiction so that you can have an insider’s view.

A chief purpose in seeing an attorney is to:

a.)Process information

                                              i.    Litigation/adversarial/collaboration

                                             ii.    Mediation

                                           iii.    Collaborative practice.

                                            iv.    What can you expect?

                                             v.    Mistakes

        b.) Cost

Depends on the process selected

The dynamics of the parties

Revenge factor

If you are considering a divorce or uncoupling consider going to a family law lawyer before you decide to make a move or tell your partner.

Get a one half hour free consultation so that you may get some of your major concerns alleviated.

Most people walk out after a consultation feeling relieved, and have the ability to quit thinking and know they are actually safe or going to be all right. They can be re-assured that they are not going to lose the children.

Collaborative lawyers will explain process options of 3 approaches (processes).

They can assist you in making decisions taking into considering the entire family, including children.

They can give good advice about how to look good and behave while in the court room, with respect to social media. Negotiating with a soon to be ex-spouse can be quite difficult or challenging if you choose the wrong process option.

Avoid attorneys who talk excessively or tell antidotal stories about their own lives or another divorce case. Seek out a good interactive listener. Time per hour is ramped up with no way to curtail it.

Do independent research of attorneys on attorneys in your county.  Avoid the ones with (a) a ton of yelp reviews, all 5 stars, and (b) offers services well below the standard price. That is typically a younger attorney with lots of social media friends, who got a Yelp review in return.

Get a free consultation; look around to see who meets you comfort level.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --