My Spouse Wants to Retire. Can I Force Them to Continue Working in Order to Receive the Same Amount of Support?

This very same question was asked in Marriage of Reynolds (1998) 63 CA4th 1373. “If Husband had indeed retired from active employment, could the trial court properly attribute to him a monthly income based on his ability to earn rather than his actual earnings, thus requiring him to work well past the "generally accepted retirement age of 65"?” In re Marriage of Reynolds (1998) 63 CA4th 1373; In re Marriage of Sinks, 204 Cal.App.3d 595. The answer was no. The Reynold court held no one may be compelled to work after the usual retirement age of 65.

The courts have held that a supporting spouse cannot deliberately shirk support obligations by refusing to work. Philbin v. Philbin (1971) 19 Cal.App.3d 115. The courts have also held that a supporting spouse cannot retire prematurely in order to avoid paying spousal support. In re Marriage of Sinks, 204 Cal.App.3d...

Tess was invited to speak on ESPN 1700AM Jesse’s Secret Stash Radio show!

Certified Family Law Specialist, Tess Reutzel appeared live on Jesse's Secret Stash ESPN 1700AM to discuss the 4 Biggest Family Law Mistakes. Tess shares a little about what she does as a family law attorney and offers insight and new perspectives on some tricky family law matters. Thanks to Jesse and ESPN for having us!

Click here to watch the full video!

...

Divorce Mediation in San Diego – The Benefits

I have seen a recent rise in the number of calls I receive by people interested in divorce mediation in San Diego. It seems that people have realized that divorces can be costly and emotionally-draining, and divorcing couples are beginning to recognize the benefits of divorce mediation.

What are the benefits of divorce mediation?

o First, divorce mediation tends to be a lower-cost option. Generally, each party is paying for their own attorney. That means that the family is paying the hourly rate for two attorneys to facilitate finalizing their case. With mediation, the parties are paying for only one mediator, so theoretically, it is half the cost.

o Next, divorce mediation allows the parties to work as a team to accomplish their divorce. The non-litigious atmosphere usually leads to a more amicable end to the relationship. The parties can approach their divorce as a mutual, healthy...

The Divorce Process in San Diego

The dissolution process can be emotionally-tolling on the parties involved, so it is important to know what to expect from the process to make the transition go as smoothly as possible.  Divorces generally have three stages in California.

First, a spouse will file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, along with other required legal forms, and will serve the packet upon the other spouse to initiate the case.  In California, there is a six-month waiting period from the time the initial paperwork is served to the time that the parties can become legally divorced, so this is the time when the waiting period will begin running.  A spouse can also immediately ask the court for interim orders for custody, visitation, child support, spousal support and other issues that will need to be resolved pending the final divorce judgment.

The next step is the exchange of information.  The parties to a divorce must...

Law Offices of Tess Reutzel