Divorce in California
- Briefly introduce the situation: Your parents were married for 20 years, but your mother decided to end the marriage in 2019 due to your father's abusive behavior, including alcoholism, mental, physical, emotional, and financial abuse. Your mother also discovered that he had been stealing from her since 2015.
- Mention the financial arrangement: In order to keep the house, your mother paid off $12,000 of your father's debt, leaving him with only $5,000 in debt.
- Highlight recent events: Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, your father refused to pay rent and your mother changed the locks, as he wasn't contributing financially. Your mother also obtained a restraining order against your father due to his abusive and threatening behavior.
1. Legal representation: Discuss the need for your mother to consult with a divorce lawyer specializing in family law to guide her through the legal process, protect her rights, and advocate for her interests.
2. Division of assets:
- House: Explain that your mother has been solely responsible for paying the mortgage and can potentially request to keep the house as part of the divorce settlement.
- Small business: Mention that your mother may be entitled to half of the value of the small business they run together at flea markets.
- Retirement: Explain that your mother can potentially seek a fair share of your father's retirement savings accumulated during the marriage.
3. Child support: Emphasize the importance of your mother pursuing child support for the well-being of the children and mention that the court will assess your father's income to determine the appropriate amount based on established guidelines.
4. Spousal support: Discuss how your mother may be eligible for spousal support depending on factors such as the length of the marriage, income disparity, and her ability to support herself.
5. Legal fees: Explain that your mother can request your father to contribute to or cover her legal fees, especially if there is a significant financial disparity between them.
6. Restraining order: Highlight the importance of maintaining the restraining order to ensure your mother's safety and document any incidents of continued abuse or harassment.
- Reiterate your mother's desire to close this chapter of her life and find peace.
- Encourage her to seek immediate legal advice from a divorce lawyer to navigate the divorce process effectively and protect her rights and interests.