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Filing for Divorce? Be aware of Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATRO’s)

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  Upon filing for a divorce in California, Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (often referred to as “ATROS”) kick in.  You will see these on Page 2 of your Summons.  These restraining orders are mutual and become effective on the Respondent upon service of the initial dissolution paperwork.  ATROS remain in place until the final dissolution Judgment is entered, a Petition for Dissolution is dismissed, and the Court orders termination. ATROS prohibit BOTH parties from: Removing…
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Repeal of State and Local Income Tax (SALT) Deduction

68029524 - us 1040 tax form with pen, and coins
  By now, you have probably heard that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has limited the deduction for state and local income tax (SALT) to $10,000 for all tax filers, including tax filers who file their tax returns as married filing jointly.  If you are a California resident, this may be very concerning for you. The good news is that this change is set to automatically  expire after December 31, 2025.  The bad…
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“Say WATT?!” So you want to stay in the house…

broken family after a bitter divorce settlement and separation with a couple in a bad
  The comment I often hear from many of my divorce clients is, “Well, I want to stay in the house.”  This is completely understandable-it is where your kids are comfortable, it is where you are comfortable, you don’t want to relocate yourself, your kids, etc., during the stressful time.  It is just one more thing to worry about.  Trust me, I get it.  Moving is right up there with divorce for being one of…
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You Do Not Have to Get Hit. Understanding the misnomer in the term “Domestic Violence”

portrait of crying woman with smudged makeup
  The term “domestic violence” is misleading.  Why?  Because violence is in no way required to satisfy the requisite need for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO). Under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA), as well as related case law, actual violence is not required to establish the need for, and right to a restraining order.  This is a common misconception.  I often hear the most egregious stories of abuse: mental and emotional, and when…
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Estate Planning After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

family in estate planning session
  The new tax laws increased the estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer (GST) exemptions to $11.2 million in 2018.  The annual gift exclusion has been increased to $15,000 in 2018. It is still very important to plan even with the new tax laws.  The tax laws related to estate planning automatically expire after 2025.  Also, many states have estate taxes as well.  While California currently does not have an estate or inheritance tax, that could…
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