Legal Question in Family Law in California

My wife and I live in California and we have been married for over 8 years. I plan to divorce her because of our irreconcilable differences. I prefer a simple, debt-free life; my wife prefers a high-maintenance lifestyle despite financial risk and hardship. She spent money on luxury items irresponsibly without our agreement, and she has bought several investment properties without my knowledge that led us to lots of debt.

My wife is self-employed. I am a salaried worker. We have no children and have our mortgage under my name. My wife bought several houses under her company’s name. I am concerned about spouse support if I divorce. How should I proceed?

Thanks for your advice.

Asked on 1/16/10, 8:19 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

I generally favor people handling their own divorce proceedings when they can. It sounds, however, like there are sufficient assets and debts in your case that you need the guidance of an attorney, even if you do not need to hire one to handle the entire case in the traditional way. For several years now the State Bar has had ethical guidelines allowing an attorney and client to enter into a limited scope representation agreement. This allows the client to get the professional help they need without turning over their entire case, and check book, to an attorney. It allows the attorney to help the client without being ethically responsible for the entire case whether they get paid or not, at least until they go to the trouble of getting court permission to withdraw. I recommend you find an attorney who will handle limited scope representations. My main office is in Walnut Creek, but I maintain facilities in San Jose and practice regularly in Santa Clara County, and I do accept limited scope representations, or you can find someone who only practices locally to you through the Santa Clara County Bar Association.

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Answered on 1/21/10, 10:04 am

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