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Ask Attorney Liz- California Divorce Questions

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CA Divorce HelpX Ask Attorney Liz

CA Divorce HelpX Ask Attorney Liz


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Attorney Liz is a prominent family law lawyer in California who has been practicing divorce law since 1993.  She is a certified family law specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.  In addition to representing celebrities, Attorney Liz has also sat as Judge Pro Tem in the family law department of the California Superior Court.  This show discusses some of the common problems and questions spouses have when they file for divorce in California and about the divorce process.  After two decades of matrimonial law, Attorney Liz also offers common sense advice on relationships, marriage and separations based on the thousands of cases she has seen.

If you are in the midst of the divorce and have questions about the paperwork or process, CALL IN and ASK Attorney Liz.

If you are contemplating divorce and want honest advice on how to work on or terminate your relationship, CALL IN and ASK Attorney Liz.

Insightful, knowledgable, interesting, honest and sometimes funny:  ASK Attorney Liz!

This show is brought to you by DivorceComedy.com

DivorceComedy.com offers online self help video courses to complete the dissolution of marriage process and divorce paperwork in the California Superior Court

Also check out SingleParentsNightOut.com and the book The Do's & Don'ts of Online Dating for Single Parents by Celeste Elise & Bruce Daniels!!


0:29 Atty. Liz

Hi there and happy Thursday. This is Atty. Liz and is call in show and a chat room show where you can ask me questions about your ongoing divorce in the State of California. I am only licensed to practice in law currently in the State of California, so you if you will ask questions about other states, well I might be able to give you common sense answers. I cannot answer legal questions. Something else to keep in mind if you call in and you're asking to discuss your case on the phone just realized there is no attorney confidentiality. You've got lots of people listening to the show. Anyway, the big problem with filing for divorce in California right now is the confusion and the amount of paperwork and one thing that I find really interesting, I don't know if a lot of you know this but in the State of California, there are actually two bases for divorce. You have your choice. This is either irreconcilable differences or guesses ready, incurable insanity. Yes, better to have loved and lost than live with a psycho the rest of your life but can I tell you in two decades of practicing law in this state, I have not once checked the box incurable insanity.

2:00 Atty. Liz

And the reason is it is so difficult to prove. I know you all think your Xs are crazy. Trust me, I believe you. I believe you. But it's too hard to prove. Because for incurable insanity, you have to prove that not only is your spell crazy. Certifiably crazy at the time you file. But that it is incurable, okay? And why don't draw all that trouble and higher experts to prove that when you can just basically check the box for irreconcilable differences. Irreconcilable differences means, I don't want to be married to this person and I'm not gonna change my mind, that's all it means. And when they ask you if the status hearing or if you do with declaration at the time of judgment, you basically say that nothing the court could do, nothing a therapist could do, nothing anybody could do to assist you could save this marriage. There is what is known as irremedial breakdown of the marriage. Irremedial means unfixable. Okay? I'm gonna give you the call in phone number it's area code 347 850 1663. If you have questions, feel free to call in and we will try and answer your questions. If you wanna discuss anything concerning relationships, child custody, divorce scenarios, what do I do for example with my kids out, to meet something during the split up or a custody dispute? Feel free to call in and we'll go over that. Okay?

3:48 Atty. Liz

Last night, we discussed a lot about the initial filing and again that was the basic thing that you can do is fill up judicial counselor help 107 and phone in California. If you fill up that form, you'll get the main instruction on how to do it. Okay? And then we got into a lot of relationship issue. So it's very diverse show. I welcome your call, again 347 850 1663. If you don't want your voice heard on air, feel free to chat and you can get to our chat room from the homepage where the show is logged in just scroll down to the bottom and you'll see the chat room but you do have to have an updated Adobe Flash Player in order to see that. Okay? You know, I was in the party the other day and I heard these two ladies talking. It's really funny. First old lady said "Oh Mabel, Mabel, Mabel my husband is such an angel"! Mabel looked at her and she said "Apple, you are lucky, mine still alive"! And then a lot of you feel that way. You've been married a long time but I tell you, I got news today that one of my friends ex-husband's died and it is pretty sad situation because they have a son and you never really wanna wish that on anybody. And one thing that I really wanna make clear if you don't have health insurance, if you lose it during the divorce and you can afford Cobra, you need to find a way to get health insurance and don't neglect your healthcare because this man has died of the flu. Okay? Isn't that sad a healthy man, fairly young dying of the flu because he let his health insurance lapsed. And a lot of people say "What can I do, I can't afford it".

5:57 Atty. Liz

Well, in California what happens is when you file for divorce, remember yesterday I talked about this automatic restraining orders on the back of the summon on the page 2 of the summon. One of those restraining orders is that once the divorce is filed, you cannot remove the other spouse as a beneficiary on your health insurance. So if you are covering somebody, you got to keep them covered. Okay? But once the divorce is over, the employers will not cover a spouse in most circumstance and what happens is they're entitled to Cobra. Cobra can be very expensive. So what you need to do is when you're in the middle of the divorce, first of all, while you still have health insurance, get all of your physicals done and make sure that you're in good shape. Okay? If you need healthcare and you have procedures to do, do it while the divorce is going on. You can get that done while you still have health insurance. But while you are going to the process, make sure you're checking out individual plans, make sure that you're really looking at this stuff because it's a really sad thing when somebody dies because they just don't go to the doctor. I mean the flu, yes this epidemic is getting bad and you have people coming down with pneumonia and dying like in the days of George Washington. Okay.

7:20 Atty. Liz

If you have any questions, you can call in at 347 850 1663 or again you can absolutely do it on the chat. I'm getting "hello Liz's" I'm not getting any questions. You guys just like listening to me talking, is that it got a few people chat in there, right? I had something yesterday on Facebook say that I wasn't talking enough about child custody. They want to hear more on child custody because that's something that will go on. In California, it goes on even after the divorce and what you think is the final order of custody? That can be modified up until the child is 18 or 19 if he is still in high school as a fulltime student. Okay, we have a couple of callers here, hold on. I've got 714, you are on the on the air with Atty. Liz. Hello 714?

8:13 Caller 1

That maybe me Liz.

8:17 Atty. Liz

It is you.

8:18 Caller 1

It is me, hi, how are you? I have a question for you concerning that health issue. You were just talking about a moment ago if that's okay?

8:28 Atty. Liz

Yeah, go ahead.

8:29 Caller 1

You know, I had seen your show the other day and I really wanna thank you for doing this because you're really, really great and that's a lot from you last night and tonight as well. So thank you. And the health insurance thing, my wife has health insurance with me on it. Now, we just started the divorce process which she hasn't filed yet and she wants to dump me off her health insurance. Can she do that or is it can legally do that or she had to wait?

9:00 Atty. Liz

Before anybody file the restraining orders are in effect. She technically can do it, but it's a really bad idea because I had that happened in a few cases and I go in on a motion right after the case. So she had been called back or that party that's been out to get split back on. And in most cases the courts will do it.

9:28 Caller 1


9:29 Atty. Liz

Technically, she can take you off. It's a bad idea. It looks like it's in bad fate. If it's a cost issue, I would talk to her. A lot of times it's mixed in with a thousand support issue and things like that. I would talk to her about that to see if you were the high income earner and she was the lower income earner and maybe reimbursing her part of whatever fee she has until the divorce is over.

9:57 Caller 1

Yeah, that's what we've done. I found that how much she is paying per month. I decided to go ahead and pay her half of that for the process but she is talking about not even continuing her portion, her half so that's me and she wants to dump that as well. Not very much but I'm gonna try to get her switched to hold that on for me. Thank you very much.

10:18 Atty. Liz

Yeah, just my pleasure.

10:20 Caller 1

Well, pardon me?

10:22 Atty. Liz

Yeah, it's my pleasure.

10:24 Caller 1

Okay, a couple more questions. I won't take of any of your listeners' time or your time. So I'll call you back in few minutes or so.

10:32 Atty. Liz

Stay on the line if you want and we'll just add 571 to the conversation.

10:34 Caller 1


10:35 Atty. Liz

Okay, 571 you're on air.

10:39 Caller 2

Hello, how are you?

10:42 Atty. Liz

Hi, happy Thursday!

10:44 Caller 2

It's been a call one up here in Virginia.

10:46 Atty. Liz

Oh, hi how are you?

10:50 Caller 2

Real good, real good.

10:52 Atty. Liz

It's been a long time.

10:53 Caller 2

Sure as, sure as.

10:59 Atty. Liz

This is dad in Virginia who's got an interesting view on child custody, 571 you wanna go ahead and tell them your situation?

11:10 Caller 2

Well, I got divorced, separated three years ago and was able to secure the custody of , well I've got four kids and happily got custody of three kids which is very rare in Virginia. First time I went to court I used a lawyer but I got the __11:37__ hearing and we won that and he took me through to get the custody of the kids but then after that I ended up have to represent myself in order to keep them.

11:54 Atty. Liz

Wow, that's a lot of work. That is a lot of work. What is the age then of your three kids that you have?

12:02 Caller 2

Well, that started, they were 7, 9, 13, and 19 and of course now, they are quite a bit older now.

12:17 Atty. Liz

Wow, because you know a lot, I'm waiting for the case, three kids in your custody, is a lot to take of them, still waiting for the case where the parents are fighting over and "no I don't want them, you take them" "I don't want you take them". That's a lot of work especially for a dad. Congratulations!

12:35 Caller 2

Well, I appreciate it. I kind of got lucky I believe because in my situation, I'm trying to be careful about what I say. In my situation...

12:54 Atty. Liz

Was the court wants - by the time you went to court, was the court wants an adult so they can become part of the proceedings?

13:08 Caller 2

Yeah, that person wasn't - she was already 19.

13:18 Atty. Liz

Yeah. I am licensed in Virginia. I am from Virginia. I do know this caller from a long, long, long time ago but I haven't a case there since 1994 to be honest and it's nice to hear that because when I took the bar in Virginia, I'll tell you, all of my training from California, I had to forget and do a 180 and that was the only way I could pass that bar exam because it is very, very different. They still - like there when you go to court, the family law court of the judicial offered for chancellor right? Isn't that you remember that? That's because they still separate law and equity like the old English system.

14:03 Caller 2

Yeah, it is. It is goes back to the old English law and basically, it's the truth wench period in Virginia. That's the odd truth. It's the truth that wench.

14:21 Atty. Liz

It's very interesting there and they still have fault there. They still do things like you can - I know that in Virginia, the divorce can be by fall but you can prove if somebody deserted somebody committed adultery or something like that or you have to have an agreement and wait a year right?

14:41 Caller 2

Right. You have to wait a year in Virginia but what we do right away was we've got to penalize here and was able to make sure that I had custody of the kids within two months.

14:58 Atty. Liz

Right. For those who don't know, what happens is right after you file for divorce, there are certain issues you have to take care of during the proceedings. You cannot wait. For example in Virginia, it's a year. In California, it's the minimum of 6 months after filing and there are certain issues that they need to handle during the proceedings. Those are called pendente lite proceedings and that means during the proceedings. For example child custody, you don't want your kids to have to yo-yo back and forth until you have the judgment or in Virginia, a decree. You need to have orders during the proceedings and so that's what 571 is talking about. Right, so you right away got custody?

15:42 Caller 2

Like you say, I'm not saying they correct me but pendente lite, pendente lite.

15:52 Atty. Liz

You say tomato like tomato was fine.

15:57 Caller 2

I had it by August first hearing August 10th and basically in my situation, I basically use a calendar to retain that. There was a lot other issues too but a calendar was basically the game field or the playing field we played on. One of the main things is like 56 to 43 days.

16:32 Atty. Liz

What you're talking about is you prompt on a calendar of how often you were with the children, right? Is that what you mean?

16:40 Caller 2


16:41 Atty. Liz

Okay. Because a lot of times what happens is you'll go into court and an assuming mom said something to the effect that "He never spends time with them" or "I even have more time with them". You see the person who is more specific critical so I usually recommend that to clients. I hand them with a little pocket calendars and I tell them "You keep track of every pick up and drop off, anything dealing with the kids, just in that pocket calendar" and then what happen is that when you go to court, you can refer to it and be specific just like you were with the percentages. It's very, very effective but with the age where your kids are, I'm sure you had this problem. You have to be very careful that your children don't see the calendar. I recommend you it at work or you keep it in your car, some place the kids won't get in to. When they're six and seven it's easier than when they're 13, 14, 15. You know do that but it's really hard. Were your kids aware of the custody battle?

17:56 Caller 2

What happen was, she started out with trying to do in home separation and I was going along with it and she wanted me to write it, the separation doing by myself and I told her to go ahead and write it, write it herself and I would approve it. She wanted me to write it and it was going back and forth like that. I said I'm not gonna write it. You're gonna have to go home and write it and so it turned out that she said, forget it. Four months later decided to just to leave so she got in the car and packed up her stuff and she actually did, being kind of nice then I got a call from her told me that she had left and then the next call I got was from one of my children who had called and the home, and saw the house in disarray. He says dad come home now. I got home and my house was a mess. It looked like someone had jagged threw it.

19:20 Atty. Liz

Did you file based on fault? Did you file alleging desertion or you use the agreement just waiting a year?

19:30 Caller 2

No, I did the desertion and the calendar days because what happened when she left that day with the two youngest kids and she wouldn't tell me where they were and I called my cousin who is a police officer in this town and ask him, he said if you don't think they are in any kind of danger, don't play into it. Don't go try to find them. You just kind of get yourself in that situation. Go back and take care of what you've left back there. Pick up your house and then talk your lawyer and that's what I did.

20:10 Atty. Liz

Yeah, it would have been best. The things were very high emotional and it could have ended up a tug-of-war with the police called an allegations of domestic violence just based on the emotional stuff that is going on.

20:27 Caller 2

That's what they tried first.

20:31 Atty. Liz


20:32 Caller 2

The lawyer on the other side tries that, they try to do all the things -- she had already tried several different ways in the house.

20:43 Atty. Liz

It's a tactic. I can't remember in Virginia, but in California, if the court believed that there is domestic violence, it's pretty serious, it affects everything. I mean once you have a restraining order, you are on the department of justice lists if you -- one of your kids __21:00__ popped up -- it's having restraining order against you, but in addition to that it affects child custody, with the presumption. There is presumption in California that you cannot have the joint custody if you have domestic violence history within five years and it also affects thousands of support. So a lot of people playing that card, I mean my advice on that is -- if it's not true, don't do it, it's not worth it.

21:34 Caller 2


21:35 Atty. Liz

Why would you want to do that, I mean it could affect whether or not your ex has a job. Why would you want to do that? So I'm sorry, I went through that. I know it is card that a lot of attorneys -- to play a lot of time people get upset and exaggerate.

21:56 Caller 2

Yeah, that's true. I mean it's a game of patience you know.

22:05 Atty. Liz

Well, it shouldn't be that way really what fuels litigations in my experience, it's pure. Thinking that somebody is trying to take advantage of you or about you won't have enough money or that you won't be able to see your kid, that's the fuel litigations and it usually is when there's not a lot of communication or trust. So I tell my clients when they come into my -- if you want to get revenge or win, you will never win. Not in family law. Because no matter how many hearings I win. The only person who wins when they walked in that court room is the attorney -- I am not going to hearing and I make a lot of money at hearing. The client doesn't win, it's just -- even if I get everything I want they still pay me a lot of money to be there it's one of the most correctable situation and the child custody you're handing with decisions concerning your children to some person in a black world who doesn't know them and honestly can't take the time to care when they have hundreds or thousands of cases like that so..

23:21 Caller 2


23:22 Atty. Liz

You know it's hard, you know it's really hard, but if you have two reasonable people which in those circumstances, the other side well -- always says they are not reasonable. You're really trying to work it out. How were your kids doing now?

23:39 Caller 2

They are doing well. The eldest one is she was always doing fine. My son is now 17. He has already graduated from high school here. He is in the performing arts division and he is also working for a mutual friend of ours that you know that has a stable so he only takes care of their location and...

24:08 Atty. Liz

You know what that is?

24:12 Caller 2

And then the next one is 13. She is just having a ball doing __24:19__. And then 10, she just turned 11. My 10-year-old turned11 and they are very thankful. One of the things that I wanted to say one thing is when I came home was -- when I -- one of the reasons that made me start defending my own self in this situation was when I moved the kids from the house that they were hand. In another words, I stayed there for two years and when we moved to the house where we are now, I didn't read into and my lawyer did not tell me that, that was part of moving was -- I don't know how you want to say it, it's a...

25:08 Atty. Liz

Change of circumstance?

25:09 Caller 2

Change of circumstance and then that opens wide open back up. Everything you just change. All the hills that you just climbed and gained. My kids __25:19__.

25:18 Atty. Liz

What happened -- How far did you move?

25:24 Caller 2

I only moved up to Northern Virginia from King George and --

25:33 Atty. Liz

You moved county?

25:36 Caller 2

Yeah I moved about two counties away.

25:39 Atty. Liz

Okay and still we don't -- another decision -- because what she is going to claim is that she stayed down there right? She stayed in King George?

25:50 Caller 2

Yeah, she is still there.

25:52 Atty. Liz

Yeah, it is very similar here that just like that it could affect the relationship between the noncustodial parent and the children because it's harder for them to see the kids. So that is a problem. A lot of times if I know my client wants to move all supervision in the custody orders about moving and it's in fact I might even put something in the judgment so that it sounds like it's anticipating somebody to move so it would be ordered to prove the change of circumstances because it was something discussed and planned in the beginning. So there are ways to go around that you probably did not know what the time you were doing it that you might move.

26:43 Caller 2

Yeah that time, I had no idea I would be moving, but I was also not advised of that and so I didn't ask and I didn't tell, but then Sunny was like, I called them and I said I moved and she is actually got, she take me right to court and they are like she can and I am like what? What?

27:23 Atty. Liz

So it's not that hard, I mean it used to be harder here to do a changed of circumstances, but it's getting so easy to allow change of circumstances. Usually in California, the first order of estate on the best the interest of the children and then after you have your final order, if it's specifically says that's the final order then you are supposed to only be able to change it if there's a change of circumstance, but I mean it's not that part to prove that. Even change in age in California, if a kid is 8 years old, they might need a different custodial situation when they are 12, for example. You know a kid was interested in soccer and now they are on a traveling team. There are so many things you can allege as change of circumstances. I'm not sure how that works in Virginia now but I'm guessing you take a good argument form if anything being a change there too.

28:24 Caller 2

Yes and therefore wow, it turned out to be is a -- I was surprised. I mean when the staff came and you are going back to court, I was like, oh my God I'm going back to court again. I mean this is real and it's like what it is? It is not like the way I kept beyond was like, it's like a bullet comes in to the room and it's over gone a fight and __28:49__ I'm not, I can't fight. You have to fight, right?

28:55 Atty. Liz

Yeah. What I mean is to carry your kids.

28:58 Caller 2

They send you this documents and it's like you're going to court regardless. What I have decided at that point was, I took everything that came to me and we're just turned it around and send it back. In other words, I got on the computer and just turned it around you knows something to you now or however it -- you know, it sorts out.

29:37 Atty. Liz

They used all that English language.

29:43 Caller 2

We are __29:43__ but...

29:47 Atty. Liz

You know in Virginia, I believe you still have to draft all the pleadings whereas here in California, most of it, its form.

29:59 Caller 2

Yeah, it's a lot of paperwork and in Virginia, every time the paper moves, there's a fee.

30:07 Atty. Liz

Yeah. Well the fees have gotten pretty a high here too just to --there but let me scare you about California just a file for divorce, it's currently $435 per person just...

30:22 Caller 2

Oh my goodness.

30:23 Atty. Liz

Just paper.

30:25 Caller 2


30:26 Atty. Liz

And if -- I mean depending on the county. Sometimes it have come to $80 on some motions they go like -- they go on different stages depending on the motion, but I mean it's outrageous to cut into fees we have here, but I mean hours paid is -- question on the chat line just type 571 and if you want to stay on the line and then just dial __30:54__ to answer some of these questions.

30:58 Caller 2

Okay, I will hang on.

31:01 Atty. Liz

Okay. I have question. Our prenup is 100% guarantee to protect somebody's money in the case of the divorce. No, they are not. In fact, any family law attorney who is going to do a prenup will tell you that they cannot guarantee it will be a 100% enforceable. They can't do it because the law has been changing and changing you know __31:29__ we had a big case out here in California on that and they revamp the statutes on prenups a few years ago. If it's concerned to be unconscionable, anything concerning powerful support will not be upheld. If it's considered unconscionable, if you're going to catch the issue of valuable support in the prenup, both sides have to have attorneys, separate attorneys not one attorney. Why the people tell me that they think one attorney can represent both sides and get the paperwork done, they cannot. So it's the conflict to draft. If it's the mediator who is helping you with your paperwork, they do not represent either side and they are not supposed to give you legal advice that will help you reach an agreement, but prenups are very technical. You want to have them done at least a month before the wedding and you have to do full declarations of disclosure because I would do the exact same way. I would do the declarations of disclosure in a divorce and you would catch them to the agreement because that's part of the statutes that you have to disclose income, expenses, assets and debts. So it's pretty, it's a process and even with that you can't guarantee it's enforceable. A lot of them are enforceable, but this is a growing area.

33:00 Atty. Liz

A very, very difficult area. So you know if you are going for a prenup and your attorney's fee agreement that they can't guarantee anything in the future concerning this agreement, that's why. Now, something else that is interesting, a lot of marriages have financial problems because there's no training that people have to do before they get married and people find about finances and how they spend money and how whether or not they have a joint account. You can do a postnup, which is pretty much like a prenup that you do during the marriage and what you do with that is the same thing. You make sure both sides have attorneys, you do full declarations of disclosure, like you would in a divorce and you decide what you want to be separate property and what you want to be community property. If you are going to designate something as separate property, I, for example would keep separate that money in a separate bank account that corporation with only that spouse's name on it -- if it completely separate, because once you start mixing it, the other person will claim that their money or their efforts went into it. So if you are going to consider for prenup or postnup, absolutely see attorney on that. Do not do it on your own. Okay? Do I have any other questions from the chat room, go ahead and type them in and then find someone and someone __34:44__ of other questions, someone for I think you have __34:47__.

34:50 Caller 3

-- I think __34:51__ gentleman from Virginia, I am in Newport Beach. So its __34:56__ end of the country I guess. Listen, I have question on the 50/50 split in divorce.

35:08 Atty. Liz

You mean the community property?

35:10 Caller 3

No, no, no yeah, yeah. Everything __35:11__ in a divorce. It is 50/50 split everything goes half and half. Despite in this -- when it's actually does it become, the final round, I guess in the separation is that 50/50 -- for example I just want to figure out for 1.5 million if that still shared by her since I left two years ago when in separation with that divorce yet when does that actually stop?

35:46 Atty. Liz

Wait, I missed what you said. You just what with 1.5 million did you earn it or did you win it.

35:54 Caller 3

No, I won it.

35:57 Atty. Liz

Well, congratulations.

35:58 Caller 3

Yeah but the point is, do I have to get half of that to my wife if we separated for two years now?

36:05 Atty. Liz

Yes. If you won -- if you won it with the lottery ticket, I can tell you a fun case story.

36:15 Caller 3

No, no it's a raffle.

36:16 Atty. Liz

Okay. Did you buy the raffle ticket during marriage?

36:22 Caller 3


36:23 Atty. Liz

Okay, you bought it after date of separation?

36:26 Caller 3

Yes. We just never put down the date of separation anywhere and nobody knows when we separate. I know why I moved out two years ago, but there is no, not to written down the actually date of separation actually there.

36:41 Atty. Liz

That will be on __36:42__. So let me explain to you what is the date of separation is because it's going to be very important to you.

36:49 Caller 3


36:50 Atty. Liz

Separation is the date that one of you decides you no longer want to be husband and wife and there is no going back. There is no marriage counseling. No "Honey, let's work it out", maybe we can make it, no sex, nothing. You're done. Once that date passes, that is your date of separation and community property in California those from what is acquired and earned from date of marriage to date of separation. Now, there is a famous case called the Rossi case and in that case, a woman bought a lottery ticket and left her husband the next day. She did not tell him she won the lottery and they are required declarations of disclosure in California because while you are married and this is all the way through the proceedings even after date of separation until you have a judgment of dissolution of marriage. You have __37:56__ share your duty to your spouse. That's the duty of the highest trust. That's like within the county has to a client and part of that is the duty to disclose.

38:10 Caller 3


38:11 Atty. Liz

-- didn't disclose the lottery winnings. In the few years later, her husband found out. He brought her back to court and the court said "Mrs. Rossi, this wasn't 'oops I forgot'. This is -- okay. Mrs. Rossi, he is not just going to get half the lottery winning. He's gonna get all your lottery winning. Then she lost all of her lottery winning and probably had an enormous attorney's fee bill because that case went up and up and down the appellate court.

38:52 Caller 3

Well --

38:55 Atty. Liz

I would set an agreement on the date of separation because you have been going back and forth and there's a lot of money have taken this. There will be a disagreement on the date of separation. So I would made an agreement on that and I would absolutely make sure that you disclose the raffle winning and back up exactly how you want it, when you want it, when you bought the raffle ticket, everything.

39:28 Caller 3


39:29 Atty. Liz

You know tonight, you could be Mr. Rossi.

39:34 Caller 3

Yeah, yeah I know that's a great advice. I would be able to do that, that's good.

39:38 Atty. Liz


39:39 Caller 3

Well, thank you.

39:40 Atty. Liz

My pleasure. Do you have any other question?

39:44 Caller 3

Yeah I do. I don't want to take your time but really quick. We are divorced in ourselves. What you do think our chances are? I mean just within ourselves and there's an -- we agree in everything, everything is were friends and everything sets fine, can people actually do it themselves?

40:01 Atty. Liz

You know what in California 70% of the cases involved a self-represented litigant. It is not fun. It is tedious. It is burdensome. It is very difficult paperwork. Can it be done? Yes. You can do it yourself and you know as this show is sponsored by divorcecommittee.com -- online self-help classes to help people get through the paperwork because it's a lot of paperwork.

40:33 Caller 3

Your right that's the case study yesterday. Yeah a lot of paperwork.

40:35 Atty. Liz

You have to do a lot of things and what the courses are in their very reasonably priced. I mean the courses are like between $30 and $70. You can do the whole overview course, I think is $59.99 for -- marking, okay. And you know that's great because my clients pay me $420 an hour and it's -- this video for $59.99. So -- of me going over the whole process. There's a tiny comedy in there not as much as I would like but that would cover a lot of material. There's a tiny bit of comedy in there to light up. It is what I call remove stress from the divorce process just because you like to do this. Nobody likes to do the paperwork. Well, I will tell you on divorce and when I first start building up the paperwork and I was doing this for you know over a decade before I went through my divorce. The first time I sat down to do the paperwork when I have to type in my children's name, I stopped I could not continue. Then, a couple of years later, we went through it again. It is hard emotionally to deal, but on top of it, it's complicated and if I were you I would if you want to do it yourself that's fine. I would just make sure that when you do your declarations of disclosure that you talk to an attorney about it because you have got a lot of money at risk.

42:18 Caller 3


42:19 Atty. Liz


42:22 Caller 3

Okay. Can you still hear me?

42:25 Atty. Liz

Yes, I can still hear you. 571...

42:27 Caller 3

Okay. Yeah, I was going to say too that I kind of don't -- well, my thought process is I think the parts that well, all the paperwork and everything I say is, if you might as well take on another job. In another words, if you have a job now you have to complete full time jobs because you got to be one step ahead of the other person and the other's name too is if you don't file something in the court, then you are held I don't know, but you know, every time I turn around that I would either go to the jail just you know messing with this you know and the other part is when the court cases were happening we were so drawn out you know and you are so tired and you had to play yourself and you had to play your lawyer when the judge asked me and you know can she have this many days and I said "yes" and I said "if she honors those days, as if she won't honor those days, but if she really honor those days completely under those days then, she does not have to play jobs for you" and at that point, I was thinking best for my kids and I was also very tired and I thought to myself I think if she honor -- that was the deal you honor the days with those kids and you don't have to pay child support and that was my whole process I think the lawyer would have nudged me and said you need to at least keep one day not -- in another words, I was too easygoing I think.

44:40 Atty. Liz

Alright. Well in I am just going to cut this because we only have 17 seconds, but in California, you actually can't waste child support. So if you were in this state, you should have gone back and got it even after you agreed to one number. You could have got it back and got it lined. I want to thank you 571 for your call. Thanks my chat room and if you want to hear our show, it is usually Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9 o'clock. Thank you and remember if you need self-help, go to divorcecommittee.com

45:16 Caller 3

Okay. Thank you and nice talking to you.

45:18 Atty. Liz

Same here and take care.

45:20 Caller 3

Okay. Bye-bye.