Inside: Happy Families

Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” opens with one of the great lines in literature: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,”  Anyone who has braved the stormy waters of family law has lived the truth of that wise pronouncement. No two cases are alike. The particular misery of one family is unique to that family. And, indeed, there is a turbid ebb and flow to that misery.

But no great story should begin and end with human misery as its theme. Family law is complex, nuanced, and encompasses a multitude of disciplines, one as fascinating as the other. The goal of this issue is to explore the many facets of family law practice. I am fortunate that such talented and varied practitioners graciously agreed to write about their areas of respective expertise or a topic of particular interest. I am also grateful for the calm and consistent guidance of Carole Lucido, Communications Director of the CCCBA.

Joann Babiak, Esq., family law attorney and mediator from Marin County, writes about the pros and cons of mediation in the context of family law practice in the current climate.

Charlie Burak, CPA, a forensic family law accountant from Walnut Creek, discusses the importance of disclosure and financial consistency in divorce and tax.

Carolyn Cain, Esq., a probate litigator from Walnut Creek analyses the issue of who has the authority to act if a spouse or domestic partner becomes incapacitated by illness or injury.

Virginia Ekelund, Esq., a certified family law specialist from Danville, addresses whether a child support order survives the death of the payor spouse.

John Schreiber, Esq., a certified appellate specialist from Solano County, looks at the aptly titled “Doctrine of implied what?” which is a current concern facing family law practitioners.

And, finally, because a little levity can go a long way not only in family law, but also in the world at large, I close with an article titled “Love, Undone” on a recent appellate decision regarding annulment of marriage.

Happy reading!

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