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Legal Insurance Coverage in Divorce

Discussion in 'Divorce, Separation, Annulment' started by KSuponch, May 31, 2020.

  1. KSuponch

    KSuponch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    California
    My mother and father are separated and most likely getting a divorce, ironically after 45 years of being married, but through a lot of rough up's and down's throughout those years. My dad who is bipolar, can be very controlling and has a difficult time with any self reflection, is trying to convince my mother to go and speak to his divorce attorney without obtaining her own representation. He is claiming that if she obtains her own counsel, he / they will not be able to use his legal insurance to cover the attorney and court fees and he will have to pay out of pocket for his attorney less a 25% discount. I could understand that she obviously wouldn't be able to use his legal insurance but why would her seeking her own counsel cause his insurance to not cover his costs? She wishes to seek her own attorney to insure she get's 50% of their estate and assets, plus is worried that if she goes to meet his attorney, that she could say something that could be held against her later. He also made the claim that because of her "mental state" (which is fine, she just doesn't have that good a memory), he's going to insist that meeting be recorded. This seems like a red flag to me but my mother is somewhat gullible and sometimes naive and is leaning toward going along with his wishes to avoid a fight. So this whole situation has me worried. Some general advice would be great so I can possibly steer them, or at least her, towards a common understanding. There is no prenup and all children are adults. There are properties / homes involved and a very large joint trust.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Without reading the insurance I can only guess that there would be no such limitation.

    No surprise there. He wants to stack the deck in his favor.

    Bottom line here is that your Mom and Dad are now enemies and your Mom should never take legal advice from her enemy.

    In fact, she should stop talking to him, get her own attorney right now, and let her attorney do the talking for her.

    Once she does that, you would be wise to distance yourself from their fight lest you be thought to be taking sides.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You should speak to your mother about why that is a bad idea for her, and a great idea for her soon to be former husband.





    That maybe true, or maybe false.

    California is a community property state.

    After 45 years of marriage, your mother will receive 50% of everything they own, even if she only contributed 1% to the marital estate.

    In fact, if he has more money than she does, a lawyer will ensure that he pays her lawyer fees.
     
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  4. KSuponch

    KSuponch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks so much for the input.
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    If your father is correct (and we have no way of knowing if he is), the answer is because of the terms of the insurance policy (which we obviously aren't privy to).

    Since there are no minor children, this is awfully unlikely (unless there's some funny business you don't know about or haven't told us about).

    If both of your parents are of sound mind, you'd be wise to stay out of this. That said, if she wants to consult her own attorney, she should do so. Given their apparent wealth level, it would be completely appropriate.

    P.S. While your parents interests aren't aligned, there's no reason why they need to act like enemies.
     
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  6. KSuponch

    KSuponch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for your input. It's much appreciated.
     
  7. KSuponch

    KSuponch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    In this case, my mother is the larger contributor to the wealth but she only wants 50%. My father is saying the same but I get this feeling he's trying to sneak something by her. I did speak to her last night (it will be the last time on this subject since I want to stay out of it and not be seen as choosing sides), and she is seeking her own attorney. Which was my goal, now I can relax and let whatever happens, happen. ;)

    Thank you for your feedback.
     
  8. KSuponch

    KSuponch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree. Thanks for your advice, it's much appreciated.
     
  9. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Just FYI, in the absence of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it generally does not matter in the slightest who was "the larger contributor to the wealth" of a married couple in California.
     

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