Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Landscape of Family Law

The bumps along the legal road can be mountains or molehills. Just ask the attorneys who work in family law.


Published:

(page 1 of 2)

FAMILY LAW. Strikes a familiar, almost comforting chord, doesn’t it? Family: clan, brood, brethren, kindred spirits. And law: canon, code, covenant, order.

But what a deafening dissonance between those lofty terms and the minefield that is family law in the legal realm, peppered as it is with explosive human emotions: rage, heartache, recrimination, longstanding bitterness, even violence. Here, the law strikes at the very heart of who we are and what really matters to us. What do we truly value? How do we want our children to be raised?

Consider the matters at stake: the disintegration of a marriage, child-custody battles, contentious property disputes, verbal brawls over spousal support and child support, even charges of child abuse, spousal abuse and infidelity. It is often a most contentious terrain. There are restraining orders, subpoenas, disclosures of the most intimate corners of a couple’s life chronicled in the public record, long-fought battles over assets and property acquired over the course of a marriage spanning years, sometimes decades.

Family Law in San DiegoAttorneys who work in this area say they have to constantly steel their sensibilities; otherwise they can find themselves swept up in their clients’ emotional maelstrom.

“You have to distance yourself emotionally while you try to calm your client,” says attorney Gordon Cruse, a family law specialist who has practiced in California since 1983. “Some people come in and they are just so raging at first, they won’t listen to reason,” he says. “I’ve seen cases where one or both parties will use every discovery code, issue subpoenas, create contention. So there’s all this money that’s being spent on attorneys’ fees while their kid’s college fund is being siphoned away. I’ll ask them, ‘Do you really want to put me in a new sports car instead of sending your kid to Harvard?’ I try to guide them along a rational approach without being so negative.”

Those sentiments are echoed by other attorneys.

“I often have to discourage my clients from letting emotions rule,” says San Diego attorney Meredith Brown, who specializes in family law. “The first step is to get them away from knee-jerk reactions and personal attacks. Talk them down from the ledge, so to speak. A knock-down, drag-out fight is a waste of time for everyone involved,” she says. “If someone comes to me and says, ‘I want a shark. I want blood,’ then I send them on to another attorney, because I know they’re not going to be happy with me.”

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

4 San Diego Chefs' Guide to Entertaining

Buzzy local chefs give us the scoop on hosting the ultimate dinner party, plus recipes for their impress-the-guests dishes

San Diego's Best Restaurants 2018

Dig into the 260 winners defining San Diego’s food scene in 2018

The Coolest Things Happening in San Diego Beer Right Now

A dive into the new, notable, and lesser-known in our city’s beer scene
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Personal Stories are on Display at the Museum of Man's 'PostSecret'
    Frank Warren collects deep, dark secrets for this community arts project
  2. The Best Burgers in San Diego
    These burgers are food critic Troy Johnson's finalists for the best in San Diego
  3. The Best of North County 2018
    Our annual list of what we’re loving above the 56, from bites and brews to shopping, wellness, and arts and kids’ activities galore
  4. San Diego's Best Restaurants 2018
    Dig into the 260 winners defining San Diego’s food scene in 2018
  5. Your 2018 San Diego Summer Bucket List
    Here’s our insider’s guide for Memorial Day through Labor Day
  6. 16 Great Places to Go Camping in Southern California and Baja
    We’ve rounded up sites with the best ocean views, mountain peaks, and desert landscapes
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Vote Now for Your Orangetheory Winner!

Winners will be announced at our Sweat event on May 12

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

AquaVie: 10 Reasons It’s Downtown’s Best Kept Secret

The best workout and spa getaway around? It’s actually right underneath your nose.

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags