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

Weekend Getaways: 23 Reasons to Get out of Town

Some of the best beaches, wine regions, and natural landscapes are just a short drive or plane ride away from San Diego

Green Rush: Inside San Diego's Emerging Cannabis Industry

Marijuana's legal. How did it go from evil death drug to medical miracle and billion-dollar industry?

15 Coolest Jobs in San Diego and How to Get Them

We asked 15 San Diego professionals with the coolest jobs in town how they landed their gigs—and how we could steal them
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards 2018
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies, and attractions
  2. First Look: Cloak & Petal
    The owners of Tajima bring Japanese small plates to Little Italy with Cloak & Petal
  3. 15 Coolest Jobs in San Diego and How to Get Them
    We asked 15 San Diego professionals with the coolest jobs in town how they landed their gigs—and how we could steal them
  4. Your Guide to San Diego's Best Happy Hours
    Here's where to throw back a cold one while the sun's still out
  5. First Look: Bivouac Ciderworks
    A new craft cidery opens in North Park, designed for the outdoors person in all of us
  6. Green Rush: Inside San Diego's Emerging Cannabis Industry
    Marijuana's legal. How did it go from evil death drug to medical miracle and billion-dollar industry?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

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

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win This Rare Sports Car

Donate to a good cause to seriously upgrade your ride
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags