Monday, November 21, 2016


Attorney herein practices both family law and criminal law...this can be a big help in defending domestic violence cases...............

....The best thing to do if accused of any "DV" TRO

 is to immediately get legal help so that you

 don't go down like a sinking ship

 before you even get started.  

The last thing most people need is a "DV" TRO on their record, even if they are not guilty of it--- it carries both a stigma (you beat up people or try to hurt them, etc), that you are not fit to watch or babysit children (age  of kids will matter but especially babies)  and you will be stuck with what is known as supervised visitation which you will likely not be able to afford, or will not want to afford.  Further, the wait list is very long unless you plan to use a private agency which is quite expensive.

Waiting--- Will Harm You!!!

In nearly all cases, you should either set for trial or if the other side
is willing to drop it-- that's fine--but most of those that drop
such charges tend to refile them... 


As can be seen by the Penal Code, 
this means you will
be in Criminal Court, 
not Family Law Court!!!!

Chico Family Law Lawyers - Justia

Claimed Lawyer ProfileSocial Media. Mr. Maria Amaya. Chico, CA Family Law Lawyer. Geoff A.Dulebohn, Esq. Chico, CA Family Law Attorney. Carolyn J. Chan. Chico, CA Family Law Attorney

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Holidays.... Court Closed 2017

New Year's Day         Monday, Jan 2
Martin LutherKing Monday, Jan 16
Lincoln's Birthday Monday, February 13
Washington's           Monday, February 20
César Chávez Day         Friday, March 31
Memorial Day         Monday, May 29
Independence Day         Tuesday, July 4
Labor Day                 Monday, September 4
Columbus Day         Monday, October 9
Veterans Day                 Friday, November 10
Thanksgiving Day         Thursday, November 23
Day after Thanksg Friday, November 24
Christmas Day         Monday, December 25

Family Law – Rooney Law Firm – Chico California


CALIFORNIA FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS. An Experienced Family Law Firm in Chico, California.Family law matters often involve sensitive facts, difficult legal ...

Family Law Attorney & Lawyer, Chico CA – Amaya & Associates


Amaya & Associates Family Law Attorneys with a history of winning Family Law matters including child custody & support, divorce, property division in Chico, ...

Chico, California Family Law Attorneys | Leonard & Lyde

Leonard & Lyde in Chico, California has served families in Chico since 1954. ... Our family law attorneys provide legal services in all areas of family law: ...

Williams & Javellana, LLP: Homepage

Get backed by a committed team of experienced DUI attorneys. ... services and representatives inChico, California (and the surrounding area), ... Family Law.

in ...Chico Affordable Family Law Attorney 20+ Years 530.359.8810


Jan 9, 2017 - One of the most often seen issues in Family Law, are the law and motion hearings on reducing support, increasing support or elimination of ...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Drugs+ Not-so Good Apps for Kids and Young People

The best way to know if you or the other parent could be affected by the issue of drug use or inappropriate use of media by kids,  is to assume you WOULD be affected and then go from there.  There is no bright line law or case law currently in California which seals a parent's fate as to marijuana in general right now, and probably no published cases on media app use.

Attorney herein researches these issues as they apply to California Family Law, and makes best efforts to remain current on new cases or decisions.  Attorney is well aware of the long running case from Butte County that then seeming moved to another county just north of Butte, with varying detriment (depending on what one considers detrimental...)  In any event, any type of drug, even if it's a prescription, can be cause for concern in a divorce case.

We all know that alcohol use can be a concern, but it's legal to buy it, right? It's legal to obtain many drugs straight off the shelf at the store.
When courts have to consider whether drug usage is going to affect custody, it will depend on what evidence is available, how good the attorney is at setting up the defense or attack of the issue, what the exact facts are and are they verifiable, and how; essentially, all of the foundation requirements for evidentiary hearing, and all of the foundation requirements for supporting evidence should be known; further, the lack of such evidence and the preclusion possibilities, as with all evidence, will come into play.

Trying cases with drugs involved should be left to attorneys who handle trials, because the proof and litigation aspects can be done with more precision. Many clients don't want to spend the funds to engage litigators to gain appropriate custody because they do not understand the time involved to make the defense, or the admissibility for proper charging evidence. Child endangerment does not apply to all situations, and in fact many fact patterns do not support child endangerment.

In family law we usually see many clients that just believe all they have to do is say something, and that makes it true.  That is not the case necessarily.  Conversely, clients often believe they can just say something is not true, and that will prove their case. That too is not necessarily true, because if it was, then there would be no NEED for any attorneys at all, because clients could prove everything themselves?

Obviously, clients, at least most of them, are not able to do that because they did not go to law school and then work for 20+ years at honing their skill. We have to deal with inaccurate facts, misleading statements, the social media nightmare, Facebook (often the absolute worst), and tons of  Internet postings, admissions, accusations, texts, blogging, examples: Lively, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Kiks Messenger, WhatsApp, GroupMe,tumblr, Twitter,Musical.ly, You Now: Broadcast,Chat,and Watch Live Video, Burn Note,Whisper, Yik Yak, Omegle+Tinder (dangerous/or not appropriate for kids).

New apps come out all the time and they will never stop. These things can be worse than drugs in some ways as unknown people can take advantage of kids, teens, etc. A parent would never even know because most parents don't really know what kids are doing with their phones.

Personally, we would not give kids a phone, computer or any electronic device which was NOT monitored, it is very easy to obtain software to do this!

Chico Family Law Attorney C. Chan 530.359.8810 ... Win Your Case!


Chico Family Law Attorney C. Chan 530.359.8810 . .... That 27k client (against advice of attorney herein) apparently went and signed a stipulated agreement ...

Claimed Lawyer ProfileSocial Media. Mr. Maria Amaya. Chico, CA Family Law Lawyer. Geoff A.Dulebohn, Esq. Chico, CA Family Law Attorney. Carolyn J. Chan. Chico, CA Family Law Attorney. Michael Odowd Hays. Chico, CA Family Law Lawyer. Norman Jenkins Ryker IIIValerie Ann MillerDavid Mikel Howard.

Chico Family Legal Aid & Pro Bono Services - Justia California Lawyer ...


... and research family legal aid and pro bono legal service organizations in Chico, ... Family, DUI andDivorce ... Family, Civil Rights, Consumer and Employment ... Contrary to popular belief, seeking the advice of a family law attorney does not ...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Innocent Inmate Wins $20M Then Loses Half to Wife He Married While in Prison??!!

An Illinois appeals Court says the inmate CAN'T exclude the settlement funds from his "marital property".......the inmate, Mr. Juan Rivera, was in jail since 1992 for allegedly murdering an 11 year old child, but was cleared by DNA evidence and released in 2012. (story continued below....)
Juan Rivera
Juan A Rivera.png
Juan Rivera
BornJuan A. Rivera, Jr.
October 31, 1972 (age 43)
Puerto Rico
Known forBeing wrongfully convicted three times for the murder of Holly Staker and receiving the largest wrongful conviction settlement in US history

Mr. Rivera was married in 2000 (while in prison) and filed for divorce in 2014.  Rivera argued that the settlement was not marital property as it stemmed from conduct that occurred in 1992, while the wife claimed it stemmed from the lawsuit filed after Rivera's overturned conviction in 2011.
The appeals court sided with Sanders-Rivera (the former wife)  in a Sept. 30 decision (PDF)


Personal injuries that occur during the marriage

Family Code 2603 states:
“(a) “Community estate personal injury damages” as used in this section means all money or other property received or to be received by a person in satisfaction of a judgment for damages for the person’s personal injuries or pursuant to an agreement for the settlement or compromise of a claim for the damages, if the cause of action for the damages arose during the marriage, but is not separate property as described in Section 781, unless the money or other property has been commingled with other assets of the community estate.
(b) Community estate personal injury damages shall be assigned to the party who suffered the injuries unless the court, after taking into account the economic condition and needs of each party, the time that has elapsed since the recovery of the damages or the accrual of the cause of action, and all other facts of the case, determines that the interests of justice require another disposition. In such a case, the community estate personal injury damages shall be assigned to the respective parties in such proportions as the court determines to be just, except that at least one-half of the damages shall be assigned to the party who suffered the injuries.”
If Mr. Rivera was represented in California, any attorney should definitely argue against the wife, since the entire settlement and law suit was because he was factually innocent, and had to suffer for decades PLUS his settlement is the largest in the entire country (as he was convicted THREE times!!!)  In other words, although she did marry him, she was not in jail with him.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Divorce and Social Media or... When Your Ex Goes Wild on You!

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on May 18, 2016 1:59 PM


Don't get mad, as the saying goes, get even.

That sounds like great personal advice right after a nasty breakup, but it's not always great legal advice.
While you may want to put your ex on blast on social media, putting personal information out there could be illegal.

So what kind of secrets can you reveal on social media, and which might get you into trouble?

Private Facts, Public Forum

Just because you know something about your ex, doesn't mean the whole world should. Part of building a relationship is trusting that you can confide in another person and that they won't go telling everyone on Facebook or Twitter. Beyond a betrayal of trust, you could get sued.

There are many ways to make an invasion of privacy claim, and one of them is public disclosure of private facts. While state law can vary on the subject, there are generally 3 elements to a public disclosure of private facts claim:

The disclosed fact must be a private fact;
There must be a public disclosure of the private fact(s); and
The public disclosure of private facts must be offensive to a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities.
Some states may have additional elements, but if you're ripping an ex on social media, just know you could be liable for airing their dirty laundry.

Illegal Revenge

One of the more common and odious forms of online retaliation is revenge porn, or posting explicit photos or video of an ex to pornography websites. Beyond being morally reprehensible, the Federal Trade Commission and some states have begun to outlaw the practice, adding criminal penalties for distributing intimate photographs or video that was intended to be private.

So the last thing you should ever do is post an ex's sexually explicit secrets on social media. If an ex has dished a little too publicly about your private history, you may want to ask an experienced attorney about your options, and keep in mind there may be criminal repercussions to getting even with an ex online.

Related Resources:

 Legal Options For Fighting Back Against Online Harassment (FindLaw Blotter)

 Rules for Social Media Use During Divorce 
(FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)

Unwanted Facebook Photo: Invasion of Privacy?
 (FindLaw's Injured)
- See more at:

Custody and TRO Temporary Restraining Orders

Domestic violence related Restraining Orders are a huge problem, and if you either need to fight one,
or obtain one, be forewarned-- it's very easy to GET a TRO, and defending against them is best
reserved for defense attorneys or at least attorneys who know litigation and not just "settlement."

Very few TRO claims are readily settled--clients are either too upset, too physically harmed, or they
made up facts in order to get back at a spouse. Attorney has seen plenty of vindictive TROs over
the years. Often Judges just rubberstamp them, and issue them for 3 years.

Beware if you need to defend against a DV TRO, because a vindictive spouse is the most
difficult to work with. Knowing that, you will need a lot of help to prevail.
Make sure your attorney can properly defend and fight for you.  If not, you stand to lose quite
a bit, both financially, and emotionally.

If the DV TRO is issued against a party, that party cannot presumptively be the custodial parent.
This means that automatically, unless proven otherwise, you are out of the picture as
custodial parent, even if you already were the custodial parent. This would likely require
 a trial to change that.

The best defense in such a case is to be prepared ahead of time, not after the fact.
Make sure your attorney is not simply focused on settling everything while you lose
out. Much of divorce these days requires the ability to litigate for the client.
Settling does not always work.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Separate Property "Reimbursement" by One Spouse; Or is There Enough $$ Left?

Years ago, the Lucas case decided that a spouse contributing her or her separate property funds toward a community asset meant that it was a "gift" to the community, and basically, the contributing spouse did not receive back the amount contributed.  That is the short version of how it used to be.

Then the California Legislature codified Civil Code Sections 4800.1 and 4800.2 into Family Code Sections 2581 and 2640, whereby a right of reimbursement for separate property contributions (absent express agreement otherwise) come off the top of community property, as the characterization and reimbursement must be determined before the community property is divided. Often the community property is held in joint tenancy but not always. There are many variations between cases as to how spouses held title, the year it was first purchased, or refinanced, or subsequently re-titled to some degree.  Further, case law indicates evidence where money from various sources are used for obtaining assets, then commingled to some degree, then sold and used to buy yet another property with even additional funds from different sources (inheritance, loan payoff, refinance, sale, etc.)

The difficult cases usually involve a series over a number of years whereby the parties have bought and sold businesses and real estate and then changed the way title was held, and spent some of the proceeds but then used part of the proceeds for different things.  As expected, tracing large or numerous transactions can be quite a bit of work.

IN some cases the tracing is not exactly obvious or clear, or title is not exactly clear. Also under FC Section 2640, without a clear written waiver of the reimbursement, the community does not simply get to keep that separate proceed, such as a traceable down payment.  There are many published cases on Section 2640 cases, and quite a few involve convoluted tracing.

The reason that this Code Section is hazardous, is mainly because if one spouse thinks the contributing spouse donated the payment to the community (even if there was no clear waiver of the reimbursement right) then the community proceeds may be much larger or smaller than anticipated, because either the waiver was or was not executed sufficiently.

        Image result for picture house splitting half divorce

An example: Susan and Bill are to be married, and prior to marriage, Susan already owned a home worth $500,000, with $500,000 equity. During marriage, Susan deeds the house to Susan and Bill, as community property and records the new deed. At that time, the house equity had increased to $700,000.

Several years later they get divorced. The value of the house is still $700,000. No new loans were taken out on the house, and it was not refinanced or used for collateral on any other property.

So the question is:  Does the community now obtain any of the gained equity? Meaning, does Bill get any proceeds from it?  The answer is probably no. As can be seen this Code Section can be a trap for the unwary. Appreciation (if any) from point A forward is not necessarily the same as one half of the equity (in the home) when considered under FC Section 2640.  If you suspect you have this issue and do not want to guess or make a mistake, make sure you talk to an attorney that is familiar with this.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Attorney Saves Over $900k in Real Estate Assets With 1 Letter, No Litigation !!

How Attorney Saved Client Many $$ Thousands $$ in Litigation Expense --- with One Letter!

When couples split up and are not married and have no domestic contract or partnership or other qualified written agreement, just about anything can happen. 

As an example, consider how much money was saved when attorney drafted a demand letter after one party attempted to take advantage of the other party in a real estate situation involving approximately $902,541 in real estate, by welching on her promise; to be honest, attorney was not 100% sure that the letter would solve the problem, since the other party had been carrying on her behavior over at least, a 2 year time frame................

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Another Judge On "Facebook" Gets In Trouble, Claims Free Speech


BEFORE READING THE STORY------  It's common sense. JUDGES should not be on "Facebook" talking about their cases.  End of story. In fact, most attorneys should avoid Facebook as well....

Judge rebuked for posting on Facebook about trials she was overseeing says ethics panel got it wrong

At least one mistrial resulted because a Texas judge posted on her Facebook account about trials she was overseeing, a judicial ethics panel noted in its decision rebuking her for the practice.
However, 405th District Judge Michelle Slaughter says she did nothing wrong by discussing the cases on her Facebook page and intends to appeal the determination by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct earlier this month. It imposed a public admonition and required the Galveston County jurist to educate herself about social media ethics rules for judges...
In a written statement provided Friday to the Chronicle, Slaughter cited her First Amendment rights and said she had included only publicly available information in her Facebook posts about trials in which she was the presiding judge.
“I will always conduct my proceedings in a fair and impartial way,” she wrote. “The commission’s opinion appears to unduly restrict transparency and openness in government and in our judiciary.”
The commission said Slaughter’s reference to material that wasn’t yet in evidence, as well as a Reuters news article, in her Facebook posts clearly violated ethics rules that were intended to assure the public that judges would oversee cases fairly and impartially. It also pointed out that Slaughter ordered jurors not to discuss the case on social media, but then did so herself.
“Despite her contention that the information she provided was public information, Judge Slaughter cast reasonable doubt upon her own impartiality and violated her own admonition to jurors by turning to social media to publicly discuss cases pending in her court, giving rise to a legitimate concern that she would not be fair or impartial,” the commission wrote.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Bankruptcy and MSAs, Judgments--BEWARE...You Can Lose Big Time...........

SO..when is spousal support  "exempted"  in Bankruptcy?  How about under CCP 703.140?

..........What if the "MSA was purportedly ambiguous?"

..............What if the court thinks the MSA lists the spousal support--- but it's really not spousal?

................What if the alleged support was not reasonably necessary for such support?

---->  Must the Court look beyond the labels provided for in the MSA?

An evidentiary hearing in Bankruptcy Court is very interesting. (See )
..............."While there are significant differences between adversary proceedings and contested matters, the similarities between them are greater than appellant assumes. 
In a contested matter, there is no summons and complaint, pleading rules are relaxed, counterclaims and third-parties practice does not apply, and most pre-trial procedure is either foreshortened or dispensed with in the interest of time and simplicity.

 Nevertheless, . . . discovery is available, testimony regarding contested material factual disputes must be taken in the same manner as in an adversary proceeding, and the court must make findings of fact and conclusions of law before entering an order that has the status of a judgment." ]

And in this particular case, the Trustee objected to the purported spousal support exemption under the CCP code cited above.  Also noted, Trustee mentioned that the item was purportedly concealed before but that was not  made very clear.

Both parties had attorneys, both parties had attorneys during the MSA process, and the wife had expert. Wife stood to lose about $200,000. and yes,
she did lose it.

...[T]he court initially noted that nearly all cases regarding whether an award is in the nature of spousal support are in the context of nondischargeability under § 523(a)(5), as opposed to an exemption, which was "a different situation." Hr'g Tr. (Jan. 20, 2012) 88:2.      Nevertheless, the court proceeded to discuss In re Combs, a nondischargeability case, and the factors a court can consider in determining whether an award in a divorce decree is in the nature of spousal support or a property settlement. 
     In considering the Combs factors, the court concluded that the Met Life Account was not spousal support; it was a division of property, and therefore not exempt under CCP § 703.140(b)(10)(D). The court further noted that the MSA's express provision for spousal support which, under Stout, could be considered in determining whether an award in a divorce decree is support or property division, was an important factor in its decision to disallow the exemption.
The bankruptcy court entered an order sustaining Trustee's objection and disallowing Diener's exemption of the Met Life Account as spousal support under CCP § 703.140(b)(10)(D) on February 10, 2012. Diener timely appealed.
http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20BCO%2020121128926.xml/IN%20RE%20DIENER  (read case at this link)

You will likely need to be an attorney to understand it, but then again, maybe not.The bottom line is-- if your client may end up in bankruptcy court to salvage assets, you better be sure that the MSA will work under bankruptcy rules and state exemptions, otherwise, as can be seen here, it can open a brand new issue never decided by a bankruptcy court before, and your client is the guinea pig.

Had the wife accepted payments of support without the need for later claiming that the award was an intended buy out for spousal (which was not apparently stated) in the MSA, perhaps she could have left that provision subject to open jurisdiction to enforce; but by taking the money all at once, and since it was not deemed spousal (which would make it taxable to wife) it appears that the Trustee realized this, because the debtor kept amending the Schedule C Exemptions. 
                                 Which is likely a red flag in our opinion....Oops......

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Affordable Family Law Attorney Oroville, Chico

Attorney has been working on family law cases for  many years, with a very high percentage of good results. Down to earth, experienced and aggressive but still fair, and a very well spoken advocate in court. Published precedent case at SPB, applicable to all State agencies in California, involving defense of software engineer in alleged sexual harassment, still good precedent since 1993.

You can reach Ms. Chan directly at the number on this site, 530.359.8810.

It's always best to know what you are up against before you get into the case. Attorney has worked on very difficult cases and many, many issues involving kids and finances, non disclosure, alleged abuse, and spousal support disputes; alleged molestation, alleged drug issues, alleged stalking and far more.

Ms. Chan is one of the few attorneys that has worked and researched Animal Law issues for many years, including constitutional due process within the seizure process, exigency issues, improper seizure, owner/breeder property rights, property rights to owned animals/livestock, liens within bankruptcy, owners of service animals, breed specific legislation, breed bans, targed animal owner legislation, and much more.  See, for example: http://animallawparalegal.blogspot.com/

Ms. Chan has practiced in San Diego (all locations- North County, South, Downtown and East County) San Jose Superior, Sacramento Superior (Civil, Criminal, Family), Butte County Superior (Family, Criminal, civil).......  Attorney has also worked on cases shown in the media and news, including animal related cases, and criminal defense related issues. Attorney is admitted into Southern District Federal Court, Northern District Federal Court, and Eastern District Federal Court, plus the Bankruptcy Courts in the same districts, and Colorado Federal District Court.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

More Reasons to Not Like Dumb Laws in California...........

This isn't directly "family law" but it's "law" in California that is definitely carved out of both Los Angeles and San Francisco, and then animal activists just carry the ball even further.

Say NO to this kind of crummy liberal nonsense!!!


California: The Ultimate Nanny State

Zen fascists will control you.
In California, a 15-year-old girl can abort a viable baby without telling her parents, but starting now a married 20-year-old with a job and kids can’t buy a pack of cigarettes. Or get a drink. That same 15-year-old girl is banned from getting an indoor tan, and a woman must obtain, and give, “affirmative consent” before kissing someone during her college years.
No one can use foam takeout containers or plastic carryout bags or play online poker. This is a state that wanted to ban you from eating the livers of waterfowl. If the state discovers you’ve purchased raw milk, a confiscation team may visit your home to impound the supply. The sale of caffeinated beer is forbidden. E-cigarettes are now treated as if they were tobacco,even if they are not.   
OK , below is not related to the article, just thought it was funny........
What does this pic mean?  Dog=child=human  or, Dog=Human....

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What's Wrong with "Affordable" Legal Help?


So why is the question even asked? Probably because some people believe legal help should not be affordable, legal help should only be for rich people, or anything affordable simple cannot be any good?  REALLY?!

Everyone knows that money talks. Everyone knows that in personal injury, your attorney will not even charge you upfront for most things; they will take a lien. Why?  Because they will be paid later since your case is so good, supposedly.  In fact, they may end up taking up to 40% of your settlement depending on what is done.  But in family law, and criminal law, such contingency upfront liens are not used.  Most can possibly get a real property lien for attorney fees, so something similar. But not an actual contingency lien. (Those are the ads for if you don't win you don't pay...)  In family law, you will likely end up paying unless there is a way your attorney can get the fees from the other party.

Family law rules have certain criteria on who can get paid their fees, and from where. In many instances, it is the female who does not work, being paid by the male who does work. But not always.  We have seen attorneys implicating that "affordable" is not good, but that a standard is good. Surely most attorneys do not believe that simply because something is affordable, it cannot be up to standard?  That is simply wishful thinking. In family law, we have seen attorneys easily charge $3,000, $4,000, $5000, and client never gets a dime, never even gets into court to be heard, and the paperwork filed probably took about an hour to prepare.

Majority of graduates of national Ivy League colleges or law schools normally don't even bother to practice Family Law in the first place. Family law is a very different type of practice because it requires an incredible amount of people skills, patience, and to some degree, extra effort in the compassion department. It also requires one to be able to handle very difficult emotional clients--which many attorneys simply cannot, will not, or choose not to engage with........

Family law has a very high rate of "burnout" meaning, it is taxing in part, due to the emotional situations that are commonly seen. Clients are usually mad, sad, crying, fighting, bitching, moaning, complaining. That is par for the course-- professional people in divorces, non professional,  all of them.  95% of them are mad. Money issues make them mad, custody law makes them mad. Can we blame them?  Not really.

Just remember that few attorneys want to actually "be" affordable. Many people realize that most attorneys are not poor, and it's not because they charge a lower rate.  Some people believe that people who engage in document prep for pro se clients, or those individuals that function as LDAs (legal document assistants) or anyone that does unbundled work for clients must not be worthy. That is just a biased view against anyone who has ever helped clients who have less money; the state of CA has purposely set up the Family law Facilitator and SHARP (to name a few) in order to help with the increasing amount of people who cannot afford attorneys at all.

And with 75 to 80% of clients in pro se status in Family law cases, this has caused a huge backlog in the courts, for example, in the Bay Area, several court houses closed and divorces take 2 years to finalize; in Sacramento, the backlog is estimated at 1.5yr to get a judgment.  Much of that is because the paperwork needed for the cases is not prepared correctly and keeps getting sent back.

Therefore, having the paperwork done correctly will lessen the time it takes to process it--and guess what?  Few attorneys actually prepare paperwork when it comes to forms, most is done by the paralegal or assistant. Those forms are mostly free online, but one does have to know what to do with the forms.For example, failure to properly list an asset as a separate asset may cause the Court to believe it is a community asset.  Attorneys may devise the pleadings and the content and will review everything. However, don't believe that attorneys sit at the computer and fill out the forms, because at $350-$500/hr, they should be doing something else.

*We note that IF a specific case is dealing with exceptionally complicated assets, buyouts, commingled assets, premarital documents, exceptional contested facts like a movie star might have, physicians that own 7 separate medical companies, and cases involving multi-national corporations, or multi-national IP offerings--yes--those cases will take a lot of work, normally working with accounting forensics, maybe a special master. (Attorney herein used to be in an office with special master.)  But for most of the average divorces, those situations do not happen frequently unless one lives in Silicon Valley or Hollywood.