Thomas D. Ferreira

Thomas Ferreira is a Divorce Lawyer and Mediator in Carlsbad California. Having gone through his own divorce in 2006, Thomas understands both the emotional and legal struggles involved in divorce and child custody cases. Thomas specializes in helping parties reduce conflict and contain costs during the divorce process.

Most commented posts

  1. DIVORCE: BEFORE YOU GET A LAWYER — 4 comments
  2. SPOUSAL SUPPORT (ALIMONY) IN CALIFORNIA–HOW IS IT CALCULATED? — 1 comment

Author's posts

IS ALIMONY REALLY FAIR IN A NO FAULT DIVORCE?

While researching cases for premarital agreement, I came across a case in 2000 where the California Supreme Court was asked to rule on whether couples to be married could waive spousal support (alimony) in a premarital (or prenuptial) agreement.  The case is Marriage of Pendleton which you can find by going to the state’s case …

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THAT’S NOT FAIR

It’s what I call the divorcee’s lament.  I hear it in court, mostly from self-represented litigants.  I hear it when I consult with clients.  I hear it in mediation.  Say it with me:  “that’s not fair!” No, what’s happening in divorce court is not fair, and most people leave family court feeling like they’ve been …

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CHILD CUSTODY SECRET NUMBER THREE: MOTIVATE YOUR CHILD TO SPEND TIME WITH YOU

Here is the fourth and final installment of The Best Free Advice on Child Custody Ever, and I’ve saved the best for last.  I give this advice not so much as a child custody lawyer, but as a parent.  And here’s the secret: Your children will want to spend time with you when they have …

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CHILD CUSTODY SECRET NUMBER 2: THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP IS KING

This is Thomas Ferreira, your Carlsbad Child Custody, visitation and divorce attorney, with the third installment on the best strategy to get more parenting time.  When the court is involved, it is important to understand the spirit and the letter of child custody law.  California family recognizes this in Family Code section 3040: (a) Custody …

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CHILD CUSTODY SECRET NUMBER ONE: HOW TO LAY THE GROUNDWORK BEFORE REQUESTING COURT ORDERS

As promised, here is the second installment on my series, Best Child Custody Advice Ever.  This advice is mostly for non-custodial parents who want more time with the children.  I don’t generally consider myself a “father’s rights” attorney—my philosophy is that each co-parent after a divorce or separation brings something unique and important to the …

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THE BEST FREE ADVICE ON CHILD CUSTODY EVER—3 WAYS TO TIP THE SCALES IN YOUR FAVOR

Hello again from Thomas Ferreira, your child custody, family, divorce and support mediator and lawyer serving California cities of Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, San Diego and surrounding areas. I want to address a specific situation where you get child custody and visitation orders that are  restrictive of your visitation, don’t give you enough time …

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SHARING KIDS WHEN YOU USED TO LIVE TOGETHER: HOW TO START OFF WELL.

You’ve had about all you can take, and you’ve decided to move out of your girlfriend’s house.  But there’s a little problem, one that weighs about 25 pounds and follows you around a lot—your 2-year-old son with her. Or on the other side, you’ve asked him to leave, but you know that your little girl …

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HOW UNMARRIED FATHERS CAN INSURE THEIR PLACE WITH THE KIDS AFTER THE BREAKUP

Greetings from Thomas Ferreira, your child custody, family, divorce and support mediator and lawyer serving California cities of Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, San Diego and surrounding areas. With marriage becoming less popular among men and women of parenting age, the question of parenting children after the breakup has become a popular subject of litigation.  …

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SAGE ADVICE FROM YOUR CARLSBAD DIVORCE ATTORNEY AND MEDIATOR

Thomas Ferreira here, your top-flight divorce lawyer and mediator serving Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and surrounding cities. I’ve had some experiences lately that have moved me to write about how to save costly attorney’s fees and confrontation in court. Here’s a hint: usually it’s best not to hire the most aggressive divorce attorney in …

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UNDERSTANDING SPOUSAL SUPPORT (ALIMONY) PART III–PERSPECTIVE FROM A LAWYER PRACTICING IN VISTA, CALIFORNIA

Okay, so you have gotten off the floor after receiving your first support calculation from DissoMaster. Is there anything you can do to limit the amount you pay in spoual support (alimony) or create a light at the end of the tunnel? Or is a spousal support award a life sentence after your divorce? If …

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SELF-REPRESENTED DADS IN FAMILY COURT: KNOW HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED

When I’m representing parents in child custody court, it’s always entertaining to watch the “pro pers” while I’m waiting for my case to be called. Day before yesterday was one of the best, illustrating the well-worn motto that the person who represents himself in court has a fool for a client (and for a lawyer, …

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UNDERSTANDING SPOUSAL SUPPORT (ALIMONY)–PERSPECTIVE FROM A LAWYER PRACTICING IN VISTA, CALIFORNIA

I have seen it in mediation a hundred times before: the slumped shoulders, the downcast, exhausted eyes, the furrowed brow, like a patient just told he has 3 months to live. These are the signs of DissoMaster shock, an affliction most often seen in men and women, advanced in their careers, who have supported their …

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SPOUSAL SUPPORT (ALIMONY) IN CALIFORNIA–HOW IS IT CALCULATED?

Dear readers and clients: Those of you who know me know how much I love the institution of marriage. But as a contract, marriage has serious flaws, one of them being the ongoing duty of spouses to financially support one another, a duty that continues even after one party unilaterally decides to dissolve the marriage. …

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HOW CAN WE SERVE YOU BETTER?

Thomas Ferreira here, your solution for all divorce and child-custody-related problems serving Carlsbad, Vista, San Marcos, Escondido, Oceanside and Camp Pendleton–indeed all of North San Diego County. The other day I was in court waiting for a long-cause Order to Show Cause hearing to start. when the talk among the attorneys strayed to how we, …

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PLAYING THE FAMILY COURT GAME TO WIN

This is Thomas Ferreira, your lawyer for child custody, child support, spousal support (alimony) and property division serving Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido, helping you and your family stay out of court,and out of the poorhouse. I also serve clients at the Riverside and Hemet courts. Picture this scenario: you come home …

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California Divorce: Staying Out of Court and Out of the Poor House

CALIFORNIA DIVORCE: STAYING OUT OF COURT AND OUT OF THE POORHOUSE Please join the founder of Divorce Life Solutions, Thomas D. Ferreira, Esq., and Tammy R. Ferreira, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ for an information-packed seminar on how to do your divorce right. At this seminar you will learn: How to cooperate in raising your children …

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THE NBA LOCKOUT: THE SKILLS OF A DIVORCE MEDIATOR MIGHT HELP

What would a lawyer handling child custody cases and divorces at the Vista, North County courthouse know about how to settle the National Basketball Association’s lockout of the players, and possibly save the 2011-2012 NBA season? Plenty. As a basketball fan and as a Carlsbad divorce attorney and mediator, I simply cringe when I see …

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I’M BEING ABUSED. CAN’T I JUST TAKE THE KIDS AND HIDE? ANSWER FROM A CARLSBAD DIVORCE AND CUSTODY ATTORNEY

What do you do if you’re the victim of spousal abuse, but you’re afraid that taking the children to an undisclosed location will run afoul of the California child abduction statute? As a child custody and visitation attorney and mediator, and also as a lawyer who deals with claims of domestic violence, I often get …

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North County San Diego Divorce Lawyer/Mediator Weighs In On Domestic Violence Massacre in Seal Beach

As a human being, I was shocked and dismayed to read about a shooting spree at seal Beach hair salon yesterday, an unspeakably horrible crime that left eight people dead and one clinging to life. As a San Diego, North County divorce, child custody and support lawyer and mediator, I was not surprised to learn …

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IF YOU’RE NOT J LO, CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY PROPERTY LAWS COULD BENEFIT YOU

Rumor has that Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony did not sign any prenuptial agreements prior to their marriage. Now that they’re breaking up, at least one commentator has recommended that J Lo file for divorce in New York, rather than California. That’s because New York does not recognize the community interest in marital property the …

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THE FIVE “DS” FOR DIVORCING YOUR SPOUSE WITHOUT DIVORCING YOUR BANK ACCOUNT

This is Tammy R. Ferreira, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ with some tips on how to divorce well while saving your money and your bank account. At Divorce Life Solutions, we understand that saving money is a priority. But saving money won’t do you any good if you are unable to protect important assets, or survive …

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UNBUNDLED LEGAL SERVICES – A SELF-REPRESENTED DIVORCEE’S BEST FRIEND

In this tough economy, many divorce litigants are turning to self representation to save money. Proceeding without a lawyer can be a great way to save money, especially when the divorce is fairly amicable. Unfortunately, self representation often goes off the rails when there is conflict between the spouses, or when one spouse obtains an …

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CAREFUL: DIVORCE RECORDS PUBLIC RECORD (OR SHOULD ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER HAVE USED MEDIATION?)

Maria Shriver’s divorce from former California Governor Schwarzenegger has dropped off the publicity radar recently, largely because of reports that the couple is getting along and settling amicably. But the breakup got off to a rocky start, marred by bad publicity following Schwarzenegger’s response in court, a response initially denying Shriver’s request for spousal support and …

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Proceeding Without a Lawyer: The Response

You’re watching your favorite baseball team on the TV, when suddenly there’s a knock at the door.  It’s the marshal, and he has a present for you:  your divorce papers.  There’s no need to hide from him.  It’s best to accept the inevitable and respond to the papers. In this installment of Proceeding Without a …

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ANNULMENT OR NULLITY VERSUS DISSOLUTION–CALIFORNIA DIVORCE LAWYER DEFINES

A question I am frequently asked in my Carlsbad, California family law practice is to explain the difference between an “annulment” or “nullity” and a divorce.  As a divorce lawyer, I have found that the best way to explain any legal concept is to get at what the law tries to accomplish. In the case …

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WHAT ABOUT BOB: TIPS FROM A FAMILY LAWYER ON HANDLING THE MANIPULATIVE EX

how-do-i-deal-with-my-difficult-ex-spouse

One of my favorite movies is What About Bob, with Richard Dryfus as Dr. Leo Martin, a psychologist and author of a new bestseller (“Baby Steps“) and Bill Murray as Bob, the patient from hell. Bob convinces Dr. Martin’s whole family that he, Dr. Martin, is crazy, uncaring and self-absorbed, in the end turning his …

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GETTING MORE TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN: MORE TIPS FROM A DIVORC(ED) LAWYER AND FATHER

In this post, I’ll be giving you more ideas on how to lay the groundwork for success when you’re before Family Court Services, custody evaluators and even judges. Many of these decision makers got into this work because they care about children, and most want to see the type of parenting that their scientific studies and clinical training have told them is “good.”

Non-Custodial Fathers You Are Important

Many readers will be surprised to learn that throughout much of American history, the law presumed that children of divorce would be placed with fathers, not mothers. This presumption lasted through the late 19th century, with the advent of the industrial revolution. After that, society and the courts increasingly saw fathers as the source of …

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PROCEEDING WITHOUT A LAWYER: THE ANATOMY OF A DIVORCE PETITION

This is the second installment in the series on doing your own divorce, if you have to. In the simple case, you can prepare much of the paperwork yourself, and use a lawyer for spot services, such as preparing complex pleadings, appearing at motion hearings or preparing a marital settlement agreement. You can use a mediator to assist you in negotiations with your spouse.

To get started, click here to open the San Diego Dissolution Package. Then, click here for a sample Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, and print this out so that you can follow along. I’ll give you some tips that will prevent you from making several trips to the court clerk and getting documents returned. In later installments, I’ll cover the summons, service of papers, pre-trial motions and disclosures. You can use an attorney or contact my office if you get stuck.

PROCEEDING WITHOUT A LAWYER: HOW TO HAVE “THE TALK” WITH YOUR SPOUSE

This article is the first in a series of posts on what to do when you have to do it yourself. My hope is to point you, the lawyerless litigant, toward some resources that will help you to “do it yourself.” There are ways of using lawyers for “unbundled services” that can get results at relatively low cost, using the lawyer only for what’s essential.

GETTING MORE TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN: 5 TIPS FROM A DIVORC(ED) LAWYER AND FATHER

You may remember Bill Clinton’s slogan when he ran against the elder George Bush in 1992, “Its the economy, stupid.” In custody disputes, substitute the words “parent-child relationship,” and you have an excellent formula for influencing court mediators and judges, and getting more time with your children. Always remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and the seeds you sow in relationship now are likely to bear fruit years later in the form of healthier, closer family relationships, and happier children.

FOR HIGH NET WORTH PEOPLE, DIVORCE MEDIATION IS SUPERIOR TO HIGH-PRICED LAWYERS

Most people have no idea what you have sacrificed to amass a high net worth. If your estate is worth $10 million or more, chances are you didn’t inherit the money or win the lottery. Instead, you deferred gratification, investing regularly in your savings and investment accounts, while driving an older car, forgoing that night …

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PARENTING AFTER DIVORCE: A NEW TRUST BETWEEN CO-PARENTS

Having helped numerous divorcing parents as a family law attorney and mediator, I have seen the whole gamut from the amicable, trusting couple whose decision to divorce was mutual, to the bitter, angry parents who weigh every communication to decide how it will play in court. Lawyers, judges and court professionals generally try to foster …

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DIVORCE: BEFORE YOU GET A LAWYER

The biggest mistake most divorcing couples make is to assume that it is necessary to immediately run to an agressive lawyer and begin this process. But all too often, through the process of posturing (taking extreme positions to gain negotiating advantage) and “take no prisoners” litigation, well-meaning family lawyers only pour gasoline on the fire of family conflict. If you are embarking on the path of divorce, you need to make good decisions early in the case, for the benefit of your finances and your children. The best outcomes come when the parties have support from others going through what they are going through, are fully informed of their rights and obligations under the family code, and when they are able to resolve differences without resorting to court battles.

Making Good Decisions When You Divorce

Welcome to the inaugural post for the Law Offices of Thomas D. Ferreira blog.  Come here to find useful information and tips on navigating the California family law courts, getting more time with your children, reducing conflict in your co-parenting relationship and saving money through mediation and self-representation.  My hope is that this page will …

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