A heavily contested marital dissolution trial lasted 57 days, resulting in an appeal involving complex issues regarding whether a 1994 premarital agreement, which limited community property rights and spousal support, was invalid as unconscionable at the time of dissolution in 2014, and whether the awards of child support, spousal support, and attorney fees were supported by the evidence.
A protracted contested dissolution trial presented issues whether the trial court erred in allocating settlement funds received by wife in a separate sexual harassment action, in finding husband breached his fiduciary duty to wife in managing marital assets and investments, in valuing a particular asset at the time of trial rather than at the time of separation, and in awarding wife ten percent interest on funds owed her by husband.
Plaintiff sperm donor sought a declaration under Fam. Code, § 7611, subd. (d), that he was a presumed parent of a child conceived by defendant mother (with whom plaintiff had previously had a long-term relationship). Primary issue was whether Fam. Code, § 7613, subdivision (b) (sperm donor is not a parent of the child, absent a written agreement to the contrary) categorically precluded a finding of presumed parentage under Fam. Code, § 7611, subd. (d), based on the sperm donor’s post-birth conduct of receiving the child into his home and openly holding out the child as his natural child.
Actor moved to invalidate spousal support provisions of a marital dissolution judgment and marital settlement agreement on the ground of duress pursuant to Fam. Code, § 2122, subd. (c). Primary issue involved whether ex-wife’s alleged threats to publicly release private intimate recordings (which allegedly would have been embarrassing to the actor and would have damaged his career) constituted duress, leading him to agree to pay spousal support far greater that which he would otherwise have been required to pay based on the parties' one-year marriage.
Hon. Thomas L. Willhite, Jr. (Ret.)
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