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2016: San Diego Divorce, Paternity and Legal Separation for Engineers: Legal Strategies Attorneys may use


Engineers who are going through a family law case in San Diego, whether married or not married, can have complicated cases and an attorney can help with the legal analysis. While you can represent yourself, a lawyer can be very beneficial. Engineers are highly educated and are used to analysis of many factors and also have their own way of thinking. It is important for engineers to understand how attorneys analyze their case so that they can help as much as possible with their case. Lawyers use a analytical strategy called “IRAC”: issue; rule; analysis and conclusion. For example, the issue may be where the children will live and with who when the engineer and their spouse no longer are cohabitating. The rules are governed by the Family Law Code and also by procedure such as Family Court Services and a hearing before a Judge if an agreement cannot be reached. The analysis will be under the Family Law Code sections which are relevant to custody and visitation. The conclusion will follow from the analysis of the law and facts of each case and all are different. In addition, unfortunately, a divorce can be a very adversarial proceeding unlike working in the engineering field which can be collaborative. While most engineers, given the set of data, may agree on the outcome, this is different in the legal field. An example may be that 2+2=4 in the engineering world however [in family law], 2+2 may equal 22 in the legal world [concept analysis only]. A Judge, if an agreement cannot be reached, may have to make a decision. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC has represented engineers in the past and has experience with their compensation and retirement programs. These cases can be very complicated and the team of attorneys and staff will help you through this most difficult period.


While compensation for engineers in San Diego may be same as for other industries, there can be some differences. Many companies such as Qualcomm, Sony, Broadcom. SAIC, Hewlett-Packard and others may offer compensation not only in monthly salaries but also in incentives to be hired and stay with the company. These can consist of restricted stock units, stock options and other forms of compensation. Restricted stock units are shares of stock [common] subject to vesting as well as other restrictions. RSU’s can be issues by both public and private companies. Also, stock options, whether vested or non vested, have been used. In the event of a divorce of legal separation, division of the RSU’s and/or stock options [whether unvested or vested] become a very important issue. The community property interest can be divided 50% each for the period from date of marriage to date of separation however the engineer may want to try and use a formula which was is more beneficial to them. This can be very complicated and an expert may be needed to determine the division. Many engineers take the position that the stock options and/or RSU[s] are for retention and not for hiring. As such, the value is when the engineer stays and not signs for employment or starts. This can result in thousands of dollars of difference in the division depending on the amount and facts of the case. Also, bonus income may be received and this can be complicated for the calculation of both spousal and child support. Many times, a legal argument can be made for the base amount of support with an over ride payment so that support is not paid on income which is not received. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC has experience in both non vested and vested stock option division as well as the restricted stock units division. If necessary, their law office can obtain an expert for the division to make sure your rights are protected.


The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can help you no matter what field of engineering you are in. A free in-person or virtual consultation, upon request, will be given up to 30 minutes with a California licensed attorney who can review your individual case and give you a legal analysis for the parenting plan, child support, spousal support, division of assets, division of debts and any other legal issues which present in your case. Their office has free parking and is conveniently located at the Bernardo Center Drive exist off the Interstate 15.

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I want to take this time to thank you and your staff for an outstanding job with my case to terminate spousal, you are an excellent attorney Roy, and your staff is very professional and considerate to my questions and concerns of my case. Thank you very much again. T.Y.
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