Representing Professional Athletes In Family Law Matters
Family law matters such as divorce and child custody always present challenges. The emotions and stress that are part of dealing with family law difficulties can test anyone. For professional athletes, focus can be a key to success, both on the field or court and in the development of a career. Any family law matter will cause distraction, and it should: Your family life is an important matter. But, having the guidance and advocacy of a family law attorney who understands the pressures of your career and who has experience in helping professional athletes through divorces and other challenging family law matters will help you minimize that distraction. I am attorney Steven R. Stolar, and at Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, I am here for you during your time of legal need.
Family Law Representation Reflecting Your Situation
For professional athletes, making sure that the court understands how to deal with the rigors of the demanding schedules they have to keep is essential to issues such as child support. The amount of time you have with your child affects the amount of child support you pay.
The state of California uses a program called DissoMaster to set child support obligations. DissoMaster can create unnecessarily high child support burdens for those with exceptional income. This makes it extremely important that you have an attorney who knows how to persuade a judge that deviation from the state guidelines is appropriate.
At Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, I have more than 35 of experience helping professional athletes secure effective resolutions when divorce or other family law issues arise. I know that professional athletes have particular needs and circumstances from which their family law matters derive. My decades of experience helping gifted athletes allow me to provide representation that is effective and allows you to stay focused on the business of your career.
I have worked with all kinds of professional athletes, including those from the:
Skilled Legal Leadership
I am skilled in helping my firm’s clients achieve their family law goals. Part of that success includes understanding how to work with all their advisers and management.
My extensive experience in working with athletes allows me to provide integrated and comprehensive representation. Managers and agents have often hired my firm to represent their clients’ interests.
Seeking A Child Custody Arrangement In Support Of Your Family Ties
Preserving the quality of your relationship with your children is a critical goal for all parents, including those who are divorcing, separating or who were never married. While this goal is almost universal, the circumstances in which the establishment of a child custody agreement is occurring and the goals each parent brings to that proceeding create a unique situation.
When one parent is a professional athlete, the circumstances of their career can create a unique situation that often requires special consideration when a child custody agreement is being established. If you are a professional athlete, it is essential that you have the representation of an attorney who is capable of ensuring that your child custody arrangement recognizes the demands that your career places on your life.
Representation That Can Help You Pursue Fair Child Support
Child support is calculated using a formula contained in guidelines mandated by the state. Calculating appropriate child support for professional athletes can require familiarity with applying the state guidelines to the unique compensation that is part of such a career.
The guidelines look at each parent’s income and other factors such as:
- Day care expenses
- Educational expenses
- Health care expenses
For an athlete who has a contract to play with a professional sports team, there may be years of high, predictable income followed by a retirement that begins much sooner than most. For an athlete who plays a solo sport, such as golf or tennis, annual earnings may vary greatly.
Many athletes will also have outside income from sources such as:
- Real estate
- Business ownership
For professional athletes, the state guidelines can create unfair burdens. The guidelines were designed with more traditional income levels and sources in mind. I understand how to present sufficient evidence to the court to support a request for a deviation from the guidelines to create a lower, fairer obligation.
Are You A Professional Athlete Considering Divorce?
Divorce for professional athletes poses unique challenges. The emotions and the impact that divorce has on the practical aspects of your life can be difficult to handle. When divorce occurs to someone whose career can be high pressure, it makes it all the more imperative that they have the experienced guidance of someone who can effectively protect their interests and create real solutions that are tailored to the unique circumstances of their career.
The careers of professional athletes can place them under enormous pressure to perform. When divorce threatens to derail your ability to focus on your career, I can help. I am able to craft effective solutions in even the most challenging and complex circumstances. I am also comfortable working with agents and managers to create the most effective resolutions possible for their clients.
My clients require representation that is capable of working around the dynamic aspects of the career of a professional athlete, such as:
- Demanding work, travel and training schedules
- Income from multiple sources, such as endorsements
- Income that may vary from year to year
- Media relations
I provide professional athletes with representation that is experienced in dealing with and diffusing media attention. I offer a unique set of skills and experience that allows me to work to prevent unnecessary exposure of your personal life or the lives of your children.
Enforcement Of Family Court Orders
In an ideal world, everyone will do what they have agreed to do following a divorce. However, this is not always the case. When the other party to a family law agreement is failing to meet the obligations that were set during your divorce or other family law proceeding, take action by securing the representation of an attorney who understands how to use the power of the courts to enforce compliance with the arrangements that were agreed upon during your divorce or other family law proceedings.
I am capable of taking immediate action to help you hold your ex-spouse to the obligations they agreed to during your divorce.
Modifications Of Family Court Orders
When a family law matter is being decided, deliberation and negotiation are often necessary to create the agreements and arrangements that will govern matters such as:
You may have devoted a great deal of thought to what you believe would be necessary regarding those issues in order for you and your children to be happy and able to thrive after your divorce. Circumstances change, and children grow and develop different needs.
For someone in a career as uncommon as a professional athlete, it can be even more difficult to secure arrangements that are flexible enough to be able to deal with such defining characteristics as:
- Income that can vary substantially from year to year
- Work and training schedules that can change or otherwise pose a challenge
- The possibility of relocating to join a different sports organization
- The possibility of a strike
- The possibility that an injury may have a huge impact on your income
When your current agreements no longer represent the realities that you are living with, take action immediately to modify them. Your first step needs to be securing the representation of an attorney who understands the issues that professional athletes face.
Getting Married? Establish A Prenuptial Agreement.
Professional athletes understand the benefits of effective financial management. With the possibility of substantial income and assets that a career as a professional athlete can bring, it is necessary to ensure that your increasingly complex financial matters are handled appropriately. This includes when you are considering getting married.
A prenuptial agreement is an important tool that can help you:
- Manage your finances
- Find common ground on difficult issues during a time not overwrought with stress
- Outline how such critical issues such as spousal support will be handled
The certainty that a prenuptial agreement can create can be a great relief considering the fact that the income of a professional athlete can vary dramatically from year to year. Many professional athletes have to relocate with some frequency due to the demands of their careers. It is important to know that your prenuptial agreement effectively addresses that component of your career. My experience allows me to craft prenuptial agreements that are enforceable even under unique circumstances.
Concerned About Property Division?
Professional athletes, like many other well-compensated individuals, often have substantial assets and property. During the division of community property, which is part of a divorce, the court will work to equitably divide the assets and debts of the marriage.
There are two questions that are pertinent to the division of community property:
- Which assets and debts can be construed as community property?
- Which should be considered separate property?
- What constitutes an equitable division of the community property?
It is critical that those questions be answered in a way that results in a division of property that favors you. Without representation that is skilled in handling substantial assets, you may be forced to part with property unnecessarily. I understand how to deal with the specific issues that confront professional athletes during the division of property. I know that every client has specific goals for the division of property. I will have a thorough and frank discussion with you about those goals, and I will build a strategy that is designed to achieve those goals. I consult with outside financial experts when the situation calls for such expertise. I want to ensure that difficult-to-value assets are accurately appraised.
Seeking A Protective Or Restraining Order?
If you are a professional athlete undergoing a disruption in personal or family relationships and you find yourself in need of a restraining order, Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, is a valuable resource. I regularly represent professional athletes and entertainers. Have you dealt with harassment, abuse or stalking by someone with whom you have a close relationship?
I can obtain a domestic violence restraining order against:
- Your spouse or registered domestic partner
- Your ex-wife, ex-husband or former domestic partner
- Your recent or former dating interest
- A cohabiting partner of yours
- Your child’s mother or father
- Your parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather or in-law
Your status as a well-known athlete may make it difficult for the person named to completely stay off your radar. How will you retain your privacy when you are a well-known athlete? I have ample experience advising clients on the most effective ways of self-protection.
Depending on your circumstances, you may require a/an:
- Emergency protective order (EPO)
- Temporary protective order (TRO)
- “Permanent” restraining order
- Criminal protective order
Assisting Athletes With Spousal Support Issues
Spousal support is designed to allow spouses to approximately maintain the quality of life that they enjoyed during the marriage. In divorces where one spouse is an extraordinarily high-income earner and the other spouse’s financial contribution is not comparable, spousal support can be a contentious issue. For professional athletes, this may be especially true.
If you are a professional athlete and are facing the uncertainty of divorce, it is essential that you secure the representation of an attorney who is skilled in appropriately establishing or disputing spousal support that is based on substantial income that may fluctuate.
When the courts are making determinations regarding spousal support, factors such as the following are considered:
- Earning potential
- Ability to prepare for a new occupation
In addition to ensuring that spousal support levels are set appropriately at the time of divorce, I will also look toward the future. I know that professional athletes’ income can vary sizably from one year to the next. I will be there to help ensure that any spousal support is based on the most accurate and current income assessment.
Basketball Players And Others Facing Divorce, Let Me Advise You
If you are a professional athlete and you need help with a family law matter, you need to take action to ensure that you have well-versed legal representation from a lawyer who understands your unique needs. At Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, I will work tirelessly to protect you.