San Diego Divorce Evidence: Burden of Proof

A commonly asked question in California is "how much does a California divorce cost"? Many times in answering this question one must consider "who has the burden of proof"? Wikipedia defines legal burden of proof through different examples and Latin phrases and also states that the person who does not have the burden of proof is assumed, by law, to have the winning side of the case. In other words, the person who does not have the burden of proof does not have to say or do anything in court unless the other party meets his or her burden of proof. These rules applies to property division and other family law issues. As a San Diego Certified Family Law Specialist lawyer, my research came across a case that addresses the question of burden of proof; and that case is Marriage of Margulis. You may read the case decision here. Inspired by the facts of the Margulis case, consider this example in order to see the role of burden of proof in a San Diego family court trial: Husband and Wife were married for 10 years. At the date of separation Husband disclosed that he had stock and financial accounts, under his name, with a value of $900,000. For many reasons, the case does not go to trial for two more years. At trial Husband claim that the $900,000 is now down to $150,000. He says that $750,000 is gone by virtue of the downturn in the market, and money he gave to Wife for support as well as paying off marital debts; but Husband fails to bring documents to court to prove all of this. Wife's attorney at trial simply shows the evidence of the $900,000 in stock and financial accounts as they existed at the date of separation and states that Wife requests that Husband pay her $450,000. The attorney cites the presumption that funds acquired during the marriage are presumed to be community property. The attorney shows that Husband was the spouse managing these accounts and argues that the Husband has failed to show any evidence accounting for the loss of these funds. (Divorce evidence takes many forms. See video below.)

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