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Tentative Ruling
Judge Thomas Anderle
Department 3 SB-Anacapa
1100 Anacapa Street P.O. Box 21107 Santa Barbara, CA 93121-1107

FAMILY LAW

Amy Havens and Robert Mungary

Case No: 1417451
Hearing Date: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:30

Nature of Proceedings: Req. for Order: SS/Atty Fees/Payment of Income Tax Debt

This dissolution action was filed on 6/5/13 after 2 years and 5 months of marriage; no children; husband filed a Response to the Petition in June. On 11/13 wife filed a RFO seeking spousal support, attorney fees; and an order that husband pay ½ of the 2012 community income tax debt. Wife filed a financial declaration; reports she was paid $2,667/mo “last month” for salary or wages and $3,523/mo “last month” for ownership interest in Centerpoint Pilates, Inc; that calculates to $6,190/mo; her 12 month average is $1,820/mo wages plus $2,929/mo self- employment income; has personal property worth $25,000; estimates husband’s “gross income before taxes per month” at $200,000/mo (?) plus commissions or bonuses [I assume this is an error and she means “per year”]; she helps to support her mother. Wife attaches as an Exhibit C to her moving papers an income and expense declaration of husband dated 9/6/13; in that declaration he reports salary or wage income of $5,245 “last month” plus $9,489 “last month” for commissions or bonuses; he reported $403 in insurance premiums and $7,853 in cash. Husband filed a response on 12/4; does not consent to the order requested; the marriage was short; asks that the Court continue the matter so he can receive a proper accounting of the wife’s income; claims wife is attempting to punish him for failed marriage. Husband filed a current income and expense declaration on 12/6; estimates wife’s gross monthly income at $68,400/mo (?) [I assume this is an error]; he reports “last month’s” wages at $5,246 and “last month’s” commissions at $7,048 (but reports $10,000 /mo over the last 12 month as an average); reports $392/mo in insurance premiums and has $13,000 in cash; has paid his attorney $6,000. Husband lodged with the Court a financial declaration of wife dated July 22, 2013 (shows only self-employment income of $4,047 “last month” and $4,647 over a 12-month average) and a different financial declaration dated November 22, 2013 (shows “last month’s” income of $2,667 wages and $3,523/mo from self-employment = $6,190/mo; shows 12- month average of $1,820/mo salary and $2,929/mo from self-employment). Wife filed a reply on 12/10; needs help to get back on her feet; withdraws the income tax request since she has paid the debt and the only remaining issue is reimbursement; owes her attorney $5,835; requests attorney fees of $9,000 and spousal support of $3,856/mo. Submits a DissoMaster proposal that assumes husband earns $15,246/mo and assumes she has 5-month average earnings from Pilates of $1,820/mo and a 5-month average self- employment income from CenterPoint of $1,329/mo (this is not a number that wife previously reported on her financial declaration); proposes support at $3,856/mo. Rulings: 1. This case needs to be tried; the trial date is May 27, 2014, at 11:30am in this Department; the mandatory settlement conference date is May 9, 2014, in Department 5 at 8 am. 2. Temporary spousal support is set at $3,000/mo retroactive to November 13, 2013, with credit for any sums actually paid; support payments regularly due on the first of each month hereafter. I have assumed husband earns $15,000/mo and wife has wages of $2,000/mo and self-employment income of $3,000/mo; husband has insurance premiums of $392/mo. I have elected to use rounded-off numbers because wife’s financial declarations have been inconsistent; additionally her “last month’s” income has shown improvement over the 12- month average. Husband has some reason for expressing frustration at what numbers are accurate. But the fact is that husband’s income, under any scenario, is far better than wife’s income; she should have assistance as provided by the legal authorities. My DissoMaster guideline calculation will be available in the Courtroom for you. 3. Attorney fees payable by husband to wife on account are $7,500 payable by January 1, 2014; husband has the ability and funds with which to pay such sum; the allocation of attorney fees may be adjusted by the Court at the time of trial.