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In re Marriage of Sharples

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Second Division

January 22, 2014

IN RE the MARRIAGE OF Linda and Norman SHARPLES.
v.
Norman Sharples, Respondent. Linda Sharples, Appellant,

APPEAL from the Superior Court of Riverside County. James T. Warren, Judge. Reversed. (Super. Ct. No. SWD1100967)

Page 161

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 162

COUNSEL

[166 Cal.Rptr.3d 819] Law Office of Aaron M. Hudson and Aaron M. Hudson for Appellant.

Singleton Smith Law Offices, Inc., Diane Singleton Smith; Lubrani & Brown, Michael D. Lubrani, Murrieta, and Lawya Rangel, Riverside, for Respondent.

OPINION

KING, J.

Page 163

I. INTRODUCTION

In this marriage dissolution proceeding, appellant Linda Sharples (Wife) sought an order requiring respondent Norman Sharples (Husband) to pay for her attorney fees and costs pendente lite. The court denied the request because Wife did not file Judicial Council form FL-319 (hereafter form FL-319), which the court explained was mandatory. Because that form is not mandatory when, as here, comparable declarations are submitted, we will reverse the court's order.

II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL SUMMARY

Wife filed an order to show cause (OSC) seeking modification of spousal support and an order to pay $20,000 for attorney fees and $10,000 for expert accounting fees. The OSC was supported by a memorandum of points and authorities, Wife's declaration, a declaration by Wife's counsel, and an income and expense declaration. According to Wife, Husband was the chief executive officer of Copan Diagnostics, Inc. (Copan), and had income in 2010 of $855,850. Wife was employed at Copan and made $700 per month. However, she [166 Cal.Rptr.3d 820] believed Husband was trying to force her out of the company and she would soon have no income. She had $42,000 in assets and average monthly expenses of approximately $9,700. In his declaration, Wife's counsel set forth his qualifications as a certified family law specialist, his billing rates, and the need to retain the services of an accountant.

Husband opposed the OSC. He stated he had been giving Wife $3,000 per month and she would receive a portion of his bonus income. He also stated he had provided Wife's attorney with $10,000 for her attorney fees. Wife's request that he pay more, he asserted, was unreasonable; and there was no need for an accounting expert in this case. He argued that each side should pay for their own attorneys and experts. Husband did not assert there was any procedural defect in Wife's OSC.

Prior to the hearing on the OSC, Wife's attorney filed an amended declaration and an updated income and ...


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