Equitable marital property division.The Law Offices of Michael R. Norton offers several solutions for dissolution of marriage including litigation, negotiation, mediation, collaborative divorce and representation for an equitable marital property division.  He is a trained family law mediator and collaborative attorney.

California is a community property state that looks at divorce issues differently than other states.  Family law judges have very specific requirements and expectations relating to custody, valuation of assets, spousal support and equitable distribution of marital property.

Divorce may be unlike anything you have ever been through before.  We know that confronting issues of custody and marital property can make this one of the most trying times of your life.  You are facing life changing decisions about money, property, support and parenting.  You are facing them all at once in an arena that is foreign to you and with rules you do not know.  It is important to find an experienced family law attorney who understands California divorce law and who can help the process go much smoother for you and your children.

Michael Norton has over 20 years experience as a family law attorney, he has been certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization in the area of family law.  The firm’s representative clientele includes business executives, high-net worth individuals and professionals and it also provides services to a broad range of individuals.

Child Support

The term "Support" refers to both child support and spousal support.  Certain elements are common to both when calculating the amount.  Those common elements are income or income substitutes.  An example of an income substitute is the ability of a spouse to earn money that may be different from the actual amount of earnings from employment.  It can involve income from assets (stocks, bonds or savings) or lack of income from assets (equity in a residence).  Identifying income available for support can be tricky and expert advice is critical to both paying and receiving spouses.

Computerized support programs also play a role.  For child support, as required by statute, the amount of time each of the parents is responsible for a child and other factors that relate to the parents' income and assets are considerations. 

Child support orders are always modifiable if circumstances change. 

When alternatives to litigation are used (such as negotiation, mediation, and collaborative practice) the parties are not tied to the computerized calculations and are free to fix an amount that is fair and adequate for the support of the children. 

Spousal Support

Computerized programs are utilized to computer temporary spousal support at the beginning of the case.  When the case is near the end, the "permanent" spousal support is set using a number of specific factors including age, health, ability to earn and several other important considerations.

Again, when appropriate alternative resolution methods are utilized, the parties have more latitude in finding a support plan that works best for their particular situation.  Monthly payment of a fixed sum is just one option that might be used.  There is greater flexibility and an opportunity for creative solutions when divorcing couples negotiate, rather than litigate.   


For many clients, custody of their children is a major concern.  Child custody disputes will generally determine how the parents share time and parenting responsibilities with regard to their children.  We assist clients in designing a parenting plan that serves the best interests of the children.  However, sometimes this is not possible and the parties cannot reach an agreement.  When legitimate questions arise about what is best for the children, we enlist the assistance of psychological experts to help develop a custody plan that will meet the needs of the client and their children.