Friday, August 12, 2011

In Re Marriage of Bodo (Cal. Ct. App. - August 12, 2011)

His name's Martin.  So that predisposes me to want him to win.

But I'm glad he loses.  The Court of Appeal holds that "substantial" and "material" -- as in, a "substantial change of circumstances" to justify a modification of child support -- mean the same thing.  Which I think is correct.  Indeed, if the words mean different things, I'm not sure which one's even larger.  Is a "material" change greater than a "substantial" change?  Or vice-versa?

But wholly apart from the words, the facts of the entire opinion reek of Martin manipulating his alleged income (with "loans" and other schemes from his privately-held corporation) in order to stiff his ex-wife.  Yes, the amount he actually earns probably went down at least a little bit when economic conditions in the computer industry changed.  But his efforts to manipulate things so he allegedly earns virtually nothing (and to shift assets to his mother) make it virtually impossible to tell the actual truth.

Sometimes a litigant can be his own worst enemy.