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Blog Posts in 2016

  • Determining the Date of Separation

    How does the Court currently determine the date of separation in a California family law action? A recent case came down that drastically changed the criteria for determining what the appropriate date of separation is. Previously, had parties objectively acted in such a way that showed others that they were living separate and apart (opening separate bank accounts, filing separate tax returns ...
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  • Restricting Visitation Because of Child Support

    The other parent is either not paying or is always late on paying their child support, do I have to allow him or her to visit my child? Yes. The right of child visitation cannot be expressly conditioned on the other parent's timely payment of support. The appropriate remedy for non-payment or late payment of child support is to either bring a contempt action, obtain a wage assignment or to enlist ...
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  • Child Concealment & Child Support

    Can I limit or restrict my child support obligation as a means to enforce my visitation rights with my child? The answer to this question rests on whether the child is secreted/hidden until the age of majority or ends before that time. The Court found in IRMO Comer (1996) 14 Cal.4th 504 that a custodial parent's concealment of the child is not a defense to the collection of child support arrears ...
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  • Child Support and Enforcing Visitation

    The other parent is interfering with my visitation. May I withhold child support to get him or her to comply with the existing visitation order? No. Absent providing actual evidence of concealment, you may not withhold the payment of child support to the other parent. For example, if the other parent is frequently late to the exchanges or doesn't permit visitation at all, your appropriate remedy ...
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  • Spousal Support & Visitation Rights

    Can I stop paying my spousal support if the other parent denies me visitation with my children? The Court has found that the deliberate rust ration of the other parent's visitation rights may be the basis for the termination of spousal support payments by the con-custodial parent. An example of this frustration includes, but is not limited to, the custodial parent moving out of state and secreting ...
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  • The Rights of the Natural Parents After an Adoption

    If my child is adopted, what are my rights as a natural mother or father? Visitation rights of a child's parents or former relatives are automatically terminated by the adoption of a child by a step-parent. However, the former grandparent of adopted child may still bring an action for visitation with the child over the objection of a natural parent and the new adoptive parent. The above only ...
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  • Previous Guardians and Visitation Rights

    I was previously a guardian of a child, but the parent has regained custody of the child. Do I have any rights to visitation with the child? Yes. The Court may grant visitation rights to former legal guardians of children. The visitation is normally reasonable and the Court must make a determination that the visitation is in the child's best interest. In addition, there must not be a pending ...
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  • Visitation Time and Deployment

    If my son/daughter is being deployed, can I exercise their visitation time on their behalf? This is a common occurrence as our armed services rotates troops and support staff around the country. The relocation of military personal normally requires a parent move a substantial from his or her primary residence and has a material effect on their ability to visit their child. The good news is that ...
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  • Grandparents' Visitation Rights

    If my son or daughter dies and their spouse is denying me visitation to my grandchildren, do I have any rights? Generally, the Court is required to presume that the surviving parent's determination regarding visitation for the grandparents is in the child(ren)'s best interest. However, sometimes there is hard feelings between the surviving parent and the grandparents and the surviving parent may ...
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  • Grandparents Obtaining Custody of Grandchild

    Under what circumstances can a grandparent obtain custody of a grandchild when the parent is otherwise fit? Occasionally I receive a call from a prospective client that either one of their parents are trying to take their child away from them. First off, the grandparent bears the burden of proof and must show by clear and convincing evidence that denial of visitation would not be in the ...
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  • Wedding Rings & Divorce

    When I get divorced, do I get to keep my wedding ring? In the alternative, if I get divorced, can I get the wedding ring back from my spouse? A frequently asked question that is often raised by clients in the dissolution process is whether I can either keep my wedding ring or get the wedding ring back from my spouse. The answer is quite simple, if a wedding ring is given to fiancée and the ...
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  • What is a Transmutation of Property in a California Dissolution Proceeding?

    In simple terminology, a transmutation is the changing of title to property from separate to either community or separate property (of the other party) or changing the title from community property to the separate property of either party. An express writing is required and there must be an express declaration acknowledging the change in character in unambiguous terms by the party whose interest ...
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  • How to Ensure You Are Get What's Yours During a Divorce

    Do I have any right to my spouse’s property acquired prior to our marriage? A Marvin action requires the proving of a written contract or implied, oral contract that property acquired prior to marriage would be equally divided. Generally hard cases to win and depend heavily on the facts of each case. However, if successful, a party may change the character of property from separate property to ...
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  • Getting Spousal Support After a Short Marriage

    Can I get long term spousal support if I have only been married for a short time? Typically spousal support is ordered for 1/2 the length of the marriage, unless your marriage is in excess of 10 years. However, you may be entitled to additional support, called Palimony, if you have cohabited with your partner prior to marriage. This is known as a Marvin claim and must be brought as a separate ...
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  • Providing a Smoke-Free Environment to Your Child

    The other parent smokes cigarettes around our child, what can I do? Exposure of children to secondhand smoke may be a basis for consideration on a child's custodial placement. In fact, California Health & Safety Code 118947, et. seq. prohibits smoking a pipe, cigar or cigarette containing tobacco or any other plant in a motor vehicle where a minor child is present. This rule applies regardless of ...
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