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Latest Blog Posts By Category

  • Attorney's Fees

    The latest posts for Attorney's Fees are listed below.
    • How to keep your attorney's fees down in a California Divorce.

      Over the years of practicing law, I have always made the following suggestions for clients to keep their cost down in the divorce case: 1) Sleep on it. Typically, clients call when something they perceive as traumatic has happened. Often, I encourage client to document whatever the event is and then wait until following day to make the determination on whether they still need to call the attorney ...
    • What do I do if the other side is acting unreasonably in a Ca Family Law Case?

      A sanction in the form of an award of attorney's fees may be imposed for a party's frustration of settlement and for employing tactics that increase the cost of litigation. In a recent case, IRMO Wahl vs. Perkins (2012), the parties divorced in 1999. In 2006, Wife filed a motion to modify the custodial orders in the judgment of dissolution. A child custody evaluator recommended that Husband be ...
    • How can I obtain attorney's fees in a Ca Custody or Dissolution case?

      How can I get help from my spouse in paying my attorney’s fees in a Ca custody or dissolution case? The courts routinely order the payment of attorney’s fees in a Ca child custody or dissolution action based on a disparity in the incomes of the parties taking into consideration the following factors. First, under Family Code (FC) section 2030, the court is required to "ensure that each party has ...

    Child Custody

    The latest posts for Child Custody are listed below.
    • How do I serve the other parent with my request for modification of the existing parenting plan?

      The answer depends on whether only temporary orders have been made (pre-judgment) or whether is a final order (post-judgment). If the matter is the former, service by mail is acceptable. If the matter is post-judgment, personal service is required unless the other parent completes and submits an address verification form that verifies that they mailed the documents to the right address. Under ...
    • What are improper grounds to modify a child custody order?

      I can only provide a sample of the grounds (as there are many). The first primary improper grounds to modify an order is "unclean hands". That is, one party is just being difficult or unpleasant in either their actions or conduct. Examples could be chronic lateness to exchanges, driving too fast, not attending the children's school functions etc. An additional improper grounds to modify a custody ...
    • My case was in dependency court, but it is now concluded. Can I modify my parenting plan in family court?

      Yes, once your case is concluded in dependency court, you will be provided with an "exit order" which is treated the same way as a judgment from family court. You must still meet the criteria of a substantial change in circumstances to modify an exit order from dependency court. To modify your exit order in family court, you will need to file either a dissolution action (if you are married) or ...

    Child Support

    The latest posts for Child Support are listed below.
    • Can I request that the other parent undergo a vocational evaluation in a post-judgment proceeding without also requesting a modification in either child or spousal support?

      In the highly contentious case of Stupp & Schilders, the First District reversed a San Mateo County trial court’s order requiring W to undergo a vocational evaluation even though there was no pending support motion “and no good cause to order a vocational evaluation. It held that “where there was no support-related motion pending there was no good cause to order a post-judgment vocational ...
    • 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 ...
    • 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 ...

    Divorce

    The latest posts for Divorce are listed below.

    Family Law

    The latest posts for Family Law are listed below.
    • How do I serve the other parent with my request for modification of the existing parenting plan?

      The answer depends on whether only temporary orders have been made (pre-judgment) or whether is a final order (post-judgment). If the matter is the former, service by mail is acceptable. If the matter is post-judgment, personal service is required unless the other parent completes and submits an address verification form that verifies that they mailed the documents to the right address. Under ...
    • My case was in dependency court, but it is now concluded. Can I modify my parenting plan in family court?

      Yes, once your case is concluded in dependency court, you will be provided with an "exit order" which is treated the same way as a judgment from family court. You must still meet the criteria of a substantial change in circumstances to modify an exit order from dependency court. To modify your exit order in family court, you will need to file either a dissolution action (if you are married) or ...
    • What does "Ex Parte" mean and what should I do if I was given Ex Parte notice?

      An Ex Parte is an emergency that needs the court's attention right away. The criteria used by the court is an imminent threat of physical harm to the children that requires immediate action by the court. For example, if you discover that the other parent is driving drunk with your children in the car or is planning to flee to Mexico with your children, an Ex Parte would be an appropriate request ...

    Property Division

    The latest posts for Property Division are listed below.
    • What are the recent developments in military pensions and the parties' various elections to collect these pensions?

      In Howell vs. Howell, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that (a) state court may not order a veteran to indemnify a divorced spouse for the loss in the divorced spouse’s portion of the veteran’s retirement pay caused by the veteran’s waiver of retirement pay to receive service-related disability benefits. This Court’s decision in Mansell v. Mansell , 490 U. S. 581, determines the outcome ...
    • How Does The Date of Separation Affect My Property Rights in My California Family Law Case?

      As a general rule, all assets/accumulations and debts/liabilities acquired during the marriage are community property subject to equal division on legal separation or divorce. For example, if you deposit your salary during your marriage, that salary is considered community property and one half of that salary belongs to your spouse. Similarly, if you incur a debt on your credit card for the ...
    • 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 ...

    Same-Sex Marriage

    The latest posts for Same-Sex Marriage are listed below.
    • Same-Sex Marriage Legalization Allows Same-Sex Divorces

      The United States Supreme Court's ruling that legalized same-sex marriages nationwide certainly stirred up quite a bit of controversy. From politicians vowing to get the decision repealed to county clerks sidestepping their duties to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the opposition to the ruling were intent on making their opinions known, citing that religious freedoms and states' ...

    Spousal Support

    The latest posts for Spousal Support are listed below.
    • 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 ...
    • What if I have an existing spousal support order and my spouse is living with his/her girlfriend/boyfriend?

      What if I have an existing spousal support order and my spouse is living with his/her girlfriend/boyfriend? Re-marriage terminates a party’s right to spousal support but what happens if the former spouse does not remarry but rather moves in with someone of the opposite sex? Often one of the most frequently asked questions with regards to the issue of spousal support is the question regarding the ...

    Visitation Orders

    The latest posts for Visitation Orders are listed below.
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