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Recent Posts in Family Law Category

  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • How does a permanent/judgment custody order effect my right to move out of state?

    If you have a permanent/judgment order for custody and visitation that awards you primary or sole physical custody, you are able to relocate (move away [anything in excess of 25 miles]) with the children by petitioning the court to do so. The burden would be on the non-custodial parent to prove that the move would be detrimental to the children. This is a very difficult task compared to parents ...
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  • Who is the new judicial officer in Department B in the Pomona courthouse?

    As of August 2016, we have a new judicial officer for family law at the Pomona courthouse. Judge John Slawson is the newest addition to the Pomona courthouse. Judge Slawson previously was a family law judge at the Torrance courthouse. Judge Slawson takes the bench at approximately 8:45 am every day. He calls matters that have attorneys 1st which is a great cost-savings for people that hire ...
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  • When can the Court set aside a fraudulent transfer in a California Family law case?

    In Nautalis vs. Yang, the Fourth District discusses the good faith defense to set aside of a fraudulent transfer. It said that (w)e publish our opinion because of our analysis of the requirements of the good faith defense. Some cases have held that a transferee cannot avail itself of the good faith defense if the transferee had fraudulent intent, colluded with a person who was engaged in a ...
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  • What are the new developments to Los Angeles County Conciliation Court Agreement for parents to be aware of?

    In Los Angeles County, prior to the Court making orders for Child Custody and Visitation, the parties are required to attend mediation. The proper term for this mediation is Conciliation Court where the parties meet with a MFT to discuss parenting plans in an effort to reach an agreement which is memorialized into a writing and submitted to the Court. The Court has recently inserted language in ...
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  • Do I need to hire an attorney or can I represent myself in Family Court?

    In People vs. Roa, a Second District Court reversed the trial court’s order committing D indefinitely to the custody of the Department of State Hospitals after a jury found him to be a sexually violent predator under the SVPA. It held that under People v. Sanchez , “the trial court erred by allowing the experts to recite case-specific facts that were not independently proven by admissible ...
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  • What Is Legal Custody?

    Legal Custody is defined as the right to make certain decisions regarding the parties= minor children as well as the obligation to share certain information with the other parent. As with physical custody, there are two types of Legal Custody (Sole & Joint). Common decisions that are involved with Legal Custody include, but are not limited to the following: 1) Selection of Doctor, Dentist, Mental ...
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  • If my custody order sets forth that I have "reasonable" or monitored visitation, must I show a change of circumstances to modify my judgment (final order)?

    Often I have clients bring in judgments (paternity or dissolution) setting forth a "reasonable" visitation schedule and informing me that they are having issues with the other parenting in seeing their children. This is typically followed by the question, "What is reasonable?" For whatever reason there is a box on judgment forms that a party can check that says 'reasonable visitation." However, ...
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  • How do I terminate a guardianship order and have my children returned to me?

    A parent seeking to terminate the guardianship has the burden to show the following in order to terminate the guardianship: a) that the initial basis for ordering the guardianship no longer exists & b) that she or he is fit to resume custody. For example, if a parent lost custody of their children due to a drinking problem that resulted in the injury to their child and guardianship was granted to ...
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  • Pomona Courthouse Family Law Department: Department D

    Department D of the Pomona courthouse is first courtroom as you exist the elevator. As with the other departments, they may or may not open their doors at 8:30 a.m. Often if there are large lines of people outside waiting to get in the building, all of the courtrooms tend to open later. Commissioner Rocky L. Crabb is the judicial officer assigned to Department D. You must check in with the Bailiff ...
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  • Pomona Courthouse Family Law Department: Department C

    Department C of the Pomona courthouse is located in the middle of the hallway. As with the other departments, they may or may not open their doors at 8:30 a.m. Often if there are large lines of people outside waiting to get in the building, all of the courtrooms tend to open later. Commissioner Christian is the judicial officer assigned to Department C. Before you enter the courtroom, make sure ...
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  • Pomona Courthouse Family Law Department Updates

    There have been some changes at the Pomona courthouse Family Law department in the last few years so I will be posting individual updates on each of the three Family Law judicial officers for 2017 as well as providing an overview of the Pomona courthouse in general. The Pomona courthouse is located at 400 Civic Center Plaza Pomona, Ca 91766. Parking is available across the street for $8.00 or you ...
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  • What Are Some of the Factors the Court Considers in Deciding Whether I Can Move Away With My Child?

    Move away in this context means that the current parenting schedule (if you have one), is no longer practical for the parties based on the distance between the respective homes. With this definition in mind, some of the considerations are as follows: A. The Court must consider whether the planned move is consistent with the child's best interest or whether the child would be otherwise prejudiced. ...
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  • 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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  • Changing the Name of Your Child

    In a California paternity case, can the father asked to have the surname (last name) of the child? Whether the Court will change a child's last name or not depends on various factors that I will set forth in a moment. To be clear, fathers do not have a "primary right" to have the child bear his surname. Now the factors considered by the Court include: The length of time a child has used a ...
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