• What methods are available to a California family law litigant to prove that a particular asset is there separate property (rather than community)?

      A party in a California dissolution action can request that the Court deem a particular asset their separate property if they can trace the acquisition of that asset back to a separate property ...

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    • 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 ...

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    • 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 ...

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    • 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 ...

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    • In California, can a Court modify a final child custody judgment rendered after a contested trial without a party showing a substantial change in circumstances?

      In a recent case, IRMO C.T. & R.B. (3/19/19), the Fourth District reversed two Riverside County judges who issued a final custody order changing custody of 12-year-old A.B. from C.T. in California to ...

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    • Why do I have to attend mediation with the other parent in my California family law case when we are so far apart in our respective positions from our paperwork?

      In all family law cases in California, the parties are required to attend mediation prior to the court marking and orders on child custody and visitation. This requirement is imposed irrespective of ...

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    • The other parent filed a Request for Orders (RFO) asking for child custody and visitation orders. Can I make a request from the court if it is not a specific relief requested by the filing party?

      No. By way of example, if Dad files an RFO requesting an alternate weekend visitation only, Mom cannot file a response to the RFO and request that the children get braces or request that Dad pay child ...

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    • Must either a Child or Spousal Support award be based on current income and expenses of the parties in a California Family Law matter?

      In the IRMO Cipari (2/7/19) case, the appellate Court held that a trial court’s relying on a parties’ prior year tax returns when the current tax returns were available to the party was an error and ...

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    • If the other parent is receiving occasional gifts from a friend or new significant other, is this a basis to reduce or modify child support?

      This issue of gifts in calculating child support has been addressed almost a decade ago. However, the recent case of Anna M. v. Jeffrey E. (1-11-17) further solidified that, for gifts to be considered ...

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    • If I am the beneficiary of a trust in a California divorce or paternity action, can the Court consider this income for the purposes of calculating child support?

      This issue was addressed in a case by the name of IRMO Furie (10-30-17). In this case, the husband filed a request to modify child support based on his loss of employment and his sole income was the ...

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    • Does a trust transfer deed change the character of property between spouses in a California dissolution of marriage?

      It is settled California law that there are presumptions effecting the characterization of property. Property acquired during the marriage is presumptively community property whereas property acquired ...

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    • Are military disability benefits considered community property in a California divorce?

      Although this was not the primary issue in a recent case, it did shed some light on both this issue and a related issue. In re Marriage of Chapman (9-27-16), the court re-iterated that although ...

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    • If I have a joint account with my spouse and my spouse passes away, does the remaining funds go in our account go to the surviving spouse or the deceased spouse's decedents?

      This very issue was addressed in a recent case by the name of Estate of O'Connor (10-13-17). In this case, the court was discussing if whether the left-over sums in a joint banking account go to the ...

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    • In California dissolution cases, what formula should be used in valuing businesses acquired during the marriage? In IRMO Brooks (3/27/19) this issue was raised as it pertains to the appreciation of corporate stock from a business.

      In this case, the Sixth District affirmed the trial court’s use of the Van Camp formula to apportion the appreciation of stock during marriage. “Utilizing this approach, the court characterized the ...

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    • In California, does Spousal Support always terminate on the remarriage of the supported spouse?

      This issue was addressed in the recent case os IRMO Martin (3/11/19). In this case, the Fourth District reversed a San Bernardino County temporary judge’s order that the wife repay to ex-husband the ...

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    • Does an attorney’s request to set aside a default or order under CCP 473(b) guarantee thst the default or order will be set aside in a California Family Law action?

      This issue was raised in Darab N. Vs. Olivera (2/5/19). In this case, involving a petition to establish a parental relationship, the Respondent failed to timely file a Response to the petition. As a ...

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    • Why do I have to attend mediation with the other parent in my California family law case when we are so far apart in our respective positions from our paperwork?

      In all family law cases in California, the parties are required to attend mediation prior to the court marking and orders on child custody and visitation. This requirement is imposed irrespective of ...

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    • I suspect the other parent may leave the state with our child. How can I bring this matter to the court's immediate attention?

      The Court may enter an Ex Parte order either granting or modifying custody unless there has been a showing of immediate harm to the child or immediate risk that the child will be removed from the ...

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    • I suspect the other parent may leave the state with our child. How can I bring this matter to the court's immediate attention?

      The Court may enter an Ex Parte order either granting or modifying custody unless there has been a showing of immediate harm to the child or immediate risk that the child will be removed from the ...

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    • In a California paternity or dissolution action, can you request relief in excess of that plead in your initial petition if your spouse fails to file a response and their default is subsequently taken?

      This issue was addressed in Sass vs. Cohen (3/8/19). In this the Court held that the judgment exceeded the “type and amount of relief” sought in the operative pleadings. It said: This case presents ...

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    • Can a parties’ attorney be liable for attorney’s fees in a California dissolution of marriage/paternity action?

      This was the very finding in the case of Marriage of Anka & Yeager (2/5/19). The Court in this case held that an attorney, in certain circumstances, can be liable for the imposition of attorney’s fees ...

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    • Are there timing requirements for entering into a prenuptial agreement in California?

      Yes. A recent case, Clarke v. Akel (1-24-2018), the court found that just because a party puts in writing in the premarital agreement that both parties have had 7 days to review the agreement, that if ...

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    • If my spouse requests that I sign a inter-spousal transfer deed or quit claim deed under the promise that I will later be added to title, what are my rights?

      Although there are many issues of transferring property be deed during a marriage, a recent case, IRMO Yeh v. Tai (12-21-17) dealt with the issue of a deceased ex-husband removing the wife from title ...

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    • 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 ...

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    • 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 ...

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    • In California, what happens in restraining orders when the aggressor and the victim reside in the same building or work for the same company?

      This issue was raised in the recently decided case of Herriott vs. Herriott (3/20/19). In this case, an elderly divorced couple still lived in different apartments units in the same building. They ...

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    • 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 ...

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    • Is the issue of domestic violence and separate property assets considered in determining spousal support in California?

      Yes. A recent case by the name of IRMO Schu [Schu II] (12-6-16) addressed this very issue. In this case, the court found that they had properly considered fault, spouse’s domestic violence, and wife’s ...

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    • If my former spouse has a business, but transfers the business to his/her new spouse's name, can this be a basis to modify spousal support in California?

      The case on point is, IRMO Berman (9-27-17). In this case, the husband retired at age 65, but opened a business and placed it in his new spouse’s name. He filed a motion to modify spousal support ...

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    • If my California judgment or marriage settlement agreement does not specify that spousal support terminates on the death of my spouse, am I still obligated to pay support to his/her beneficiaries?

      In the case of Leslie v. C.I.R. (9-14-16) , the parties entered into a marriage settlement agreement whereby spousal support was agreed to, but there was not specific language that spousal support ...

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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 & ...

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    • I exercise more parenting time then is set forth in my judgment, am I in a better position to oppose a move away hearing then someone whose is designated as a non-custodial parent in the judgment?

      As stated elsewhere, where the parties have Joint Physical Custody (both parties have substantial amounts of parenting time), the Court must consider a move away request de novo and with both parents ...

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    • Is there a different standard in a move away case between parties having a temporary vs. a permanent order for custody and visitation?

      Yes, if you have a temporary order that was the result of a Request for Orders or Domestic Violence Restraining Order hearing then the standard is always what is in the best interest of the child and ...

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