Articles Posted in Custody and Visitation

school-balloons-represents-youth-male-and-learnedChange is a big part of any divorce. When you have children, dealing with change can be one of the most difficult parts of the divorce.  No matter how many times people tell you that “kids are resilient and everything will be okay” it doesn’t make it any easier.  The truth is, most kids handle divorce well especially when their parents are able to successfully co-parent.  Nonetheless, there is one change that no amount of co-parenting can make easier.  That is changing schools.  Most families only have one residence which means that at least one parent will need to find a new home.   If that new home happens to be in the same neighborhood as the former family residence, then changing schools should not be an issue.  More often than not however, one parent moves to a residence that is zoned for a different school than the children currently attend.

So what do you do? Continue reading

If you have children and are currently going through the divorce process or have been recently divorced, you have probably already realized that the holidays as you’ve come to know them will be different from now on. The Thanksgiving holiday, as family-centered as it is, is one of the most difficult holidays to get through if you are just getting used to this idea.  What follows is a brief overview of custody issues during the holidays and some tips on getting through the Thanksgiving holiday this year.Gobble Continue reading

Child support in California can beregulations-rules-represents-protocol-guidance-and-regulated very complicated and the changed circumstances rule is one of the reasons why. The changed circumstances rule requires a court to deny a request to modify child support if the court determines that there was no material change in circumstances since the time the last child support order was made.

First, let’s go over some basics. California, like every other state, is required to have a Guideline formula to determine what the proper amount of support should be. The Court is required to follow the Guideline, absent a few very narrowly construed exceptions (See Family Code section 4059). If a child support order is determined to be “above Guideline,” i.e. more than what the formula would provide, that child support order cannot be subsequently changed unless there has been a material change of circumstances. However, if a child support order is determined to be “below guideline,” no change of circumstances is required to increase that order to a Guideline order. Continue reading

There are few things that can affect a parent emotionally like discovering that the other parent has removed their child from California and filed a restraining order in another state. The California legal system is difficult enough to navigate. Having to deal with another state’s legal system can make this process even more daunting.file0001635828147

Generally, the system of laws between states is designed to prevent a spouse who removes a child to another state from having a litigation advantage, even when they file a restraining order. This is because every state’s laws (except Massachusetts) is based on a uniform law called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (“UCCJEA”). Continue reading

Bifurcation is an often underutilized procedure in civil cases (including family law cases) that, if used correctly, can significantly reduce the attorney fees and costs necessary to bring a case to a conclusion and can significantly increase the prospect of settlement.family-law-shows-blood-relative-and-court

So what is bifurcation exactly? In the process of bifurcation, the Court, usually on the motion of one of the parties, agrees to hear a trial on just one part of a case. Often times there are difficult issues, that once resolved, simplify the rest of the case. Continue reading

The rules of evidence can be challenging. Understanding it is a skill that must be honed and refined, which is what we try to do at the Law Offices of Nancy J. Bickford. In this blog, we will discuss two of the most important evidentiary privileges and their importance in family law cases: the physician-patient privilege and the psychotherapist-patient privilege.medical-record

Statements made from an adult to their treating physicians/psychotherapists are absolutely protected from privilege, unless the issue is tendered or waived. Continue reading

percentage childIf you have minor children and are paying or receiving child support, you are probably already aware that the timeshare percentage, or the percent of time that the child/ren are with each parent, plays a role in determining the amount of guideline child support. Once two parents have set a schedule and determined when the child/ren will be with each parent, it would appear that determining a timeshare percentage is a piece of cake. But, while this may be clear in many cases, there are certain situations where the timeshare percentage can become a contested issue that may end up having to be litigated in court.

 

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back to schoolIt’s that time again.  Summer is slowly fading, the days are gradually getting shorter, and soon the whole world will be covered by pumpkin flavored something or other.  As fall dawns on the horizon it also means a new school year is approaching.  This exciting time of year presents both challenges and opportunities to divorced parents.  This blog will provide 5 tips for parents for a new school year.

Talk To the Teachers

Teachers spend more time with your kids during the week than you do.  As the Husband of a teacher I know how much she invests in her students and how those same students look to her as their school parent.  Obviously she can never replace either parent, but she can be an amazing resource for parents.

Meet with the teacher and get to know him or her before the school year starts.  Discuss your child’s strength and weaknesses both academically and emotionally.  This not only helps the teacher to prepare for teaching your child, but assists her in understanding how to best reach out to your child.  It is entirely possible that your child may exhibit behaviors at school that you never see at home.  These could be both positive and negative behaviors.  Building the relationship now can help everyone ensure your child’s success during the school year.

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Family Law gavelIn family law we spend a good deal of time talking about court orders.  There are orders for child support, orders for spousal support, custody orders, and orders for the payment of attorney fees.  Getting more specific, all of the aforementioned orders can either be interim orders (also called temporary orders) or they can be final orders. The point of this blog is to discuss court orders in a family law context and to provide some basic understanding of how, why, and when they are made.  This is only a basic discussion of orders, a topic that can be very complex.  For this reason, you should speak with a qualified family law attorney about your specific case so you can be certain you fully understand your rights. Continue reading

couple arguingConsanguinity comes from a Latin word “consanguinitas” and meaning “blood relation.” In English is just means your blood relatives.  That would be your mother or father or your children.  There is also what is referred to as “affinity” which in layman’s terms it is the property of being from the same kinship as another person. That is your relatives that are not a blood relation.  Your spouse, your in-laws, your aunt or uncle by marriage are all examples of non-blood relations. In even simpler terms, they both refer to your relatives.

In family law consanguinity and affinity are very important terms when it comes to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (“DVRO”).  Under California law, in order to obtain a domestic violence the party seeking protection and the party to be restrained must 1) be married or formerly married, 2) in a current or past dating relationship, 3) be current or former cohabitants, 4) be the parents of a child or the child themselves, or 5) be any “other person related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree.” Family Code §6211.

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