Much like Kleenex, Band-Aids, or Xerox (products that have become synonymous with the brands that popularized them), Uber has become synonyms with ride-share applications. Even if you take a Lyft, most people will still say “taking an Uber.” Having an on demand driver 24/7 at your fingertips makes it hard to imagine how we survived before Uber was created. Uber has solved many problems people did not realize they even had. There is one problem it has not solved…transporting your children in a co-parenting relationship. Continue reading
If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know that child custody and visitation are fluid orders as that often change with the needs of the child. This makes a lot of sense because a 3 year-old is very different from a 16 year-old and will therefore have a very different child sharing schedule. Also as a frequent reader, you know that a change in the time sharing percentage of the children often justifies a change in the child support orders. Small changes in the time share percentage are unlikely to make a big impact. Big changes in guideline child support require major shifts in the child sharing percentage. Continue reading
My favorite holiday song is Andy Williams’ version of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Something about that song encapsulates everything that is special about the winter holiday season. There are the lights, the food, the family, and the nostalgia of being a kid at Christmas. Now that I have a family of my own, seeing this special season through the eyes of my own children makes it all feel that much more real and special. However, for many divorced or divorcing parents the winter break is a difficult time. In this blog I want to address a couple common issues that divorcing parents face and with them provide some advice for enjoying the holidays in spite of the difficulties of a divorce. Continue reading
Change 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. Continue reading
Child support in California can be 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.
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.
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
If you haven’t heard the news by now, I can only assume that you have been living under a rock or buried in a media-less hole for some time now. And yes, by “the news”, I mean the news of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s impending divorce.
When Angelina filed her petition for divorce on September 19 the split quickly became the only thing that anyone has talked about since, or so it seems. Although the couple has been together for 12 years, and have 6 kids together, they were only married for a short two years, and the divorce came as a complete shock to the public, and apparently also came as a complete shock to Brad himself. 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.
Statements made from an adult to their treating physicians/psychotherapists are absolutely protected from privilege, unless the issue is tendered or waived. Continue reading