Articles Posted in California

On August 24, 2015, the San Diego Superior Court began an Imaging Program in the Family Court designed to reduce paper filings and storage and facilitate electronic access to Family Court files. There have been questions relating to how certain procedures differ in imaged cases. This blog post is intended to answer these questions.

What do you mean by an “imaged” case?

Imaged cases are Family Court cases (including Family Support Division cases) where the official record of the Court is imaged and stored electronically. This includes all Family Court cases (including Family Support Division cases) initiated on or after August 24, 2015.

Continue reading

We’ve written blogs in the past about the time it takes to get a divorce in California and the infamous six-month statutory minimum waiting period. Even so, we are constantly faced with clients who come in with the misconception that their divorce will be completely over in 6 months. While that may be the case, experience tells us that a six month divorce is pretty rare.

First, let me repeat: six months is the MINIMUM length of time your divorce can take to be finalized in the state of California. This statutory waiting period is without exception. Whether you are self-represented or you retain an attorney in your divorce case, you cannot legally be “single” until six months has passed from the day you (or your spouse) filed the petition for divorce. Continue reading

Sometimes a divorce isn’t filed in the right county and a party might be seriously disadvantaged as a result.

What do we mean by “wrong county”? Let’s start with the law. Family Code section 2320 states, in relevant part, as follows (emphasis added):

A judgment of dissolution of marriage may not be entered unless one of the parties to the marriage has been a resident of this state for six months and of the county in which the proceeding is filed for three months next preceding the filing of the petition. “ Continue reading

Every once in a while, there is a divorce case where there is a real risk that one of the parties is going to bilk a community property financial account and run. This is more likely to happen in cases where one party has connections to another country and wishes to take community assets or the parties’ children to that country while suffering little to no repercussions for their actions. This can be especially disastrous in child custody litigation. If one party absconds with the children to another country and bilks the parties’ financial accounts, the aggrieved party will have fewer financial resources to prosecute an undoubtedly expensive international custody battle.

There are steps, however, that can be taken to prevent the other spouse from running off with hard earned community assets. Most attorneys understand that they can seek an emergency order from the Court. What many attorneys do not know, is that a party can actually unilaterally freeze an account, even one held in the name of the other spouse! Continue reading

It is no secret that getting a divorce can be pricey. While there is almost no way to estimate exactly how much any particular divorce will cost to finalize, there are some fees that will be present in any divorce case. In this blog we will break down some of the fees charged by the Superior Court in a divorce or family law matter. Continue reading

Discovery is not the first topic that comes to mind when parties meet with a family law attorney for the first time.  In fact, there is a good chance most litigants have no idea what discovery actually is.  Sure, anyone who watches any of the serialized crime dramas on TV has heard of a subpoena, but most people have no idea what they are why they are useful.

In a nutshell, discovery is the process of collection evidence, whether that evidence comes in the form of documents, statements, testimony, or information.  There are several types of discovery a party can issue.  Which method a party chooses depends on what type of evidence they are looking to obtain.  This blog will briefly describe the most common forms of discovery used in family law cases. Continue reading

Child custody is one of the most difficult and emotional parts of any contested divorce.  It is not uncommon for two parents to agree on all of the financial issues, child and spousal support, and property division, only to find it impossible to come to any agreements about how their children will be raised post-divorce.  It is understandable too; we love our children and we want what is best for them. This point, wanting the best for our children, is the great irony of child custody litigation.  Ask any parent whether they believe dragging their children through months or years of custody litigation is healthy for them.  They answer will be a resounding, “No.”  Yet that is exactly what happens in so many family law cases. Continue reading

“What Is In A Name”…A Lot Come To Think Of It.

If you dig deep enough into your memories from high school English class you will know that quote is from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. And while Romeo waxes poetically about why Juliet’s name should not matter, the truth (as they both learn), is that a name is very important.

For many married couples, one of the parties changed their legal name as part of the marriage ceremony. It could be a Husband/Wife who took the other party’s name or it could be a situation where both parties moved to a hyphenated surname.   The symbolic act of changing your name at marriage is meant to show the world the joining of two people.  However, what do you do when those same two people decide they want a divorce? Continue reading

Tracey Hejailan-Amon’s husband Maurice Amon filed for divorce in Monaco in October of 2015. Tracey then filed for divorce in New York. About a year and a half later, the parties are still arguing over which court has jurisdiction over their divorce. Why? Because Monaco’s divorce law allows spouses to take back gifts that were given while married. It appears that New York law, on the other hand, provides that gifts stay with the receiving spouse even after divorce. And the Amon’s divorce is not your typical one. The “gifts” that the parties are fighting over amount to about $70 million dollars!! Continue reading

There are many different enforcement methods available for child support. Although contempt is always an option, it involves the other parent ending up in jail and can be a costly and expensive process to prosecute. Some of the best incentives for the other parent to pay child support already exist as a matter of law without the supporting parent having to do anything. For instance, child support arrears can never be discharged in bankruptcy, so they stay with the support obligor for life. Further, they accrue rate at the legal rate of 10 percent. What kind of investments today gets you 10 percent? Not many.

There is, however, another incentive that many parties and even many attorneys are not familiar with: Continue reading