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Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

What Happens When a Judge Determines Child Custody?

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Divorce can be one of the most challenging experiences of any person’s life, but the process tends to be especially hard on parents. The breakdown of a marriage is one thing, but the breakdown of a family unit raises an entirely new set of concerns and issues that demand thoughtful consideration.

In California, state law dictates that all family court judges must ensure that any divorce involving children preserves those children’s best interests. Regardless of whether divorcing parents intend to go to court or mediate their divorces, the California family court system must approve their parenting plan and ensure safe care, custody, and support for the couple’s children.
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The Basic Timeline of a Divorce Case and FAQ

The-Basic-Timeline-of-a-DivorceDivorce is typically one of the most difficult experiences of a person’s life. It is natural to feel a mix of frustration and confusion as one accepts the reality of an impending divorce. It is also natural to have many questions about the legal process of divorce. At Bickford, Blado & Botros, our San Diego divorce attorneys understand how challenging divorce can be and want to provide as much clarity about the process as we possibly can. It’s essential to know how a typical divorce case unfolds, the differences between mediation and litigation, and the common problems divorcing individuals face through their proceedings.
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How to Prove Falsehoods in Divorce Proceedings

How-to-Prove-Falsehoods-in-Divorce-ProceedingsWhenever an individual is involved in any type of legal case, honesty is absolutely essential even when it comes at a detriment to one’s own personal interests. Unfortunately, in many divorce cases in San Diego and throughout California, divorcing spouses attempt to hide assets, make false statements, obfuscate evidence, and otherwise interfere with their divorce proceedings for personal gain. When this occurs, the other spouse must know their legal options and take appropriate action.
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Is Mediation Possible in a Heated Divorce?

Is-Mediation-Possible-in-a-Heated-DivorceThe vast majority of divorce cases filed throughout the United States unfold along relatively tame lines compared to many media portrayals of divorce. However, in rare cases, divorces are hotly contested by one or both parties, and the emotional side of a divorce can have far more influence on the legal side than it should. When emotions prevent rationality in divorce proceedings, everyone ultimately loses. Heated arguments and unwillingness to compromise increase the time, expense, and stress required to end the marriage.
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COVID-19 has affected all sectors of the U.S. population.  The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has issued stay-at-home orders for all residents, with limited exceptions for “essential works.”  In California alone, over 1 million workers have filed for employment benefits.  The San Diego Courthouses have all closed to the public and were only processing temporary restraining orders. As of April 8, 2020, the Superior Courts have expanded their accessibility slightly allowing for limited Ex Parte (emergency) Hearings.  Since the Court’s official closure in mid-March, it is believed the Court has received over 7,000 documents via U.S. Mail. None of these documents have been processed during the closure.  This figure does not account for the presumably high number of Court filings that have been postponed or the number of hearings that were scheduled to occur during the 2 ½ months the Court has been closed.  Those hearings will have to be continued to a date in the future.  So, what can we expect once the Courts are able to re-open in any capacity? Continue reading

Making headlines recently, a 26 year old man was arrested after punching his mother in the face during a dispute about toilet paper.  A few months ago this news likely would not have even made the headlines.  The state of our world as we know it has drastically changed and headlines, like this one, are becoming more common place.AdobeStock_346386251-1-scaled

At first glance this headline might appear amusing or even bring up flashbacks to that episode of Seinfeld when Elaine’s bathroom “stall-mate” just could not “spare a square.”  In reality, the underlying issues being addressed in this caption are much more severe than they may at first seem.  What is the issue?  Domestic violence and its’ escalation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is domestic violence? Continue reading

Although a divorce in California could be finalized in as quickly as six months, if the former spouses have children together they are stuck with each other for 18 years, and longer!  The truth is that child custody and visitation issues linger long after the final divorce papers are signed.  AdobeStock_90193560-300x200

This is because as children grow older their needs and activities change.  Similarly, throughout the years parents move on with their separate lives and some acquire new jobs or partners.  Due to these factors, a visitation schedule that was implemented at the beginning of the case may not always work for the family a few years later.  This blog will explore how parents can request a modification to the current visitation schedule exercised by their family.

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It is no secret that the San Diego Family Law Courts are overutilized, overworked, and overbooked.  When a party files a motion with the court it can often take several months, or longer, to get a hearing date!  This can be frustrating for litigants who want to move their case forward towards closure.  But what happens when an emergency comes up in your case and you cannot wait months for a hearing date?  Luckily, there is a procedure and solution to allow the court to hear an emergency issue within a day or two, and that is called an “Ex Parte” hearing.  At an Ex Parte hearing, judges can make temporary emergency orders, when appropriate.

Pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 5.151(b), “[t]he purpose of a request for emergency orders is to address matters that cannot be heard on the court’s regular hearing calendar….[and] the process is used to request that the court: Continue reading

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In the headlines the end of 2019, the Miami Dolphins released Running Back Mark Walton hours after he was arrested for charges of aggravated battery against a pregnant woman.  The authorities received a 9-1-1 call in the early hours of November 19, 2019 from Walton’s girlfriend declaring Walton pushed her against a wall and punched her several times in the face and head.  According to her, she endured the beating for 10-15 minutes prior to calling the police.  It is important to note, at this time, Walton has only been charged and has not been convicted for these allegations. Continue reading

Yes, even Spice Girls get divorced just like any one of us. In March 2017, former Spice Girl Mel B, perhaps better known as “Scary Spice” or as a current judge on America’s Got Talent, filed for divorce from her husband of 10 years, Stephen Belafonte.

Mel B, worth a reported $60 million, filed for divorce in a Los Angeles Superior Court after she and Belafonte separated in December 2016. While Mel B’s nickname might have been “Scary,” it seems as though her marriage to Belafonte was in fact scary, as she filed for a restraining order against him shortly after filing for divorce. It appears that she had been covering up injuries from abuse from Belafonte for years. And, while Mel B’s petition reportedly requests joint custody of the couple’s daughter, it also requests that the Court to deny spousal support to Belafonte. Continue reading

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