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.
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.
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.
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
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
We have discussed the issue of domestic violence and domestic violence restraining orders in many different contexts on our blog before. In this post, we will discuss an issue that just about every party with a restraining order faces: how to renew his or her restraining order. Continue reading
..…I just couldn’t pass up the chance to write about a divorcing couple that went through a heated battle over World Series tickets. Apparently this battle became was so “serious” that a suburban wife felt it appropriate to file an emergency petition in a Chicago court for orders that the husband hand over the tickets which were obtained prior to filing for divorce. Even more surprising is the fact that the Chicago judge made an emergency ruling on this issue. Read on to find out what the ruling was. Continue reading
Divorce is never ideal. Even in the most amicable of divorces, it is never the outcome that any couple dreams of on the day that they fall in love and decide to get married. However, as difficult as divorce might be, financially, emotionally, and otherwise, imagine the alternative. Imagine that you are stuck married to a spouse with whom you are miserable, just because the laws of your county make it that way.
This is exactly the case in the Philippines, the only country in the world (outside of the Vatican), where divorce is still illegal. There, couples may file for a legal separation, which would allow them to lead separate lives and split their property, but they remain legally married. If parties do become legally separated, they are not able to remarry later, and even worse, if they become engaged in a new relationship even after legal separation has been granted, they risk being criminally charged for committing adultery. 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