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Articles Posted in Irreconcilable Differences

Important Steps to Take Before Filing Your Divorce Petition in California

Important Steps to Take Before Filing Your Divorce Petition in California

The decision to end your marriage is likely to be one of the most impactful decisions you ever make, and it is not one you should make lightly. While it’s vital to take the appropriate time to consider your decision and its potential effects very carefully, it is equally important to consider the potential drawbacks of ending your marriage and the steps required for completing the process.

Many Americans have preconceived notions about divorce that do not entirely align with reality, and many others encounter unforeseen issues with their divorce cases they did not expect and did not know how to handle. Therefore, before you file a divorce petition, consider the following so you can approach this demanding situation with greater confidence.

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Understanding the Differences Between Writs and Appeals

Understanding the Differences Between Writs and Appeals

Navigating the court system can be exceedingly difficult for those new to the experience. In particular, many individuals are unfamiliar with the often-prevalent legal jargon—especially when it comes to the complex processes and legal documents this jargon can describe. Fortunately, the average person is not expected to understand each detail of our complex legal system or the nuances within the law. Skilled attorneys exist to demystify the legal system and guide their clients through their court proceedings successfully.

However, it is important to be aware of the most common legal terms, especially those that pertain to your case. To that end, one of the most asked questions our attorneys receive is regarding writs and appeals. These two legal petitions can dramatically affect how a case proceeds and the differences between them can make a major difference in the timeline of a case. Further, some legal proceedings require a writ, while others require appeals.

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What Happens If Divorce Mediation Doesn’t Work?

What Happens If Divorce Mediation Doesn’t Work

Divorce mediation has become the preferred method of handling the divorce process in California and throughout the United States. Unlike litigation, which is very formal, daunting, and stressful, mediation provides a divorcing couple the opportunity to privately negotiate the terms of their divorce in a comfortable, low-pressure atmosphere under the guidance of a neutral mediator. This process is proven effective and allows divorcing spouses to save significant amounts of time and money on their divorce proceedings. However, the success of the mediation process hinges on the divorcing spouses’ willingness to negotiate.

It’s possible for divorcing spouses to initially agree to mediation only to later decide that they cannot reach mutually agreeable terms through this process. It’s also possible for one spouse to allow their emotions to overcome them, spurring them to demand a trial instead of taking advantage of the benefits of mediation. If you are preparing for divorce mediation or have already started the process, it is natural to worry about what might happen if mediation doesn’t work for your situation. However, several practical options can help you overcome this situation, and it’s possible to take advantage of mediation to an extent before moving to litigation to settle the rest of your divorce.

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Acceptable Grounds for Family Court Order Modification in California

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Family law is unique in many ways. Perhaps most notably, the family law system offers a more streamlined alternative to the standard appeal process when an individual accountable to a family court order believes the order to be unreasonable or untenable due to recent events. Family law acknowledges that life is unpredictable. Due to the nature of most family court orders, the terms of an order may not be as reasonable in the future as they are at the time they are signed into effect by a judge.

If you have recently experienced any major life events that have materially influenced your standing family court order, the modification process can allow you to make simple changes that reflect the recent changes in your life. This does not mean you can repeatedly pester the court until they modify your family court order to suit your exact preferences. There are certain conditions that must be satisfied if the court is to approve of any proposed modification.

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Why Do I Need a Divorce Attorney?

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If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed when you imagine what to expect over the coming months as your divorce case unfolds. To help, one of the most important things you can do once you have decided to divorce is to hire a divorce attorney. Unfortunately, many people divorcing in San Diego mistakenly believe that they do not need legal representation, choosing to represent their own interests in divorce mediation or litigation in the family court system.

At Bickford, Blado & Botros, we aim to provide our prospective clients with the information they need to make confident and informed decisions about their divorce cases. We firmly believe that reliable legal representation is one of the best assets anyone can have when they face a difficult divorce case. For that reason, we want to provide useful information and emphasize the importance of trustworthy legal counsel as you approach your divorce.

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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

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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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The global spread of COVID-19 (a.k.a Corona Virus) is affecting millions and has been deemed by the United States government a national pandemic.  Both the Federal and California state governments are calling upon citizens to do their part in assisting with slowing the spread of this novel virus, which has given rise to sudden deviations from all of our normal routines.

As experienced Family Law attorneys, we anticipate the current state of affairs may be especially difficult for separated or divorced parents trying to navigate through these peculiar times.  The following are general guidelines, based on our experience, that we believe all co-parents should be cognizant of: Continue reading


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For most people, the decision to get divorced is not reached on a whim.  More often than not, “Breaking up is like knocking over a Coke machine.  You can’t do it in one push.  You gotta rock it back and forth a few times, and then it goes over.” (-Jerry Seinfeld)

It is not uncommon for those going through the divorce process to at some point become frustrated by the amount it is taking to, what in itself sounds simple, end their marriage! While sometimes bittersweet, many people returning to checking the “single” box, provides, a sense of progress, relief, satisfaction, accomplishment, or even freedom. This is especially true for those who have been enmeshed in lengthy highly contentious and stressful litigation. Continue reading

It’s no secret that many divorces can be difficult and contentious (although they certainly don’t have to be). Between the raw feelings from splitting up, disagreements regarding how to deal with the children, and the inability to reach agreements regarding spousal support and property, things can be difficult. One case in particular, Sagonowsky v. Kekoa, illustrates what happens when a contentious case totally goes off the rails.

The appeals court, in somewhat of an understatement, called the underlying proceedings a “lengthy and acrimonious battle.” Here are just some of the ways this case was acrimonious: Continue reading

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