Articles Posted in Judgment

This won’t be the first, and probably won’t be the last, time that I post a blog about how dogs get treated in a divorce. Why? As a dog owner I know what a meaningful role the family pet plays in our lives. As an attorney, I have seen the emotional impact that this issue can have on my clients. Because pets play such a big role our lives, it can become a major issue when divorcing spouses don’t agree on what should happen to the dog when they divorce. In Part 1 of this blog, I examine a recent decision by a Canadian judge and in Part 2, new legislation in Alaska, which together make this topic more relevant than ever.

A decision of the Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan dated August 31, 2016 begins by stating “Dogs are wonderful creatures. They are often highly intelligent, sensitive, and active, and are our constant and faithful companions. Many dogs are treated as member of the family with whom they live.” True! I don’t think any dog or pet owner could disagree with that! Continue reading

Personal health is a very important aspect of our lives, but for some reason we do not seem to give it as much thought as we should until that health is compromised.  It is cold and flu season right now and many of you reading this have either had a cold this year, or are going to catch one in the near future.  To those readers who will avoid getting sick this year, please tell us your secrets because we want to know. 

Getting the cold or the flu is not the “health” I am referring to in this blog.  When I discuss health, I am referring to long-term or chronic health issues such as Lyme’s disease.  This also includes mental health issues such as clinical depression, as well as physical disabilities like carpel tunnel syndrome or paraplegia.  These chronic health issues are all very different, but they do have one thing in common; they often impact a person’s ability to work. Continue reading

The “Right of First Refusal” is a concept originating from contract law that grants the holder of the right the option to enter into a business transaction with the owner of something before the owner may enter into a transaction with a third party.  Put more simply; before you can sell your widget to a third party, you must ask whether I want to buy the widget.  So why are we blogging about a contractual right on a family law blog? Continue reading

If you have been following the Brangelina news as closely as we have, you may have heard in early December 2016 that Brad filed an emergency motion with the Los Angeles court requesting that the Court’s records relating to the parties custody dispute be “sealed.” Brad’s request was denied.

This may have left you with many questions: What does it mean to have records under seal? Why would this be necessary? What are the requirements to place records under seal? And why was Brad’s request denied? Read on for answers! Continue reading

Under California law, once a party is served with the summons and petition for dissolution, they have 30 days to file a formal response with the Court. After this 30 days is expired, the petitioner has the option of filing for a default judgment granting them everything they asked for in their petition, including the dissolution of the marriage once the six month statutory cooling off period is completed. However, the respondent can come back within six months, under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, and get the default judgment set aside as if it never existed. Would such a default judgment also set aside the actual dissolution of the marriage, or do parties always remain divorced once they are divorced by the family court? Continue reading

You decided you want a divorce, you file for a divorce, and then…*crickets*… your spouse, for whatever reason, has decided not to participate in your divorce. Perhaps your spouse doesn’t understand the legal process, doesn’t want to get divorced, or he/she is upset that you filed for divorce and intends to do anything possible to make your life more difficult. If this sounds like you, don’t worry. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO GET A DIVORCE, even if your spouse chooses not to take any part in it.

If you are experiencing the problem above and you wish to proceed with a divorce even in the face of an uncooperative spouse, you will need to seek a default judgment. In order to do so, you must follow very specific procedures to ensure that you will be granted a divorce. The following is a very general overview of the required steps (note that there may be additional forms or procedural steps that must be taken within each subsection which are not covered here). 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

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

..…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