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Nancy J. Bickford

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Parties in the middle of a divorce often long for that light at the end of the tunnel when they can finally say that it is over!  Although it may seem like you will never reach the end, everyday parties are finalizing their divorce judgments and moving on with their lives.  Once a divorce judgment has been entered with the court there are several steps that must happen at the conclusion of a case to ensure that all items are appropriately wrapped up.  If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the end of your case, you should contact your attorney immediately. Continue reading

AdobeStock_151263740-300x200Once the initial paperwork in a divorce proceeding is filed, both parties must complete what is called a “Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure.”  This disclosure mainly consists of two documents, the first is the party’s “Schedule of Assets and Debts” and the second is the party’s “Income and Expense Declaration.”  Just as the names imply, these forms are designed to gather information related to each parties’ assets, debts, income, and expenses.  In addition to being mandatory, these disclosures are due early on in the case and are extremely important as they will be the framework for which a settlement, if possible, is reached. 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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In many ways, a divorce can seem, and typically is, final.  It requires the filing of a judgment, a judge’s signature, and a marriage that is no longer the same.  But what happens when a party files for divorce and then changes his or her mind?  Or, what happens when a couple finalizes their divorce and then reconciles?  This blog will explore the consequences of these non-traditional relationships.Cartoon red heart with patch on the crack. Cute and friendly character with eyes and smile

First, let’s consider what happens when a party files for divorce but then changes his or her mind and wishes to withdraw the petition for dissolution.  In California, there is a 6-month statutory waiting period before any divorce can be finalized- and this scenario is exactly why.  Sometimes a couple is going through a rough patch and a spouse will file for divorce prematurely.  After discussing and working on their relationship the couple no longer wants to go through with their divorce.  So, what happens? 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 infamous comedian-actor Robin Williams once said, “Divorce is expensive.  I used to joke they were going to call it ‘all the money,’ but they changed it to ‘alimony.’”

Alimony, or more commonly now called spousal support, may be awarded to either spouse during the pendency of a divorce proceeding, or in some cases after Judgment has been entered.  There are two types of spousal support: (1) Temporary; and (2) Permanent. Continue reading

Often a parent’s biggest concern during a divorce proceeding is what will happen to their children; specifically how custody and visitation will be addressed. shutterstock_524178382-300x150

In the ideal world, parents would be able to agree on a custody and visitation arrangement that is in the best interest of their children, without the need to go to court.  However, if the parents cannot agree on a custody plan then one party, or both, must file a motion with the court to have the judge decide on the issue.

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More often than not, one oshutterstock_548814919-300x200f the first questions our office receives when someone is inquiring about a divorce is “how long will my divorce take?”  This question, like so many other legal questions, often depends on the circumstances of the case.  While it is our hope to get you through this process as swiftly as possible, there are certain obstacles that must be passed before your judgment is entered and your divorce is finalized. Continue reading

original_1668472411-300x183The  COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all American’s lives and created a trickle-down effect upsetting aspects of our lives many did not originally anticipate.  Federal and State governments have blown the metaphorical whistle signaling the changing of tides and ordering the closure of stores, schools, government offices, and generally life as we have known it.

The Department of Labor reported over 6.65 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week.  In California alone, almost one million claims were filed in the last two weeks.

Of the myriad of people facing loss of employment amid the pandemic, some will be fortunate enough to receive severance packages as they make their exit.  Whether this feels fortunate or not will likely depend upon the following information regarding how severance pay is handled by the Court for support purposes. 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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