No matter what side of the aisle you are on politically or whether you were happy or dismayed by the results, the 2016 presidential election was historic. This blog is not about the election or the candidates that were running, nor does it have anything to do with their politics or positions. This blog is actually about is about what can happen in Family Court if you are fired from your job, either for cause (usually bad conduct) or you are laid off (think downsizing). 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
It was recently reported that Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odem finally submitted their divorce judgment for processing with the Court. I say finally because the case was first filed in December 2013. It was stagnate for nearly two years while Lamar allegedly battled substance abuse issues. When Lamar nearly died in October 2015, Khloe dismissed the divorce, only to re-file in May 2016. The years long saga is now over, but that does not mean the parties’ divorce case is over. The Court still needs to process the Judgment, and there is no way to know how long that will take.
Many parties choose to have their divorce cases mediated by a professional mediator. This can have many valuable benefits. It can be cheaper, less stressful, and much quicker than your typical adversarial divorce. All other things being equal, working together is preferred to working against one another.
Any party who chooses to use mediation should be aware of the mediation privilege. The mediation privilege makes it impossible (absent certain limited exceptions) for one party to compel the production of documents or testimony of the other party or the mediator as long as that other party and the mediator invoke the mediation privilege. If one party is trying to set aside a judgment because of false or fraudulent statements made by the other party, the mediation privilege can be a significant impediment to that goal.
Child support in California can be very complicated and the changed circumstances rule is one of the reasons why. The changed circumstances rule requires a court to deny a request to modify child support if the court determines that there was no material change in circumstances since the time the last child support order was made.
First, let’s go over some basics. California, like every other state, is required to have a Guideline formula to determine what the proper amount of support should be. The Court is required to follow the Guideline, absent a few very narrowly construed exceptions (See Family Code section 4059). If a child support order is determined to be “above Guideline,” i.e. more than what the formula would provide, that child support order cannot be subsequently changed unless there has been a material change of circumstances. However, if a child support order is determined to be “below guideline,” no change of circumstances is required to increase that order to a Guideline order. 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
Bifurcation is an often underutilized procedure in civil cases (including family law cases) that, if used correctly, can significantly reduce the attorney fees and costs necessary to bring a case to a conclusion and can significantly increase the prospect of settlement.
So what is bifurcation exactly? In the process of bifurcation, the Court, usually on the motion of one of the parties, agrees to hear a trial on just one part of a case. Often times there are difficult issues, that once resolved, simplify the rest of the case. Continue reading
Some family law litigants (and even some attorneys) may think an appeal is just a “do-over” of what happened at the trial level. However, trials and appeals are two very different proceedings. In this post, we will address one of the most fundamental differences between proceedings at the trial level and proceedings at the appellate level – How does each court deal with findings of fact?
Trial courts ask: “What are the Facts?”
It is not unheard of for a family law trial to last several days, or even several weeks. However, the oral argument on an appeal of a week-long trial will almost never exceed 30 minutes and usually doesn’t impact a case. So, why is that?
The California Family Code allows courts to issue orders removing a spouse from a home. These are commonly referred to as “kick out” orders or “exclusive use and possession” orders. Certain circumstances compel a court to make these kinds of orders. This blog post will discuss these circumstances. It turns out that the threshold required for a kick-out order differs depending on whether or not the application to the Court is brought in an ex parte (i.e. emergency basis) or if it is brought pursuant to a noticed motion.