Experienced in all phases of Family Law offering representation in:
- Marital Settlement Agreements
- Post-Judgment Enforcement or Modification
- Property Division
- Child Custody/Visitation
- Child Support, Spousal Support
- Paternity Action
Do It Yourself, Not By Yourself
Register now for my first Family Law Do-It-Yourself Workshop on April 18, 2015. Click here for more information.
Family Law Terms
The ability of the court to make decisions about cases before it. As it relates to motions: If you file a motion and ask for child support only in your papers, but when you go to court you want the court to decide other issues not in your papers, the court does not have jurisdiction.
COMMON LAW MARRIAGE
A common law marriage is when two people live together for a pre-determined amount of time (by law) and are considered married by the State in which they live in. CALIFORNIA DOES NOT HAVE COMMON LAW MARRIAGES.
A term given to marriages made in good faith. An example is If parties obtain a license and have a ceremony but due to some mistake they think they are married but are not actually married then the court will recognize the relationship as a marriage. The importance is that the parties take steps to have a legal marriage. Also, if someone is married in another country and have only a religious ceremony (which is legal in that country) and come to California and divorce the court will treat them as legally married even though they did not have a license.
When parties have a dispute regarding custody and visitation the parties must go to Children and Families Bureau to meet with a Mediator to help them work out a parenting plan. If after mediation the parties still cannot agree, the Mediator will write a report and make a recommendation to the Judge as to what he/she believes is in the child’s best interest. (Please note: Not all counties in California are recommending counties)
The decision making authority over child such as what daycare/school the child will attend, what religion the child will be, what medical treatment the child will receive.
Primary Physical Custody: Who the child spends or lives the great majority of his/her time with.
The level of contact a parent or other significant person in the child’s life can have with the child.
When a parent dies or is unavailable for other reasons, the grandparent may seek, through the courts, their own independent visitation rights in order to maintain contact with that side of the family.
When a parent has personal issues that make the Court question whether that parent can keep the child safe, the court may order supervised visitation which is time with the child that is monitored by a third person. Supervised visitation can either be professional which is conducted by a service which costs money or unprofessional which can be conducted by a family member or friend who will accept the responsibility of monitoring the visits.
Property that is acquired during marriage and property that is acquired using community property funds. Examples of community property: Income from both spouses, retirements (only the portion earned during marriage) and real estate are some examples.
Property that is acquired prior to marriage or after the date of separation.
In every divorce if there is property, either personal or real estate, it must be divided. The best way to divide the property is to mutually agree on its division, however, if the parties cannot agree, then the Court will divide the property. The Court will divide the community property equally in most situations.
Sometimes spouse take separate property and community property and comingle (mix) them together. Tracing is a method of determining the ownership of the property.
A minute order is the Clerk’s interpretation of what the Judge has ordered at a particular hearing. Please note, not all minute orders are accurate and it is important that you take your own notes at your hearings.
FINDINGS AND ORDER AFTER HEARING
This is a rendition of the order the court makes after a hearing. It is very important to have these. The court may write these themselves, however some courts will not and it is up to your attorney or the self-represented party to complete this.
REQUEST FOR ORDER
This is a motion that a party files when seeking to bring their case before the Court.
Money paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. Child support is based on the income of the parties and the time in which the parties each have with the child.
DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES
A State Agency that collects child support for custodial parents. This agency will file a motion for either parent whether custodial or non custodial and does not represent either parent, they merely facilitate the determination and collection of child support. The service this agency provides is free. You must open a case with them if you wish to have them collect support on your behalf.F