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Because It’s Nobody’s Fault

Posted on: September 14, 2015 by in Blog, Divorce
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Orange County divorce lawyer

It’s no secret that divorces are difficult. Emotions can run quite high. Today, in the era of no-fault divorce, if children are involved, or if significant assets and properties are in dispute, it’s imperative to stay focused on settling the issues rather than expressing the emotions. If you are divorcing in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, work from the beginning with an experienced California attorney whose practice focuses exclusively on family law. Contact an experienced Orange County divorce lawyer to discuss dissolution or to learn about alternatives to annulment.

It’s now been 46 years since California Governor Ronald Reagan signed into law a measure, the Family Law Act of 1969, making California the nation’s first no-fault dissolution state. Prior to 1969, in all fifty states, one spouse essentially “sued” the other for divorce, claiming that one or more acts constituted “grounds” for annulment. No-fault divorce changes all of that. Under no-fault dissolution laws, if one spouse wants a dissolution, nothing has to be proven, and there’s ultimately no way the other spouse can prevent the dissolution. Divorce is never easy, but the Family Law Act made divorce proceedings somewhat less contentious, because it’s no longer necessary to prove that one spouse did anything providing “grounds” for annulment.

No-fault dissolution is not a perfect system, but no one really wants to return to forcing people to remain married against their will. Since California pioneered no-fault dissolution in 1969, every state in the nation now allows for it. In any dissolution settlement, your future is genuinely at stake, so you must ensure that your legal rights and your long-term best interests are protected. Let an experienced Orange County divorce lawyer handle your dissolution and advocate aggressively on your behalf. If you are divorcing in southern California, now or in the future, make the call and obtain the help you need.

Bigamy, Divorce, And Annulment

Posted on: September 8, 2015 by in Blog, Divorce
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Orange County divorce attorney

Champion boxer Shane Mosley is trying to collect a $6 million purse from his ostensible ex-spouse. The boxing champ is asking courts in New York to help him prove that his wife was a bigamist when she married him, which would mean she is not entitled to the $6 million she received in their divorce settlement. Mosley, 43, charges in court papers that Jin Mosley, 39, never told him when they married in 2002 that she had already tied the knot with a man named Sanjay Dwivedi. Jin Mosley’s lawyer denied the boxer’s allegations. “She was never married simultaneously to anyone while she was married to Mosley,” the attorney stated.

Mosley says he hired a private investigator who discovered that Jin C. Mosley – originally Jin C. Sheehan – had married Sanjay Dwivedi in 1995 and had divorced him in Manhattan in 2006. Mosley says that means his ex-wife was married to both men for four years. In California, if you discover that the person you’ve married is already married to someone else, you don’t have to go through an entire divorce procedure. You can have the marriage annulled. Before you decide on an annulment or a divorce, discuss your personal circumstances, your rights, and your options with an experienced Orange County divorce attorney.

Annulment ends a marriage in cases where the marriage was never actually “valid” from the beginning. Not every state offers annulment, and California courts will not grant every annulment request – but the courts will grant annulments for bigamy, if you can prove it. An experienced Orange County divorce attorney can help you decide if annulment is right in your situation. If you are considering annulment or divorce, or if you need legal advice and services regarding any other matter of family law, don’t hesitate to acquire the legal help you need. Contact an experienced Orange County divorce attorney as quickly as possible.

When You Fight For Child Custody

Posted on: August 28, 2015 by in Blog, Family Law
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Orange County family law attorney

In child custody disputes in California, courts will always make the best interests of the child a top priority. If you expect to ever fight in a courtroom for the custody of your youngster or children, you can best prepare for that fight by avoiding illegal drug use, criminal behavior, and excessive consumption of alcohol. Even the hint of illicit drug use could mean losing custody of your child or children. If you’re involved in a child custody dispute in southern California – or expect to be – discuss the case at once with an experienced Orange County family law attorney.

Even though it’s not directly related to a divorce, a recent case from northern California is a reminder of how serious child welfare authorities are about parental drug use. A woman who became stranded and gave birth in a northern California national forest says she took methamphetamine to get an energy boost after delivering her daughter. Amber Pangborn, 35, told the Chico Enterprise-Record that her daughter is healthy, but Butte County Child Protective Services placed the baby in foster care. Ms. Pangborn says she’s trying to regain custody after both she and her daughter tested positive for meth. No criminal charges have been filed.

Divorce and tutelage disputes are always difficult. After a divorce, the court will modify a custody order only if one parent can prove that a modification of the tutelage order is in the best interests of the youngster. Nothing is more important than your relationship and your future with your child. Divorce is tough for both parents and children, but help and advice are available. In Orange County or anywhere else in southern California, if you are fighting for the custody of your child or children, discuss your circumstances and your legal alternatives as soon as possible with a trustworthy and experienced Orange County family law attorney.

Adapting To The Changes

Posted on: August 24, 2015 by in Blog, Divorce
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Orange County divorce lawyer

Life seems to get more complicated every day, and those who adapt to changing conditions are those who succeed. The failure to adapt, however, can put you out of business. Take the law, for example. Even the world’s best attorney just fifty years ago would be entirely lost in a California courtroom today. The courtroom doesn’t look different, but the law – especially in the realm of family law – has changed dramatically in just half-a-century. If you are divorcing in southern California, you need an attorney who strives to stay up-to-date and current, and not only with the laws themselves, but with the ways that lawyers now assist their clients. You’ll need the advice and services of a knowledgeable and experienced Orange County divorce lawyer.

Some family law attorneys are not successfully adapting to the need to collaborate more with other professionals to help clients through the distress of a dissolution, according to new research by the British law firm Mills & Reeve. These would be the attorneys who insist on doing things the old-fashioned way and doing it themselves. It may be more of a problem in locations other than California, which is always on the legal cutting edge. Arbitration, mediated divorce, and collaborative dissolution are growing in popularity in California, and most California divorce attorneys are quick to seek help from medical, financial, and mental health experts when it’s needed.

The goal in divorce mediation is the resolution of key issues in a dissolution without the need for a trial. In mediation, both parties work through dissolution issues with a neutral mediator. Not only is mediation a cost-effective method of resolving a dissolution, but it offers the chance for a fair resolution of issues that are crucial to both spouses. If you want or need a divorce in southern California resolved quickly and reasonably, contact an experienced Orange County divorce lawyer as quickly as possible and ask about alternatives to traditional divorce.

Alimony After Remarriage?

Posted on: August 5, 2015 by in Blog, Family Law
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Orange County family law attorney

When couples divorce in California, the court will frequently order one spouse to pay alimony (also called “spousal support”) to the other spouse. When the spouse who receives the spousal support payments remarries, he or she probably no longer needs financial assistance, and the paying spouse will usually be able to end the support payments. If you are divorcing in southern California, or if you have any questions or concerns regarding alimony or the impact of remarriage on alimony, take those concerns promptly to an experienced Orange County family law attorney.

Spousal support in California is usually a monthly payment, but it may also be paid as a lump sum, by a transfer of property, or by the direct payment of other expenses such as a mortgage. California courts order precise alimony amounts based on each partner’s financial condition after the division of marital property. Either ex-partner may subsequently request a modification or an end to spousal support payments. California courts normally want to see a substantial change in at least one ex-spouse’s circumstances before ordering a modification or a halt to the payments. When an ex-spouse receiving support remarries, alimony ends automatically unless the divorce settlement specifies otherwise. However, if an ex-spouse receiving support is cohabiting, the paying ex-partner must request from the court a modification of the spousal assistance order. You’ll need an attorney’s help to make that request.

On the other hand, if you need to receive spousal support payments, a number of factors must be considered. On either side of any spousal support dispute, having the dedication and knowledge of an experienced California family law attorney is imperative if you’re seeking a just and impartial decision from the court. Before you enter into any divorce proceeding or alimony dispute in southern California – and before you take any other action – retain first the advice and services of an experienced Orange County family law attorney.


Child Support After A Parent Dies

Posted on: July 22, 2015 by in Blog, Child Support
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Orange County divorce attorney

Divorce is never easy, and when you have children, it’s even tougher. If you are divorcing or anticipating a divorce in Orange County or anywhere in southern California, you’ll need to obtain legal advice and representation at once by contacting a trustworthy and experienced Orange County divorce attorney. One key part of a divorce and youngster support agreement may be a life insurance policy. Life insurance can guarantee that there will be resources to support the child or children if the parent who pays youngster assist passes away. However, if neither parent has life insurance, courts in California can order parents to maintain, even after divorce, a life insurance policy that names their children, the other parent, or even a testamentary trust as beneficiaries.

A court may in some cases order the parent paying child support to obtain a new life insurance policy for child support purposes. In other cases, a court may order the division of an existing life insurance policy for child support purposes. Each situation is different, and a variety of factors must be considered, particularly the income and assets of each parent. If you are going to rely on your ex for youngster support, do not hesitate to ask your ex to establish a life insurance policy for child assist purposes. If your ex fails to cooperate, talk with an experienced Orange County divorce attorney about your legal options, including the option of asking the court to order your ex to acquire a life insurance policy.

Nothing is more important to you than your children. A good family law attorney fully understands that. If you are a custodial parent seeking child assist in southern California, or if you’re involved in any dispute regarding youngster support, child custody, or youngster visitation privileges, get the sound legal advice and dedicated representation you need by contacting an experienced Orange County divorce attorney as quickly as possible.

An Obligation That Transcends Death

Posted on: July 15, 2015 by in Blog, Child Support
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Orange County family law attorney

If you are involved in a youngster assist dispute – or if you expect to be involved in a child support dispute – during or after a divorce in California, obtain legal help at once by promptly contacting an experienced Orange County family law attorney. Every parent is obligated by law to support their children. When child support is ordered after a divorce, the order is merely a recognition of every parent’s responsibility. The child support order is not a penalty or a punishment. In California, a parent is legally obligated to provide support until a child turns 18 years old. What you may not know is that if a parent passes away before a child turns 18, the support obligation may not end with death.

California’s Fifth District Court of Appeals recently dealt with this issue in a case where the child’s parents never married. The parents fought in court for several years regarding the child assist  matter. When the mother passed away and the father took legal action against a trust established to hold the mother’s assets, the court initially denied the request. The Fifth District Court reversed that decision, citing a 1949 ruling by the California Supreme Court in Taylor v. George. The Fifth District Court’s ruling said, in part:

“It is well established that a child support obligation survives the death of the supporting parent and is a charge against his or her estate. In addition to being a charge against a supporting parent’s estate, court-ordered child support becomes a charge against that parent’s living trust, when his or her assets are in such trust rather than in an estate.”

That makes the law quite clear. If you are receiving youngster assist payments and the parent making those payments passes away, the responsibility for payments passes to the deceased parent’s trust or estate. If you are a parent on either side of a child support dispute in southern California, obtain the legal advice and help you need for your own case right now, and arrange immediately to speak with an Orange County family law attorney.

Alimony Basics In California

Posted on: July 6, 2015 by in Blog, Divorce
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Everyone agrees that parents should support their minor children, but spousal support after a divorce – commonly known as “alimony” – has always been and remains one of the most controversial aspects of family law. Alimony, as you probably know, is a regular payment made by one ex-spouse to the other after a divorce. Some believe that if a marriage has lasted for a number of years, provision should be permanent. Others would abolish provision entirely. If you are currently divorcing or if you are anticipating an imminent divorce in southern California, and if you believe that alimony will be an issue, get the legal help that you’re going to need by contacting an experienced Orange County divorce lawyer immediately.

When one spouse has stayed home or has only worked part-time and has been dedicated to raising children and/or to supporting the other spouse’s career, that spouse has the right to seek provision from the full-time income-earning spouse. The amount of alimony that a California court awards will depend on each couple’s particular circumstances, history, and current incomes. If divorcing spouses can come to their own mutual agreement regarding alimony, the court will almost always sign off on that agreement. If there’s an alimony dispute, the court will make a final alimony determination.

When either ex-spouse’s circumstances change after a divorce, either spouse can seek a modification of the provision arrangement, but you’ll need an attorney’s help, and any modification must be approved by the court. The most important concern regarding provision is that it’s fair to both ex-spouses. Make certain that if you are divorcing, the provision arrangement treats you fairly and justly. You can help to ensure that fairness by working from the beginning with an experienced Orange County divorce lawyer. If you are divorcing in southern California, make the call as quickly as possible.

How To Enforce A Child Support Order

Posted on: June 8, 2015 by in Blog, Child Support
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Orange County divorce attorney

When a California court issues a youngster support “order,” it’s an order, and it can be enforced by the court. Nevertheless, delinquency on child support payments is commonplace in California and across the country. In 2011, $14.3 billion in child assist remained unpaid in the United States. In 2012, the Census Bureau determined that only 41.2 percent of custodial parents receive the full amount of assistance owed by ex-spouses. However, California law offers several ways to enforce child support orders. If you need to have a child support order enforced, speak at once with an experienced Orange County family law attorney. A good family law attorney can use a variety of legal tools to win justice for parents and children who rely on court-ordered child support payments.

California courts use a mathematical formula to decide what the monthly amount of a youngster support payment should be. A court considers the incomes of both parents, the number of children, and the amount of time children spend with the parents, as well as taxes and other pertinent financial information. If your ex-spouse has been ordered to pay you child assist and you are not receiving it, speak to an Orange County family law attorney and get the help you need. In many cases, a family law attorney can help you take legal actions including but not limited to wage garnishments, bank account levies, intercepting tax refunds, and having the delinquent parent charged with contempt of court.

However, drastic legal measures are not always required. A good family law attorney may also be able to help you by acting as a mediator or negotiator; in many cases, an agreement acceptable to both sides can often be achieved without hostility or legal force. If you’re a parent who is not receiving the child support payments that you should be receiving, speak at once with an experienced Orange County family law attorney.

What Is A Child Custody Evaluation?

Posted on: May 18, 2015 by in Blog, Family Law
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Orange County divorce attorney

If you are divorcing in California and you anticipate a dispute regarding the custody of your children, you’ll need knowledgeable, high-quality legal representation as early as possible in the divorce process. Get the help you need by contacting an experienced Orange County divorce attorney. In California child tutelage disputes, a child custody evaluation (sometimes called a “730 evaluation”) is a formal investigation of parents and their children by a court-designated mental health professional. A child tutelage evaluation concludes with a report about the family and a suggestion for a custody and parenting plan. California courts order child tutelage evaluations to obtain an objective, neutral professional’s perspective on the family, the parenting abilities of the parents, and the child’s needs. A child custody evaluation includes:

  • individual interviews of each parent and child
  • interviews of each child with each parent
  • psychological testing of the parents and children
  • a visit to each parent’s home
  • a review of any pertinent documents
  • interviews with third parties when appropriate

A child custody evaluation can take as long as six months to complete. You’ll be under scrutiny the entire time and expected to maintain a high standard of good parenting. The courts are ordering youngster custody evaluations more frequently in recent years. Originally such evaluations were ordered only in the most acrimoniously disputed cases, but judges more recently have come to rely on the evaluations for guidance regarding what is in the best interests of the children of divorce. A youngster tutelage expert’s opinion gives a judge more confidence that he or she is making the right decisions. Judges frequently accept and implement the suggested tutelage and parenting plans with few if any changes.

No process is more important in a tutelage dispute than the youngster custody evaluation. Be sure that in any custody dispute in southern California, you are represented by a knowledgeable, trustworthy, and experienced Orange County divorce attorney. If you are divorcing or anticipating divorce, make the call now.