Archive for the ‘ Blog ’ Category

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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Orange County divorce lawyer

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.

A General Look at the Divorce Legal Process

Posted on: May 13, 2014 by in Blog
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A dissolution of marriage legal matter (“divorce”) can often turn into an uncomfortable chapter of a person’s life. No two divorces will ever be exactly the same – each divorce matter has its own unique legal, financial, and/or parenting issues that require unique strategies to achieve the desired solutions. Although differences exist within each case, each case has available the same general stages that may have to be completed before complete resolution. While the same general stages exist, an experienced divorce attorney should know that a case strategy unique to each case is the first step towards resolving a divorce case effectively.

Generally speaking, there are two types of divorce: contested and uncontested. If the divorcing parties cannot come to an agreement as to the terms of their divorce, their case is generally referred to as a contested divorce. An uncontested divorce is generally one in which both parties agree on how the assets and debts are divided, who gets custody and pays child support, and whether spousal support is needed.

Like anything else, a divorce can be handled in various ways. Some parties elect to represent themselves, while others allow experienced counsel to handle the case on their behalf. How long the process takes, how costly it turns out, and the amount of stress involved are issues in control of which are the two parties involved.

Generally, a divorce starts with the filing of a Petition for dissolution of marriage. Depending on the pending issues, temporary orders may be necessary to establish handling of various issues between the time of filing and the final judgment in the case. Temporary orders or agreements may be used to establish temporary child custody, property division, use of the marital home, child support, spousal support and a wide range of other issues depending on the parties’ circumstances.

An important step in a divorce case is the disclosure phase. In California, both parties have a duty to disclose to the other their true and complete financial circumstances. This may include disclosure of income, assets, debts and business opportunities. The correct handling of the disclosure phase is critical to a party’s credibility and future financial security.

If the parties simply cannot come to an agreement regarding the terms of their divorce, the case may need to proceed to a trial. The family courts in the State of California are currently experiencing heavy burdens on their available resources due to their budgetary issues and the volume of cases pending. In Orange County, a trial date may not be scheduled as quickly as the parties or their attorneys would like – this is not the fault of the attorneys or the judicial officers. It should also be noted that trial can be strenuous on the parties due to the amount of time and effort required to effectively prepare a case for trial.

Proper handling of a divorce or custody case most often requires the expertise of an experienced family law attorney. At Bayati Law Group, our firm is solely dedicated to resolution of family law cases in Orange County, CA. At our retention, we invest the time required to understand our client, their family, the nature of the pending dispute, the other side, the kids, the finances and the available means of resolution. Each case is different, and we have the resources and experience to tailor the family law process to each client’s individual needs. If you or someone you know is need of experienced Orange County divorce or custody attorneys, contact Bayati Law Group for a consultation. We look forward to helping you.

Discovery in Family Law

Posted on: May 7, 2014 by in Blog
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Orange County family law attorney

Similar to various other forms of litigation, parties in family law litigation have the right to conduct discovery on their adversary. Discovery is a fact finding vehicle by which opposing parties have an opportunity to learn the facts upon which the opposing party relies in making their legal claims. Discovery in a family regulation case exists in conjunction with a parentage law litigant’s duty of disclosure. While each party must make full disclosure of their assets and debts to the other party, a party must only respond to revelation if finding is demanded by the opposing party. With the increasing number of family law litigants representing themselves in parentage law litigation, discovery continues to be a challenge for both the party propounding and the party responding thereto.

As a means of illustration, the recent case of In re Marriage of Kahn serves to highlight some of the challenges with revelation and self-represented parties. Specifically, Mr. Kahn was a self-represented party in family regulation litigation to dissolve an approximate five year marriage.

During litigation, the wife’s attorney served Judicial Council Form Interrogatories along with a request for production of documents for Mr. Kahn’s response – both very common discovery vehicles in family law litigation. Mr. Kahn apparently failed to timely respond to either finding demand. The wife’s attorney filed the appropriate motion(s) to compel Mr. Kahn’s responses, which the court granted. When Mr. Kahn did not adhere to the court’s order, the wife’s attorney requested discovery sanctions from the court against Mr. Kahn. Ultimately, monetary and evidentiary sanctions were granted against Mr. Kahn.

Discovery is an important part of family regulation litigation and must be taken seriously. Failure to respond to finding can lead to monetary sanctions as well as evidentiary sanctions – both of which can have serious implications on a litigant’s ability to properly present evidence to a court. One must also consider the credibility implications associated with being the party that failed to properly respond to discovery.

If you are a litigant in family law litigation and were served discovery, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable not only in family law, but also with the discovery process. At Bayati Law Group, we exclusively practice family law and are experienced with the discovery process. Please contact us for a consultation to discuss your circumstances. We look forward to helping you.