Navigating Children’s Airline Travel and Summer Breaks

With summer quickly approaching, children are soon to be on summer break and the routine of the school year is at a standstill until the fall. Most children are enrolled in summer camps, summer school, or have family vacations lined up to account for these breaks. However, there…

New Litigation – Abuse Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence

Recognizing that upon entering the family or civil court system, survivors of domestic violence often face litigation abuse when seeking protection from the court, the Legislature enacted SB 741 with the intention of curbing such abuse. Litigation abuse is defined in new Family Code Section 6309 as “the…

Gatekeeping – Appropriate and protective or inappropriate and restrictive?

A parent actively restricting or attempting to restrict the other parent’s access to a child to protect the child from harm may be acting appropriately. A fairly obvious example of why one parent may want the other parent to have limited access to a child could be a history of child abuse or exposure to domestic violence. In the most extreme cases, appropriate gate-keeping may result in the non-custodial parent having no contact with a child because of the harm that such contact might cause.

CA Appellate Court caps bonus spousal support payment based on change of circumstances and reasonable expectations of parties.

Usually, a person who has been ordered to pay spousal support does not run to court seeking a reduction in support after she or he has just received a large raise — the risk being the court could order an increase in support because of the increase in…

California court ruling supports biological father’s standing as third parent.

In C.A. v. C.P. et al., the Third Appellate District recognized the parental rights of a child’s mother, husband parent and biological father (C.A.). The child was born into an intact marriage after mother had a short relationship with C.A. All parties were aware of the child’s paternity,…

Custody Evaluations and proposed legislation re: People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal. 4th 665

People v. Sanchez represents a potentially significant evidentiary problem in the context of custody and visitation cases involving a custody evaluation and report. Under the holding in Sanchez, which is a criminal law case, case-specific, out-of-court statements that are relied upon by an expert to form his or…

Mediation is mandatory whenever custody and visitation are at issue.

In California, mediation is mandatory whenever custody and visitation are at issue, and for good reason – custody mediation can have a very positive, long-term impact on families. See summary of Dr. Robert Emery’s 12-year study on the effects of divorce mediation at http://emeryondivorce.com/divorce_mediation_study.php. On the other hand,…

Facebook = Service?

In New York, a judge recently ruled that you can serve your spouse with divorce papers via Facebook.  The ruling is here.  (Please note that this ruling applies to one New York case, and it is not a binding rule regarding service in California.) What is service? Filing your dissolution…

So Long to Spousal Support?

A California resident is attempting to place a ballot initiative on the November 2016 ballot that would significantly alter (eliminate?) spousal support in California.  The proposed ballot initiative can be found here. Spousal support is governed by Family Code Section 4300 (et. seq.) and case law.  In short, “a…

Child Support

A child support order is just that – an order.  Once ordered, it is not optional.  However, $14.3 billion in child support remained unpaid in the United States in 2011. Child support in California is determined by a mathematical formula which is set forth at Family Code Section 4055 (the…