Any court orders or judgments made in a dissolution case are not ordinarily binding on any third parties, companies or entities. However, it is often necessary to obtain cooperation of people and entities that are not otherwise involved in the dissolution case. This is done by filing a Motion for Joinder.

A Motion for Joinder is a request made to the court by which a party is asking that a person or entity be brought before the family law court and made to comply with its orders. Joinders are common where one or both of the parties have a pension or employment benefit plan. By joining the plan, the court can then order the plan to divide the monthly pensions and or retirement benefits by the employed spouse.

Joinders are also common where the spouses own real estate with other people. In these types of cases, all owners must be brought before the family law court, so they can be ordered to sign documents transferring title pursuant to the court order.

A mandatory joinder is when a court must order that a person be joined as a party to the proceeding if any person the court discovers has physical custody or claims custody or visitation respects to any minor child of the marriage, domestic partnership, or to any minor child of the relationship. Before ordering the joinder of a grandparent of a minor child in the proceeding under Family Code (FC) section 3104, the court must take the actions described in section 3104(a)

FC 3104(a) requires the court, if petitioned by a grandparent of a minor child, the court may grant visitation rights to the grandparent if the court does both of the following: (1) finds that there is a preexisting relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild that has engendered a bond such that visitation is in the best interest of the child. (2) balances the interest of the child in having visitation with the grandparent against the right of the parents to exercise their parental authority.

A permissive joinder is when a court determines that a person be joined as a party to the proceeding if the court finds that a party is indispensable for the court to make an order about that issue or is necessary to the enforcement of any judgment rendered on that issue. The court must consider the following: (a) whether resolving that issue will unduly delay the disposition of the proceeding; (b) whether other parties would need to be joined to make an effective judgment between the parties; (c) whether resolving that issue will confuse other issues in the proceeding; and (d) whether the joinder of a party to determine the particular issue will complicate, delay, or otherwise interfere with the effective disposition of the proceeding.

Any questions or concerns, feel free to call my office at 310-601-7144 or email me directly at cicastaneda@sbcglobal.net.

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