The threshold test in modification motions in family law cases is that the requesting party must establish a change in circumstance(s) from the prior order. It is applied in requests for child custody changes, basis for adjustments in child and/or spousal support orders. This prevents re-litigation of facts or circumstances that have not materially changed….

Happy New Year everyone! I have been engaged in two very complex and ongoing settlement conferences in an effort to prevent the case from going to trial and incurring substantial legal fees and costs for my client. One case will need to be “bifurcated” (a separate trial for one or more particular issue). In this…

It is one thing to obtain an order it is another to enforce it.  In this article, I will focus on support orders (child and spousal). But the mechanism of enforcing orders by contempt is available in other money judgments. A party who is subject to a valid order, has knowledge of the order, and…

Many of you have read a client’s review that invoking your Fifth Amendment right is advisable. I had a client and his family who were involved in a situation which they were dealing with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Department of Children’s and Family Services (DCFS) at the same time. What this…

I had a case where my client resides with the minor child in Italy and the father is in California. Ex parte applications are the opposing counsel’s choice of “fast tracking” custody issues but all have been denied. In fact, I have requested and won my request for attorney fees and sanctions. It is critical…

“If either parent of an unemancipated minor child is deceased, the children, siblings, parents, and grandparents of the deceased parent may be granted reasonable visitation with the child during the child’s minority upon a finding that the visitation would be in the best interest of the minor child.” [Family Code “FC” 3102 (a)] As you…

There are generally eight types of domestic violence/abuse: physical, intimidation, child abuse, verbal and emotional, social isolation, religious, male/female privilege (diminishing the victim’s authority and preventing him/her from contributing to the relationship and sexual abuse.) If you are in the process of divorce and there are minors involved, issues of custody and visitation will be…

Atty. Castaneda wins the DMV Administrative Per Se Hearing for her client. As a follow-up to the article posted on April 22, 2019, she was right—the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Driver Safety Officer ruled that her client’s suspension of her driving privilege is set aside. The Officer upheld Atty. Castaneda’s argument that the police…

When you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence, you have an administrative hearing (DMV) and the criminal court to deal with. The outcome for the two cases is different– this article will deal solely with the DMV. The purpose of the DMV is to determine if the defendant’s driving privileges should be suspended. The…

Family Code (FC) section 2030, subdivision (a)(2) uses the term “disparity.” This provision specifically states that at a trial court must make a finding on “whether there is a disparity in access to funds to retain counsel.” The common and ordinary meaning of the word “disparity” as referenced in the Launa Morton v. David Morton…

Prior to December 31, 2018, in most divorce situations, one spouse is legally obligated to make payments to the other party. These payments could be substantial and tax deductions and for some payors, this has been a substantial benefit. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will “scrap” a 75-year old deduction for spousal…

Both federal and state laws support the strong policy that a parent’s first and principal obligation is to support his/her minor children.  Each parent has equal responsibility to support the child. The court has the authority to order either or both parents to pay any amount necessary for the support and education of their child….

Many clients will be confused as to their rights in modifying a current visitation or custody order. For example, I had a client who had a visitation order 5% due to a prior restraining order. He came to my office and wants to know what his options would be. Since the restraining order had expired,…

Ex parte motions, or “emergency” motions, are common in divorce and custody cases. Ex parte relief is requested when it is impractical or impossible to wait the minimum statutory period for the court to hear a “regular” motion. I was in the bank this week with my parents when the banker helping them wanted to…

I always wanted to be an attorney so I could help people. I realize this is an idealistic statement. But, I beg to differ.  There have new beginnings for some of my clients. Here are some examples: A 14-month old baby was returned to the parents in time for Thanksgiving after months of separation.  The…