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…

Before the issue of what a transmutation is and how a quit claim or interspousal transfer deeds affect real property, there must be an understanding of community property. Simply put, anything acquired during marriage, whether they are debts or assets are community property with the general exception, of anything inherited or bestowed as gifts. One…

A new client just called me about being arrested for a DUI from a checkpoint. Yes, as we know the holidays mean festivities and parties more likely than not include alcoholic beverages. So again, checkpoints are legal but the police are required to insure that state and federal laws are followed before they institute a…

“Excessive bail will not be required, or excessive fines imposed, or cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.” [Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, ratified on December 15, 1791] This was reiterated in Article 1, Section 12 of the 1872 California Constitution and amended in November 8, 1994 to provide that a person shall…

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…

Family Code (FC) Section 6200 to 6320 codifies DVPA. The legislative intent of DVPA has a protective purpose that is broad both in its stated intent and its breadth of persons protected.” Caldwell v. Coppola (1990) 219 Cal. App.3d 859, 863. FC Section 6211(c) is abuse intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily…

My spouse wants to retire. Can I force them to continue working in order to receive the same amount of support? This is the question that was asked in Marriage of Reynolds (1998) Cal.App.4th 1373. In this case, the husband retired from active employment and the trial court attributed to him a monthly income based…

This issue is sometimes litigated in divorce cases. In California, there are many scenarios in which a Family Code (FC) 2640 analysis will apply. The most common one deals with reimbursement of a separate property down payment on a home. For example, the residential home is purchased during the marriage and a down payment is…

Apart from settlement, a divorce trial is the only way that a court can make a final decision about your case. Settling a divorce case does not necessarily mean you and your ex-spouse have to agree on everything. You can reach a partial settlement on some issues and decide to allow the court to rule…

When a criminal defendant is confronting a criminal case and is set for trial, it is up to the defendant to decide whether to proceed or plead guilty. His or her defense attorney should provide the pros and cons of going to trial. I do not like my clients pleading guilty to a crime until…

Pre-filing means when an individual is suspected of a crime and is under police investigation but no formal charges have been filed. You are under investigation if law enforcement agencies/police contact you, your employer, family or friends to ask questions. A search warrant may have already been issued and executed. In order to prevent further…

After a trial, the judge awarded my client attorney fees (to my office) and sanctions (to my client) against the other party for their bad faith litigation conduct. He was ordered to pay but has failed to do so—now what? An examination of a judgment debtor (debtor) exam is authorized under Code of Civil Procedure…

“Arrears” means past due support.  Arrears are created when a child support order is made and there have periods of time in which support payments were paid only partially or not at all.  Section 685.020 (b) of the California Code of Civil Procedure mandates interest on arrears at a legal rate of 10% as each…

With the start of the Memorial Day this weekend, the summer travel season begins. You can be sure that the police will be setting up sobriety checkpoints.  In California and in many states, police conducting checkpoints must comply with a strict guideline that is laid out by case laws. In California, the landmark case is…

There are many types of abuse, and a family law court shall take all of them in consideration. 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…

April has been designated Child Abuse Prevention Month in the United States since 1983. In 2016, President Obama issued a presidential proclamation that: “During National Child Abuse Prevention month, we recommit to giving every child a chance to succeed and to ensuring that every child grows up in safe, stable, and nurturing environment that is…