A constitutional right to an attorney, unlike in criminal cases do not extend to family law cases. But your inability to pay for an attorney should not impede you from proceeding with child and spousal support, custody, visitation rights and restraining orders. These are important issues that may require you to seek the help of…

I am part of a legal team for both the client’s criminal domestic violence trial and divorce. While the merits of the criminal case will be determined by the jurors, the pervading question is the validity of the allegations while the parties concurrently are engaged in a bitter divorce case.  Both parties’ are keenly aware…

I have a client who travels all over the world for his business and his passport has been revoked. He called my office since his divorce case in California was a complex matter, including an appeal. He did not want his prior attorneys to represent him and he was recommended to me by a fellow…

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…

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…

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…