Paternity: Who’s the Daddy?

Gentlemen who father a child out of wedlock are responsible for the child’s emotional and financial welfare. A paternity action enables unmarried parents to resolve the same issues faced by parents in a dissolution action, with the exception of property division issues. A paternity action commences when one party files a “Complaint To Establish Parental Relationship” with the court. This action establishes the Read More

Guardianship – Temporary Suspension of Parental Rights

When a child’s biological parents have died, abandoned the child, have entered military duty or have failed to adequately care for the child due to health issues or drug abuse, the family law court has the power to appoint a legal guardian. Through the guardianship process, the biological parent’s rights are temporarily suspended and the legal guardian assumes many of the parental rights and responsibilities. As Read More

Property Division: And The Balance Sheet Says …

The dissolution process involves creating an equalized division of the marital estate. The court only has jurisdiction or power to divide community property. In many cases, especially in long term marriages, people innocently transmute some of their separate property into community property without even realizing it. The transmutation process, that is, the process of changing the character of property from separate Read More

Enforcement of Support Orders

There are various tools available to enforce a child or spousal support order. The most frequently used are: 1. Wage Assignment Order Up to a few years back, parties had to show a history of non-payment or late payments before the court would order a wage assignment. Under current California law, the court must issue a wage assignment order whenever the court makes or modifies a support order. Once a wage Read More

Spousal Support – Amount and Duration

Any discussion of spousal support needs to address two factors: the amount of support and for how long the support will continue. Amount of Support In short term marriages courts use a formula to determine the amount of spousal support. The same formula can be used as guideline to determine temporary spousal support in long term marriages. However, case law holds that it is an abuse of the court’s discretion to Read More

Child Support: A Function of Income and Time-Share

There are several factors that are crucial in calculating the amount of child support you will be receiving or paying. The most important of these factors are your income, your spouses’ income, and the amount of time you spend with your children. Other factors include, but are not limited to, the amount you pay for health insurance for the children, any union dues you might pay, or any hardship expenses. Child Read More

Visitation – The Creation of a Parenting Plan

When you start creating a parenting plan you need to look at various factors unique to your situation. In addition to your child’s age, you need to look at any special schooling or emotional needs you child might have. You also need to look at the work schedule and temperament of both parents to ascertain that any schedule you propose will be workable. Courts look for parenting plans that are age-appropriate. For Read More