What You Should Know About Wage Withholding

Federal and California law both require that all orders regarding child support include an order for a wage assignment. This requirement is designed to ensure prompt payment of child support. A wage withholding or wage assignment is utilized to deduct court-ordered child support from a party, generally the non-custodial parent. Once the employer receives Notice...

Physical vs. Legal Custody

People frequently ask about the difference between Physical and Legal Custody. Physical custody: Physical custody refers to that parent or parents who has the physical responsibility for the care of the child. Joint physical custody” means that each of the parents shall have significant periods of physical custody, although parents can share joint custody...

The Move-Away Cases

You Can’t Just Pick Up And Move Any Longer In recent years, under the case Marriage of Burgess, the “primary custodial parent” had the presumptive right to re-locate to a different geographic area with the minor children. However, under a recent California Supreme Court case, in Marriage of LaMusga (pronounced “La Moo-shay”), has...

Re-Establishing Visitation

It’s a safe bet that every parent wanted to be with his or her children during this past holiday season.  Unfortunately, it is just as certain that many were unable to be with their children because of a one-sided custody arrangement. As usual, I received many calls from parents asking for advise as to what they could do to re-establish a regular custody...

730 Psychological Evaluations

Frequently a psychological evaluation and more in depth study is conducted. The psychological evaluator then submits each of the parents and perhaps the child or children to a battery of psychological tests as well as clinical observations. The determination is made first as to whether either parent suffers from any psychological dysfunction. Then, the...

Domestic Violence And Custody

Under a California (Family Code Section 3044) the state states policy regarding custody and domestic violence. Under the law, if the court finds a party to have been a perpetrator of Domestic Violence within the past 5 years there is a very strong presumption that the perpetrator should not share Physical or Legal Custody with the victim-parent. Thus, if the...

Child Abduction

What Is Child Abduction? A child abduction occurs when someone takes, entices away, keeps, withholds or conceals a child in violation of a custody or visitation order. Can A Family Member Abduct Their Own Child? Yes. Not only does child abduction involve violation of Family Court, Juvenile Court and/or Probate Court orders, but it also involves a FELONY...

Credible Data in Custody and Access Disputes

Many persons start with the premise that if you tell your story often enough, it must be true. Hence in bolstering child custody and access claims, some parties and lawyers run about gathering as many affidavits and one-sided opinions as possible. Trouble is, most are not worth the paper they are printed on. Even reports from expert sources may not be credible...

Let Go To Win – Child Custody Disputes

Monkey hunters have an ingenious way to trap their prey. They carve a small hole into a gourd and then hollow it out. Into the gourd they place a small piece of fruit or some nuts. They strap the gourd to a tree and then wait. In a little while a monkey shows up and sniffs at the bait. The monkey then squeezes its hand into the gourd and grasps the bait. With...

Custody Evaluation

The Custody Evaluation Legal and Practical Context Context The custody evaluation is often referred to as a “730 Evaluation.” This is because the respective section of the Evidence Code authorizes a judge to order such an evaluation. A custody evaluation can be: Agreed to by the parties and their attorneys (legally referred to as “by...

The Custody Evaluation Process

In a previous article, I explained the legal context within which a custody evaluation is ordered or agreed to, how the evaluator is selected, and what how the evaluation is handled once it is received by the court. In this article, I will describe the custody evaluation process. However, before beginning, I would like to remind the reader that most parents,...

Separated Parents In Dispute: Don’t Drag In Your Service Providers!

Separated parents in high conflict have a way of dragging others into their child custody and/or access dispute. Not just family friends, and neighbours, but every professional associated with the children. The parents seek to bolster their claims to support their custody and access position and believe letters of support from their professional service...

How Do You Rate Your Separation?

When parents separate, they worry about the effect of their separation on the kids. Not only is there data to suggest that adults whose parents separated when they were children are at greater risk of divorce themselves, but also data that suggests the greater the parental conflict during separation, the greater the likelihood of negative outcomes for the...

California Dissolution Timeline

A dissolution proceeding is initiated by the filing of a Petition by one party. The Petition is then served (either personally or by mail) upon the responding party. The party originally filing the Petition is known as the “Petitioner” and the other party is known as the “Respondent”. The date of service of the Petition on the Respondent...

Finding a Good Lawyer

Finding a Good Lawyer

Millions of men and women go through divorce proceedings every year and yet many give little thought to finding a lawyer that will best meet their needs. While a good lawyer will lead you through the divorce quagmire and hopefully get you the best possible results, the wrong lawyer can create more problems and add to the nightmare of divorce. You owe it to...

Steps To Protect Yourself During Divorce

Steps To Protect Yourself During Divorce

When you first learn that you’re being divorced, it may be a long-expected event or it may come as a complete surprise. Either way, there are certain steps you should take to protect yourself, your children and your finances. This does not mean stripping the family home and bank accounts bare. You should, however, take reasonable steps to safeguard your...

Divorce Mediation

WHAT IS DIVORCE MEDIATION? Divorce mediation is an alternative to fighting in court with your spouse through attorneys. Instead of court, parties who decide to use mediation work with a neutral third party mediator to negotiate issues concerning child custody and support, spousal support, and division of assets and debts. The mediator will help you to resolve...

Your Day in Court

Most dissolution cases involve at least one court hearing. The following information will assist you in knowing what to expect when you go to court. Many family law courts are run less formally than other types of civil litigation. However, family law is a civil proceeding, and certain formalities and rules are involved. It is a good idea to get a good...

Divorce and the Military

Military divorces can differ from standard family law cases when it comes to residence requirements for filing, obtaining process service upon an active duty spouse, compliance with military rules and regulations, and the division of a military pension. It is necessary to personally serve the active duty member with a summons and petition for dissolution of...

How CPAs Analyze Financial Statements in Dissolution Cases

What do forensic accountants look for when they review financial statements of a business provided to them by counsel? What are the signs that there are irregularities taking place? What are the typical types of financial statements? There are three standards and three types of financial statements. The three standards are audits, reviews and compilations. The...

When Can I Remarry?

Under California law there is a statutory “waiting period” of six months before the parties to a dissolution proceeding are legally returned to the status of single persons. The parties may not remarry until this waiting period has expired. The six-month period begins on the date the respondent was served with the appropriate documents or appeared in...

Simple Cases: Agreed and Uncontested

Some People are able to reach a simple resolution of their case, where they agree on an uncontested divorce. “Uncontested” means that: You and your spouse can agree outside of court about how you want to handle money, property, and parenting issues (for some, this means that your spouse won’t even have to file a response to your court...

Divorce Resources and links

Links California Divorce Information Sacramento County Public Law Library California Courts Superior Courts Contact Info Self-Help Center California Law: Support California Law:  Family Law Bar Associations State Bar of California San Diego County Bar Association Bar Association of San Francisco Sacramento County Bar Association Los Angeles County...

Top 10 Ways To Save Money During Divorce

by Laura Gitlin-Petlak, Esq 1. Become knowledgeable about the California divorce process. Read information on this Web Site so that you can ask more intelligent questions from your lawyer. 2. Know when to hold them and when to fold them. The less bitterly fought your divorce is, the less it will cost. On the other hand, if you are a push- over, your long term...

Top 10 Ways To Protect Yourself During Divorce

Spend as much time as you can with the kids, stay with the kids as much as possible If you have children, do not leave the family residence Do NOT allow your spouse to take the children and leave Keep a journal of all threats, incidents, contact with the children and other significant events Make copies of all important financial and business records for the...

Top Threats Made During A Divorce

On an almost daily basis I receive calls from panicked clients who have been threatened by their spouse. These threats are often gravely concerning to my clients, but in fact few of them should be as they are often made in an attempt to scare and intimidate you, and get you to back off. The following is a list of common threats that are made by vindictive...

10 Ways To Protect Your Assets In Divorce

by Laura Gitlin-Petlak, Esq.  1. Identify your family heirlooms. It is important to know that heirlooms given to you alone (as opposed to things that were given to you and your spouse) by your family do rightfully belong to you, whether they were given to you prior to your marriage or after you and your spouse married. Also know that there are steps you can...