Understanding Parental Alienation

Jeff is concerned about his nine-year-old son, Ethan. The boy has been behaving strangely, and he suspects that his former wife, Tanya, is to blame. It began when Jeff started seeing his new girlfriend, Rosa. Although Jeff introduced Ethan and Rosa and the two seemed to hit it off, during the next weekend visit Ethan seemed unusually quiet and sullen. He never admitted that anything was wrong, but his tone and Read More

What Do California Courts Consider When Determining Child Custody?

Albert and Shannon have decided to get a divorce. Their friends and family are not surprised, as both parties have been unhappy for a while now. Unfortunately, their attitude towards each other during the divorce is equally predictable. Shannon is determined to have both legal and physical custody of their two young boys and give Albert as little visitation as possible. Albert concedes that seeking primary Read More

How Debts Are Divided in a California Divorce

You and your spouse have decided to divorce, so you know that all the cars, real estate, and other assets you acquired or received during the five years you were married are subject to division. But what about your credit card balances? Your spouse’s student loans? The money that your business owes to vendors and suppliers? California is a community property state, meaning that property acquired by a spouse during Read More

Why Mediate Your Divorce? 5 Key Benefits Compared to Litigation

Although divorce has the potential to be a long, bitter, and costly undertaking, litigation is no longer the default method of settling matters like property division, child custody and support, and spousal support. Mediation allows you and your spouse to work with a professional mediator to come to a mutually acceptable agreement on these important issues. What is Mediation? How does it work? Mediated divorces Read More

7 Scenarios California Recognizes as Grounds for Annulment

There are two ways to legally dissolve a marriage in California: divorce and annulment. Although they achieve similar outcomes, divorce is the legal termination of a valid marriage while annulment is a confirmation that the marriage technically never existed. That is, once a union is annulled, it’s as if the couple was never married in the first place. Annulments are harder to obtain than divorces because Read More

California Restraining Orders: 4 Things You Should Know

When someone else is physically or verbally abusing you, California law has certain mechanisms in place to protect you. The most commonly used tool is the restraining order, which is a temporary or permanent court order issued to prevent someone from approaching or otherwise contacting you. Restraining orders, which primarily address family law issues like domestic violence, are often confused with protective Read More

The 8 Court Orders Enforceable by Contempt in California

There are few things more frustrating than dealing with a co-parent or former spouse who intentionally disregards a court order, whether it be to allow visitation, pay spousal support, or comply with any other condition of your separation or divorce. If you find yourself in this situation, contempt proceedings can force that person to obey the original order. California law is quite clear on the subject of who can Read More

Out of County? Out of Country? How the LaMusga Factors Can Affect Your Move

In California family law, a ‘move-away’ case occurs when one divorced or separated parent wants to move to another geographic location with their children, leaving the other parent behind. Because the children are likely to lose regular contact with one of their parents, these situations are definitely one of the most difficult custody situations to decide. If the court permits the move, the non-custodial parent Read More

Wilful Disobedience? A Brief Guide to Contempt in California

You’ve been fighting with your former spouse to get him or her to pay child support, and nothing seems to be working. There is even a court order in place, but he or she ignores your calls, emails, and texts. What else can you do? When someone violates a California court order they can be found in contempt of court, provided these four elements can be proven: There is a valid, written and signed court order Read More

How to Make Mediation Work for your California Child Custody Case

In California, an increasing number of divorcing couples are using mediation to resolve child custody matters. Unlike litigation, mediation gives parents the opportunity to work together and come up with a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the children. The cooperative attitude that the process requires can carry over into the future, resulting in a lifetime of successful co-parenting. There is Read More