Family Law Blog

Sometimes It's Not about the Money

In December of 2014, Susan was 69 years old. She brought a cause of action to establish a parental relationship from a man [Man] who had died 19 years before. She wanted to have him declared as her ...
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A Necessary of Life May Not be a Common Necessary of Life

H was an attorney and licensed to practice law in California. W, his wife, also an attorney, had been disbarred in Kansas. She practiced immigration law in Stockton, California. During their marriage, ...
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Great-Grandparents May Be Great but Not for Child Visitation Rights

E and Y are the paternal great grandparents of S and D. F is the F of S and D and also the grandson of E and Y. M is the mother of S and D and the former wife of F. Sadly, the marriage of M and D was ...
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A Nonoffending Parent Does Not Lose Parental Rights...

…But you can sure lose your parental rights for other reasons! Mother [M] and Father [F] never married but they had a son [S] together. M struggled with drug abuse (specifically ...
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You're STILL the Father!

T and C met in 1991, but they did not begin a sexual relationship until 2005. Prior to 2005, C had a vasectomy. Shortly after beginning their sexual relationship, T and C discussed having a child ...
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A Putative Spouse is not a Bad Person

Like most states, California does not recognize what is known as a common law marriage. In a common law marriage, the parties are not legally married, but hold themselves up to everyone in the world ...
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Poor Mental Health Can Result in Lost Custody

Mother (M) and Father (F) never married, but had two children together Son (S) in 2007 and Daughter (D) in 2008. M and F permanently separated in 2010, and M retained full custody of the children. M ...
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When California Has Jurisdiction over Mexican Citizens

Mother (M) was an American citizen living in Mexico with her two sons AC (age 6) and EC (age 15 months). Both of her sons were born in Mexico, thus Mexican citizens. M never disclosed the name of the ...
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Deportation Can Affect Child Reunification Efforts

Father (F) and Mother (M) are the parents of three children who were living in San Diego County, California. In November of 2011, F was arrested for domestic violence and deported to Mexico. After ...
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FLARPLs Still Exist

Now that housing market has improved, many people in California have equity in their houses. Many of those people are married and hold the deed to their property in joint tenancy. This means, that ...
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A Bonus is a Bonus

Husband (H) and Wife (W) were married in 1987. W was a certified surgical technician until their first child was born in 1983, when she became a stay-at-home mom. H was a hospital executive, and ...
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Ending a Registered Domestic Partnership without Going to Court

In California, a registered domestic partnership is treated legally the same as a valid marriage – with all the rights and responsibilities of spouses to each other and everyone else. Ending a ...
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Creating a Domestic Partnership in California

Although California does not recognize common law marriages, it does recognize an alternative to marriage. It is called a registered domestic partnership. According to Section 297 of the California ...
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Military Divorce vs. California Divorce Laws

California legislators have tried very hard for almost 50 years to make divorce a fair and relatively quick legal process for California’s residents. However, when one spouse (or both spouses) ...
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What's in a Title? A Short History Lesson

On June 22, 2017, Sheila Michaels died at the age of 78. Michaels was a civil rights advocate and one of the first people to use the term Ms. as a title for a woman who did not belong to a man. During ...
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Proving an Inability to Support Yourself

California is a no-fault divorce state. Regarding spousal support, it means receiving support will be based on need and the other party’s ability to pay. It will not be awarded as a form of ...
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Get Back to Work! I'm Not Paying Support!

When couples separate there are many pre-settlement issues that need to be addressed, as well as settlement issues. One of them is whether one spouse should continually to financially support the ...
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When Violence is Not Abuse

W filed for divorce from H. In her petition, she requested sole custody of their son, spousal support and a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO). She stated that H had been violent toward her ...
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What Your Divorce Lawyer Needs to Know from You

When you decide to divorce your spouse, your divorce attorney will ask questions regarding your marriage: How long were you married? Do you have children? When did you separate from your spouse? What ...
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The Legal Separation of Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau

In 1996, Mary Kay Letourneau was a Washington state suburban mother of four and a sixth grade teacher. Vili Fualaau was one of her students. Twleve-year-old Vili and thirty-four-year-old Mary Kay ...
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Parental Rights and Incorrigible Children

In El Salvador, F married his first wife and had a daughter [D]. They divorced, and F moved to the United States. He remarried and had four children with his current wife S. When D was 11 years old, ...
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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Divorce Attorney

Divorce can be one of the most stress-inducing times in a person’s life. Besides the grief from a failed marriage, there is the overwhelming legal process to navigate. A process that is almost ...
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The 50th Anniversary of In Re Gault

May 15, 2017 is the fiftieth anniversary of the most important juvenile rights case in American history. It is important in family law, because it forms the base of providing children with their ...
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Sperm Donors and Presumed Father Status

M and J began a romantic relationship in 2002. M is a certified rolfer (a form of physical trainer) and J is a well-known actor. M wanted to be a mother, and J agreed to father a child with her. ...
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When Higher Income Means Less Child Support

In 2005, F and M had an affair that resulted in their daughter, Z. F is a married movie producer and director and M is a part time hair stylist. F has three children with his wife, and M has two other ...
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