Zoom Icon


Justia Badge
BBB badge
Top Rated badge badge
Lead Counseld Rated badge
Yelp Reviews badge
Avvo Rating badge
30 Years badge
Super Lawyers badge
San Diego Regional Chamber badge
Best Business of 2022 - ThreeBest Rated badge

Generally, the California Courts calculate child support obligations, in part, on each parent’s actual income. In some cases, however, they may determine what constitutes appropriate child support based on a parent’s imputed income. This was illustrated in a recent California case in which the Court declined to substantially reduce a father’s child support obligation after he voluntarily left his job. If you are interested in learning more about child support, it is advisable to speak to a  San Diego child support lawyer as soon as possible.

Factual Background of the Case

It is reported that the mother and the father ended their marriage in December 2019. They filed a settlement agreement at that time, during which the father agreed to pay the mother $2,500 each month for child support. A report attached to the agreement indicated that the father’s monthly wages were approximately $10,000, while the mother’s earnings were around $12,000. The father voluntarily left his position in construction sales less than one month later.

Allegedly, the father made partial child support payments for two months and then ceased payments entirely. He filed a request for order (RFO) in June, asking the Court to modify his child support obligations on the grounds that he had no income. The mother opposed the RFO and asked the Court to continue the current obligation or increase it. The Court denied the RFO and imputed income to the father in the amount he was earning prior to quitting his job, set child support at $2,351 per month, and to pay half of the mother’s daycare expenses. The father appealed. Continue reading

California law permits people to seek spousal support in divorce actions. Regardless of whether spousal support is sought in the context of a divorce action or legal separation action such support will only be granted if the Court finds there is a valid marriage between the requesting party and their purported spouse. This was demonstrated recently in a California case in which the Court denied a woman’s request for spousal support on the grounds that her marriage was void. If you have questions with regard to your right to spousal support, you should contact a San Diego spousal support lawyer to discuss your options.

History of Proceedings

It is reported that the husband married the first wife in 1987, after which he resided with her in California. In 2012, he married the second wife in Lebanon. He then attempted to terminate the Lebanese marriage. The second wife subsequently filed a request for order (RFO) in California, asking the Court to award her temporary spousal support, among other things. The husband objected to the RFO, arguing that they were not married but had entered into a temporary marriage contract which he later terminated.

Allegedly, the Judge presiding over the case ultimately found that there was a valid marriage between the husband and the second wife and continued with proceedings on the petition for spousal support. The husband then filed a petition to nullify the second marriage on the grounds that it was bigamous and therefore void pursuant to Family Code Section 2201(a). The case was eventually transferred to a second Judge who declared the marriage void and that the second wife was not a putative spouse. The second wife appealed. Continue reading

Generally, only parties that were married can seek spousal support. There are some exceptions, though, through which a person who was not legally married can obtain spousal support. This was illustrated in a recent California ruling in which the Court affirmed that a woman deemed a putative spouse could be awarded spousal support. If you are considering ending your marriage, it is important to understand your rights and obligations, and you should contact a San Diego spousal support lawyer promptly.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the husband and wife married in March 2011. At that time, unbeknownst to the parties, the wife’s divorce from her former husband was not final. She became aware of the fact in May 2011 and ultimately obtained a divorce in March 2012. The parties had a second wedding ceremony in April 2013 and a third ceremony in September 2013. They did not receive marriage certificates after the second and third ceremonies, however.

Allegedly, in 2020, the husband filed a petition for dissolution. The Court declined to rule on the issue of whether the second or third weddings were valid but determined that, at a minimum, the wife was a putative spouse. The Court subsequently awarded her attorney’s fees and spousal support. The husband appealed, arguing that, as a matter of flaw, the wife was not a putative spouse. Continue reading

Generally, parents who share joint custody of a child will reside in close proximity to one another. It is not uncommon for circumstances to arise that trigger a desire in one parent to move to another state, however. Whether the Courts grant a parent the right to move with a child to another state depends on numerous factors, but if a Court issues an order allowing a move, it may be difficult to overturn. This was demonstrated recently in an opinion issued by a California Court in a case in which a father appealed an order granting his ex-wife the right to move to Georgia with their child. If your parental rights are at risk, it is in your best interest to speak to a San Diego child custody lawyer as soon as possible.

The Factual and Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the mother and the father married in 2014. They had one child, a daughter, who was born in 2017. The father filed a petition for the dissolution of the marriage the following year. The Court granted the dissolution, awarded the parties joint legal custody of the child, and granted the mother primary physical custody. The father had visitation rights for three hours each weekday and weekends twice per month.

The California Courts have the authority to impose permanent spousal and child support obligations. Merely because a support obligation is permanent does not mean it cannot be modified, however. Recently, a California Court issued a ruling in which it discussed the grounds for granting a request for a spousal support modification in a case in which it ultimately reversed the Trial Court ruling. If you need assistance with a spousal or child support issue, it is advisable to contact a San Diego family law attorney to discuss your options.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the husband and wife married in 1999, decided to separate in 2013, and were divorced in 2016. They had three children born of the marriage; two of the children are now independent adults, while the third, a minor, has non-verbal autism and requires constant care for the duration of his life. The mother is the minor child’s primary caretaker and has primary physical custody of him.

It is alleged that pursuant to an order issued by the Trial Court, the husband was obligated to pay permanent spousal support and child support to the wife. In 2020 the husband filed a motion to reduce his support obligations on the grounds that his salary had been reduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trial Court ultimately granted the order, and the wife appealed. Continue reading

When people decide to legally end their marriage, it is not uncommon for the Courts to order one party to pay the other spousal support. Generally, when the California Courts impose a spousal support obligation on a party in a divorce action, the obligation will cease if the party receiving support remarries. There are exceptions to the general rule, though, as demonstrated in a recent California ruling issued in a divorce matter. If you are subject to a spousal support order and have questions regarding modification, it is in your best interest to meet with a San Diego spousal support attorney as soon as possible.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is reported that the husband and the wife were married for about 13 years before deciding to end their marriage. They stipulated a judgment of dissolution; as part of the judgment, the husband agreed to pay the wife $1,000 in spousal support each month for seven years. About two and a half months after entering into the stipulated judgment, the wife remarried. The husband then moved to terminate his spousal support obligation.

Allegedly, the Trial Court denied his request on the grounds that the stipulated judgment did not agree to apply Family Code Section 4337, which states spousal support obligations terminate upon the remarriage of the party receiving support unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. The husband appealed. Continue reading

Many people living in and around San Diego have substantial assets. As such, they will often ask their prospective spouses to enter into prenuptial agreements before they wed. The California Courts will generally enforce prenuptial agreements unless unenforceable under Family Law Code Section 1615, with some exceptions. For example, a Court may decline to enforce part or all of an agreement on the grounds that it is unconscionable. In a recent California opinion, the Court discussed when unconscionability is assessed in a matter in which it rejected portions of a prenuptial agreement despite the husband’s objections. If you have questions regarding the enforceability of prenuptial agreements, it is wise to promptly confer with a San Diego prenuptial agreement lawyer.

History of the Case

Allegedly, the husband and wife entered into a prenuptial agreement in 1994 that defined their rights and obligations with regard to spousal support and community property. The case proceeded to trial, during which the Court considered, among other things, whether the prenuptial agreement should be enforced. The Trial Court ultimately ruled that the provisions in the prenuptial agreement that limited the wife’s right to spousal support were unconscionable and declined to enforce them. The husband appealed, arguing that the Trial Court erred by determining whether the terms were unconscionable at the time of enforcement instead of when they were drafted.

Evaluating the Unconscionability of Prenuptial Agreements

The Appellate Court rejected the husband’s reasoning and affirmed the Trial Court’s determination. The Appellate Court noted that the wife struggled with mental health issues throughout her life and that she and the husband had vastly different assets when they entered into the prenuptial agreement. Additionally, the agreement provided very little for the wife in terms of property division and spousal support in contrast to the husband’s means and the couple’s standard of living. Continue reading

Few relationships are devoid of conflict; instead, it is common for romantic partners to have disagreements occasionally. Sadly, however, arguments lead to physical harm in some relationships, and in many instances, the abuse worsens when the relationship ends. Thus, many victims of abuse seek domestic violence restraining orders (DVROs) protecting them from their former romantic partners. In a recent California ruling, the Court discussed the factors considered when determining whether to grant a DVRO in a case in which they ultimately ruled that both the woman seeking the order, and her children required protection. If you are accused of domestic violence or need assistance seeking a DVRO, it is smart to speak to a San Diego family law attorney as soon as possible.

Factual Background of the Case

It is reported that the husband and the wife married and had three children that were born between 2005 and 2013. They separated, after which the wife sought a DVRO protecting her and her children from the husband. The wife alleged that the husband persuaded the wife’s friends and mother to try to convince her to resume her relationship with the husband, asked the children to spy on her, and followed her male friend home and threatened to kill him.

Allegedly, during the hearing on the matter, the Court heard evidence that the husband harassed and stalked the wife. The children testified the husband yelled at them, prompted them to fight one another for his entertainment, and pushed, choked, and slapped them, under the guise that he was playing. The Court granted the DVRO as to the mother and the children. The husband appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence that the children should be included in the DVRO. Continue reading

In co-parenting arrangements, it is not uncommon for one parent to earn a greater income than the other. As such, the Courts will often find it appropriate to order the higher-earning party to pay child support to their co-parent. While California policy favors providing children with adequate financial support, the Courts may reduce a child support award in certain circumstances. This was demonstrated recently in a California case where the Court ordered the mother to seek employment. If you share custody of a child and have questions regarding support obligations, it is prudent to meet with a San Diego child support lawyer to evaluate your options.

The History of the Case

It is alleged that the mother and father share custody of a 5-year-old child. When the child was first born, he spent approximately 80 percent of his time with the mother and the remaining time with the father. At that time, the father’s income was $15,000 per month, and he was ordered to pay the mother approximately $1,500 per month in child support. The mother did not work but received $5,000 per month from her father.

It is reported that in 2020, the father moved to modify his support obligation, as his time with his son had increased to over 40 percent. Additionally, he sought a seek-work order compelling the mother to work. The Court granted the order over the mother’s objections, and she appealed. Continue reading

It is not unheard of for the Courts to require parties in family law proceedings to undergo medical evaluations. Typically, the results of such assessments are confidential and cannot be disclosed in other matters. While parties may be tempted to use statements made by their opponents to their advantage in family law cases, doing so can result in the imposition of sanctions. This was demonstrated in a recent California custody case in which the father revealed information from the mother’s prior medical exam. If you are involved in a dispute over custody of your child, it is wise to contact a San Diego child custody lawyer to assess what evidence the Court may consider in determining parental rights.

Facts of the Case

Reportedly, the father and mother married in August 2014 and had a child in 2016. In 2017, the mother sought and obtained a domestic violence restraining order against the father, which is set to expire in June 2022. Additionally, the father pleaded guilty to battery on a spouse. The Court issued a criminal protective order against the father, and the mother was granted sole custody of the child.

It is alleged that the father subsequently filed a request for order seeking joint physical and legal custody of the child he shared with the mother. In his request, he referred to and quoted a confidential psychological report from an evaluation the mother underwent in the dissolution proceedings of her prior marriage. The mother opposed the father’s request and sought sanctions. The Court found in favor of the mother and issued $10,000 in sanctions against the father and $15,000 against his attorney. The attorney appealed. Continue reading

Contact Information