According to recent news reports, the California Family Law Code seems to be in need of some updates. As we can see from many advances in technology and science, as well as the evolution of the “family” itself, assorted state laws have yet to keep up with these many changes. California legislators will return from their summer break to review and consider bills that would update the state family code in various ways. If you are involved in any family law proceeding, such as a divorce or other related matters involving child custody, spousal support, and the like, you are encouraged to contact an experienced San Diego family law attorney, who diligently remains up-to-date on any and all changes to the state’s family code.
Some of the new legislation relates to cases that we have reported on in earlier blog posts. For example, one of the current bills, AB 2344, also known as the Modern Family Act, would (among other things) create methods for sperm donors and surrogate mothers to clarify their financial and parental responsibilities concerning biological children. This Bill was partly inspired by the real case of Jason Patric, who sought custody rights over a child he fathered through in-vitro fertilization. In our most recent blog post covering the case, we reported on the court’s holding, namely that the current law does not preclude Patric from establishing that he is the presumed parent under the Family Law Code. AB 2344 is the latest edition of legislation pertaining to sperm donors in California. Just last year, broader legislation addressing the matter failed. That Bill would have permitted sperm donors to petition for parental rights, if they demonstrated involvement in their biological children’s lives.
Another Bill addresses the rights of adult children to seek visitation of their grandchildren (AB 1628) under circumstances where the parent is absent due to incarceration or institutionalization. Additionally, in response to the widely publicized conflict between Casey Kasem’s children and his second wife, Assemblyman Mike Gatto sponsored another Bill, AB 2034, that would permit adult children to seek visitation rights of their parents over any objections by a future spouse (stepparent). It is hoped that this Bill will be a simpler alternative to the current law.
These newly crafted Bills are just one effort to align the law and related legal options to the current state of families in California. For instance, in an effort to update state law to reflect that same-sex marriage is legal in California, Governor Jerry Brown approved a measure that would amend state law by replacing “husband” or “wife” with the gender-neutral term “spouse.” In addition to resuming the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, California now also recognizes such unions of people in other states. For many, this is one way to remove certain biases from the law by including gender-neutral terms that apply to both same-sex marriages and heterosexual ones.
As we can see from these various Bills and other enacted legislation, the state of family law in California is continuously evolving. No matter what family-related legal procedure you may be considering, including divorce, adoption, child custody, spousal support, or child support, it is important that you contact an experienced and local family law attorney, who handles such matters on a daily basis and stays apprised of every legal development.
The office of Doppelt & Forney has a great deal of experience handling family law matters. Mr. Doppelt is a knowledgeable attorney with more than 20 years of experience representing parties in Southern California. Doppelt & Forney serves clients in Linda Vista, Encinitas, Scripps Ranch, San Diego, and throughout Southern California. For a free consultation with a dedicated family lawyer, contact Doppelt & Forney through our website or give us a call toll-free at (800) ROY IS IT (769-4748).
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