The California Family Law Courts can only set forth rulings on issues over which they have valid jurisdiction. Thus, if a matter lies outside of a Court’s jurisdiction, the Court may refrain from addressing it. As demonstrated in a recent California ruling issued in a divorce action, however, in some matters, consent need not be explicit; instead, implied consent is sufficient. If you wish to end your marriage, it is important to speak to a skilled San Diego divorce attorney about what steps you can take to protect your interests.

Factual Background

It is reported that the wife joined the military in 1993. In 2000, the wife and the husband married. They had two children during the marriage. In 2016, the wife filed a petition for dissolution in San Diego County Superior Court in which she asked the Court to confirm her separate property and determine her rights to community assets. The parties also sought spousal support from one another.

Allegedly, the husband sought an immediate division of the wife’s military pension. The wife filed an objection to the Court’s exercise of jurisdiction over her pension under FUSFSPA (the Federal Uniformed Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act). The Trial Court ruled in favor of the wife on the grounds that she never explicitly consented to such jurisdiction under FUSFSPA. The parties ultimately agreed to a stipulated judgment in which the Trial Court stated it lacked jurisdiction over the wife’s military pension. The husband appealed. Continue reading

In the San Diego Family Law Courts, the best interests of the child or children are always at the forefront of any child custody matter in the mind of the Judge per CA law. Thus, if a Court issues a ruling in a custody case that does not take into consideration what is best for the child involved but instead aims to punish or reward a parent, the ruling could be overturned. This was demonstrated recently in a California custody dispute in which the father successfully appealed an award of sole custody to the mother on the grounds that it was not supported by significant evidence. If you need help protecting your parental rights, it is in your best interest to talk to a trusted San Diego child custody attorney as soon as possible.

Factual and Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the mother and the father, who had two minor children together, were involved in a dispute over custody. The mother was arrested for child endangerment due to driving under the influence of alcohol, leading to the Court sustaining a Welfare and Institutions Code section 300 petition. The Court granted custody of the children to the father, who had to complete a parenting program and submit to drug tests.

Domestic violence is a serious issue impacting many San Diego family cases. While all accusations of domestic violence should be taken seriously, they do not all have the same impact when it comes to the outcome of divorce and custody actions. The Courts will, generally, consider relatively recent evidence that a person engaged in domestic violence when determining how to resolve disputed issues in custody matters, as explained in a recent ruling issued by a California Court. The Court can also consider a pattern of conduct including convictions for domestic violence under Penal Code Section 273.5 among others. If you want to understand how allegations that you or your co-parent engaged in acts of domestic violence may alter your custody rights, it is critical to consult a San Diego child custody attorney as soon as possible.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

Reportedly, the mother, who was married to the father, filed a petition for dissolution of the marriage in 2015. Six years after the filing, the Court conducted a six-day trial on the issues of custody and visitation. It then issued a final custody order in which it granted the parents joint physical and legal custody of their daughter, who was seven years old at the time.

It is alleged that the mother objected to the order, arguing that the Court erred in granting the father parental rights, as California Family Code 3044 presumes that a party that committed domestic violence within the past five years should not be granted physical or legal custody of a child. The mother asserted that the five-year period in question should run backward from the date the petition for dissolution of marriage was filed instead of from the time the Court issued the custody order. The Court rejected this argument, defining it as impractical construction. The mother then appealed. Continue reading

Raising a child is a rewarding but costly endeavor that few people can afford to do alone. As such, if a couple with children divorces, the courts will often order one parent to pay child support to the other. Child support durations generally endure until children turn 18, but they can last longer in certain circumstances, like when a child still attends high school full-time. Recently, a California Court addressed what constitutes full-time attendance in a case in which the parties disputed whether the father had a duty to pay child support. If you need assistance with a child support matter, it is in your best interest to talk to a San Diego child support attorney as soon as possible.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that a dissolution proceeding between the mother and the father was pending for two decades. In the interim, the Court granted the mother primary custody of the couple’s youngest child. Further, the Court ordered the father to pay $10,000 per month in child support. The child turned 18 in March 2020.

Allegedly, in September 2021, the father filed requests for orders, asking the Court to determine that his child support obligation ended and seeking a refund of overpaid support. The father based his requests on the fact that the child turned 18 in June 2020 and no longer attended high school full-time after that date. He also sought sanctions against the mother. The Court denied the father’s request to issue sanctions but granted his other requests, finding that as of July 2020, the child was no attended high school full-time. The mother appealed. Continue reading

Custody battles are often contentious, and parties can have strong reactions if a Judge issues a ruling they deem unfavorable. Merely because a Judge finds in one party’s favor does not mean that they harbor a bias, however, and parties that unjustly accuse a Judge of being partial to their opponent may be sanctioned. As demonstrated in a recent California ruling issued in a custody dispute, however, the California Family Code does not permit the Courts to sanction attorneys for the conduct of their clients. If you are embroiled in an argument over child custody, it is wise to meet with a skilled San Diego child custody lawyer to assess your options.

Background of the Case

It is reported that the mother and the father had a child in 2019. The mother then filed a petition seeking primary physical and joint custody of the child. During the hearing on the matter, the Judge expressed concern that the mother seemed to believe she was in control of custody and could determine when the father saw the child. The Judge granted an interim custody order to allow the mother to hire an attorney.

Allegedly, the mother then retained counsel and filed a motion to disqualify the Judge. The Judge warned her that her refusal to answer questions regarding visitation could lead to sanctions. The mother then submitted a proposed judgment. The father objected to the judgment on the grounds that it did not comply with the Judge’s previously entered order, and the Judge agreed, ruling in the father’s favor. The issue of sanctions arose again due to the mother’s continuous filing of late motions without notice. The Judge ultimately ordered sanctions against the mother and her attorney pursuant to California Family Code Section 271. The mother then appealed. Continue reading

When parents share custody of a child, they will often rely on the Courts to determine if one party owes the other child support and, if so, what amount of support is appropriate. If a party believes that a Court ruled improvidently with regard to a child support determination, they can file an appeal. They must do so within the time set forth by law, however, to avoid dismissal of their appeal on procedural grounds. This was demonstrated recently in a California child support case in which the Court dismissed a father’s appeal as untimely. If you or your co-parent intend to seek child support, it is advisable to meet with a skilled San Diego child support attorney promptly to avoid inadvertently waiving your rights.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that in September 2020, the County Department of Child Support Services filed a complaint against the father to establish child support for his minor children. The Department attached a proposed judgment regarding child support to the complaint. The father filed an answer disputing the support requested. The Department then filed a motion for an order of child support, to which the father filed a responsive declaration.

Allegedly, the Court held a hearing in June 2021. During the hearing, the Court considered the father’s brief and testimony from the mother and the father. It continued the hearing after directing the father to provide a declaration with relevant case law. Following the continuation of the hearing, during which the Court considered the case law requested and additional testimony, the Court took the matter under submission. In August 2021, the Court issued a ruling ordering the father to pay child support, which was effective October 2020. The Court also filed a judgment regarding parental obligations, and served the judgment on the father. The father filed a notice of appeal in October 2021. Continue reading

Parties to divorce actions have the right to resolve disputed issues such as child support, spousal support, and property division without a Court’s involvement. Typically, they will memorialize their understanding via a settlement agreement. Such agreements are binding and will typically be upheld by the Court, regardless of whether a party subsequently attempts to challenge the terms of the agreement. This was demonstrated recently when a California Court rejected a wife’s argument that a marital settlement agreement should be set aside. If you or your spouse want a divorce, it is in your best interest to retain an experienced San Diego divorce attorney to help you understand and protect your rights.

Background of the Case

It is reported that the husband and the wife married in 2008. They had three children during their marriage. They separated in September of 2018, and the wife filed a divorce action later that year. The parties then filed preliminary income and expense declarations and disclosures. In August 2020, the parties participated in a voluntary settlement conference during which they were represented by their attorneys. They each had forensic accountants present as well. Following the conference, they developed a marital settlement agreement that resolved issues of spousal support, child support, and property division.

Allegedly, the agreement contained provisions noting that it was binding and subject to enforcement under the California Code of Civil Procedure. It also stated that if either party refused to sign the agreement, the other party could request the Court to issue a judgment based on the terms of the agreement. The wife subsequently refused to sign the agreement. The husband moved to enforce the agreement, and the Court ultimately entered a judgment of dissolution of marriage based on the terms of the agreement. The wife appealed. Continue reading

It is not uncommon in divorce actions for one party to possess greater means than the other. While any marital property is subject to division upon divorce, while the divorce is pending, the lesser-monied spouse may suffer economic hardships. Thus, it is within the Court’s discretion to grant temporary spousal support in cases in which it believes such support is warranted. Recently, a California Court examined when temporary spousal support is appropriate in a matter in which it rejected the husband’s assertion that it was not necessary due to the parties’ lengthy separation during the pendency of the divorce. If you want to learn more about your rights with regard to spousal support, it is advisable to meet with a San Diego spousal support attorney promptly.

Background of the Case

It is reported that the husband and wife married in 1984 and separated in 2010. The husband filed a petition for dissolution later that year. They have two adult children. Following their separation, the wife moved to Texas to live with her parents. The wife worked as a probation officer from 1998 to 2003, after which she was a stay-at-home mother. She worked as a teacher’s aide in Texas.

It is alleged that the husband works as a property assessor, a position he has held since 1986. In early 2021, the wife filed a request for an order seeking temporary spousal support and attorneys’ fees. The husband opposed the request, arguing he should not be responsible for her support. The Trial Court ordered the husband to pay approximately $2,100 per month in temporary spousal support, and the husband appealed. Continue reading

In any family law case involving a child, the Courts must issue rulings that are in the child’s best interest. The best interest standard applies not only to matters in which child custody is at issue but also in cases in which child support obligations are being established or modified. If a Court fails to adhere to the best interest standard when making a child support ruling, its ruling may be vacated, as demonstrated in a recent California case. If you need assistance with a child support matter, it is prudent to speak to a dedicated San Diego child support attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the father has two children and that he paid their mother child support. In 2015, the father and the mother entered into a stipulated judgment that established their parental obligations. Among other things, it defined his monthly child support obligation. In 2021, the Department of Child Support filed an action to modify the father’s support obligation on the grounds that his income had increased, and it had been three years since the last modification.

Reportedly, following a hearing, the Trial Court found that per the child support guidelines, the father’s child support obligation should increase by approximately $400 per month, but determined the father could not afford that amount. Subsequently, the Trial Court reduced the father’s child support obligation by $200 per month rather than increasing it. The Department of Child Support then appealed. Continue reading

Pursuant to California law, community property is divided equally between the parties in a divorce action, while separate assets remain the sole property of the owner spouse. Thus, it is critical that Courts characterize property accurately, and if a Court mischaracterizes an asset, the aggrieved party may have grounds for pursuing an appeal, as demonstrated in a recent California opinion issued in a divorce case. If you or your spouse intend to end your marriage and you have a question about how it could impact your property rights, it is shrewd to talk to a knowledgeable San Diego divorce attorney to obtain more information.

Factual History of the Case

It is alleged that the husband and wife married in December 2013. Ten months later, they purchased a home. The husband paid the $75,000 down payment for the home with his separate property, and the deed to the property was in the husband’s name only. The wife executed a quitclaim deed as well after the husband reportedly told her she could not be on the title because she did not have a social security number and should sign a document she was given, presumably the quitclaim deed.

Reportedly, the wife filed for divorce in July 2018. Following a trial in September 2021, the Trial Court ruled that the marital home was presumptively community property based on the wife’s testimony and the fact that it was purchased during the marriage. Thus, it set aside the quitclaim deed and, after subtracting the amount of the down payment, divided the equity in the home between the parties. The husband appealed. Continue reading

Contact Information