The Mediation Process

Any time that a Dissolution of Marriage or Paternity matter is filed with the Court and there are pending child custody and/or child visitation orders, a Family Court Services Mediation appointment is mandatory.  A mediation appointment is an appointment between both parents together and a Family Court Services Mediator only.  Attorneys for either party, or any other […]

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Can the Court Order Custody of Family Pets in Divorce?

Many pet owners would considers their pets more like their children than property.  However,  pets animals are considered personal property. Penal Code section 491 provides: “Dogs are personal property, and their value is to be ascertained in the same manner as the value of other property.” Newly enacted Family Code section 2605 provides that the court may […]

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What Constitutes Annulment?

Annulment is likely one of the most misunderstood areas of Family Law. Having worked as a Family Law Paralegal for more than four decades, I find that most people have a false belief of what constitutes annulment. Most believe a short-term marriage, i.e., months long, qualifies them for annulment. Not true. Such a short-term marriage […]

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Financial Records

Keep Your Financial Records

When parties get married, they rarely think of their relationship ending in a divorce. Unfortunately, some couples eventually do get divorced, which may then require proof of the character and value of their property and debts. California is a community property state, which means that all property and debts acquired during marriage will be divided […]

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Pensions and Retirement Plans at the Death of Participant Spouse

  Can you divide a retirement plan when the participant spouse dies before entry of an Order dividing the plan? In California, Pension and other retirement plan contributions made during marriage are considered community property. Any contributions made prior to marriage or after separation are the separate property of the contributing spouse. Determining the community […]

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Three in One: Questions From You

I am answering three separate legal questions on family law topics which clients have asked me this past month. As a family law specialist, this blog answers current client questions to educate readers with information on divorce that they may not know or understand.

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Reimbursements for Community Property Contributions to Education or Training

Family Code Section 2641 provides that the community shall be reimbursed for community contributions to education or training of a party that substantially enhances the earning capacity of the party.  Additionally, the amount reimbursed includes interest at the legal rate (currently 10 %) calculated from the end of the calendar year in which the contributions […]

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DIVIDING A RETIREMENT PLAN AFTER THE DEATH OF THE MEMBER SPOUSE

                Judgments for dissolution of marriage generally provide that the community interest in each spouse’s retirement plan earned during marriage is to be divided by a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), unless the parties waive such interest, or the non-member spouse’s share is offset against another property interest.  […]

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