What is the Effect of Death of One Spouse prior to Entry of Judgment?

Pursuant to Family Code Section 310(a) a marriage is dissolved by the death of one party.  Additionally, one party’s death divests the Court of all further jurisdiction with respect to all unajudicated issues raised by the pleadings including child custody, child visitation, child support, property rights and attorney fees and costs.  Marriage of Shayman (1973). […]

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Family Gifts and Loans, Who Cares?

The term “family assistance” may produce thoughts of government aid to the poor.  However, in Family Court it often means gifts or loans made by parents to their adult children who are now getting divorced. Family Code Section 770 (a)(2) tells us that all property that a married person acquires by “gift” is separate property.  […]

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Spousal Support and Immigration

Family Law has been described as being similar to General Practice because it can interact with other specialties of law such as real estate, retirement, estate planning, income tax, criminal law and bankruptcy to name a few. Another interaction is with Immigration Law. One such case is In Re Marriage of Kumar (2017) 13 Ca […]

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Dividing Community Property and Debts

Depending upon the length of your marriage, you accumulate an abundance of items during marriage.  In the unfortunate event of a divorce, items and property you once never imagined dividing must now be divided.  If you share with family and/or friends that you and your spouse are at a point in your Dissolution of Marriage process of […]

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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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