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 […]


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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

Dividing Support Order Divorce

Dividing a Support Order in Divorce

Filing a Paternity matter serves the best interests of both parents and the minor child(ren). Court-ordered child custody and visitation orders can be entered, as well as child support orders. Without formal custody, visitation and support orders entered through the court, each parent has the absolute right to insist that the minor child(ren) remain in […]


Support Orders involving Fluctuating or Bonus Income Ostler/Smith Order.

When the payor spouse receives fluctuating bonuses, a support order must be carefully drafted.  Let’s take a look at a relatively common situation in support order cases. Husband is the high income earner and receives a base salary plus bonus or commission pay which fluctuates based on performance.  This is commonly addressed using a percentage […]