Friday, October 25, 2019

Can You Lose Custody Due to Bipolar,Drugs, Arrests, Domestic Violence, or Even Lies??

First... we should remember that there is both legal custody and physical custody. Many parents are concerned over physical custody as it is tied into child support; and many parents are concerned about legal custody, because shared legal custody is often given, unless one parent has shown he or she has issues in that area; CA law favors joint legal/physical if agreed upon, but the court has wide discretion for parenting and will consider the child or children's best interest.

Legal custody basically involves the health, welfare, education and safety issues involving raising of children. Attorney has seen many parents lose legal custody [prior to consulting attorney herein] due to very poor decisions made with kids (i.e. drunk driving, drug history, domestic violence, criminal actions, harming of kids, abandoning kids, etc.) As an example of "joint legal custody" in a form (by the CA Judicial Council, and used by all CA courts, see form FL341(E) online..)

 It is potentially possible that one parent can poison the relationship between a parent and child to extent that the Court might have to award the other child to the other parent to prevent the same parental alienation from happening?

Family Code 3042 goes over a child's preference of where to live (one parent or another) and generally,  gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or handicap supposedly are irrelevant to custody of children. If this was your partner being arrested, consider the difficulty at trial as to whether or not it would make a difference to your case?



So when your mediation results in a recommendation you do not like or want, did the mediator make informed decisions or did he or she ignore you and just listen to the other parent? It is very common to find out after the mediation that neither parent really understood what happened in the mediation itself. Not all mediators do the actual mediations exactly alike.

Attorney has found that many clients do not do well in mediation because they do not understand why they need to even go to mediation. Then they just blurt out anything they want to, may express high anger or no patience, and basically do not present well to the person that will decide their fate with the kids?

When considering whether one can lose custody to any of the named things listed in the title for this post, attorney has indeed seen parents lose custody for those things, in combination with many other things, most of which were negative. Negative things (smoking inside, falling asleep drunk, letting kids wander alone outside in front yard, giving kids alcohol or drugs, leaving kids alone home, allowing large animals with kids unsupervised, putting older kids in charge of younger kids while older kid is playing video games entire time, letting kids be truant, failing to take kids to doctor, ignoring kids' homework, etc.)

The reason that gender, race, religion and sexual orientation or handicap are not relevant to custody is because those items are already under Federal law protections, so it would be discriminatory. Note however, that if a parent was trying to get away with something by claiming it fell under one of those categories but in reality, it did NOT, that would be a different story.)

If you are facing mediation and need help, contact attorney.


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

SPOUSAL SUPPORT AND WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS




CALIFORNIA SPOUSAL SUPPORT FACTORS

(This is from one of my other blogs, law is all online)

Many clients do not understand the rules re spousal support. Some believe they will never get anything, and some believe they are entitled to everything?!
When it comes to spousal support, ---it's usually the husband having to support the wife in most cases, but not all.  The Court (and you) should consider all of the following circumstances according to FC4320:

The extent to which each party's earning capacity is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, taking into account FC4320(a)(1),(2)


The extent to which the supported party's present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote time to the family


The extent to which the supported spouse contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position or a license by the supporting spouse FC4320(b)


The supporting spouse's ability to pay, taking into account his or her earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living FC4320(c)


The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage FC4320(d)


The obligations and assets of each party, including separate property FC4320(e)


The duration of the marriage FC4320(f)


The supported spouse's ability to be employed without interfering with the interests of any dependent children who are in his or her custody FC4320(g)


The parties' age and health FC4320(h)


Documented evidence of any domestic violence, including consideration of emotional disteess from domestic violence perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting party, and consideration of any history of violence by the supported party against the supporting party FC4320(i)


The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party FC4320(j)


The balance of the hardships to each party FC4320(k)


The goal that the supported spouse shall be self supporting within a reasonable period of time FC4320l


The criminal conviction of an abusive spouse and the reduction or elimination of any award to an abusive spouse under FC4325 [FC4320(m)]


Any other factors that you determine are just and equitable FC4320(n)


Note: "any other factors" kind of leaves the door wide open if you ask me?!

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The Dad's Car !


The Mom's Car?
Related image

*Let's say this:  If  YOU   get a particular reaction just out of  looking at pictures 
of  two different  cars, 
imagine what could be done with court exhibits at trial??

Litigation involving spousal support can be affected by how your attorney sets up the case. Some attorneys simply do not exert a lot of effort and will just want to settle the case, the better attorney will realize all of the data in the case can make a HUGE difference, and that settling the case may not actually be helpful strategy wise?  (If you do not understand this, don't worry.)
Using all of the above factors, attorney can assess the potential liability, the possible outcomes, and the known propensity of various judges to determine the strategy needed for best outcome.

Attorney herein has strategy tactics, and uses them,  in order to obtain superior results. Provable at that!  Difficult fact patterns call for those who can think outside the box!

If you need an affordable attorney, please consider that it's better to get more than you paid for, than to pay too much-- and still lose your case!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

How Long Does It Take to Succeed at Family Law Litigation?

Good question........what attorney has seen in the past, from being in both larger cities, and Federal Courts, is that Family law court is not like most court cases, where the focus is often on difficult civil law issues, litigation problems, and witnesses, or criminal courts, where it's all about the drama usually, or people taking pleas. So, the number of years might indicate knowledge of the law, but might not necessarily win your case, since Family law is one of the fields where things are not that concrete.

Family law is definitely not for many attorneys, as sometimes just the knowledge of family law court will make many attorneys RUN!!! Many attorneys are not suited for Jerry Springer soap opera type things, or for a lot of emotional and often agitated combative litigants.  Much of the fighting in hallways at the Sacramento downtown courthouse formerly, was not due to criminal cases, but rather, to Family law cases.

Much of the data that goes into family law cases will revolve around the claimed actions, or non actions of the parties. For example, shared legal and joint physical custody--there are laws on these subjects obviously, but the law alone is usually not going to make or break many cases. Judges are able to make huge decisions based upon their own personal application of what is or is not in the best interests of the "child" and sometimes, this can go horribly wrong, as most people know.

So then, how many years of litigating in this type of arena would end up being so helpful to clients?  The years of courtroom experience is one thing, but the types of cases seen can really make a difference. Endless routine child support hearings does very little to teach one knowledge about custody except to extent that it points out issues in how support is tied to visitation percentages. On the other hand, handling many contested custody cases can start to become boring, if there are no different facts involved.

The most interesting cases with unique issues will usually prove to be the best teaching experience; and after being in large cities with many cases, one will have seen plenty of differing scenarios. (Attorney herein has done family law, criminal law, bankruptcy, civil cases, animal law cases and federal court cases- mostly on constitutional law issues.)

If an attorney is only in the game to earn a buck, he or she might not really care what type of cases they have. Some will always be more interesting than others. However, an attorney that really wants to win a case for clients might prefer certain types of cases over others. Attorney herein personally is not into running child support cases and arguing over timeshare. It gets done, but it is just one of those tasks that goes with the territory. Going to DCSS hearings is like pulling teeth. Not interesting.

Becoming adept at Family law usually requires an attorney that can easily talk to people, and not talk down to them. Judging clients is also not a good trait, but being responsive to how the client feels is required, and that is where many attorneys may not really think too hard, because they don't need to, or have too many clients. Or, maybe the attorney is making so much income he or she doesn't really care? You wouldn't be the first one to notice it.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Attorney C. Chan = The Fixer of Bad Cases!

Attorney has seen many, many cases that never had to get to the point that they are at--IF at least one client had changed some key methods. But it is to be expected that clients can't always fix their cases since they are wound up in the turmoil... right?

From attorney's outside view....fixing most cases is possible. It may not be fast. But it is likely doable over time. Also attorney finds that clients must sometimes modify their own actions and that of the kids as well.
Apparently attorney herein is not alone when realizing that the FIXER name is known even by other attorneys, for example.... attorney just saw this online, and it is exactly the view of attorney herein........ at https://njfamilylaw.foxrothschild.com/2018/10/articles/general-new-jersey-family-law-news-updates/when-you-cant-find-a-better-man-five-tips-to-consider-when-preparing-for-divorce/

  1. Find the right “Fixer”:  The divorce process can be beyond overwhelming for countless reasons.  When searching for a divorce attorney, consider not just looking for someone who is experienced in family law. 
  2. Consider retaining an attorney who you feel comfortable talking to.  Who you can trust.  Who you can confide in and discuss certain aspects of your life and your marriage that you may not ordinarily feel comfortable speaking about with anyone else.  Who is responsive and reliable.  
  3. Who can ultimately advocate for you in the way that you believe best serves your interests and those of your children.  Who will listen to you and be mindful of what you are looking to achieve.

 ------------------------------------------

There is no point to keep doing the same mistakes over 
and over and expecting a different result?

Therefore if the thing that needs changing just happens to be under your authority, then that's likely where the change needs to be made.  Judges get tried of hearing the same old stuff every day in court.  Pretty soon they are on auto pilot and send everyone to required "mediation."
  But mediation doesn't change people.  

BE VERY VERY AWARE: MEDIATION IS A PROCESS -- 
BUT IT IS NOT NECESSARILY A SOLUTION IN MANY CASES. THERE ARE MANY DIFFICULT SITUATIONS THAT WE HAVE SEEN, WHICH SIMPLY CANNOT BE "MEDIATED" AWAY FOR A RESULT.

         A judge should not be allowing a defendant who is under Criminal Protective                            Order, with prison history, heavy drug use, unauthorized hiding of kids  (after obtaining an intent to withhold for 3 months?) . ... to have custody of kids that one parent has abused...but that is what we have seen?

Change cannot take place unless someone or something makes a change--it likely won't happen by itself. So in mediation, judges just read what the mediators have written down. When and if the clients don't follow what they are to do, we see repeated issues over and over and over.  Clearly the parties MUST implement some change somewhere.

So the biggest problems are usually that all of the parties:
1.  Don't want to change their behavior, or do not know how;
2.  Don't want to jump through hoops
3.  Don't want to have to do anything that is inconvenient
4.  Don't want anyone telling them what to do.

It's pretty simple that if your other spouse or live in, is a difficult personality, takes meds for behavioral issues, or has been diagnosed with A B or C,  your case will take more work. Not every child should be raised primarily with a parent that has NO parenting skills at all.

But sometimes we have to make the best out of a bad situation. And sometimes that may mean we will be required to jump through a few hoops also.
     For most parents, this is doable. For some parents that have mental issues/or blocks, they will refuse to do whatever it is.  In those cases, the parent that won't comply will inevitably suffer in the long run. Because it isn't about you so much, as whether your behavior will or will not affect the kid or kids to a large degree.

As an example, a couple with kids  where one parent has serious issues and is not suitable as the
primary parent, will continue to battle the other parent for years in trying to keep his/her domain over the kids.

Obviously this person should not be primary custodial nor should he/she even have the kids overnight--that's when we start to have some really large damage with the kids... and to prevent that from being a vicious circle, someone has to step in.

Minor's counsel is NOT always the answer, and attorney has seen that minor's counsel is often given cases that will not change. Reason being, not all parents should be using "co-parenting".

Attorney has seen some pretty bad cases and co-parenting simply doesn't work well in really bad cases.  If you have that situation, call attorney--she may be able to restructure your case.


Examples of bad cases:
The father had apparently used inappropriate sexual conduct with minor female kids, kids taken to SCAN clinic in Sacramento, verifying abuse; father ended up with no contact, case was in the newspaper (all data changed for privacy) Father was forcing kids to watch sex videos with him...

                                   Mother was a drug user but able to outfox drug testing; father installed
hidden camera and was able to gain proof, leading to father obtaining the kids legally.

                                   Mother absconded with minor kids to another state; we hired a P.I. and locator to find location from cell phone data. Court ordered the Mother to return with child;
        in another case, Father hid minor children in Bay Area, changed their appearances. We obtained ex parte order for Father to return kids or be arrested. He returned the kids, Mother took back custody.

                                   Father believed Mother was allowed minor kids to be molested by either boyfriend or other male. Hired P.I. to assess Mother's whereabouts and meetups, determined which males were staying with Mother. Then had uninvolved trusted third party query kids and found out which person was the suspect. After this, the kids admitted it was happening. Mother lost custody.
                               
                                   Father was told by minor children, that the Mother was beating up the older child, a female, age 10. Attorney arranged to meet the Father/new wife and both minor children at the local Mc Donald's, (we did not tell the kids that attorney herein was an attorney)...in course of conversation, the 10yr old was quite lucid and revealed in fact that the Mother was abusing her and sometimes the younger brother. The sheriff and CPS were contacted; CPS later stated that in this case, the 10yr. old child was very bright and gave specific details about the abuse. The children were both placed with the Father -- and Mother never attempted to gain visitation (not even 5 years later!)

One of the worst things that can happen to unprepared clients is to ignore the fact that if they are not married, and fail to file a paternity action in court, the other party can simply take the kids and leave the city, county or country, without the other parent knowing. Obviously this is kidnapping on a different level--but it is easier to get kids back if there is already a paternity action filed, because usually the District Attorney (which has government ability) can use their authority to expedite the search, since the paternity filing typically asks extensive background questions as to the parents.  And if the parents had told the truth on the initial documents, the police authority and FBI have more data at hand.
                                  Worst case: this was not attorney's case--BUT--a Father married to a former citizen of a European country, had two sons with the wife. The wife later absconded with both children, and although it was known what country they went to initially, it cost so much money that eventually the Father had to give up. He has never found the kids. [It might be when the kids are adults they might locate the Father on their own..]

                                   Non custody case: Mother and Father owned several houses, upon separation they lived in the separate houses; the court in Butte never got the case to trial, despite the so-called "track" program that had a rule that each party must agree to a certain date; so when parties did not agree, the case went back on the "track." Unfortunately, that system was not really how legal cases should get to trial (there are actually rules)--so the Mother did not get to trial until 7 (yes seven) years after the divorce was filed.
 On the stand at trial, attorney herein caught the Father lying about his bankruptcy petition (we had a copy of it)--and that was when the Father's attorney called time out, and offered us a deal giving the Mother a large sum of cash to end the case. It was a glorious day!

Note: “Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result.”

NOTE: if you and/or spouse intend to file bankruptcy and you will be in the divorce at that time, you should seek counsel from a bankruptcy attorney. Nearly all of the bankruptcy documents are filed online and normally you will need a PACER account to view online data. Attorney has done cases in Eastern District Federal Court (Sacramento), and  is licensed in the following CA federal courts (Eastern District, Southern District, and Northern District; and the State of Colorado Federal District Court.) Attorney is able to answer most questions re filing bankruptcy (which would be in Eastern District, Sacramento.)