Attorney C. Chan, Esq. Affordable Family Law,Strategy-Driven, 4.7/5 Ratings! Free Consultation, Butte county Family Law Attorney C. Chan 530.359-8810

Monday, October 12, 2020

Winning in Unusual Way! from 2010, 2015, 2019, 2020 and soon 2021!

Winning in Unusual Ways! from 2010, 2015, 2019 etc.

For whatever it's worth, attorney has encountered quite a number of cases where we were able to prevail despite the odds against us; this includes family law, criminal law, bankruptcy cases and civil cases. Perhaps in part due to attorney having a high interest in very challenging cases?.....this post has been viewed 2056 times...

While most attorneys tend to pride themselves on knowing the law, our job is to either know it or look it up correctly, as laws change all the time. Therefore, spotting issues will require knowing the law but that's just the beginning. If the law is on your side, it shouldn't be that difficult right?
       
It's the cases where maybe the law isn't exactly on your side, or could be, or there are circumstances and other facts or excuses which can create a different outcome? How does attorney know this? Because it's been seen plenty of times! (Listed here are just several examples but we have more than this..)

In another instance of trial (family law), after cross examining the other party, the opposing counsel suddenly called a recess.

       After 7 years of never being able to get a dime out of the ex, who had already filed bankruptcy, my client, having previously used 3 different lawyers, [w/o a good result],  ended up contacting attorney herein --- for trial.
      The opposing attorney stopped the trial after attorney herein--- spotted a bankruptcy fraud during the trial, based upon the husband's testimony;  and husband's attorney offered a combo to wife,  of about $23,000 combined cash/property $100,000, and attorney fees of $6,000. This likely meant that if they had NOT stopped the trial, my client would had gotten spousal, but we would have had to chase him forever across the USA to get it. Client elected to take the offer. Because attorney herein cornered the ex spouse on the stand for what appeared to be potential bankruptcy fraud, the rest is history......

       In another instance, a civil case trial by a former wife against former husband and girlfriend, the husband  had already been convicted in a widely publicized case of homicide in Sacramento (and was on appeal, he lost); the case then went to jury on issue on civil liability as to both husband and girlfriend.
      ...Keeping in mind husband was already convicted of first degree murder, the jury decided that husband was only 60% at fault in the civil case. I represented the husband who was already in prison, (and had not represented him during the criminal trial in Sacramento, where he used a public defender...)

      Normally the civil case has a lower burden of proof, so finding the husband only 60% and not 100% evidently meant, jury wanted to punish the girlfriend because they took 40% and assigned it-- NOT-- to the husband. This verdict was reported in Verdict Search, a national reporting source for large verdicts nationwide. Counsel representing the girlfriend was from insurance defense firm.

Currently, the former wife has not been able to collect much on the verdict [of millions] after paying fees/costs and it is anticipated she will not be able to collect in the future. Very interesting case, which also involved animals (pet dogs) owned by the husband/son. Son was stabbed when father went to check on condition of dogs; father claims son ran into the knife by lunging forward.

     Family law and motion--Mediation Report....  Typically, a parent that has had a Domestic Violence TRO filed against her/or her, will not get custody of a child. Client had the DV lowered to just a no negative conduct order, so there was no DV against him. The mediation report was issued about five months after there was no DV, and amazingly, thanks to the parent (my client) keeping super good notes and data, coupled with the bad evidence of the other parent, my client obtained full physical and legal custody!!! He was also allowed to retake possession of the house.  It was the most amazing report in favor of the client. The person benefiting from this is obviously the child!!!

     In a very unusual scenario, attorney was substituted into a case with a client who did not reside locally;  a hearing on an issue Request for Order (presumed to be law and motion).... was set for a date only several days away, at which time attorney believed the hearing could be continued. It seems the hearing was in fact --- a trial (according to Judge) -- and the client was not present and Judge did not want to continue the case.  Attorney went forward on the issue, with no witness or client.
   
    Using only cross examination, with 4 witnesses, Attorney actually won the trial--much to surprise of  witnesses present and including opposing counsel, who was shocked.......... 

                                  

This is very uncommon, but imagine how your case might work out if attorney can do this, without even having a client or a witness?

Attorney thinks it's fair to say, you would be in fairly good hands. Especially if other attorneys have failed in the past on your case.

Note: All of these scenarios are actual cases but by no means are such outcomes considered standard. Each case has different facts and various laws which will apply; each case can vary tremendously, and attorney is not representing that such outcomes are common. However, attorney does have a very high percent of cases that prevail, settle or result in what the client wanted.



Do You Want to Win Your Case? Should You Hire a Litigator? Do You Care?

What Type of Attorney do You Really Need?         Do You Want to Win?       You Don't Care?

*People must care,  because about 2,609- 2,857   2,934-  3,622 people have read this post*

Do you have a case where you want to win, or need to win your case?
Do you have the winning facts?  Do you know what law would or would not support your position? Do you want or need an actual litigator for your case?






Hiring an advocate (attorney litigator) is not the same as hiring collaborative attorneys. Also, mediating* a case with only one attorney means ...The mediator helps people talk the issues through, supposedly helping to "settle" the dispute themselves. In this attorney's opinion, it would not be recommended in most cases, because typically the overbearing spouse simply bulldozes the other spouse.

*[Mediation for visitation is not the same thing as mediation of an entire divorce case. Mediation for visitation/custody is required by law in CA when there is no agreement.]


There are many pitfalls that can arise in divorce; many of them involve financial transactions that one spouse had no knowledge of; assets that one spouse did not know about; children that were conceived outside the marriage and spouse never knew other spouse was paying; secret business dealings that was predicated on all cash; illegal actions by one spouse implicating the other spouse who had no knowledge; large debts racked up by one spouse, without the other spouse even knowing such debt existed; one spouse signing the other spouse's name for a credit card, then ruining the other spouse's credit.... NONE of these things, in this attorney's opinion, should be addressed in either mediation or collaborative law scenario.

That is because there was a huge breach of fiduciary duty that has serious consequences to the guilty spouse. That should be done in court since the guilty spouse should have to pay for wrongdoing. (Of course if you are too afraid because your spouse might try and kill you then you better go get help right away.)
                                           


Especially if you have issues in the 3 lines below, which happened BEFORE the case finalized---- you should never hire anyone except an advocate litigator. Aggressive at that. Plus, there are huge time barriers to trying to set aside any of this!

Fraud, Duress
Mistake, Coercion,
Failure to Exchange Declarations (Assets Debts)-or-
  when exchanged, i.e.--have false, misleading or improper numbers, values, dates..

When clients hire attorneys to get something done, especially in family law, it's often because one SIDE tried to take advantage of the other side.  If you have a family law case where both of you AGREE on everything then you may not need separate attorneys, except perhaps to create a settlement agreement.
However if you actually never knew your legal rights and decided to just move ahead without knowing if what you were doing could harm you, that is dangerous. One caveat--beware the notion to eliminate spousal support in the future, NEVER give up that right. If you do, and you shack up with someone down the line, the other side has ability, potentially, to eliminate your support.... I can't say more re this topic because it is more complicated than it appears. Just BEWARE!! You should consult an attorney before making any key decisions.

HOWEVER, the vast majority of most divorces and break ups, are because the couple cannot agree on a lot of things, including (just an example....) post judgment orders.........

How to raise the kids-- too lenient?  too strict?
How to spend income from employment or inheritance
What to do with spouse that is either dangerous, aggressive, drinks too much
How to get out of supervised visits?? You have an ex spouse also?
Your spouse is bipolar and can't be controlled?

Of all the problems attorney has seen over several decades, the problems around children tend to generate the worst issues, followed by physical harm, financial issues, and alcohol or drug use.

And remarkably, attorney has seen clients REFUSE to take what he/she is entitled to, and then SETTLE a case by using an attorney who is or was a mediator, --- in other words, the attorney is not acting as a litigator for the client?





If you are entitled to something, why would you pay someone to settle a case 
when you could have settled it without help????   

Collaborative law and mediation means if you don't settle the case
 using whomever you hired, those attorneys cannot represent you in court anyway.

You THEN have to hire new attorneys!!

While mediation and collaborative may be good for some cases (which means you are settling case by paying people to settle it without court)-- it is essentially negotiation. Judges are not involved. If you work something out and then don't like it later--- what you have -- is a problem.

              Some of the down sides of  collaborative law (which includes hiring people like accountants and other experts) and which makes it costly:

The Expense; Impact of termination and cost of new counsel; No advocacy for one or both parties; directed conversation between parties, power imbalances, difficult issues might remain secret (such as domestic violence, addictions, drugs, gambling, infidelities,etc.); Possible inadequate information collection, potentially less support for views of children.

Basically, in mediation there is no advocate for YOU.
In collaborative law, BOTH sides work on issues, but NO ONE is an advocate for YOUR side.
The collaborative view is to work out issues, not really take sides as an advocate----a true advocate is there to represent YOU, not the spouse.

This is part of the reason that most people in a divorce WANT an advocate, and need a litigator --- because they are being taken advantage of, steamrolled, or being misled or manipulated.

You don't have to believe attorney, look at one of my other sites for example, where it is stated in plain English, by the mediator--  that making the decisions with a mediator is not the fault of the mediator, and the mediator is quoted... (and quite frankly,the mediator does state the truth)

                        "The role of the mediator is to assist the participants reach an agreement. 
 It is not the mediator's role to give legal advice or to assure
 that the agreement is fair or equitable to either party.  
There may well be unintended consequences resulting in one or more
 of the participants suffering "buyers remorse", but they made the decision
  to accept the terms  and entered into the agreement, not the mediator..."

 Note--again, the "mediation" we are speaking of, is NOT the family law mediation process that the COURTS do, for contested custody.

       Private mediation means both parties choose to use one mediator to arrive at some agreement, and because a mediator does not dispense legal advice the way a legal advocate would do--as in actual litigation--where each party is represented by their own separate attorney-- the "mediator" himself or herself--- is only assisting both parties to REACH an agreement.
________________________________________________________________________________

***  Carefully NOTE-- the mediator does not need to assure   either party that the agreement is fair or equitable to either party. 

(Supposedly because that isn't the mediator's "role".....)


 LOL-- that's fine if you don't care what you are getting,
 or you don't know your rights and you don't care about
about that either??


 Unfortunately---if you do this and  "then" realize you lost out on something
 because you did NOT know your rights at all---then guess what???

 You are in trouble, most likely.
_________________________________________________________________________________

*** I  can almost guarantee that this  blog has more information in Northern CA on issues that arise, than the majority of  family law websites. Some attorneys do explain the laws, yes.   Attorney herein,  typically will write, argue, and inform... and help people, the purpose of the writing is to hopefully enlighten--so that you can make better decisions. Many attorneys are afraid to talk about winning and losing cases because some type of opinion could be involved, however, every client always has their own opinions, and those usually need to be understood first?
                      
NOTE: all of our content is original, if we have mentioned a subject from another site, research info or similar, we will include a link. We have no need to use other people's content and claim it is ours. In animal law we may occasionally quote, due to the specificity of the data,but there will usually be a link also.
There is one family law attorney site down in So Cal which is fantastic, and according to their site, they usually win their cases. However. what I noted from the site, previously, is that they do not take certain types of cases, including Domestic violence or Restraining Orders. They may have changed that presently though.....They appear to represent well to do clients with cases that end up winning, and they are not afraid to give the summary of why, how, when?

    Another very well known family law site down in the CA desert area, is excellent, and the attorney has or had a great amount of information which is useful. (His last name is Arnold...)  What is cool about his site, is that he is not afraid to throw his opinion out there on cases, especially when it comes to what went wrong, and what not to do? Sometimes it actually is pretty entertaining to read!!  And the attorney is super, super intelligent as well, obviously.

    All people reading and browsing should use their own diligence to obtain correct information and for checking laws, we would use findlaw.com.  If you do not have money to spend for an attorney and have been married a long time, or over 10 years, or have special needs kids, or have been abused, do NOT simply ignore the law and give your other half whatever he/she says to do. Consult an attorney to make sure you are not being screwed over and taken advantage of !!            


Friday, October 9, 2020

Actual Reviews from Past....... I don't Just talk, I Do What It Takes to Either Win, Fix or Solve Your Problems

Just some of prior Reviews:
Attorney Chan has been very responsive to our calls and provides excellent service and advice. Her fees are great and she is very easy to work with. Thanks Carolyn Review Left On 02/27/2020 RORY HICKS
I'm a mama bear and grandma and appreciate having Carolyn working with my son to protect his rights as a father. She is down to earth and a regular person who doesnt tangle you up with legalease. Review Left On 05/27/2020 Kathleen Oman
Her fees are the best I have found along with great reviews she cant be beat. Review Left On 05/29/2020Bradley Nugent
Are you looking for a dynamite attorney that actually cares about their client and actually wants to win? Then retain Ms. Chan. She is relentless in making sure her case wins. She is very reasonable in her fees, she is worth every penny! She has been awesome with my case. She is extremely knowledgeable of family law, domestic violence and criminality. All things that my case is riddled with. She is a tough cookie, but she definitely knows what she's talking about and will go to hell and back to make sure she wins for you. Go with Chan, you won't regret it. Review Left On 02/27/2020 Lacey Turner
Fair prices and straight talk. Often times you get a lot of run around from attorneys spouting legal jargon that the everyday man or woman can't understand...Miss Chan puts it in layman's terms and talks with intelligence but not as though she is above anyone...as an equal. We were treated fair and though I wasn't involved in the legalities, she listened to my perspective as an outsider looking in on a difficult situation. Highly recommend her. Review Left On 04/17/2020Robert Snow
She has provided me with excellent service in dealing with my case. Miss Chan knows her stuff. She has been a life saver. I would recommend her services to everone. Review Left On 02/27/2019 Nicki Bennett
Carolyn was super amazing in helping me navigate an extremely stressful and emotional legal issue. Her knowlegde of the law is excellent as she responds to communication very quickly, and is very forth right about possible outcomes. I would absolutely use her again and highly recommend her to anyone navigating a pet or family issue (in my case it was both). Review Left On 01/27/2020Deekay David
Ms Chan has been my attorney for over 25 yrs. She has handled my divorce from how to resolve my case and helping me keep my children in a professional manner at a very reasonable cost. I can't even imagine what would've happened if I didn't retain her services.
Review Left On 08/19/2020sigrid wroolie Wonderful. I have very complicated situation and Carolyn was the only attorney I spoke with that understood and offered solutions. She is confident and professional. After hiring her I could sleep nights knowing she was there to help resolve what seemed overwhelming. Even the judge straightened up when she spoke firmly and pleasantly. She cuts to the chase to get things done not wasting billable time. I trust her to protect the issues I most value. Review Left On 05/27/2019Duckie Maggetti
Thank you for everything and all the help with my case definitely recommending you if i know anyone who needz an attorney Review Left On 08/07/2020dave parks
We hired attorney based on a friend's recommendation and after looking at various legal sites because we needed a stand up type of person who is not afraid to speak up [after having suffered from using a very weak lawyer in the past, it didn't work for us....]anyway we found the attorney's insight on people to be very keen, and she was more than willing to go the extra steps we needed to get the result we were working on , plus she even talked to us after hours several times. Talk can be cheap sometimes but for me personally, I am more than happy with the attorney's service to us. Review Left On 12/27/2019Dale Hanson
Though I have not personally talked with Ms Chan, I can say she has given great counsel to my daughter at fair prices throughout her difficult process of her divorce. Review Left On 06/27/2020 Michael Alexander
Carolyn was a great choice! Her prices are the best I've seen and she truly cares about her clients. Carolyn was by my side throughout the entire process with great advice and support in and out of the courtroom Review Left On 11/13/2019
Review Left On 06/27/2019Remy Martin I appreciate her honesty and the fact that she's blunt. There is no guessing what she means which is very rare to find; especially in an attorney. She has given me hope and there is a light at the end of this custody battle.
Review Left On 06/24/2019Denny Patinoz For what I was charged especially, and the research done, I would recommend her because she tries much harder than other attorneys I have seen in past, knows what she is doing in strategy, and can own the truth, regardless. Hard to ask for more, no joke. Especially these days!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Mediator vs an Attorney..

 This should be quite easy to describe because basically both of these words are not usually interchangeable... Most actual mediators who are attorneys, prefer to do settlement workouts and will often operate a mediation practice whereby those wanting to work out things mutually may sometimes actually do that? 

While it is true that some cases can easily be mediated IF both parties understand what is actually going on and fully agree-- attorney herein has seen many cases where parties thought they knew what they were getting but in fact they didn't understand what they got? This is not that surprising.



Mediation for divorce can be very difficult when there are huge problems in any given area, such as psychological,mental,emotional or difficult issues involving drinking, drugs, criminal charges or civil law issues with lawsuits, inheritances, bankruptcy, faulty IRS filings,  taxes and liens, tracing of separate property, sales of property, unknown hidden assets, domestic violence restraining orders, civil lawsuits, reimbursements known and unknown, hidden assets to family and online accounts unknown; illegitimate children,and more.

Nearly all of these potential issues will typically not be mediated away for the most part.

Once domestic violence enters the picture it is possible that this will come back to haunt the one accused; Most domestic violence cases should be carefully checked for errant, wrongful or outright lies. Some parents will get children to lie or give false statements. Or it could be lying friends.

Those will be the most difficult cases in attorney's opinion. Nearly all cases in this boat will likely require litigation, if only to salvage the truth.

If you have any doubt about giving up your rights, preserving your rights, understanding your rights, it is likely a mediator may not be the best choice for you. Trying to salvage a case by agreeing to things that should not be done or required is silly. No one should force clients to do something that may not be appropriate; when it comes to litigation, sometimes we do have to make difficult decisions. But mediation does not work when both parties don't agree. And in most difficult cases, mediation is simply inappropriate. For high stake cases involving large sums of finances, and much property, it is best to normally hire attorneys that work mostly on high stake cases involving a lot of financial dealings, as they are best suited for tax purposes, and in working with tax accountants. Much of the processing is accountant related, tax related, etc.  

Sunday, October 4, 2020

DATE OF SEPARATION.....IT MAY NOT JUST BE THE DATE ONE PERSON LEFT?

CA Supreme Court Rule on "Date of Separation" Fixed by Legislature In 2015, the CA Supreme Court had ruled that "date of separation" means that there must be physical separation of the parties (meaning someone moved out...) With the economy and other factors, spouses (often women) --- do not always move out because they may not be able to afford to do so. Thus the financial aspects were not considered so much in the Supreme Court.
The Legislature was apparently bombarded with huge backlash from women's groups and other advocates, including the Family Law Bar; so upon this backlash, the Legislature enacted a new Code Section which pretty much eliminated the Supreme Court ruling. Family Code Section 70, when adopted, January 1 2017--- will provide as follows: (a) “Date of separation” means the date that a complete and final break in the marital relationship has occurred, as evidenced by both of the following: (1) The spouse has expressed his or her intent to end the marriage to the other spouse. (2) The conduct of the spouse is consistent with his or her intent to end the marriage. (b) In determining the date of separation, the court shall take into consideration all relevant evidence.(c) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to abrogate the decisions in In re Marriage of Davis (2015) 61 Cal.4th 846 and In re Marriage of Norviel (2002) 102 Cal.App.4th 1152. As you can see, this makes everything about the parties' supposed intent and their conduct up for grabs, and indeed "the court shall take into consideration all relevant evidence." Although California is supposedly a "no-fault" jurisdiction, this amendment will CAUSE nearly all behaviors and activities by spouses to be fair game in establishing their intentions about continuing or ending the marriage.
Due to financial constraints, and now, COVID, and unemployment, many couples may actually be living separate lives but still physically living in the same household out of necessity. This has always been common, particularly where one spouse did not work.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Best Attorney? What You Might Want-- Might Not Work for Your Case+ How COVID MIGHT IMPACT YOUR CASE...



The correct word is probably more like "appropriate", since each case has the claimed facts, and each side has some type of emotional deal that goes with it.


However, not all attorneys are the same even if we are supposed to all use California law....many attorneys are very strict with their minute by minute charges, which includes everything they do on a case. Attorney herein has never been like that, because it reminds me of working for the government, and I never liked working for the government (trust me, it was even worse than I thought it would be..)

There is no typical family law case, even if  some cases have typical issues, because each individual litigant brings both negative and positive to the table in nearly all cases. My job is to ascertain the type of individual I am dealing with so as to do the best job possible for that person, as not all people will have the same preferences in very individual situations. 
 
Because I have a social work background, I am familiar with most of the pitfalls involved with the demise of relationships, personality issues, husband and wife issues, children and their issues, etc.  The main difference is that my job always involves the understanding of each litigant's personal outlook and how it affects the case; I then attempt to use my experience with both litigants and past cases to devise a strategy that best suits each client. This may sound absurd, but a case can be handled in many different ways. There are some things that may never need to be done whereas in other cases nearly everything will be required. Litigation can be expensive if you are paying to litigate things that really don't require that? 

I used to work as a volunteer for the San Diego family law self help section (this is before the courts even had the SHARP type pro se help division.......) Now nearly all family law courts have some type of clerical help program, although the larger counties tend to have better programs. Because about 70% of litigants CANNOT afford attorneys, one can see that about 70% of people at least in California, do not likely understand or know their rights unless they did the research, or hired an attorney only for selected issues. (It is possible to hire attorney herein to only do certain parts of a case, this is known as limited scope and there is a court form for it..)

Family law attorneys may focus on divorces, but child custody does not require a divorce in the first place?  Whether married or unmarried, the issue of kids is common, and the issues involving kids is also commonly a point of problematic issues.



COVID tends to come up when one parent wants to take advantage of another parent's timeshare, visitation, vacations, and typically it will be one of the parents that is receiving the support, rather than the one paying it, who will try and use Covid as some type of excuse for not doing something, not allowing something, etc.  OR one  parent will try and claim that due to Covid, there should be no visitation, because the other parent cannot meet the devised requirements set up by the parent who has the larger timeshare.

Covid in family law is just another excuse for why parents won't let the other parent see their kid or kids, and I know it because I knew that was going to happen when Covid started...it would start to snowball and just keep going until it becomes a mammoth ball that can't be moved?? 
Knowing this, each parent who is not the one with physical custody ... must immediately start thinking about how to address all of the potential roadblocks that will be thrown your way.  If you think about every time the other parent made excuses, write it down, with the dates. Over time you will see a pattern and practice which basically will become rather obvious. What is apparent, is, will you rise to the occasion and tackle the issue or get rolled over on???? 





While many attorneys can handle custody issues, and financial issues, and legal issues, there really is not one type of person,  attorney wise, that will be the best fit for all clients. Having knowledge of procedure in family law is a given, but pretty much the way family law attorneys handle divorces and cases can vary.  Some may like to focus on mediation and settlement, and that's pretty much what they do.

It does not take a litigator to focus on settlement. It does not take a real fighter to focus on mediation.


So for those who wish to settle everything, and they can actually agree to work out something, that's great. Should they have to pay $3k, $5k; or even $60k, $200k, or close, to work it out? Maybe, if there are serious numbers in the portfolio, many issues with properties, and tax issues. Or large businesses and valuations (let's say a dentist wants to sell the practice; or doctor wants to divide the practice,etc.) Would that require an attorney or a tax person? Could be both but seems more like tax to me.....

However, for the not so rich  people who don't get along and couldn't work out a plan if you paid both of them, and for any couple that has long been fighting about various issues, of which money might only be one small issue, it may not be the mediator type attorney that can work anything out.

In many cases, clients will not back down for varying reasons, and some of those reasons are definitely valid? and why not? Maybe they are actually being ripped off? Maybe one party has no parenting skills whatsoever? Maybe one parent is on drugs?


What attorney commonly sees, is that one parent is really off base in his or her attitude toward the kids, or whatever they are fighting about, and the other parent will not give in-- and often times, rightly so...  On the other hand, sometimes one person is dead set on some type of action he or she wants, and will not let that go (say, one wants to keep a house but the other wants it..) Or, commonly seen, is that one parent is the better caretaker of kids but is always working, leaving the not so  good parent taking care of the kids--but doing a terrible job?

Then there could be domestic violence issues and not any money issues? OR one or both parents have their own issues inherent to their personalities, and that will fuel more fighting. For the record, attorney herein has done a lot of domestic violence cases successfully.

For the most part, the non financial workouts are often much more difficult emotionally, and the financial ones can be maddening rather than depressing.  You don't usually need litigation for financial workouts if people can agree upon numbers or certain assets. Sometimes there will be fighting because no one will agree on actual numbers, thus there is no agreement on who gets what.

There could be deceit or huge discrepancies used in the financial holdings, in which case tracing would be used and investigators or CPAs if needed. Litigation might have to be used if there is fraud or something close. It could be that spousal support would be an issue as one side claims he/she doesn't make the amount the other side claims?     



Normally -- fraud doesn't just get mediated away? There is a lot written in the family code concerning finances because historically, some people have chosen to try and swindle the spouse; therefore, litigation is usually required. Large dealership sales, acquisitions and larger transfers can be very big litigation issues, especially if they were done without oversight.


As for the children and custody fights, sometimes both parents have some fairly common beliefs and not every parent is wrong. Sometimes a mediator can decide what is in the best interest of the kids, but other times we have seen some decisions that are not exactly what we would call fair...



It might be when some people look for attorneys, they really want a fighter and not a weak advocate. It is true that some attorneys are not able to actually litigate because they really have little skill at trial advocacy. Others may have better skills at settling issues, because they can find some common ground to parcel out to each side.  In choosing an advocate, each client probably needs to feel confident to some degree, that whatever type of action they are trying to get--that the attorney can actually do that action for them.  

The best way for an attorney to find out whether they are suited to a case is to ask a lot of specific questions.  It takes more time, but in the long run it will help the client, and the attorney can better perform the duties required. Hopefully that would lead to success for the client's case!

Pro Se Family Law Case of the Century-- Court Finds for Husband

In this case the trial court had ordered $9,000 in attorney's fees to a wife during a divorce case, citing disparity in the wife's gross income as a court clerk of $5,135/mo and that of her husband, who grossed $8,333/mo. as a law librarian. 

When the husband appealed the fee order, he pointed out that not only was his income not substantially greater so as to support such a large attorney fee award, but that he has significant costs and expenses including child support and spousal support, after which he was not left with enough income to pay attorneys fees.

Past cases have clearly emphasized that the court should consider need and ability to pay, but this case is unique in that the court specifically considered the husband's actual expenses and also considered his hefty child and spousal support obligations in determining that it was unfair to make him pay attorneys fees under these circumstances.
If your spouse is requesting that you pay his or her attorneys fees, you should definitely cite this case and argue the same logic, that after you are ordered to pay child support and spousal support that you just don't have money to meet your monthly budget --- and then pay your spouse's attorneys fees on top of all that. 

CLICK ON THE WORDS FULL TEXT BELOW, TO READ THE CASE....

     Click ---- to read the case  [full text]

Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3, California.

ALAN S., JR., Petitioner, v. The SUPERIOR COURT of Orange County, Respondent; Mary T., Real Party in Interest.

No. G041034.

    Decided: March 18, 2009

         You will almost never find a case like this.
It's almost enough to make one cry in realizing sometimes there is Justice in this world today but it doesn't come easy..... and NOTE-- the Husband was making over $8,000 a month (which in Los Angeles area, doesn't go too far. ]


CONTACT ATTORNEY 530 359 8810 IF YOU NEED HELP ON YOUR LEGAL CASE WHETHER IT'S FILED ALREADY OR NOT!


Experience in Litigation Takes Years + Results That Count

Experience in handling difficult cases can only be judged by those who have actually done such cases, and preferably, won those cases. Losing can teach us as well (although every case is not a winning case to start with) - and one may find that certain tactics don't work, but just drive up the cost of litigation to start with. 

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOUR SPOUSE?  
If  so, TRUST ME, WE GET IT!!  There's two sides to every story, if not more!!
  *Before anyone gets insulted,  we are quite aware that much of family law involves FIGHTING and we mean fighting verbally, mentally, and physically!!  That's why many attorneys hate family law cases.  It's too emotional, too draining, too much drama,etc......


But the problem could be--maybe YOUR other former half--WANTS to drive up your litigation expenses so you will give up?!!

Actually, due to some attorneys who will do needless actions, this is not that uncommon.

At about $5.00 a minute, it doesn't make sense to do actions that aren't useful, BUT it happens a lot from what we have observed over the years. Custody issues tend to be the worst because any private evaluators or experts are very expensive. Very.

It makes sense that an attorney who is strategy minded, cost mindful, and fairly assertive-- can make better headway than spending time on useless things that will have no impact on the case, even if it drives up the costs for the other party.  Attorney herein is not a clerk or a clerk typist, although we do have to type. 

 An attorney understands that the legal argument can't be left out?  The best argument is not buried in 5 pages of paper. Some of the attorneys with wonderful skills will bury their arguments such that it can't be found unless one searches---that should never happen.  Arguments should not be buried. That's a wonderful way to never get your point across.

If you need an attorney who can make your points very obvious, leap from the page, and do all the talking for you in a straightforward, simple to understand format, then attorney may be a good match for your case. Plus you get the added bonus of having an attorney that is an experienced closer (as in closing sales, closing cases) which has helped attorney win cases both in civil, criminal,bankruptcy,animal law and family law.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

EVEN SOME ATTORNEYS DON'T UNDERSTAND BANKRUPTCY LAW?

 Bankruptcy is a fairly complicated process and although there are several types of bankruptcy, what we most often see in family law, is Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings.  Bankruptcy, if done properly, can be a real benefit for some people, especially the automatic stay which in general, stops most creditor actions and other actions. 

However, it doesn't always stop "everything" and the bankruptcy codes are not exactly the most simplistic thing in the world?  

Apparently, just because a judge says that money in an escrow account is or is not part of a bankruptcy case, be sure you ACTUALLY know the bankruptcy rule and how it is applied, before you either confuse others, or make a huge mistake?  We just saw evidence of an attorney telling us that the client had to legally do something, which was completely UNTRUE??




Although bankruptcy filings have likely increased due to COVID related issues, not everyone will be a candidate for bankruptcy filing.  For example, see  https://www.pmbankruptcy.com/, attorney Pete Macaluso, in Sacramento.... or attorney Michael Hays, CHICO bankruptcy attorney  http://www.mhayslaw.com/. I have known Pete since the 1990's, and Mr. Hays is almost an icon attorney in Chico!

There are some family law attorneys that do not understand bankruptcy apparently.....so if you have a bankruptcy issue, or are not sure if you have such an issue, you should check if your family law case involves a bankruptcy eventually, especially if taxes or liens or overdue government bills are owing? Some real property liens can be avoided with various programs, but you will likely have to qualify.

Interesting read on what gets discharged in BK, drunk driving...................

https://www.southerncaliforniabankruptcylawblog.com/2017/11/25/drunk-driving-debt-dischargable-if-debtor-was-the-injured-person/

See  https://procedurallytaxing.com/avoiding-the-federal-tax-lien-securing-penalties-in-a-bankruptcy-case/

https://www.clarkhill.com/alerts/automatic-stay-violations-and-punitive-damages


                                                                      LOL LOL LOL

                                       JUST BLAME IT ON THAT FREAKIN' COVID !!!




Pay Less but get More? It's Possible..and Here's Why!! No Guts, No glory..

Most family law attorneys may like helping people, but essentially most of them like to help themselves stay at a financial level to which they have become accustomed. That's self employment...so most attorneys bill strictly by the hour and may charge for every nickel, dime and eveny penny. Every postage stamp, every copy or xerox, every single email, you name it.



If you have been billed by an attorney before, with a blow by blow accounting of every single minute spent, then you understand why attorneys account for every single MINUTE. It's because a minute may amount to over $4.00, so not charging for 5 minutes may mean "losing" $20 bucks!! God forbid the attorney should be losing $20bucks!

Attorney herein does charge by the hour, but does not do the nickel and dime method. It's just too much work to count it all with a timer... attorney already knows that she will work harder than nearly any other attorney for several reasons...for starters, attorney has a social work degree. NOT a business law degree. Attorney did not go to school to become rich. Make a living yes. Rich, no.

Then we have the justice factor. Attorney does not like losing, and especially when the case clearly indicates the client should not be losing, and especially when it's about kids. Or bad legal rulings. Or maybe judge just hates your client.  Or maybe client hates judge.  Doesn't matter--in every case there is a way that is better than other ways. My job is to determine that strategy and I do it. It won't matter how long it takes if it's possible.  I am always shocked at the methods used by some attorneys who seem to care less about what they are doing (meaning they appear to take a losing proposition and stick with it..or they will be highly egregious in their approach...)...but that's fine with me.  They may keep billing their clients even if their clients lose.

That's very common from what I have seen locally.  In fact we even heard attorneys talking outside that they would just keep the case going to raise the billing hours!!  How sad is that?

Attorney herein believes that family law is handled very differently than other areas of law. Yes, attorney knows about other areas of law (criminal, civil, animal, bankruptcy,etc.) and has done cases in those areas. Family law and animal law have the high/low emotional toll on people, but attorney is used to this. Just about every non imaginable thing out there, attorney has probably already seen it.  Not a joke.


 So attorney isn't surprised by very much, unless it's another attorney trying to denigrate this attorney inappropriately.  At that point, better watch out, because attorney herein doesn't put up with BS. Period.  Just calling it like it is.  If you need down to earth real help, and you want someone who is not afraid to call a spade a spade, then I might be a good match for your case.  I don't play games, I won't tolerate BS, and I can't stand fake people.  Let's just say I win most of the time.

*If you have a case that cannot be won (in my opinion) I would suggest you seek other opinions, but in most cases, I am right. In part this is because I have been out in the field a long time, and also because I have been to every court in San Diego county--North County, East County, downtown, and Chula Vista... [juvenile court excepted] and have handled cases against very large entities such as Chase Bank, PGE, the State of CA, the American Kennel Club, and government entities.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

WHEN YOU CANNOT AFFORD SUPPORT OR JUST DON'T PAY IT?

 It's true, some people believe that due to their circumstances, they can just give away certain things or provisions, and not look back.  Arrears on back support at 10% compounded daily will triple in about 7 years? That is the formula used by California, hence the term dadbeat dads? Arrears is how the state makes most of their money involved with child support, in a very complicated program they designed long ago. If all the parents paid the support and there were no arrears, there would not be the compounding at 10% daily.


NOW let's just look at a few that probably happen more than not---



Giving up spousal support because you don't want it (This can be and is a huge error)

Giving up legal custody of kids because kids don't like you (Also a big mistake)

Shacking up with girlfriend so you don't need to work  (May not work as well as you think)

Using family's money and inheritance so you don't work  (LOL shows you are somewhat lazy)

As can be seen, much of the above involves the belief that one is insulated either from paying something or that one is not close to the kids to care enough about a relationship. When you have no visitation it means you pay more support.

If you don't live anywhere near the kids, it's going to always be a problem unless you had made an agreement or the court ordered one.  If you shack up with your girlfriend there's the issue or how much income of yours (subject to proof) is going to support the girlfriend and not the kids? Child support usually doesn't count the income of a new spouse.  I personally have little faith in the DCSS hearings on support, and generally, I do not do those hearings. However many attorneys will do them, but going there is awful in my opinion. (Handling support in a normal court on support is not the same as DCSS hearings.) The person handling DCSS hearings in Butte is NOT a judge and is only a commissioner. There is a huge difference.



https://www.divorcenet.com/states/california/cafaq02  (shown below, excerpt from article by retired Judge)

How does the court determine income in order to calculate child support?

Each parent's net disposable income is used to calculate child support. To figure out net disposable income, the court will first determine gross annual income, subtract certain deductions, and divide that by 12 for the monthly amount.

For the purposes of child support, gross income includes:

  • income from all sources including salary and wages, bonuses, commissions, rental income, dividends, interest, pensions, annuities, royalties, trust income, disability insurance benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, social security benefits, and spousal support received from a person who is not the other parent in the child support action;
  • income from ownership of a business; and
  • employment or self-employment benefits, if the court finds it appropriate to consider these benefits.

Gross income does not include need-based public assistance benefits (such as CalWORKS, General Assistance, or Supplemental Security Income) or child support for children from another relationship that one parent actually receives.

After computing the gross income, the court will deduct the following to determine net income:

  • state and federal tax obligations
  • mandatory union dues, if required as a condition of employment
  • necessary job-related expenses
  • health insurance premiums, and
  • hardships such as extraordinary health expenses, uninsured catastrophic losses, and basic living expenses for children from other relationships.

YOUR EX SPOUSE AND PRIVACY BREACHES? FINANCIAL COMMINGLING, BITCOIN??

SOME people who have not experienced an invasion of privacy do not understand what a breach of privacy might be, and if so, they may not likely understand their own personal rights?   

Most people own a computer or cell phone or tablet or some electronic device these days, and without knowing what a privacy breach is, you could be in for some really bad news. Usually because once your privacy has been breached, it cannot exactly be "un-breached?"

  Especially during COVID, I believe the courts will not

 take kindly to a breach of any fiduciary duties at all?


 There are actually many things that can constitute an invasion of privacy, you may want to look at the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation)  https://www.eff.org/  

Some of these  issues could  become problems in custody, visitation, divorce, community property issues and far, far more. Spouses spying on each other is not that uncommon. so if you are going to get a divorce or are in the middle of one, you should be more careful.  Attorney has seen one spouse simply close all joint credit cards without any notice to spouse, leaving the spouse both stranded, and unable to even buy food or gasoline?

Never leave or lend your phone or computer, tablet or any other electronic device which could be synced to the spouse or anyone you believe will or could spy on you. If you do not understand what syncing means you can go look it up.  It is a fact that far too many people sync all their data, which can have a very bad result down the line if problems come up, especially if it's all personal data and not business data.

Attorney never recommends syncing anything to be honest, that is strictly personal.  One does not need to use that just because you "can" do it. Even if you do trust a spouse 100%, with texts, email, or even encrypted data; I don't even believe a spouse should know every password to everything.... all data can be examined by an expert (if your spouse went that far, as in example of female who won the lotto and hid it from the husband....)... this is an older information piece, but if you're not running a business, I believe it's still worthy to consider......https://www.msecure.com/blog/saving-passwords-best-practices/

 IF you have a very jealous spouse, you should probably have a mechanic scan your vehicle for a tracking device--I know of two cases where this was done and two devices were, in fact, found on vehicles.



Learn the signs of how a spy app (stalkerware) could already BE on your phone or other electronic devices. (Attorney has a separate post on this on this same blog....) NEVER sync anything to any computer, tablet, or any other device. It may save some time, but you don't need to be lazy. If your ex takes all your data, you will not have access to it and will lose all the passwords most likely. 

I always recommend that each spouse have a backup account/password and that your data is not stored ONLY on a joint account.  I have seen spouses lose all their email and computer access because of over-sharing of accounts; then it becomes both tedious and expensive because you must spend hours opening new accounts, and start all over again? 



Married spouses with separate accounts that were opened during marriage usually means there is a fiduciary duty to know what each other is doing with community funds.

 Let's say wife inherited 100k and opened her own separate account; as long as nothing that went into that 100k account was community, but only wife's separate property funds went into the account, the tracing of that account should prove that wife owns all of it. But if wife took funds she earned in her job, like 10k, and put it into the account, a problem is created because now community money was added to a separate property account?  This should always be avoided (so you don't create more tracing problems at divorce time!)

I have had cases where this happened during the client's time living in two separate counties, and it quickly became a nightmare. It is to be avoided if at all possible.

In fact, as I mentioned on another post, I had a client that already had all the text messages from all their phones (some kind of family plan arrangement) and in fact, the client found the sex texting of spouse with another person?  Yes, they did get a divorce, no surprise there?

Make sure you already have copies of the tax returns because if he/she filed changed tax returns and you never saw the real tax returns you can be in big trouble (not that you did anything wrong) but you can order the last returns from the IRS for almost free anyway.

IF you are in charge of the phone bill, or home phone bills, or credit cards, you may have to look carefully at what is being purchased. Many spouses never even look at the bills and just pay them?  I have known of several cases where the husband was not only conducting long distance affairs, he had at least one illegitimate kid from some gal in another city and by time the wife figured it out, the kid was not that young anymore?

If you don't know what bitcoin is, I suggest you go look it up. It is very difficult to find evidence of it but if you find it, it would likely be in the computer data the spouse owns. If your spouse guards the computer as if he/she is very afraid of something, it's fairly likely something is being hidden. https://www.exodus.io/blog/how-many-bitcoins-are-left/        https://techjury.net/blog/how-many-bitcoins-are-there/#gref

[*Attorney has access to people who know Bitcoin pretty well]


 If your spouse loves to go to casinos, the casinos always send out tax information on winnings. There is a famous case from California on this issue where the wife won a huge amount on the CA lotto and never told the husband, she then later divorced the husband and he found out about the lotto accidentally; subsequently, he went to court to remedy this using the fact that ex wife used subterfuge to conceal the winnings won during marriage. 

The court then awarded the entire amount to the husband because non disclosure like this is illegal?  California law provides there is a fiduciary duty between spouses, thus if one party finds out about hidden assets, the game is on!  Also, most judges in family law tend not to like cheating spouses? 


IF TODAY WAS YOUR LAST DAY ......AND ..... IF EVERYONE CARED...After All It's Covid+ We Feel Down !!!

 https://youtu.be/lrXIQQ8PeRs
...and....                                         If Today was Your Last Day
https://youtu.be/TfmD_YpyeSs    If  Everyone Cared
(Note--IF you hate Nickelback, just don't listen to it.) :)  :)



DEDICATED TO ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN DIFFICULT FAMILY LAW CASES........
REMEMBER WHAT NICKELBACK SINGS ABOUT..............

Nickelback-    If Today WAS Your Last Day, If Everyone Cared
_______________________________________________________

* There is nothing in any family law case that is unsurmountable..*
https://youtu.be/Q_3_EdxODcY THIS IS Shalimar's song "There it is" online
                                       ***  AMEN  ***

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

NEW RULES FOR USA TIK TOK AND WECHAT DOWNLOADS, PROHIBITIONS, AND MORE!

 https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/u-s-government-bans-tiktok-and-wechat-61368/?origin=CEG&utm_source=CEG&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CustomEmailDigest&utm_term=jds-article&utm_content=article-link



all-- everyone using these apps should use every precaution possible. It is difficult to tell what fallout may transpire during COVID times, the Presidential election, and etc.

Usually, "when in doubt, do without" is a safe bet.  The last thing you need right now is to have your phone, computer or other devices to be affected by some wayward electronic nonsense.

These days, with COVID changing everything, it is predicted that regardless of who wins the election, things are going to be drastically changing and that COVID will never be going away in six months.

In fact, it may never go away.



COVID FALLOUT--SHOULD YOU FILE BANKRUPTCY NOW??

 https://chicofamilylawattorney.blogspot.com/2016/12/

Bankruptcy and Divorce..should You File Now??


Attorney wrote about this over 4 years ago. NOW due to COVID, so many legal changes have transpired, if in fact you are considering filing bankruptcy, please make sure that you hire an attorney who has done bankruptcy cases for many years. Bankruptcy is very complicated and attorney herein has done her share of bankruptcy cases for clients in the past. 


For Butte county residents, the filing venue for bankruptcy cases is in Eastern District Federal Bankruptcy Court located in Sacramento.  (Attorney has been signed into Eastern District BK Court for many years, but does not currently work on bankruptcy cases at this time.)

Bankruptcy is VERY VERY complicated, but the system involves a lot of form filling out to test for whether you do or do not qualify, and whether there are impediments to even filing (you may not qualify, plus new rules due to COVID have impacted nearly all courts, regardless of venue.)  

http://www.caeb.uscourts.gov/documents/Forms/misc/ProPer.pdf

Attorney is very familiar with WHICH document processing entities are known to be proficient in Sacramento for filing Chapter 7.  They are not all the same! This corporation typically knows bankruptcy very well judging from its past performance (former clients have used this company..)


Today is: Thursday, September 17, 2020. Bankruptcy Petition Forms Package.
If you are filing for bankruptcy without the help of an attorney, this booklet tells ...