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Questions Answered by Andy Cook

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Real Estate Law for California on

Q: We are both on the deed of the home we share but I'm the only borrower on the mortgage. If we split who calls the shots?

Split might be mean spirited...

Andy Cook answered on Feb 19, 2019

If the home is in both of your names, the two of you have equal authority over its disposition. If you can't agree, a judge will decide (assuming you open up a divorce case). If the house was acquired after the date of marriage but before the date of separation, it is presumptively community... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for California on

Q: Should I file something to request more statements? Or wait till first family resolution conference? (details below)

Hello, I have filed my declaration of disclosure, I've attached my bank statements, checking, savings, stocks, 401k etc.

Now I've received declaration of disclosure from my Wife's attorney who attached tax, w9s but no bank statements of any sorts, (no checking, savings, 401k) on FL150 form... Read more »

Andy Cook answered on Feb 4, 2019

Good question.

There is no official form, but you could write a letter or email requesting the information.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for California on

Q: Is it required by the mediator in family law to read any documents or declaration before meeting with the parents

I was told by the mediator she did not know if she was allowed to read them and she would have to ask her supervisor?

Andy Cook answered on Jan 27, 2019

It depends on the county. Sadly, mediators -- even though some are tasked with making written recommendations to the judge-- do not always read declarations. In counties where the mediator participates in "confidential mediation", it is less crucial because if the parties do not reach an... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for California on

Q: I have filed for modification of child custody and parenting time, there is clear cut Parental alienation

I have filed for modification because over the past 4 years I was supposed to get at least 1 day a week visitation and phone calls to the kids when ever. The visits were always supervised which they weren't supposed to be and it got to a point where I wasn't given them anymore. I bought a phone for... Read more »

Andy Cook answered on Jan 26, 2019

This is a question that can best be answered over the telephone so I can understand why you are having so much trouble. Please call 619-515-9900, and if there is no answer, please indicate a good time for me to call you back.

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for California on

Q: How can I seek divorce with an uncooperative husband?

Hello, I am currently dealing with a very unresponsive husband that is not cooperating with the divorce process. We have been separated over 2 years. I have been trying to be as respectful as I can but to the point where I need to take matters into my own hands. I previously did not want to seek... Read more »

Andy Cook answered on Jan 21, 2019

You are correct that if there is a disparity in income, a court can order the high earner to pay some or all of the lower earner's fees. While you cannot sue him for emotional distress, you may be entitled to alimony or spousal support. You would need to file a motion (called an "RFO") for spousal... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Divorce for California on

Q: IF I FILE FORE DIVORCE AND FULL CUSTODY AND LEAVE THE STATE WILL I GET IN TROUBLE, IM AFRAID OF MY HUSBAND REACTION

I PLAN TO FILE FOR DIVORCE AND CUSTODY OF MY KIDS AND LEAVE THE STATE TO MY MOMS, MY HUSBAND HAS THREATENED ME AND WE CURRENTLY HAVE PEACEFUL CONTACT ORDER DUE TO AN INCIDENT 3 YEARS AGO. BUT THE AB USE HAS CONTINUED, WILL I GET IN TROUBLE FOR LEAVING WITH MY KIDS

Andy Cook answered on Jan 16, 2019

Once you file for divorce in California, you are not allowed to remove the minor children of the marriage from California until there is a final judgment as to child custody and visitation.

There are two exceptions: one, you can ask the judge for an exception and the judge can say yes; or...
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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for California on

Q: together 16 years legally married 9 kids, own home What am I entitled to He says nothing because I’m a homemaker

He didn’t want me to work, I stayed home and raised 2 kids.

Did all the repairs personally, always logged what I spent on house and kids.

Now he says that I’m not entitled to anything because I don’t work

Andy Cook answered on Jan 13, 2019

That is incorrect. California is a community property state. So, if property or debt was acquired after marriage but before the break-up, while you were living in California, that property is community property. California law requires all community property assets and debts to be divided... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Domestic Violence for California on

Q: I'm trying to find out how to get a restraining order against someone in a different state.

I'm in California and the person I want to restrain is in Pennsylvania. This person stalked me and found out where I work and called my chain of command for a personal issue that I'm dealing with between me and my mother. The person who contacted my work is unrelated to me, it's my sister's... Read more »

Andy Cook answered on Jan 5, 2019

You could get a civil restraining order, which is different from a domestic violence restraining order. The difference, among other things, is that you have to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, the facts that warrant a restraining order (as opposed to a family law restraining order, where... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on

Q: I have a court date of Dec 18th and my ex just sent me his response today, Dec 13. Isn't there certain amount of days?

How many days before our court date does the responding party have to file?

Andy Cook answered on Dec 13, 2018

Absent an order shortening time from the judge, the responding party must file its written response nine court days before the hearing. If your hearing is the 18th, the responsive pleadings would have had to have been served and filed no later than 12/5/18.

I am assuming that your hearing...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on

Q: What is the general guidelines California judges use to decide value of a jointly owned home in a divorce?

Spouse A has the means to buy out spouse B. Spouse B has no income to qualify for the loan and also doesn't have enough cash for the buyout & couldn't afford the payments. Can a judge force you to sell your home if Spouse B refuses to agree upon a purchase price? 3 appraisals have been done, one... Read more »

Andy Cook answered on Dec 12, 2018

It is up to the judge hearing the evidence to decide what the house is worth. The evidence must be admissible for it to be considered. Assuming all three appraisals are admitted into evidence, the judge could find any of them to be more persuasive than the other two. Whatever value the judge... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on

Q: What court documents do I need to file in order to enforce a judgement?

I have a judgement for spousal support after a Request for Order hearing. My ex refuses to pay support. What paperwork should be filed in order to place a lien on his personal property and mutual bonds?

Andy Cook answered on Dec 7, 2018

You can do a wage assignment if he is employed. If he owns real property, you can record an abstract of support judgment. You do this by filling out the form, getting the court to "issue" it for $25.00 plus another $25.00 for it to be certified, and then filing it in the county where the real... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for California on

Q: My ex wife is trying to claim retro CS because I am making more money. Retro for 2 yr. she did not file a motion bk the

I lived states away and moved close to my son 2 years ago. She wants retro CS because I am making more and she did not file a motion to do an adjustment. She stopped me from my parenting time. I filed a motion and in her cross motion, she is asking for retro CS

Andy Cook answered on Dec 7, 2018

Under California law, a motion to modify child support may be made retroactive, at the earliest, to the date the motion to modify was filed with the court.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for California on

Q: If my ex husband is trying to take full custody of my 16 year old and 11 year old, can I tell my children?

Andy Cook answered on Nov 13, 2018

You may, absent a court order to the contrary; but you shouldn't. Keep the kids out of it until it is no longer possible.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on

Q: I’ve been married 32yrs and my husband just walk out and left me with no insurance for my medical needs,and no money

Andy Cook answered on Nov 12, 2018

If you file for divorce, you can request spousal support; the sooner you file the sooner you can make the request, and the sooner you can have the hearing.

For an initial request for spousal support, San Diego judges use a computer formula to calculate spousal support more often than they...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for California on

Q: single father custody of children paying 633 a month in child support court case 11/28/18

Hemet court house 11/28/18 seeking legal representation, unfit mother abused children by abandonment, claiming child support and receiving it. All the proof needed I have children in my sole custody and care as of August 1st 2017. I reside in Missouri however, I would need to appear by phone. The... Read more »

Andy Cook answered on Nov 9, 2018

You should immediately file a motion to modify child support to zero, or even to have the mother pay you child support.

Beyond that, at the hearing on 11/28/18, you should ask for an equitable offset and a refund because the mother was getting child support even though you had the child or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on

Q: What rights does a domestic partner haven regards to a 401k or pension account of the partner that has worked

The other partner has not contributed anything monetary in the relationship. Is he entitled to retirements funds

Andy Cook answered on Nov 6, 2018

If it was a registered domestic partnership, there would be a community interest in the 401k plan. The non-contributing partner would be entitled to half of the community's interest. That is, of course, not the same thing as half of the 401K plan.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on

Q: I have been in remission for a year. I need oncologist apps e/3 m. Now my husband is asking for divorce. Alimony?

I cannot afford my health insurance and all the living expenses that I will have when I have to leave my husband's house. I have been served for the divorce and I don't know where to start.

Andy Cook answered on Nov 4, 2018

Spousal support can be ordered in your favor retroactive to as early as the date the petition was filed. The sooner you make the request, the sooner the judge can order the support. Unique factors, such as your health, will also be taken into account and could result in a higher amount, which... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for California on

Q: Can I change lawyers if I chose to? I am in a middle of a divorce proceeding and my current lawyer is delaying my case.

Andy Cook answered on Nov 4, 2018

You are allowed to change lawyers at any time, regardless of the reason and regardless of whether the existing lawyer consents.

Once you have selected a new lawyer, he or she will prepare a "Substitution of Attorney" form and send it to the existing lawyer and the Court. This will let...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on

Q: My husband used his inheritance money to put a down payment on a house which we jointly own.

The mortgage has been paid out of our joint account. Is this inheritance money co mingled or is it his separate property still

Andy Cook answered on Nov 1, 2018

If he can trace it, and if the property is community property, the inheritance will be taken out of the equity of the sale proceeds of the house (or will affect the amount of the refinance payment) in the event of a divorce. Whatever equity is left, will be shared equally. If there's not enough... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for California on

Q: I was married in Az for 3 mon. I left the marriage 3wks ago. Due to DV can I file for divorce in California?

Im afraid to go back to Az. Is there any possible way to file here in California?

Andy Cook answered on Nov 4, 2018

You can file for legal separation if you move to California, even though what you really want is a divorce. In the petition, be sure to say that you intend to amend your petition to ask for divorce, once you meet our state's residency requirement, which is to have lived in the state for six months... Read more »

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