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Questions Answered by Shawna Murray
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for California on
Q: I have a question about spousal support and child custody.

Married 18 years, with three girls age 17, 15 and 10. I net $8000 per month, have worked as a civil servant in the U.S. defense industry for almost 40 years. My wife works part time but started that years ago when our girls were small. No need anymore since they are older. She still refuses to go... Read more »

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Sep 1, 2020

It sounds like the initial ask is for temporary spousal support, which is often calculated by inputting the couple's income into one of two computer programs called "Dissomater" or "Xspouse." Most attorney's pay for a license to use this program and can give you a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Q: My daughter passed away on july 18 she had a 21 month old daughter her her husband and the baby have been living with me

its complicated but my son in law and I do not get along I told him yesterday he needed to go look for a place to live that he could leave Addy with me until he found a place he also is on the spectrum of aspergers he said if He goes so does Addy and you will never see her again

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 29, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss. In California, grandparents may get visitation rights in a situation like you describe. The laws around grandparent’s rights are convoluted so I recommend that you consult with a family law attorney as soon as possible.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: I have high risk Leukemia. How can I ensure that my kids stay w/ my partner if I pass? I have full legal/physical.

Their father has felonies, drug addiction, multiple prison sentences, has not been a part of their lives in over 5yrs.

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 29, 2020

I am sorry that your are in this predicament. Unfortunately, your children’s other parent would be first in line to get custody. Your should consult with attorneys about adoption and estate planning. If partner would consider adopting the children then the biological father would be out of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for California on
Q: So I’m getting kicked out from my moms house and I have the choice to go with my dad but there isn’t no rooms availa

So I’m getting kicked out from my moms house and I have the choice to go with my dad but there isn’t no rooms available but my friend did offer me a place to stay until my dad fixes the room since he rents them but my moms is saying I can’t do that and she will call me as a run away and I’m... Read more »

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 26, 2020

While you didn't mention your age but it sounds like you might be a minor. Parents have a legal obligation to provide for their children until 18. You may want to go to or to call your school tomorrow and speak them about what is happening. They see these types of situations regularly and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Q: What forms need to be filed when a biological father needs to claim paternity of biological child?

Biological mother of child is married to a different man.

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 22, 2020

Start with these California Judicial Council Forms: Petition to Establish Parental Relationship (FL-200), Summons (Uniform Parentage — Petition for Custody and Support) (FL-210), and Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (FL-105). You will need to file... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Idaho on
Q: nephew was just born taken into Idaho custody both parents are users. They now want to sign there rights to me can they?

I live in California and this is happening in Idaho. I know different states different laws. But she's been a drug user the entire pregnancy. My brother isn't no better and actually called CPS himself on her and has made reports and so have I. Well i was contacted by a case workwr... Read more »

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 22, 2020

I recommend that you post your question in the Idaho forum since that is where the child is located. I wish you and the child the best of luck!

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: How can I legally hold ex wife accountable to Settlement agreement if I sign grant deed?

Im going through a divorce and my ex wife is refinancing the house to her name only and I am to receive my VA certificate back as well as $55k from the equity per our agreement. Ive just been contacted by her loan officer stating that all documents have been signed by her and in order to complete... Read more »

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 21, 2020

If you have a final judgment signed by the court with those terms, then your settlement agreement has become a court order. She can be held in contempt of court if she fails to complete her side of the deal. Just to be sure if you have a court order to enforce your settlement, you should contact an... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Q: Visitation

Good day, I live in Ohio and my son is in California, I pay child support while he lives with his Aunt not his mother. He wants to come out and visit and I'm arranging this with the Aunt who says the mother says it's OK. Is a verbal agreement or the conversation through txt enough for... Read more »

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 15, 2020

It would be wise to get written consent from your child’s mother. Not knowing what your child custody agreement says, it is safer to assume that you must get her written consent on paper (not via text messages) to take your child out-of-state.

Because you mentioned Child Support, you...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for California on
Q: Is there a list of pro bono child custody family law attorneys in the Southetn California area?
Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 15, 2020

You could try asking your local Legal Aid office if they can assist you or if they have a list. Possibly, the local county Bar Association could help point you in the right direction. If you have to represent yourself, the court should have a help desk that offers assistance with completing forms.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Q: How do I obtain a lawyer from the judge for a guardianship case?
Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 12, 2020

If by “obtain a lawyer from the judge” you are wondering if the court would appoint a free lawyer to you, unfortunately, you are out of luck. You only have a right to a free attorney in some criminal cases. You can try contacting local legal aid groups to ask if they will take your case. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Q: What form needs to be filed to amend court-ordered child visitation arrangements?

I was supposed to see my daughter each weekend, but her father has moved to Turlock, and will not allow me to visit her. How should I address this issue with the Court?

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 9, 2020

I am sorry to hear about your difficulties. You will need to file a Request for Order (form FL-300) to request a modification to the current child custody order. I highly recommend that you consult with an attorney to discuss the current situation. Share the current court order with the attorney so... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: What rights do I have from my deceased mother's vacant real estate if I have greedy siblings?

I've been the sole caretaker and tax payer of the property for about 10 year's (at my mother's request), before and after she died, and I'd like to claim ownership. Problem is, the deed is missing, and my mother was only named as a co-owner by my grandparents before they died.... Read more »

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 9, 2020

My condolences for your loss. Do you have any idea how much the property is worth? If the property remains in the name of your mother, you will probably need to file a Petition for Probate. Estates in excess of $150,000 must go through a court proceeding called probate. Since most real estate in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Q: After 32 years of marriage What kind of settlement should a wife get
Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 9, 2020

In California, as a general rule, all community property is divided equally between the spouses. Community property is all property acquired during marriage, with a few exceptions for gifts and inheritances. After 32 years of marriage, you and your spouse may have savings, retirement accounts, a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for California on
Q: How to do seek a family lawyer in California without screwing myself

How could I find legal advice before I hire a lawyer to be certain have a child support issue and don’t know if I need n attorney but would feel more secure with one or don’t know if I need one at all never knew I had a child and now 3 years later getting me for child support what should I do

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 3, 2020

Your County Child Support offices can help you get a child support order at no cost.

Most lawyers do not give out free advice but some give free consultations. You could try a free consult if your questions are not answered by Child Support Services.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Divorce and Domestic Violence for California on
Q: My husband has hidden our marital assets in a "place where you will never find them", a direct quote from him.

He has told me that I am having an affair, am planning to kill him and steal everything from him. I am innocent of these accusations. I need to leave him but cannot afford a lawyer. Our home is still in both our names. We have been married 20 years. What can I do? I am in California and am very... Read more »

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 2, 2020

I am sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you are ready to file for divorce. Assuming this is the case after your divorce has been filed and is underway, you can begin the process of what is called Discovery. Through Discovery, each party has to disclose all of the information about all... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Q: Can my girlfriend leave with my son to another state without my consent
Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 2, 2020

An answer can often be found by reviewing the child custody orders you have in place. What does it say about trips out of state? What does it say moving away?

If you do not have child custody orders already in place and you believe that she is relocating to another state, then you need to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for California on
Q: Been 4 years not on birth certificate never did paternity now they are seeking child support

What do I do and if it is mine and I come to an agreement with the other parent could I avoid the child support and work out an agreement that’s set by the court or I could avoid the court completely I’m in California in The Weeknd today nothings open and I received the packet asking for my... Read more »

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Aug 1, 2020

In California, it is the responsibility of both parents to financially support their children. It sounds like you received a packet from Child Support Services. It is very important that you respond immediately by hiring an attorney to help you respond. The attorney can further advise you about a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Q: Regarding refuses visitation and missed visit What should I do?

i (mother) have the primary custody my ex-bf lives in Las Vegas and he has every first weekend of each month in Las Vegas and visitation in LA every 3rd and 5th weekend of each month plus equally sharing vacations, holidays etc in Las Vegas/LA Written in our court order.I always drop off our Son in... Read more »

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Jul 31, 2020

If you would like to change a child custody order, you will need to file a Request for Order on Forms FL-300 & FL-311 plus you must a detailed declaration that can be prepared on Form MC-031. I advise you to consult with an attorney, but if you cannot afford to do that, you should ask if your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Domestic Violence for California on
Q: Can my daughter and I move to another state without letting my exhusband know?

Our divorce is finalized plus there is an active restraining order protecting me and my daughter from my exhusband. I was awarded sole physical and legal custody. He has not contacted or provided child support for over 2 years. Will other states honor this restraining order?

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Jul 31, 2020

Generally speaking, other states will honor the restraining order but each state varies on how to get the order registered in its system and so on. You should consult with an attorney in the state that you are considering relocating to, prior to leaving California.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Grandpa passed away 14 days ago, he was a widow. Uncle now says everything is his & demands access to our house. Can he?

My mother also passed away approx 8 years ago. We've been living with grandfather for last 5 years. He's only be gone for 14 days, we haven't even had the funeral. Uncle keeps just showing up whenever he wants to our house. I woke up to him asleep in his car in our driveway yesterday morning.

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Jul 28, 2020

I am sorry for your loss. It sounds like your uncle is making a hard time even worse. Let's assume your uncle is correct and he "gets everything" including the house belonging to your grandfather. That being the case, he would still have to follow California's landlord-tenant... Read more »

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