Questions Answered by Linda Calderon Garrett

Q: I filed divorce papers about 10 years ago, then never did anything after that-can I use those same papers today?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on
Answered on Apr 26, 2012
Linda Calderon Garrett's answer
If you filed 10 years ago, probably not--assuming, of course, that you did as you say, "never did anything after that." Usually, the court's close cases that become stale, such as yours.

I recommend you speak with an attorney before filing your paperwork as there are new issues that need to be addressed since 10 years have elapsed. If you can't afford to hire an attorney, know that there are many attorneys that provide limited-scope legal services, such as coaching services.

Q: If i have already signed a settlement for my divorce is it possible to reopen it for review & changes?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on
Answered on Apr 26, 2012
Linda Calderon Garrett's answer
First and foremost, what does the settlement say? That is the starting point; second, how much time has elapsed?, third, were you represented by legal counsel at the time of settlemenet? The reason I am asking questions, instead of answering them is because there are many factors to be considered. Your question cannot yield a simple "yes" or "no" response. The answer solely depends on the unique facts of your case.

Many attorneys provide 20-30 free consultations. Recommend you speak...

Q: Hi I want to change my last name back after divorce ..What form or forms do I need and general cost to file? thanks !!

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on
Answered on Apr 26, 2012
Linda Calderon Garrett's answer
Depending on how long ago the divorce was finalized, there is a remote change that someone can go back to family court to request the name change. For example, did the original Petition or Answer check the box for a request for name change? If so, then this issue has not been resolved. That would be the quickest and cheapest way to proceed.

If the former option is not available, then an individual submit a petition for name change. All forms are available at the Judicial council's...

Q: A friend wants me to look after his two minor children for several months in California while he works in New Jersey.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Answered on Apr 26, 2012
Linda Calderon Garrett's answer
A good book for your friend to purchase is Nolo's "Temporary Guardianship for Care of a Minor. (http://www.nolo.com/products/temporary-guardianship-for-care-of-minor-pr....) It addresses issues exactly like the ones listed on your question, vis-a-vis, taking care of your friend's minor children for several months; and, wanting you to home-school them in his absence.

Q: What does stipulation for judgement regarding parental obligations and judgement mean?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Answered on Apr 26, 2012
Linda Calderon Garrett's answer
There are "judgments" and "stipulated judgements". A stipulated judment means that the parties, not the court, resolved the issue. The "judgment" part of the phrase, in basic terms, means that the Court approved the agreement you reached with the other parent. When put together, the phrase, as whole means,you and the other parent reached on agreement on the parental obligations and that the court approved the agreement, which the agreement legally binding on the parties.

Q: If I have custody of my child and father dies, we cannot find will, why do I have to file for guardianship for her?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Answered on Apr 26, 2012
Linda Calderon Garrett's answer
Noticed this question has not been answered, so thought I would respond if the question is still relevant. First, not sure why you feel you need to file for guardianship of your daughter. Sounds like there might be a few issues going on that you are not identifying in this question. For example, if you lost legal cusody of your child and someone else is your daughter's legal guardianship (which is why you are in probate court), this might be a reason why you would be in front of probate judge,...

Q: How do I write an objection to an interrogatory in California Family court

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Answered on Apr 26, 2012
Linda Calderon Garrett's answer
You are asking a loaded question because there are many procedural issues and substantive issues related to discovery. First, and foremost, an objection must be made timely. Timely means 30 days from when the documents were "served." The term "served" is a legal term that means the day the clock starts ticking for the 30 days. When the clock begins to tick depends on when the interrogatories were served on you. For instance, if personally served on you, then you have 30 calender to submit a...

Q: Under FAM 024(b) section 304 Orders for child care costs - do I have to pay half even if I am not needing child care?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Answered on Apr 26, 2012
Linda Calderon Garrett's answer
First, start with what the current court order says. If there is no court order, then there is no legal duty for someone in your shoes to pay 50%; however, if there is a court order, then there is a legal duty to pay 50%--it cannot be changed unless there is a new court order to replace the terms. If in fact there is a court order, then there is one of two ways to resolve the problem: 1) "Stipulate" between the two of you that you don't have to pay 50% of the child-care and then submit the...

Q: How do i get guardianship of my grandson when parents are not caring for him properly ie drugs and non attentive

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Answered on Apr 26, 2012
Linda Calderon Garrett's answer
To start, you would file a petition with the court, requesting guardianship of your grandson. There are books you can buy such as the "Guardianship Book for California" (http://www.nolo.com/products/the-guardianship-book-for-california-gb.htm....

I also suggest you speak to an attorney in your area on the subject. Even a 30-minute free consultation can be of tremendous help if you don't know where to start.

Q: As a conservator for my mom, can I pay off her mortgage and then have her pay me back with an interest only arrangement?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Answered on Apr 26, 2012
Linda Calderon Garrett's answer
Your facts are minimal, but I will do my best to provide a general response to this question. First, a conservatorship would be established based on need, not desire by the elderly parenet. The underlying purpose of a conservatorship is to have the appointed individual steps into the shoes of the elderly parent because they have no capacity to make decisions for themselves. If your mother is fully aware of her situation and has full mental capacity to make decisions concerning her welfare and...

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