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California Divorce Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Divorce for California on
Q: If the public defender did not show up for court for me is a public defender responsible
Douglas Hugh Ridley
Douglas Hugh Ridley answered on Sep 17, 2020

If the public defender misses your appearance than the court should be willing to continue the appearance to a future date. If the judge does not realize this than speak up for yourself and let him know that you are present and accountable, but your public defender is AWOL. They should allow you a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for California on
Q: Can I stop spouses support after I retire or right before. It was a long term marriage

Married for 24 years, divorced in 2001. Can I go back to court and have the spousal support dropped. Because I'm going on social security soon income is going to change. My income is going to be a lot lower.

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Sep 16, 2020

When your income drops due to a change in circumstances, such as you describe, then yes, the court will likely reduce or eliminate spousal support. Shortly before you retire and start collecting social security instead of getting your usual pay check, then you should file a Request for Order to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for California on
Q: I can't file a motion for her to change her name back?

She's the one who filed for divorce because she didn't want to be married to me anymore, why does she get to keep my name even though she doesn't want to be with me?

Sandy Lynne Meade
Sandy Lynne Meade answered on Sep 10, 2020

I'm sorry. This question comes up often, and it is never fun to explain that you have no power over whether or not she keeps her name as is or changes it. It is HER name so SHE gets to decide what name she wants to use. Often people keep their married name because it matches their... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for California on
Q: My divorce is almost complete, I don't want her to use my last name anymore, how do I do that, is there a certain paper?

I just turned in my "Schedule of Assets and Debts" paperwork...

Tobie Brina Waxman
Tobie Brina Waxman answered on Sep 10, 2020

You can’t force her to change her name.

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for California on
Q: Can a divorce attorney be hired only to represent you at a MSC
Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Sep 10, 2020

Yes, you can hire an attorney to represent you for just one hearing. It is called "limited representation." You can Google that term and/or "unbundled attorney" to find lawyers who do this.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for California on
Q: In the process of divorce, been living as married since 1998, married in 2012,will that be considered in dividing assest

have two children and also we purchased a house only in his name due to credit scores before marriage but while cohabitation, it was purchased 8 months before marriage. Will I be granted anything from that property, he has a attorney but I don't, I have been a homemaker since my first son was... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 10, 2020

Good family law question, happens all the time. If he has an attorney, you need to have one, also, or you are going to a gunfight with a slingshot. Contact a local family law attorney, or find one here on Justia. Contact your local bar association for some possible recommendations. You probably... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for California on
Q: In the process of divorce, been living as married since 1998, married in 2012,will that be considered in dividing assest

have two children and also we purchased a house only in his name due to credit scores before marriage but while cohabitation, it was purchased 8 months before marriage. Will I be granted anything from that property, he has a attorney but I don't, I have been a homemaker since my first son was... Read more »

Sandy Lynne Meade
Sandy Lynne Meade answered on Sep 10, 2020

Yes, you do have an equitable claim and even a civil claim under a MARVIN action (which you may have to file separately or can often be incorporated into settlement of your divorce case). There is a statute of limitations for a MARVIN action, so you need to consult with a local family and civil... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Child Support and Divorce for California on
Q: I am recently separated and I need to file for divorce.

I left my husband after 8 years of marriage and 11 affairs. I tried everything to fix my marriage including marriage counseling but it was irreparable. We split 50/50 custody of my 3 kids, (ages 12, 11 & 5) I don't receive any monetary help from him but I am struggling to make ends meet.... Read more »

Sandy Lynne Meade
Sandy Lynne Meade answered on Sep 10, 2020

Whether or not you qualify for spousal or child support will depend on the facts of your case. Primarily, how much you earn versus how much he earns, whether or not you already waived your right to spousal support (in a pre-nuptial agreement which may or may not bar spousal support--you'll... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Divorce for California on
Q: My ex wife is pregnant, and she just moved back to GA from CA without my consent, I want to file for divorce

But she isn’t due until thanksgiving, how do I go about getting the process started? I make roughly 130k annually, what will I be expecting for child support?

Tobie Brina Waxman
Tobie Brina Waxman answered on Sep 9, 2020

1) she does not need your consent to move to GA; 2) not enough information here to predict for you what you will be required to pay in support. The calculation takes into account both parties' income and the percentage of time each party has custody of the child. You can proceed with filing... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Civil Rights for California on
Q: Can a client tell their lawyer who they don’t want involved anymore as a witness?

Like if a client asked someone to say a statement to their lawyer and the person said yes because the client reassured that they would remain anonymous but the lawyer asked the witness to testify but the client doesn’t want them too. Can they tell their lawyer to no longer involve them or put... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 5, 2020

This is called "lawyering your own case." It happens all the time and is usually a bad thing for the client. You hired an attorney for his professional evaluation on how to best handle your case and now you want to contradict him? When a client refuses to follow my counsel, I usually... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for California on
Q: wife filed separation in 2000. Court motion =dismissed failure to prosecute how do I get the separation 2000 be ordered
Tobie Brina Waxman
Tobie Brina Waxman answered on Sep 2, 2020

The case was dismissed. If you want a divorce or legal separation you will need to file a new petition

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on
Q: Will my husband forfeit the equity in our home if he divides his finances from mine as part of our separation?

My husband and I each live in a condo owned by us as a couple. The one I live in is more valuable. As we divide our finances, he worries that he will sacrifice the increase in value of "my" condo because he will not be paying the mortgage payment. We would like to separate our bank... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 1, 2020

You really need to speak with a Family Law attorney. IMO, once you award property to each other, and separate, all equity increase becomes separate property. To have a different result, you would need to take title in Joint Tenancy or Tenancy in common and each have a certain % interest in the... Read more »

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 Divorce for California on
Q: MSA notarization in a different state then state we filled for divorce

My spouse and I are in the divorce process in California, LA county (uncontested, default), no assets, no children, etc..Now, the next step is to file MSA (martial settlement agreement) with court. We have it ready and we just need to sign it. However, signature of my spouse must be notarized and... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 31, 2020

The attestation by a Notary merely shows that a duly appointed person verified the signature as being that of the person it purports to be. Notaries in the US are licensed to practice in their home state, but truthfully the requirements are about the same nationwide. (not so in foreign countries... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on
Q: In a divorce how is the equity divided? One lived in the house for 40 years. The other for 10 years?

Gone to first hearing. Fired attorney. Second hearing coming up.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 29, 2020

One of the difficulties of being a family law attorney is that emotions are high and if you tell your client something they don't want to hear, they fire you. This does not change the facts or the law. You need to retain another attorney and discuss your specifics with them. IMO the equity... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on
Q: I am a beneficiary of a trust that owns real property. Does that preclude me from seeking a summary dissolution?
Tobie Brina Waxman
Tobie Brina Waxman answered on Aug 26, 2020

Assuming you have not yet inherited that property and therefore do not own that property, your status as a beneficiary does not in and of itself preclude you from seeking SD.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on
Q: I live in California. My husband left 8 months ago, took the money from our bank account and squandered it in Vegas

He quit his job and later took early retirement when he realized he had no money to live on. I had to refinance the house to be able to afford it. The loan is in my name but his name is on the title along with mine since he wouldn't quit claim it over. If we sell the house will they split... Read more »

Sandy Lynne Meade
Sandy Lynne Meade answered on Aug 25, 2020

First, the courts will allow you and your spouse to settle the terms of your divorce any way you want. the judge may want to confirm the agreement is fair under the facts--offset for husbands depletion of community assets while gambling and his abandoning you to pay the bills on your own sounds to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for California on
Q: I have a divorce case, I want to file Spousal as well, what form do I need to fill out? Does mental abuse play a part?

I previously had a dcfs case and I didn't get physical custody, and I was only given joint custody, and supervised visits once a week for 4 hours. I wanted to modify that since I didn't have anyone truly fight my case. I want to modify my child custody and also issue a spousal support... Read more »

Sandy Lynne Meade
Sandy Lynne Meade answered on Aug 25, 2020

You will need to file a Request for Order(whichis a motion) for modification of child custody, visitation and support since dcsf had an open case you csn try to file there but they may send you to family court to file a separate notion or new action in fanily court (counties vary on this issue)... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on
Q: If I don’t know where my spouse is (he may be outside of the US), how to serve the separation paper to him?

When he is back to the US (but don’t know when) he will stay with his niece. Can the paper be delivered to his niece, and ask his niece to serve the paper?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 23, 2020

You can get a Court Order for Service by Publication in a local newspaper. You should contact a local family law practitioner for specific advice.

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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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