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Family Law Issues in California

Automatic Restraining Orders in Orange County

When a petition for a divorce is served in California, temporary restraining orders (often referred to as ATROs) are in effect automatically. The automatic restraining orders prevent either party from destroying property, borrowing against an asset, gifting an asset, or changing any property owned by either party. The rules are designed to preserve the property of the parties until the property is divided by a court order . . . continue reading . . .

Why Hire a Divorce Attorney in California?

Many people believe that an attorney in a divorce is irrelevant. For many people, the cost of hiring an attorney is too high. They may believe that an attorney's goal is to muddle the water to increase fees. Some feel like attorneys as a whole are untrustworthy. Others believe that it is easy to learn about the legal process on their own. . . . continue reading. . . .

In a California Divorce, Who Gets the Wedding Ring?

A question often asked during a divorce is, "What happens to the wedding ring?" A ring is usually the most common gift given before a marriage; however, spouses give gifts to each other for birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions. In California, the family law code decides what happens in a divorce to the gifts the spouses gave to each other during the marriage. By analyzing the California Family Code, the court determines which spouse gets the gift--the one who gave it, the one who received it, or both. . . . continue reading. . . .

Why Settle a Divorce in Orange County?

1. Monetary Expense: Inexpensive litigation does not exist. Every stage of the proceeding is costly. In addition to attorney's fees, there are expert fees, filing fees, service fees, discovery fees, and reporter's fees. Hearings can last several hours or even days. The time to wait for the judge to hear the case can take hours. It is common for the parties to wait for their turn just to have a continuance of the hearing. . . .continue reading . . .

Documents Filed in a California Court Can be Reviewed by the Public

Many people do not realize that most documents submitted to a judge can be accessed by the community. In addition, the proceedings themselves can be viewed by the public. The rational for open access is that it fosters integrity in the judicial system. It would be more difficult for a judge to rule in a discriminatory fashion if the public has access to the facts, the testimony, and the proceedings of every case. . . . continue reading. . . .

Spouses Should Require a Writing to Transfer Property to Each Other

Sometimes during a marriage, spouses will transfer property from one spouse to the other. This occurs most frequently when the parties transfer property to one another in order to get a better interest rate on a family home. California Family Law Code §§850-852, allows a couple, by written agreement, to transfer or “transmute” community property to the separate property of either spouse or from the separate property to the community property. In legal jargon, this is referred to as transmutation. A transmutation is fulfilled when spouses transfer property between themselves during the marriage changing the character of the property . . . . continue reading. . . .

A Divorce in California Takes a Minimum of Six Months

California Family Code §2339 states that a judgment for a divorce can be entered six months after the date the summons and petition is given to or “served” upon the respondent or six months from the date the respondent formally makes his appearance in court–whichever occurs first. The term 6 months and a day comes from the fact that the counting of the six months starts the day after the appearance or service of the summons and petition.

A Divorce Ends When Everything Has Been Fully Litigated

Usually, when one party files for divorce through a family law attorney and the issues between the parties are fully litigated in family court, a civil court cannot make a ruling on the same cause of action between the same parties. In California a civil action that ends in judgment is res judicata or “matter judged.” Although the theory seems straightforward–the same parties cannot litigate the same issues that have already been decided by a judge–there are some factors a judge must consider before dismissing the second case . . . . continue reading. . . .

What is the Significance of Community Property in a Divorce?

California is a community property state. Community property is any property obtained during the marriage. If income was earned during the marriage, any proceeds from the income will be community property as well as any purchases made with the income. Upon dissolution, equity in a community property asset will be awarded equally to both parties . . . . continue reading. . . .