Grandmother Denied Visits With Deceased Son’s Child

Courts typically grant grandparent visits over a parent’s objection only in compelling cases. They interpret the law to require a very high “standard of proof” before they overrule a parent’s wishes. Carol’s son and Rochelle made a baby in 2006, but couldn’t get along Finally, Dad got a court to rule that he was the parent and give him visitation rights , supervised by his mother. Sadly, Dad died...
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Not Happy? Go on the Internet and Complain – it’s OK

Negative, insulting Internet postings are mere opinions, and so are protected speech, not slander. Parties in a family law dispute often go to Facebook or other places on the Internet and post complaints about the other party. Courts are reluctant to allow the insulted party to file slander or libel suits, even when the posts are wrong. Darren and Nicole made a baby together, but very quickl...
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Grandparent Visitation Denied After Elephant Tramples Mother

After Linda’s tragic death, Peter didn’t want her parents to see the children. The trial court didn’t agree with Peter, but that court was overruled on appeal. Raised in South Africa, Linda claimed she had been molested and raped by her father as a child. She went through extensive therapy, sometimes accusing her father and sometimes saying such claims were lies. After she met and married Peter...
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Be Careful What You Wish For

In child support actions, winning a legal point might not be the best strategy. Sometimes, the winning strategy is to look at the overall picture. Jeff, a resident of Ohio, moved to California in 2004 for a new job. His wife Andrea and their children followed four months later. It took six weeks for Andrea to find out about Jeff’s extramarital affairs, and she and the children left for Ohio imm...
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When Kids Come Home With Kids, Part One

Modern society often involves three generations, and that requires flexible solutions, especially when small children, custody, visitation, and parentage issues are involved. I know about this from a professional perspective as a family law attorney, and also from a personal perspective, as my wife and I took on raising infant grandsons. Your first concern has to be the child or children, to...
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No “Orphan” Benefits for Children Conceived After Father’s Death

When Karen Capato used her husband’s frozen sperm to conceive twins eighteen months after he died, the twins could not get Social Security benefits for having a deceased parent. In a case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court, the court had to look at Florida’s laws on inheritance.  There was no question that the twins were the biological children of Karen and Robert Capato, but Robert had passed...
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Community Property Division

Community Property Division Community property division in divorce, while complex, does not have to be an expensive or contentious process. At Help-U-File Family Law in Sacramento, we will help you with the legal process and documents so you can concentrate on negotiating an equitable settlement with your spouse. Help-U-File is a first-of-its-kind family law facility that helps you negotiate...
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What’s the “Date of Separation?”

Deciding what is the right “date of separation” is often confusing, even though it has legal significance.  That date is a key to many issues in a divorce. One of the first things the Family Law Petition asks is your date of marriage and your date of separation.  These dates are important to get right, as they affect many financial issues.  While the date of marriage is rarely a problem (it’s t...
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Collecting Attorney Fees From Your Ex-spouse

Attorneys are expensive (though sometimes not having an attorney is VERY expensive), but the law says that both parties should have access to legal representation.  At the start, if one side has the money to hire an attorney and the other does not, the courts will often order some amount of attorney fees payable by one party to the other.  The court has wide discretion, and must consider the party...
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Approaching Child Custody Mediation I

Hints and Tips - Why Prepping the Kids Hurts, not Helps The first thing for you to keep in mind is that custody and visitation mediators are interested in what’s good for the kids.  They don’t put your rights high on the priority list.  Next, you have to understand that kids look at the grownups in their lives as all-powerful beings, so they pay a lot of attention to understanding how to affect...
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