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2015: Nine Updates to Family Law for Divorce, Paternity or Legal Separation in San Diego Superior Court: Part One
There are many new laws which apply to family law cases in San Diego Superior Court whether your case is a divorce, paternity or legal separation in 2015. This is part one of a three part series which lists some changes in the law however this is not a complete nor comprehensive listing and the law changes and all are advised to independently verify the contents, as with all articles on this website and blog, independently. This three part series will detail changes which were made, for the vast majority, in 2014. Some of these are new cases which have been heard in the California Court of Appeals, California Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court and some are new codes or rules which apply to paternity, divorce and/or legal separation cases in San Diego. These new updates are also complicated since there are “cross overs” between the Family Law Code and Code of Civil Procedure and other California Codes.
1. Electronically Stored Information [ESI]:
This is the electronic equivalent of the requirement not to destroy or not have available any documents or records in your possession after petition filed [if petitioner] and after responded served or notice and acknowledgment of receipt [if respondent]. This is an extremely complicated area of the law and expert advice is required.
2. Optional Forms:
the prevailing advice is always use the judicial council forms even if optional and that this is the standard of case. There are three forms for Family Law which are new: 319; 158 and 157. This also insures do not miss any factors in requests since the judicial council form[s] list the information needed in each section.
3. Code of Civil Procedure Section 1717:
This can be used to ask for attorney fees if you are the prevailing party in the motion. Attorney fees in a divorce, paternity or legal separation, are most often requested under the Family Law Code and, specifically, three sections: 2030; 2031 and 2032. This is a Code of Civil Procedure Section and can also be used.
4. Code of Civil Procedure Section 1032:
This can be used to ask for costs if you are the prevailing party in the motion. Costs are different than attorney fees and consist of filing fees and other costs [including experts] and must be itemized and also it is common practice to include copies of the invoices in the pleadings redacting any attorney client privilege information.
6. Late Filings:
This happens and sometimes would still like to go forward but could not due to Code of Civil Procedure 1005 requirements. A new case which states that if the response is filed and that there is no prejudice to the other side to continue, then the Judge can go forward. If need to proceed even if late filings, then can use this new case for support.
7. Discovery Abuse:
Abusing discovery through excessive demands or repetitive demands is sanctionable. Make sure to follow the Code of Civil Procedure requirements exactly and be minimal and extremely careful when discovery is of a third party. Consumer notices and all requirements must be exactly followed. This is a very complicated area and expert advice is needed.
8. Non Competition Orders:
Must be reasonable and not excessive in duration or geographical location. The numerical value of the goodwill should be stated in the agreement. This is very important in a business buy out.
9. Parental Gifts:
These occur in many of cases. A new case holds that once parental gifts cease, without any reasonable indication that they will resume, then cannot impute income where it would result in support orders that the payor cannot pay from actual income.
There are many other new law and procedures in family law. The law firm of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can help with your pending family law case in San Diego. Please feel free to call for a complimentary virtual consultation up to 30 minutes which is also confidential.