Attorney Notes: Family Law Refresher Course, 2007

These are family law notes from a seminar in California on family law.   Attorneys must comply with the requirement to take continuing education of the bar. These include seminars and other methods of obtaining this education.  This is in outline format and are attorney notes. The contents include children, guardianship, termination of guardianship, change of circumstance for guardianship, jurisdiction, Hague Convention, child support, spousal support, child support enforcement, spousal support enforcement, property division, family residence and business.  It is very important when choosing an attorney to chose one with experience and also who is current in the state of the law as the law changes all of the time.

CFLR NOTES FROM 2007 SEMINAR IN COSTA MESA (3-10 & 3-11)
ATTORNEY NOTES

SEND LETTER TO RETIREMENT PLAN FOR NON MEMBER SPOUSE WITH COPY OF PETITION AND/OR RESPONSE AT COMMENCEMENT OF CASE

1. CHILDREN
   A. Move Away cases
        1. La Musga is the main case
        2. Conditional orders are acceptable
        3. Court has discretion to hold Evidentiary Hearing without prima facie showing
        4. McGuiness rights are still applicable
            A. Primary case regarding rights for remainor
                 1. full notice
                 2. meaningful mediation
                 3. meaningful evaluation
                 4. evidentiary hearing
        5. FLC 7501
            A. Change of circumstances
        6. Per Burgess, broad discretion under La Musga
        7. Always file a response
        8. Standard of law= best interests of child
            A. No child testimony
            B. Look to actual consequences of move away to remainor
        9. Trial judges [after full hearing] will be affirmed unless procedural issue
   B. Juvenile exit orders
        1. Requires change of circumstance
   C. Termination of guardianship
        1. Requires best interests of child
   D. Termination of parental rights
        1. Parent not custodian
        2. Guardianship is more than two years
        3. Benefit to child
   E. Family Law Code and Probate Code apply retroactively unless substantive issue
        1. FLC Section 4
        2. PC Section 3
   F. Grandparent visitation (access)
        1. One parent of child is deceased
        2. Step parent adoption
   G. Drug testing
        1. FLC Section 3041.5= urine


2. JURISDICTION
   A. Juvenile court
        1. Must have UCCJEA
        2. County has burden if petitioner to establish jurisdiction
   B. Hague Convention
        1. Can only enforce custody order
        2. Not best interests
        3. Grave harm only if home country does not have procedure to remedy
            A. Requires de novo hearing
            B. Standard is clear and convincing evidence
        4. If Hague applies, no UCCJEA

3. CHILD SUPPORT
    A. Income for Child Support purposes
         1. Unrealized rate of return= NO
         2. Gifts= NO
         3. Loans= NO
         4. Life Insurance= NO
         5. Liquidating principal asset= NO
         6. Workers Compensation= YES
         7. Personal Injury Awards
             A. Medical bills= NO
             B. Past loss of work= NO
             C. Future income= YES
             D. Pain and suffering= NO
             E. Emotional distress= NO
             F. Attorney fees= NO
             G. Inheritance= NO
             H. Unrealized appreciation of equity in residence= NO
              I. Stock exchange= NO
              J. Stock sale and liquidation= YES
              K. Employment benefits= YES
              L. Free housing= YES
              M. Capital assets= YES as to reasonable rate of return on income stream

4. SPOUSAL SUPPORT
   A. DCSS may set, modify or enforce if child support is ongoing and custodial parent
   B. Marital Standard of Living    
        1. Not measure for setting spousal support
        2. Cannot use MSOL if parties lived above their means
        3. MSOL set as of DOS
        4. Judge must consider cohabitation for presumption of decreased need
        5. Judge must consider earning ability
            A. Vocational evaluation
            B. Past employment
    C.  Duration
            A. Set as of date of separation not date of judgment
     D. Ability to self support is a component of both LTM and STM
     E.  Judge may take into account series of continuing gifts
     F. 59.5 years of age
         1. May withdraw money from IRA and should be considered
    G. 62 years of age
         1. May receive social security and should be considered
    H. Termination date
         1. Evidence that supported party will be self supporting

5. ENFORCEMENT
   A. Analysis for retroactivity
        1. Every statute is retroactive unless
            A. Stated otherwise
            B. Exception under FLC Section 4
            C. Violate a vested property interest not overridden by public policy interest and not
                 violative of due process    
            D. Look to effective date of commencement of proceedings
           E. Right of a party pre enactment
    B. No remaining remedies to defense of child support enforcement except
         1. Concealment defense if private enforcement and concealment ends post 18th birthday
         2. Laches defense if public enforcement= welfare reimbursement (TANF)
    C. DCSS audits
         1. No interest to be due until 1st of month after support payment due
            A. FLC Section 17433.5
     D. TANF and offer in compromise
         1. DCSS must consider

6. PROPERTY
    A. Date of Separation
         1. Standard= preponderance of the evidence
         2. DOS= late
    B. Prenuptials
         1. Undue influence
         2. Duress
             A. Standard= preponderance of the evidence


7. FAMILY RESIDENCE
   A. Moore Marsden
        1. Only pay down on principal
        2. No “free rent” analysis
        3. No property tax reimbursement
        4. No insurance payment reimbursement

8. BUSINESS
   A. Sole Proprietorship (key person/small business)
        1. Valuation as of date of separation and not date of trial
        2. Bring alternative valuation motion
        3. FLC Section 2552
   B. Valuation
        1. Accrual method and not cash method
   C. Stock Options
        1. Exercising spouse who obtains income will pay income tax
            A. IRS Private Letter Ruling 200646003
        2. Always use expert for division of stock options

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