Swanson O’Dell

From The blog

“What Really Causes Divorce?”

“What Really Causes Divorce?” Sometimes the cause of divorce is quite obvious: cheating, substance abuse, alcoholism, domestic violence. These cases are easy to understand. Many other times, however, none of these factors are present, and yet a marriage has broken down, and papers are filed. Why does this happen? I have a few personal observations based on years of talking to clients, and here...

“Why Small Business Owners Have No Retirement Savings”

“Why Small Business Owners Have No Retirement Savings” As a family law attorney, I see the inner workings of the financial lives of a lot of different people. Government workers, law enforcement, oil-field workers, health care workers---and lots of small business owners. Over the years, one thing that has really stuck out to me is how seldom small business owners have any kind of a retirement...

“Abusive and Traumatizing Statements to Children and Restraining Orders”

“Abusive and Traumatizing Statements to Children and Restraining Orders” One of the hardest things for a judge to control in a family law case is statements from one parent to the children that are inappropriate. It is very hard to police on a daily level, and oftentimes the only way to know what is being said is through the children themselves, which means minor’s counsel is necessary. The...

“Why Social Media Is So Dangerous In Family Law Cases”

“Why Social Media Is So Dangerous In Family Law Cases” Video link: https://youtu.be/T5z3bgoy7gE Social media is a major part of people’s lives these days—it can even be hard to stay connected to family and friends without it. It can also be very dangerous to you in a family law case. How can something that is so useful and connecting so bad in family law cases? THE KIND OF POSTS MADE: The first...

“Is Mental Abuse Enough For A Restraining Order?”

“Is Mental Abuse Enough For A Restraining Order?” What conduct is sufficient to support the issuance of a restraining order is a matter that has been discussed, over and over, and which is subject to continual changes in the law of many states, including California. The California Court of Appeals took up the issue in the case of Rodriguez v. Menjivar (2015) 243 Cal.App.4th 816. In this case,...

“What Is A Putative Marriage?”

“What Is A Putative Marriage?” A putative marriage is a term used in California to refer to people where at least one person thought they were married, but the marriage is legally void for some reason. It most commonly occurs where two people get married, but one person was not legally divorced from a first spouse. This is actually more common than you might think. When the person who is not at...

“My Child Is Struggling In School. Can My Ex Change Custody?”

“My Child Is Struggling In School. Can My Ex Change Custody?” School struggles are common for children going through a family split. It is generally accepted that there may be a temporary drop in grades as things settle down. However, there are times when custody has been set, and a child continues to fail to do well in school. In these cases, the court will often get involved to help. In most...

“My Ex Immediately Starting Dating Someone With Kids—Is That OK?”

“My Ex Immediately Starting Dating Someone With Kids—Is That OK?” In a perfect world, people who have separated would finish their court case, take some time to re-group, and only begin dating again in a careful manner that does not create stress on their kids. In reality, people often go right from one relationship into another, including sometimes moving in immediately with another person....

“Can My Disability Income Be Used To Calculate Child Support?”

“Can My Disability Income Be Used To Calculate Child Support?” The answer to this question depends on one factor: is the disability income coming from a private company (such as a work-based disability program or private insurance) or a need-based public benefit, such as social security disability? California Family Code Section 4058 outlines what is income for child support, and it includes...

“Can Financial Help From My Parents Be Counted As Part Of My Income For Child Support?”

“Can Financial Help From My Parents Be Counted As Part Of My Income For Child Support?” It is not unusual for parties in a separation or divorce to have to get help from family. Sometimes this comes in the form of monthly payments, or free rent, or help with food or car payments. This is often more a matter of necessity, rather than convenience. A 2009 California case from the Sixth District...