Swanson O’Dell

From The blog

“My Ex Didn’t Respond To My Divorce Petition: What Next?”

“My Ex Didn’t Respond To My Divorce Petition: What Next?” In California, after normal service of a Petition and Summons, an opposing party has thirty (30) days to file a Response. (There are slightly different rules for situations where someone is sub-served at their address, but those cases are less common.) If a Response is not filed, your case will not automatically progress to judgment and...

“Does California Have Stepparent Visitation Rights?”

“Does California Have Stepparent Visitation Rights?” In the past, the answer to this question has been no. However, under the new Family Code Section 3100 et. seq. rules, there can be a right of stepparent visitation with VERY significant limitations. First, there must be a showing that the visitation would be in the best interest of the child. Second, the of Troxel v. Granville (2000) 530 U.S....

“Can My Ex Have A New Partner Talk To Me About Our Kids?”

“Can My Ex Have A New Partner Talk To Me About Our Kids?” One of the most touchy areas in a family law case can be when one parent has a new partner who becomes part of the communication and parenting process. In a perfect situation, this can be a good thing: a step-parent can help with communication, transportation, and providing a stable home environment. I have seen quite a few situations...

“When Can Parental Rights Be Terminated In A Family Law Case?”

“When Can Parental Rights Be Terminated In A Family Law Case?” An unfortunately common situation arises when one parent has not been present in a minor’s life for a long period of time, and the custodial parent wishes to terminate parental rights. There can be good reasons for doing this, such as the stability of the minor who deserves better than to have a parent coming in and out of their life...

“Does California Have Grandparent Visitation Rights?”

“Does California Have Grandparent Visitation Rights?” Grandparent visitation rights are one of the most complicated and hotly contested areas of California family law. The short answer is that yes, such rights exist, but that there are limitations and restrictions and the law has changed several times in the recent past. The rules for visitation are found Family Code Sections 3100 through 3105....

“My Ex Is In A New Relationship: Is It Okay To Have That Person Around Our Children?”

“My Ex Is In A New Relationship: Is It Okay To Have That Person Around Our Children?” This is one of the thorniest issues in family law. Not only do new partners tend to inflame feelings and disputes over parenting and other issues, but they can also create problems for the children during visitations and custodial time. The general rule is that the court will not interfere with the introduction...

“Do Juvenile Court Orders Override Family Law Orders?”

“Do Juvenile Court Orders Override Family Law Orders?” Yes, they do. In fact, there is a hierarchy of jurisdiction regarding orders about children. If there is a juvenile court order and a currently open juvenile case for dependency, the juvenile court has jurisdiction and authority over the orders---family or guardianship (probate) orders will be overridden and superceded by the juvenile court...

“Can Child Support Services Suspend My Driver’s License?”

“Can Child Support Services Suspend My Driver’s License?” People fall behind in child support for a variety of reasons, and any past due support is considered arrears, which accrues interest at 10% per year. If the Department of Child Support Services is collecting the support, they have quite a few options to collect the arrears. They may: *Garnish your wages for more than your monthly support...

“Does Holiday Visitation Replace The Normal Visitation Schedule?”

“Does Holiday Visitation Replace The Normal Visitation Schedule?” A common problem with visitation orders is interpreting the holiday visitation schedules. Sometimes the questions are simple, such as “during holiday visitation, do I still get my weekend visitation,” and sometimes they are more complicated, such as “if the holiday visitation ends partway through a weekend visitation, who gets the...

“Can A Court Order Payment of Child Support For A Child Who Is Over 18, But Is Disabled?”

“Can A Court Order Payment of Child Support For A Child Who Is Over 18, But Is Disabled?” In California, the answer is yes. Family Code Section 3910 provides that both parents are equally responsible for supporting a child who is disabled and cannot afford to provide of him or herself. In practicality this can present some problems. Is the child disabled enough to not be able to support...