Swanson O’Dell

From The blog

“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...

“What Are My Visitation Exchange Options?”

“What Are My Visitation Exchange Options?” Exchanges can be a difficult part of co-parenting. They can lead to conflict, and sometimes, physical fights. The best interest of the child or children, however, requires that these be as smooth as possible. There are options, which can be put in place either by agreement or court order, for keeping the peace during exchanges. The options, listed from...

“My Ex Accuses Me Of Drinking Around The Children: How Can I Prove That I Am Not?”

“My Ex Accuses Me Of Drinking Around The Children: How Can I Prove That I Am Not?” While courts are aware that reasonable alcohol consumption is common and usually not an issue, there are times when one party alleges that the other is drinking heavily around the children, and that it is affecting their safety. There are several ways for the court to determine what is going on when the two sides...

“Problems With Current Trends In California Domestic Violence Prevention Act Restraining Orders”

“Problems With Current Trends In California Domestic Violence Prevention Act Restraining Orders” Normally I write blogs with information on a specific area of California law. This blog is addressing a different issue---the current trend in California law, both by statute and by appeals court decisions, to make it easier to obtain a domestic violence restraining order, while the consequences of...

“What Are Standard Orders Made In Custody Cases?”

“What Are Standard Orders Made In Custody Cases?” There are certain form orders that are made in family law cases involving custody, and unless there are unusual circumstances, they will be made in all cases. They are meant to make co-parenting easier and to spell out certain things that apply to all cases. Here are some of the most common orders: Non-Disparagement: This means that both parties...

“I Rent A House In A Homeowner’s Association. What Rules Do I Have To Follow?”

“I Rent A House In A Homeowner’s Association. What Rules Do I Have To Follow?” Renting a house in a homeowner’s association (commonly called an HOA) can be a very good experience---the rules ensure that properties are kept up and maintained, and that certain community standards are upheld. However, you should be aware that you, as a renter, are required to follow all of the association’s rules...

“How To Share The Holidays When You Share Custody”

“How To Share The Holidays When You Share Custody” The Holidays should be a time of peace and joy, but they can be a battleground in split-custody situations. There are some situations where the level of conflict is so high that you simply need to have a well-defined holiday schedule put in place by the judge and which is then followed exactly. This is appropriate in cases where one side...

“Dating Advice From A Family Law Attorney”

“Dating Advice From A Family Law Attorney” This is a slightly unusual blog post for me, because I am not going to give legal advice, but rather, personal advice based on seeing thousands of break-ups over the years. If I had to distill my advice into one short saying, it would be “Don’t ignore the signs.” There’s an old song sung by the group Ace of Base called “I Saw The Sign,” and it’s a peppy...