Thousands of people move into California each year. Some of these new residents are parents with children who are subject to out-of-state custody orders. When another state’s court establishes a child’s custodial decisions and the child and their parent move into the state, the original order will need to be transferred to California. Therefore, if you have an out-of-state order, you need to know: How do I transfer my out-of-state custody order to California? Continue reading
Category Archives: Uncategorized
How Does Supervised Visitation Work in a California Child Custody Case?
Generally, California law favors parents having equal decision-making authority and time with children. However, there can be circumstances when a parent will have supervised visitation. If you believe that supervised visitation may be an issue in your California child custody case, it’s important that you understand how this type of supervision operates. So, how does supervised visitation work in a California child custody case? Continue reading
Defamation and California Divorce
Divorce can be incredibly stressful, especially when there is high conflict. Under these conditions, it’s not uncommon for one or both parties to strongly express how they feel about the case and each other. However, sometimes angry comments can get out of hand to the point of becoming misleading and inaccurate. Depending on what gets said, these statements may be so false and damaging as to constitute defamation. Here is more on defamation and California divorce. Continue reading
5 Reasons to Get a California Prenup
When you hear the term “prenup” or prenuptial agreement, it may conjure images of extremely wealthy or famous people. However, these legal instruments can also be helpful to people of ordinary means. Therefore, depending on your finances and relationship, having a prenuptial agreement in place before you walk down the aisle may be a good move for you and your future spouse. Here are 5 reasons to get a California Prenup: Continue reading
My ex doesn’t see my kids. Can I terminate their parental rights?
After divorce, there can be circumstances when a parent has the right to see their kids but fails to do so. If your ex is not involved in your kids’ lives, you may think: My ex doesn’t see my kids. Can I terminate their parental rights? Continue reading
What is Community Property?
When a couple goes through a divorce, one of the main issues they will face is how to divide their shared property and funds. During this process, you may hear that your marital assets are considered “community property.” Those unfamiliar with this term may be wondering, what is community property? Here is what you need to know about California divorce and community property: Continue reading
How to Find a Divorce Attorney Who Rocks
Maybe you are considering divorcing your spouse. Maybe you have already decided to end your marriage but don’t know where to go for help. We encourage you to get help, but not just any help. You need the right legal representation, so here are some tips on how to find a divorce attorney who rocks. Continue reading
Can You Legally Snoop on Your Spouse?
Simon felt his wife, Terry, was behaving suspiciously. He felt the strong urge to find out what she was up to, but he wasn’t sure what to do. Simon wondered if you can legally snoop on your spouse. Hopefully, he will check with an attorney before doing anything.
Wiretapping, Eavesdropping, and Surveillance – Oh, My!
Some of the ways you might use to snoop on your spouse include:
- Installing hidden cameras,
- Putting a tracking device on their car,
- Adding keylogging software to electronic devices,
- Accessing private email and bank accounts, and
- Hacking into password-protected devices.
All of these are a terrible idea and could violate a number of laws.
For example, in California, you can put up security cameras around and even in your home. However, audio recordings are prohibited unless all parties give their consent.
More importantly, recording devices cannot be installed where your spouse or other parties have the right to expect privacy.
Right to Privacy in a Marriage
You and your spouse share a home, a bed, and probably at least one bank account. However, you each have the right to keep certain information private. Your spouse is bound by the same surveillance or snooping laws that keep your neighbor from wiretapping your phone.
Grounds Not Required – So Why Snoop on Your Spouse?
You might be tempted to legally snoop on your spouse.
What you find might firm up your decision to file for divorce – while causing a lot more heartbreak. However, not only will the information probably be inadmissible in court, but you don’t even need it. California is a no-fault divorce state, which means you do not need grounds for divorce.
Breaking the Law Hurts You
Depending on what you find, your spouse might not be held accountable for his or her actions. However, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law. When you snoop on your spouse, you could be breaking laws regarding illegal surveillance and the right to privacy.
Anyone else you happen to surveil could be angry enough to press charges if you broke the law. It’s simply better all-around to talk to an experienced California divorce attorney before doing anything. There might be ways to legally investigate your spouse’s activities.
Talk to Us Before Trying to Legally Snoop on Your SpouseThe attorneys at The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are well-versed in divorce and the dissolution of registered domestic partnerships. Judy Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. Please call our offices at 415-293-8314 to set up an appointment with one of our attorneys. We assist clients with divorce matters in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Diego, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.
Legal Separation: When You’re Not Sure About the Split
California LawsEvery state has its own family laws. While some states do not recognize legal separation, California law does allow legal separation of both marriages and registered domestic partnerships. However, the parties will go through a formal court proceeding. To start the process, one spouse files a petition with an appropriate court asking for a legal separation. The other spouse has 30 days to answer the petition for legal separation. After considering issues like child support, custody, property, and spousal support, the court decides whether to allow a legal separation. You may be wondering why a couple would go to the trouble of obtaining a legal separation rather than just getting a divorce.
Marital StatusDuring a legal separation, the parties are still married and so cannot marry anyone else. For some people, this is an advantage.
PropertyAfter a judge approves the legal separation, the “earnings and accumulations of each party are the separate property of the party acquiring the earnings or accumulations.” Separation of earnings may be a compelling reason for some couples to legally separate.
ReligionSome may prefer legal separation to divorce because some religions do not condone divorce. The couple can live apart without breaking religious laws.
ResidencyTo obtain a divorce, either party has to meet California residency requirements:
- At least one spouse must have lived in California for the past six months, AND
- That spouse must have lived in the county where the divorce will be filed for the past three months.
Legal Separation May Be a SolutionOur couple, Brad and Sheila, preferred the legal separation because it gave them time to adjust to the reality of divorce before actually divorcing. At some point, they may choose to convert their legal separation to a divorce or end the separation by reconciling. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced at all phases of legal separations and divorce proceedings. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We maintain offices in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.
Can I Keep My Divorce Records Private?
Divorce is a highly personal experience. Most people would prefer to keep details about their divorce within their circle of friends and family. In California, though, most court proceedings are maintained as a matter of public record. Divorce is no exception, but there may be things you can do to keep at least some of your divorce records private.
Documents filed under what’s called a ‘sealed cover’ are not accessible to the public. Family law documents that include the following information may be filed under a sealed cover:
- Healthcare records;
- Financial records;
- Identifying information about minors; and
- Information about the identity of a victim of domestic or sexual violence.
If your divorce papers include this type of information, consult with your attorney about ensuring the information is filed under sealed cover.
Motion or Application to Seal
Some documents containing embarrassing or highly personal information are not automatically filed under a sealed cover.
To have these records kept confidential, your attorney may file a motion to seal the record. The motion will be served on all parties. The court then may enter an order granting or denying the request. If granted, not only will the records be hidden from the public, but other parties generally will be prohibited from disclosing information they learn from sealed records.
The term ‘redaction’ means marking out sensitive information in a document. Information may be redacted from documents that are public record. Protected data includes social security numbers and financial account information. So, if you must provide information to the court or opposing counsel that includes your bank account numbers, for example, the account numbers can be redacted.
Learn More About Filing for Divorce
In general, you cannot keep all your divorce records private. However, your attorney may be able to get the court to seal records under certain circumstances.The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced at all phases of divorce proceedings. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We maintain offices in San Francisco, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), Roseville, and surrounding communities.