Uncovering hidden assets during a divorce

Posted February 29, 2016 in Family Law by Michael Lonich.

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February 29, 2016
Uncovering hidden assets during a divorce
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Divorces can get ugly. Someone who was once your world suddenly becomes your enemy. One area that can get especially messy is property division. One spouse may try to hide assets in hopes of preventing the other spouse from benefiting from them. Although such action can lead to legal consequences, some spouses, nonetheless, attempt to do so.

The first step should be to try to get the information from your spouse. In an ideal world your spouse will be upfront about all the assets. But if your spouse is uncooperative or you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, it is probably best to contact an attorney to guide you through this process. An attorney can assist you in obtaining financial information from your spouse by using the discovery process.

Some of the discovery tools include:

Document demand: Your attorney can ask your spouse to produce financial documents such as bank statements, tax returns, and recent pay stubs.

Interrogatories: This allows your attorney to ask specific questions to which your spouse will have to answer in writing or admit specific statements that you believe are true.

Inspection demands: This allows you to inspect property that you believe may be of value.

Deposition: During a deposition, your spouse will answer questions under oath. You, your spouse, attorneys and a court reporter will be present. Because this is under oath, your spouse may be penalized for “perjury” if it is discovered he has provided false information. Thus, a deposition is a great way to put some pressure on your spouse to tell the truth.

Perhaps the most powerful aspect of discovery is that if your spouse fails to comply with a request, you may ask the court to order your spouse to furnish financial documents. If your spouse still fails to produce the documents or information requested, the court may impose a “sanction” which can result in a judgment against your spouse on a particular issue or a monetary award for you.

If you have any questions about divorce or any other issue, the Certified Family Law Specialists at Lonich & Patton have decades of experience handling complex family law matters. Please contact the Certified Family Law Specialists at Lonich & Patton for further information.  Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results.  While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice.  Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Source: http://www.divorcenet.com/topics/hiding-money-and-assets-a-divorce

 

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Spanking: proper punishment or child abuse?

Posted February 25, 2016 in Family Law by Michael Lonich.

There comes a time for all parents when we must determine how to properly discipline our children. Not only must we choose a punishment that will work, but we must also be mindful of punishment that may be too harsh. In a recent case, the Department of Children and Family services initiated a case against a Los Angeles mother who spanked her children on the buttocks with her bare hand and with a sandal. The Juvenile court found that dependency jurisdiction existed stating that “hitting children with shoes is not a proper form of discipline, and it’s physical abuse.”’

The Court of Appeals, however, found that spanking is not a per se form of abuse. While this case is not an open invitation to spank your child, it does illustrate the court’s adherence to the long standing principle in California that parents have a right to “reasonably discipline his or her child.” But how do we know when our form of punishment is reasonable and not child abuse? The court noted three factors that must be taken into account by a court before making a finding of child abuse, based on spanking or any other form of discipline:

(1) Whether the parent’s conduct is genuinely disciplinary

(2) Whether the punishment is necessary (warranted by the circumstances); and

(3) Whether the amount of punishment was reasonable or excessive.

This standard allows for parents to reasonably discipline their children while protecting children from disguised abuse. Disciplining a child, may therefore be mere punishment or abuse, all depending on the circumstances.

If you have questions about the impact of child abuse allegations in your child custody matter, contact the Certified Family Law Specialists at Lonich & Patton for further information.  Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results.  While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice.  Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Source: http://blogs.findlaw.com/california_case_law/2015/11/spanking-is-not-child-abuse-court-rules.html

IN RE D.M., 242 Cal. App 4th 634 (2d Dist. 2015)

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