4 questions to ask before hiring a mediator

Posted March 8, 2016 in Family Law by Michael Lonich.

Blog

March 8, 2016
4 questions to ask before hiring a mediator
Read more »

 

Mediation can be very helpful for spouses going through a divorce. Ensuring a successful mediation requires choosing the right mediator. Before deciding to work with a mediator, parties may consider speaking to those who have worked with him or her in the past. Below are a few suggested questions to ask those who have worked with the mediator:

1.Did the mediator develop a relationship of trust and confidence with you?

2.Was the mediator patient yet tenacious?

3. Would you hire this mediator again?

4.Was the mediator creative?

Sometimes our issues don’t have an easy solution. For example, deciding a custody holiday schedule or deciding who will keep the marital home, can make it difficult to reach an agreement. Hire a mediator that you know is prepared to deal with these complex issues.

While divorce mediation works in many situations, it is not always appropriate. Litigation is often the best option in situations where there is domestic violence, one party refuses to cooperate in making required disclosures, or communication between the parties is impossible. If you have any questions about divorce mediation and would like to speak to an attorney, please contact Lonich & Patton for further information.  Keep in mind 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.pon.harvard.edu/daily/mediation/hiring-a-mediator-a-checklist/?mqsc=W3826827&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=PON%20Harvard+Neg%20Insider%20%28Tuesday/Thursday%29%20Standard%20Rule+Neg%20Insider%20%28Tuesday/Thursday%29%20Standard%20Rule&utm_campaign=Neg_WIR_02202016

This article has no comment.

Share |

3 requirements for a successful mediation

Posted March 7, 2016 in Family Law by Michael Lonich.

Mediation allows parties to work in a collaborative environment and reach an agreement satisfying to both sides. The enclosed article suggests mediation as a first step in solving problems and reaching voluntary agreements. Instead of using mediation as a last resort, the article recommends using it as the first step to work out solutions. In particular, using mediation, a less formal alternative than court, makes it less likely that parties will react defensively or overstate their claims. Although the article discusses mediation in a business context, the following three suggested requirements for a successful mediation also serve well in divorce mediation:

(1) a willingness on the part of all the relevant parties to work together to resolve the problem or deal with the situation;

(2) the availability of a trusted “neutral” with sufficient knowledge and skill to manage difficult conversations; and

(3) an agreement on procedural ground rules (i.e., confidentiality, timetable, agenda, good faith effort, etc.)

While divorce mediation works in many situations, it is not always appropriate. Litigation is often the best option in situations where there is domestic violence, one party refuses to cooperate in making required disclosures, or communication between the parties is impossible. If you have any questions about divorce mediation and would like to speak to an attorney, please contact Lonich & Patton for further information.  Keep in mind 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.pon.harvard.edu/daily/mediation/mediation-as-problem-solving/?mqsc=W3827538&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=PON%20Harvard+Neg%20Insider%20%28Tuesday/Thursday%29%20Standard%20Rule+Neg%20Insider%20%28Tuesday/Thursday%29%20Standard%20Rule&utm_campaign=Neg_WIR_02272016

This article has no comment.

Share |

Uncovering hidden assets during a divorce

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

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

 

This article has no comment.

Share |

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)

This article has no comment.

Share |

What happens to the children after a split when you are not married?

Posted January 21, 2016 in Family Law by Michael Lonich.

The Kardashians always seem to be in the news. While the Kardashians are widely known for their expensive lifestyle and new fashion trends, Kourtney Kardashian was all over the news after her split with Scott Disick. Kourtney and Scott were together for about 9 years and have 3 children (Mason, 6, Penelope, 3, and Reign, 1]). However, while there seems to be no issue with Kourtney keeping the kids, what happens to the children after a split when you are not married?

The concept of a “common law marriage” no longer exists in California. Thus, simply living together does not give rise to a “marriage” or other legal marriage-like union under California law. This means that a non-marital cohabiting relationship does not give rise to “spousal-type” rights, obligations or remedies (except under certain circumstances in an invalid marriage, a “putative spouse” or under a Marvin claim, where non-marital partners have the right to enforce expressed or implied agreements for support or property sharing in the event of a separation).

However, there are certain family statutory rights and obligations that arise regardless of there being a formal marriage. Child support, for example, is a statuary duty to support minor children (and certain adult children) imposed on the parents regardless of them having ever been married.  California Family Code § 3900 provides that both the father and mother of a minor child have an equal responsibility to support their child. This duty continues until the unmarried child completes the 12th grade or attains the age of 18, whichever occurs first. However, the law does not limit the rights of parents to agree to provide additional support. A child support obligation between non-marital cohabiting parents is enforceable either through a parentage action or other action under the Family Code. Similarly, non-marital cohabiting partners have custody and visitation rights similarly to those formally married.

If you have any questions about child support or child custody, 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.

This article has no comment.

Share |
Phone:
408.553.0801
Address:
1871 The Alameda, Suite 475
San Jose, CA 95126
Email:
contact@lonichandpatton.com