“Even his opponent called him an ‘excellent family lawyer’”- AVVO reviewer

Posted March 7, 2016 in Firm News by Lonich and Patton.

Mitchell Ehrlich is a partner and certified family law specialist at Lonich and Patton. He practices exclusively in the firm’s family law practice handling a wide variety of complex family law issues.

Mitchell is very aware of the fact that he practices in a field in which, quite often, his clients and their children are in the midst of an emotionally stressful and financially difficult situation, where their futures seem uncertain and making decisions can be difficult. Accordingly, he endeavors to offer his clients his valuable experience, counsel and advice in not only the many complicated legal issues they face, but also the short term and long term impacts of their decisions on their families.

One AVVO reviewer stated the following: “If you are looking for an elite, top of the class family lawyer, try Mitchell Ehrlich in Lonich & Patton San Jose. My husband hired one of the most aggressive law firms and kidnapped our daughter to start a divorce. Most lawyers didn’t want to deal w/ that notoriously aggressive law firm. Mitch was not intimidated by them at all . . . I’m forever grateful for Mitch getting the justice done. Mitch seems to also have a strong network in the legal community in Santa Clara County and is familiar w/ other lawyers and judges. He is well known for his knowledge in family law and even his opponent called him an “excellent family lawyer.”

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.

http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/95126-ca-mitchell-ehrlich-39856/reviews.html

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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

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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

 

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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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How to protect your assets, even if you didn’t win the billion dollar powerball

Posted January 25, 2016 in Estate Planning, Probate by Michael Lonich.

After the historical $1.5 billion jackpot was finally won, it is time for many of us to consider how to protect our assets during our lifetime and after. Although winning the lottery may not be something we will experience, many of us do have valuable assets that we would like to protect when we are gone.  Therefore, this year it might be time to give your estate plan a review.

An important tool in estate planning to consider is the living trust (also called a revocable living trust). In its simplest form, a living trust is a written agreement which sets forth what happens to your assets in the event of your death.  One of the greatest advantages of a living trust is that it protects your estate from the probate process, which can be time consuming and expensive. And while a living trust is primarily used as a convenient and efficient way to distribute your assets upon death, you still maintain control over all your assets during your lifetime. Therefore you can alter, add or revoke the living trust at any time for any reason.

In many situations, a trust is the best way to achieve your goals. With a trust you can:

  • Avoid probate
  • Provide for your care should you no longer be able to handle your own affairs
  • Provide for children from a previous marriage
  • Hold money for minors and ensure they cannot spend it all the minute they come of age
  • Protect assets from creditors and former spouses
  • Benefit family and charity through one mean

Probate, on the other hand, is the process the court utilizes to manage the affairs of a decedent’s estate. In contrast to a living trust, the probate process, in most metropolitan areas in California, can take about 6- 18 months. This delay creates additional expenses that can consume 3% to 6% or more of the gross value of the probate estate.

At Lonich & Patton, our estate planning attorneys don’t believe in offering services that are “one size fits all.” We understand that each family has particular needs and concerns, and we can customize our estate planning services to meet these specific needs and ensure that your long term wishes are carried out. If you are interested in nonprobate transfers or have any questions regarding your current estate plan, please contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Lonich & Patton for further information. The attorneys at Lonich & Patton have decades of experience handling complex estate planning matters, including nonprobate transfers, and we are happy to offer you a free consultation. 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 detail general legal issues, it is not legal advice.  Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Source:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2012/01/04/make-a-new-years-resolution-to-give-your-estate-plan-a-checkup-2/#2715e4857a0b7be8584f7cf0

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