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Posts Tagged ‘Family Law’

Definition:  RFO is short for Request for Order.   This hearing is used to establish interim orders pending a full trial on your divorce and is unique to California Family Law.  These hearings will have different names in different states.   Previously these hearings were referred to as “OSC”s or Order to Show Causes, which were posted earlier before the name change.  RFO’s establish orders relating to custody, visitation, child and spousal support, and attorney fees, among other issues.

Effect:  While these hearings are used for interim orders, if you are served with an RFO do not take the hearing lightly.    Since it is difficult to obtain a trial date which can be months or even years out, the hearing can set the tone of the case for several months or years.   Once the Orders are entered they can be difficult to renegotiate or change.   Prepare a Response to the RFO immediately on the appropriate Judicial Council forms or hire an attorney.

(c)2014

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Jurisdiction is a very complicated legal issue.  The concept of jurisdiction is taught over the course of year during the first year of law school and there are several types of jurisdiction.  There is jurisdiction over the person, jurisdiction over the property and jurisdiction over subject matter.  In more simple terms, think of jurisdiction as an agenda for what will happen in court.   If jurisdiction stood for an agenda for a meeting, it would be who is invited to the meeting.  What will be the topics to be discussed, and who will be making the decision.   For example, if the Judge mentions that he has no jurisdiction to make a spousal support order, it MAY mean that someone did not plead (or in California check the box) for spousal support to place spousal support on the court’s agenda.  This is a very simple explanation of jurisdiction.  If your case has jurisdiction problems being raised you should consult a lawyer immediately.

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Definition: Arrears, sometimes referred to as “Support Arrears or Arrearage” accumulates after a court order is entered for child and/or spousal support.  Arrears accumulate from the date of the court order (may be made retroactive to the date the filing for the hearing) to the date the order is modified or terminated.

Effect: Support Arrears are the darling of the legislature on both sides of the aisle and many laws abound on this subject.  In California, post judgment interest on support arrears accumulates at 10 percent per annum and child support arrears have additional penalties on top of the post judgment interest.  Do not rely on oral agreements with your spouse regarding support reductions or support suspension, the oral agreements are only as good as your former spouse is happy with you.  Once the working relationship sours, and you have no evidence of your agreement, you will find yourself facing the dreaded arrears.

All information displayed in this blog posting is the property of Sullivan & Guzman APC, and cannot be re-used without prior approval of the author.

http://www.sullivanandguzman.com

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Definition: A Subpoena is a command to appear at a certain time and date to give testimony.  You can be subpoenaed to a court hearing/trial or you can be subpoenaed to a deposition in a private attorney’s office.   If you are requested to bring documents with you, the subpoena is called a Subpoena Duces Tecum.

Effect: Your testimony, at court or in a private attorneys office, will be given under penalty of perjury.  Subpoenas are used most frequently for witnesses, or non party participants, such as percipient witnesses to events or experts.  Generally, parties are issued Notices of Depositions.  If you should receive a subpoena for a hearing or deposition, you should consult an attorney before appearing for the hearing or deposition.  Your testimony will be recorded by a court reporter in a deposition or by the court reported inside the courtroom.  Often unwittingly, witnesses will testify to a fact which is later used against them in other proceedings.  I have often felt that Subpoenas should be issued with their own version of a Miranda warning.

All information displayed in this blog posting is the property of Sullivan & Guzman APC, and cannot be re-used without prior approval of the author.

http://www.sullivanandguzman.com

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Definition: The acronym for “Emergency Protective Order” is EPO which is an order issued by Judge after speaking with responding police officers on site.

Effect: An EPO is a restraining order issued to protect against further domestic violence. The duration of the order is until the purported victim can make a court appearance for Domestic Violence Orders in court, usually 24 -48 hours.

All information displayed in this blog posting is the property of Sullivan & Guzman APC, and cannot be re-used without prior approval of the author.

http://www.sullivanandguzman.com

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Definition: De Novo is Latin Term meaning anew or afresh.  It is generally used when there is a second hearing or trial and you pretend that the first hearing or trial never occurred.  De Novo hearings can be ordered by the Court or agreed to by the parties.

Effect: In family law proceedings, a “de novo” hearing can be a very good idea for custody proceedings.  It gives a family a chance to try out a visitation schedule and see how the children react to the schedule and how the schedule works for both parents.  The downside is that you prepare for two hearings or trials which are how family law proceedings become very expensive in terms of attorney fees.

All information displayed in this blog posting is the property of Sullivan & Guzman APC, and cannot be re-used without prior approval of the author.

http://www.sullivanandguzman.com

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Definition: Discovery is a term standing for the process of obtaining information about any type of case.  There are many discovery tools, such as Interrogatories, Depositions, Requests for Production of Documents; Subpoenas and Requests for Admissions.

Effect: This is often the most expensive and least productive part of any divorce case.  If you were in the dark on family finances, this is the price you will pay for being in the dark during your marriage.  Each one of these tools when implemented will generate thousands of dollars in your own attorneys time, and not just for the preparation of the documents.  Attorneys are responsible for analyzing the information that is obtained for discovery.  Attorneys are obligated to investigate the facts of the case, but sit down with your attorney and find out what will yield the most effective results.  Prior to initiating, discovery come up with a plan with your attorney.  For example, if you don’t think your spouse will be forthright with information and documents, don’t waste your time and money on written interrogatories, send out to subpoenas to banks immediately and obtain the reliable information directly from the bank.  Relieve your attorney from issuing all forms of discovery and come up with a strategic and effective discovery plan.

All information displayed in this blog posting is the property of Sullivan & Guzman APC, and cannot be re-used without prior approval of the author.

http://www.sullivanandguzman.com

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