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Offering divorce and family law options to fit
your needs, and focused on reducing the emotional
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January 2014 Archives

Filing Motions and Presenting Evidence in Sacramento County

A significant part of a Sacramento County Family law case is preparing a motion before the judge and presenting evidence to the judge at your Family Law hearing. Parties in Sacramento County Family Law cases cannot reserve a court date before the judge unless one or both parties files a motion requesting court action. When one party files a motion, they must file it and personally serve it on the other party within 16 business days (court days) of the hearing date. If the filing party fails to do this, the Sacramento Family Law court could decline to hear the matter, drop the matter, or continue the matter to a future date. The party responding to the motion must file and personally serve a response within 9 business days. If the responding party fails to do this, the Sacramento Family Law court could proceed without reading or hearing their side of the case.

Valuing Your Property in a Placer County Divorce

In many Placer County divorces, the parties have items of community property that are harder to value, much less divide. Typical examples are homes, vehicles, and businesses, though it can be other assets as well. In many cases, the parties disagree over the value of community property and the only way to resolve the differences is to have the asset appraised by a neutral party. It is appropriate for each party to hire an appraiser to establish a professional opinion of the item in question. Since Placer County divorces can be expensive, it may be beneficial for the parties to hire and split the cost of a joint appraiser.

How does Sacramento Family Law Attorney Billing Work?

In almost every Sacramento Family Law firm, attorneys request a legal retainer from a hiring client. A retainer is a sum of funds paid up front (usually in the range of $2,500 - $5,000 but sometimes different amount is requested). The attorney deposits the funds in a special bank account called the attorney/client trust account. The attorney will then perform the requested services in the case and bill from the retainer account based upon the hours (or increments of an hour) of work performed. At the end of the billing period, the attorney will send the client a billing statement itemizing each charge for each task performed, the cost of each task, and the corresponding amount billed from the client's advance retainer. The billing statement shows the client how the attorney has been working on the client's case and how much of the retainer remains in the trust account.

How do I Obtain Needed Documents from My Spouse in my Sacramento Divorce?

In Sacramento Divorces that go to trial, an important part of the pre-trial process is obtaining evidence within the control of the other party. In order to obtain these documents, the requesting party should consult with a Sacramento Family law attorney to conduct legal discovery. Legal discovery includes subpoenas to third party banks or entities who are custodians of the documents. It also includes legal demands (in writing) for categories of documents in the control of the other party. It also includes legal questions (interrogatories) to be answered under oath. It can include subpoenaing the other party or 3rd party witnesses to appear at a deposition in front of a court reporter and to surrender documents at the deposition.

Is Setting my Sacramento County Family Law Case for Trial a Wise Decision?

All Sacramento family law parties are passionate about winning their case in Sacramento County family court. Sometimes this passion is good because it is based upon sound legal reasoning and good factual arguments. Other times this passion is misguided because it is based upon poor legal reasoning and irrelevant emotional arguments. Knowing when to set your Sacramento County Family Law case to trial is a tremendously difficult decision and should be made with the assistance of Sacramento Family Law counsel

Sacramento Contempt of Court in Child Custody Cases

In cases where a parent is violating the Sacramento County Child Custody orders (or any other family court orders) and all other less intrusive legal remedies have failed, the offended parent should consider filing a motion for contempt of court. The Sacramento County Child Custody court will potentially fine or imprison any party they adjudge to be in disobedience of its orders (i.e. contempt of court).

How do I enforce Placer County Custody and Visitation Orders?

In a perfect world, all parties to a Placer County Child Custody case would set aside their personal issues with the other parent and obey the Placer County Family Court's Child Custody orders, even if those orders are undesirable. Unfortunately, there are some parties who refuse to obey the Placer County Child Custody orders, or who will do subtle things to undermine them. These cases can be among the most difficult and tedious in family law.

Sacramento Child Custody and Health, Safety, and Welfare

If you are involved in a Sacramento child custody case, it is important that you understand and prepare to address the critical legal factors affecting the court's decisions regarding child custody.  The Sacramento child custody court is responsible to make child custody orders that are in the child' best interests.  The court is not required to consider the parents best interest, or the best interest of anyone other than the child.  The Sacramento child custody court protects the child's best interest by finding a plan that respects the child's health, safety and welfare.

Can Placer County Parents delegate Child-Watching Responsibilities to Others?

An area of tremendous fighting in Placer County child custody cases between parents and former partners is over whether a significant other, grandparent, or friend can provide childcare. Custody battles in Placer County have centered on this exact issue. Sometimes the underlying issue is the ex-spouse's jealousy that the other spouse has moved on with the new significant other. Sometimes the complaining spouse believes the other spouse is refusing to give them parenting time, and other times it is legitimate concern for the child's well-being.

Placer County Substance Abuse Evaluations, Part 2

Placer County substance abuse evaluations can be very complicated and frustrating in Placer County Family Law cases. The report is one expert witness' description of his/her observations about the parent's use of alcohol or alleged use of drugs. It is not uncommon for parties to feel that the counselor takes a "guilty before proven innocent" approach. In our experience, this impression is often correct because the substance abuse counselor and the court have an obligation to investigate and protect matters that affect the children's best interests. Also, there are significant numbers of alcohol abuse and drug abuse cases present in the Placer County court system.

Placer County Family Law Substance Abuse Evaluations, Part 1

In some conflicted Placer County Child Custody cases, parties raise issues concerning the other parent's abuse of alcohol and/or drugs. If Placer County Family Court Services mediators and the judge are concerned, they may order a substance abuse evaluation with a licensed substance abuse counselor with training in diagnosing substance abuse. The Placer County Family Court is very concerned with this issue because the law requires it to consider the habitual illegal use of controlled substances and habitual use of alcohol in determining which custody arrangement would be in the best interest of the child. The outcome of the substance abuse evaluation will affect the Placer County court's custody decisions.

Will the Sacramento Family Court Order Me to Work?

Yes: the Sacramento Family Court will order able-bodied parties to work if they are not presently working full-time. Parties to a Sacramento divorce or child support action should understand that figuring out child and spousal support responsibilities is a life-changing venture. Often times one spouse was largely responsible for earning income and the other spouse took more day-to-day responsibility for the children. California law calculates child support based upon current day-to-day responsibility (parenting time) for the children and each parent's income. Thus, the parent that is paying support will want the recipient parent to boost their income to full-time earning potential. This income boost should help lower child support obligations for the paying parent.

Setting Aside Placer County Family Law Orders

The Placer County Family Law courts are expected to make accurate and reasonably timely orders so that the parties can receive just results and finality in their case. Unfortunately, the California judicial system is not perfect and courts do make mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes are small and aren't worth addressing. Others are more significant and do require attention. The more serious mistakes can be made by the judge, the clerk, the attorneys, or even the parties themselves.

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Miller & Associates, Attorneys LLP
Miller & Associates, Attorneys LLP
6542 Lonetree Boulevard
Rocklin, CA 95765

Phone: 916-780-0848 
Fax: 916-780-0787
Miller & Associates, Attorneys LLP
2280 E. Bidwell Street, Suite 204
Folsom, CA 95630

Phone: 916-365-4941 
Fax: 916-780-0787

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