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June 2013 Archives

WHAT IS MANDATORY WAGE ASSIGNMENT?

Claudia Casillas was shocked when she opened her paycheck and found that $35.96 had been withheld under a mandatory wage assignment issued by the state of Arizona. The California woman claims to have only one child, now 20 years old. It turned out that the state of Arizona somehow made a mistake when it garnished her wages for child support. The matter was investigated by a local TV station in Arizona and was eventually resolved.

UNACCOMPANIED MINORS -- MANAGING TRAVEL FOR VISITATION

As air travel makes the world smaller, an increasing number of children with divorced parents fly unaccompanied between their parents' homes. Relocation by one parent may create a need to renegotiate any existing visitation agreement. Your attorney can help you work out a plan for shuttling your minor children between you, but there are several important points you must always keep in mind.

DIVORCE AND THE FAMILY DOG

Emotions often run high when a couple divorces. While the couple is disentangling their lives and shared history, a valued family pet may get enmeshed in the process. Ownership of a pet is most often decided much in the way ownership of other property, like furniture, is decided. However, in a growing number of cities such as San Francisco, pets are considered to be under guardianship, and are therefore subject to a shared custody agreement. Whether a pet should be shared in divorce cases is under active discussion in many courts around the country. This tension has led to the birth of a new area of divorce law called companion animal custody.

LOWERING THE COST OF DIVORCE?

If you are considering divorce you may be wondering if you can afford to get divorced, as well as if you can afford to be divorced. The divorce process can be expensive, but there are ways to keep costs down.

ATTORNEY ETHICS -- FEES, CONSENT AND CONFIDENTIALITY

Every year The American Bar Association (ABA) receives and processes numerous complaints accusing attorneys of unethical practices. The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct covers many of the ethical issues relevant to the practice of law. Attorney ethics are under constant review by individual state bars in addition to the national body. Bar Associations' constant effort, vigilance and sanctions against lawyers who violate these ethical guidelines can be supplemented by a clientele aware of the responsibilities owed them by counsel.

DIVORCE AND CHILD CUSTODY ISSUES IN TRIBAL NATIONS

A February article in the New York Times tells a disturbing story of a woman from the Southern Ute tribe who was married to a white man who beat, raped and ultimately tried to shoot her near their home on a Colorado reservation. Because they were living on tribal land, the local police had no authority to intervene, and because the husband was not a tribe member, tribal police also lacked authority. With no one authorized to arrest the husband on reservation property, the violence continued until the husband eventually opened fire at his wife's workplace.
Jurisdiction issues

ENFORCING SUPPORT ORDERS -- WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

When a couple with children divorces and one party requests child support, then the non-custodial parent is usually ordered to pay child support. Once a child support order is entered, the court issues a child support order. This order delineates the amount of support and timeframe for payment, and is enforceable through several mechanisms.

CAN MEDIATION WORK FOR US?

When a couple decides to divorce and wishes to do so in an amicable, non-contentious manner, the parties may want to consider mediation. A mediator is a neutral third party, such as an attorney who assists the couple in reaching an agreement. In 1998 California legislators revised the California Family Code to accommodate the growing demand for more affordable divorce options. A mediated divorce can be substantially less costly for a couple, if the parties can reach an agreement without ending up in court.

INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE AND RESTRAINING ORDERS

Statistics show that in the United States one in three women and one in four men experience some form of intimate partner violence. The 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey defines intimate partner violence as rape, physical violence, stalking, harassment and other forms of damaging, destructive behavior. Unfortunately, many divorces and legal separations involve threats and accusations of violence. The state of California has instituted a specific legal protocol for dealing with domestic violence and treats every threat of such violence seriously.

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The Law Offices of Steven M. Bishop, Attorney at Law, A California Corporation
591 Camino De La Reina Suite 700
San Diego, CA 92108

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