Free 30-Minute Family Law or Estate Planning Consultation
LONICH PATTON EHRLICH POLICASTRI
1871 The Alameda, Suite 400, San Jose, CA 95126
Phone: (408) 553-0801 | Fax: (408) 553-0807 | Email: email@example.com
Located in San Jose, Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri handles matters for clients in northern California, specifically San Jose and Silicon Valley. Our services are available to anyone within the following counties: Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito. For a full listing of areas where we practice, please click here.
This web site is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Nothing in the site is to be considered as either creating an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri or as rendering of legal advice for any specific matter. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. No client or other reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information contained in Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri Web site without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue.
What is an ex parte custody order?/in Family Law /by Virginia Lively
When a couple is getting a divorce, important decisions can become complicated, especially if there are children involved. Child custody requires extensive planning and forethought. In a typical child custody case, the courts look into a variety of things regarding both parents in order to make a decision that is focused on what is best for the child (or children). Both parents are involved in making this decision. However, there is a circumstance known as an ex parte custody order, which allows for court proceedings involving only one parent or guardian to take place without notifying the other.
What is an ex parte custody order?
An ex parte custody order happens when one parent files a legal document with the court in order to get custody of the child, without notifying the other parent of what is happening. Ex parte requests are reserved for imminent and dire emergencies. Some examples of what the courts consider an emergency are situations where the child is at risk of being abducted by the other parent or is suffering from mental or physical abuse. Requesting an ex parte custody order essentially means you formally ask the judge to make a decision immediately, regardless of the other cases the judge had scheduled for that day. Ex parte requests should be reserved for the most utmost emergencies, where the well being of the child is in real danger. If you are confident that the situation requires immediate action and an ex parte custody order is the course of action you need to take, then you need to make sure your homework is done so you can act swiftly and efficiently.
What to do before, during, and after the hearing.
In an average child custody case, both parties are aware of the court date and all of the details. In an ex parte case, one party files the required documents known as “pleadings”, with the assistance of an attorney. The most crucial part of this step is to make sure you have an attorney well versed in family law and knowledgeable on ex parte cases. Since courts in the same state can be very different from one another, make sure your attorney is familiar with the specific court you will be appearing at. Doing your homework is vital. When you arrive at court, sometimes they will have already made a decision based on your pleadings alone. Occasionally, they will want to hear an oral argument from the petitioning party. After the hearing, the ruling will be made in writing.
Here at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, we understand the importance of settling child custody cases amicably. We have a strong reputation in San Jose and Santa Clara when it comes to helping families with custody cases of all kinds. Contact us today at 408-553-0801 or fill out the form here for a free 30 minute consultation, and allow one of our experienced attorneys to help guide you in the next steps to take for your family.
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.
Can I Sue My Spouse For Cheating On Me?/in Family Law /by Gretchen Boger
Infidelity can be extremely emotionally draining and stressful. If your spouse cheated on you, you may be wondering if, as the injured party, you have any legal recourse to receive compensation for your pain. Although somewhat complicated, there are a few circumstances in which you might be able to bring a civil case against a cheating spouse.
Alienation of Affection
When a third party interferes in a loving relationship between a husband and wife, some states allow what is known as an alienation of affection lawsuit. Usually, this type of claim is filed against the third party, rather than against the spouse, however. Filing an alienation of affection lawsuit requires proof that your marriage was a happy and loving one and that the third party intentionally destroyed your marriage. Unfortunately, only a handful of states still recognize this type of lawsuit, and California is not one of them.
Infliction of Emotional Distress
In California, victims who have suffered emotional anguish as the result of someone else’s actions can sometimes sue for either Negligent or Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED or IIED lawsuits). Although adultery can certainly cause significant emotional distress, you should carefully consider what this type of lawsuit entails, including:
Unless you think you have a very strong case or stand to recoup a large amount of financial compensation from your spouse, filing an NIED or IIED lawsuit may cost more time and money than its worth.
How Infidelity Affects Divorce in California
Whether or not you choose to pursue a civil claim against your spouse for an extramarital affair, you might also be considering divorce. Since California is a no-fault divorce state, you would most likely cite irreconcilable differences, rather than adultery, as the reason for your divorce.
Although the California family court system does not usually take infidelity into account in divorce proceedings, there are certain cases where it can affect custody agreements or spousal support. Also, if your spouse spent marital assets on their affair (e.g., expensive gifts, luxury vacations, or hotel stays), the judge will likely require them to reimburse you for those assets during the division of your marital estate.
Facing Infidelity? We Will Fight For You
Our team at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri has decades of experience dealing with complicated divorce cases in California. We understand the toll that extramarital affairs take, and we work hard to protect your rights and make sure you understand all your options. Call us today at (408) 553-0801 to set up a 30-minute free consultation with our family law experts.
Estate Planning: The Difference Between Revocable vs Irrevocable Living Trusts/in Estate Planning /by Michael Lonich
You have worked hard to get where you are in life. Maybe you started a business, own a home and property, or have made wise investments. As you think about the future, it’s important to decide how you want those assets distributed and to make a plan to ensure those decisions are implemented. Sometimes people choose to establish a living trust, which is a written, legal document that helps protect your assets while you are still alive and provide for your family after your death. Essentially, you put your assets into a trust and assign a trustee (which can be yourself) to manage the trust property and administer your estate for your benefit during your lifetime and to manage the distribution of those assets after your death.
Although there are several benefits to having a living trust, arguably the most important is that you will protect your estate from the probate process, which can take over a year and incur significant legal fees. A living trust, on the other hand, can usually be settled within weeks. Other advantages include avoiding the probate process in other states if you own out of state property and providing the opportunity for a trusted family member or friend to manage the trust if you become incapacitated. In addition, some individuals choose living trusts because they are more difficult to contest than a standard will.
What assets should be in a living trust?
Generally speaking, you will want to include several different types of assets in your living trust, including:
Revocable vs. Irrevocable Living Trust
There are two types of living trusts – revocable and irrevocable. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. The main differences between revocable and irrevocable living trust are:
We Can Help You Protect Your Family’s Future
Estate planning is one of the most important things you can do to protect your loved ones and ensure your long term wishes are carried out. If you’re wondering whether a revocable or irrevocable living trust is right for you, or have other questions about estate planning, our attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri can help. Please call us today at (408) 553-0801 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation and discuss how our estate planning attorneys can customize our services to your unique situation and needs.
How To Contest Paternity In California/in Family Law /by David Patton
When a man is listed on a child’s birth certificate as the father but later learns that he is not the biological father, he may want to contest paternity. In California, specific steps must be taken to do this. If you are considering contesting paternity, it is essential to understand the process and what will be required of you.
In this blog post, we will discuss the process for contesting paternity in California and provide tips on ensuring your case has the best chance of success.
Why Someone May Want to Contest Paternity
Paternity is a legal term used to refer to the state of being a father for a particular child. In California, it can be established through various means. First and foremost, if the mother of the child is married at the time she gave birth, then her husband is presumed to be the father.
If the mother is unmarried, then legal paternity can be established by signing a voluntary declaration of paternity.
Paternity may be contested in California for several reasons, such as when a man is surprised to learn that he is legally the father of a child or if there are questions about the validity of a previous paternity test. In addition, if either party is not satisfied with the results of a DNA test performed during a paternity suit and believes it was done incorrectly or was tampered with, they may file an objection and contest paternity.
Another ground on which a man can contest his paternity is if he is married to the mother and can prove he is sterile or impotent.
Additionally, suppose a man has signed an affidavit acknowledging paternity or a voluntary declaration of paternity and filed it with the Department of Child Support Services or a court. In that case, he may contest this declaration within 60 days of signing it. Alternatively, he may challenge it at any time if there was fraud, duress, or mistakes related to his execution of the acknowledgment or declaration.
How Long Do You Have to Contest Paternity?
If a man has been served with a Summons and Complaint Regarding Parental Obligation from the local child support agency, he has 30 days to respond.
The first step is to fill out the Answer to Complaint or Supplemental Complaint Regarding Parental Obligations form. The man can ask for genetic testing to determine paternity on the form.
In other cases, one parent may file a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship Services, and the other person has 30 days to respond to the petition. If the man is disputing his paternity, then it becomes a contested case.
Contesting Paternity Is a Complicated Process
If you have reason to believe you are not a child’s father, it is vital to take action and contest paternity. The first step is to contact us for a free consultation by calling 408-553-0801. Our experienced family law attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri can help guide you through the process and work with you to build a case.
What to Know Before Signing a Postnuptial Agreement/in Family Law /by Virginia Lively
Most people have heard of a prenuptial agreement, which is a legal agreement signed by a couple before marriage that establishes rules for the division of the couple’s assets and debts in cases of divorce. Postnuptial agreements provide the same financial protection but are negotiated and signed after a couple is already married. Although it can be uncomfortable to talk about money or to consider the potential dissolution of your marriage, if you think about marriage as a long-term partnership, it makes sense to discuss appropriate and fair protection of each party’s assets for the future in the same way that you would for other relationships such as business partnerships.
When to Initiate a Postnuptial Agreement
Certain life changes or situations might come up where it’s in your best interest to think about a postnuptial agreement to alleviate uncertainty about your financial future. In fact, if you have a prenuptial agreement in place but some circumstances have changed, you might use a postnuptial agreement to modify your prenuptial agreement.
If either spouse’s finances significantly increase or decrease, it’s a good time to initiate a postnuptial agreement. For instance, one spouse might inherit family money or property and want to make sure his children from a previous relationship receive those assets. Or a spouse who decides to start a business might want a postnuptial agreement in place to protect the rights and interests of business partners or profit sharers. Postnuptial agreements can also shield you from being held responsible if your spouse begins to accrue appreciable amounts of debt through unwise investments or lavish spending.
Combining finances can be one of the most difficult parts of any marriage. Some couples enter marriage without being aware of the debts or financial difficulties of their spouse. Infidelity or other marital issues can also cause stress in a marriage. A postnuptial agreement can provide some security to both parties, allowing them time to work on their marital issues without the added worry about finances. If divorce becomes inevitable, having a postnuptial agreement already in place ensures both parties’ assets are protected and can make the divorce process smoother.
What to Include
When preparing to enter into a postnuptial agreement, both parties must disclose all current assets and debts. Although postnuptial agreements are as individual and unique as each couple, they most often include instructions for how to distribute:
Get Help Drafting an Effective Postnuptial Agreement
In California, postnuptial agreements have to meet several requirements to be considered legally enforceable, including that they must be:
Unfortunately, a California court might declare a poorly written agreement with vague or ambiguous language invalid, thus putting both spouses’ desires in jeopardy. To ensure that your postnuptial agreement is legally binding and will withstand a family court judge’s review, you should work with an experienced attorney.
At Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, our attorneys specialize in drafting effective postnuptial agreements that help protect your interests, using direct and detailed language. If you have questions about postnuptial agreements or want to discuss your specific situation, give us a call today at (408) 553-0801 to set up a free consultation. We have decades of experience navigating the complex landscape of family law and welcome the opportunity to discuss your options to successfully protect your financial future.