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California Child Custody Litigation and Practice

Get the information you need at all stages of a custody case, taking into account the changing needs and evolving nature of families.

Get the information you need at all stages of a custody case, taking into account the changing needs and evolving nature of families.

  • Task-oriented guidance for obtaining and enforcing custody and visitation orders
  • Modification, “move-aways,” and the changed circumstances standard
  • Custody evaluations, the use of psychologists and other experts
  • Private and court-ordered mediation; developing parenting plans
  • Enforcement under the UCCJEA and the Hague Convention
  • Discovery, trial preparation and presentation
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Get the information you need at all stages of a custody case, taking into account the changing needs and evolving nature of families.

  • Task-oriented guidance for obtaining and enforcing custody and visitation orders
  • Modification, “move-aways,” and the changed circumstances standard
  • Custody evaluations, the use of psychologists and other experts
  • Private and court-ordered mediation; developing parenting plans
  • Enforcement under the UCCJEA and the Hague Convention
  • Discovery, trial preparation and presentation

1

Overview of Custody and Visitation Litigation

Cheryl Anne Row

  • I.  KEY CONCEPTS IN CUSTODY AND VISITATION LITIGATION
    • A.  Distinction Between “Child Custody” and “Visitation”  1.1
    • B.  Distinction Between “Legal” and “Physical” Custody  1.2
      • 1.  “Legal Custody” Definitions and Checklist
        • a.  Sole Legal Custody  1.3
        • b.  Joint Legal Custody  1.4
        • c.  Legal Custody Checklist  1.5
      • 2.  “Physical Custody” Definitions and Checklist  1.6
        • a.  Sole Physical Custody  1.7
        • b.  Joint Physical Custody  1.8
        • c.  Other “Physical Custody” Terminology  1.9
        • d.  Physical Custody Checklist  1.10
    • C.  Orders for “Visitation”  1.11
  • II.  WHEN CUSTODY OR VISITATION ISSUES MAY ARISE  1.12
    • A.  Dissolution, Legal Separation, or Nullity of Marriage Proceedings  1.13
    • B.  Dissolution, Legal Separation, or Nullity of Domestic Partnership Proceedings  1.14
    • C.  Parentage Actions  1.15
    • D.  Domestic Violence Actions Between Parents  1.16
    • E.  Independent Actions to Establish Child Custody and Visitation Orders  1.17
    • F.  Actions Involving Stepparents  1.18
    • G.  Actions Involving Grandparents  1.19
    • H.  Actions Involving Siblings  1.20
    • I.  Guardianships  1.21
    • J.  Juvenile Dependency Proceedings  1.22
    • K.  Actions to Terminate Parental Rights  1.23
  • III.  WHO MAY REQUEST CHILD CUSTODY OR VISITATION ORDERS  1.24
    • A.  Natural Parents  1.25
    • B.  Adoptive Parents  1.26
    • C.  Presumed Parents  1.27
    • D.  Same-Sex Couples  1.28
    • E.  Effect of Stipulation to Order Pertaining to Child Not “of This Relationship”  1.29
  • IV.  CUSTODY ARRANGEMENTS BEFORE ISSUANCE OF CUSTODY ORDER  1.30
    • A.  Considerations for Client
      • 1.  Avoiding Move Until Court Order Can Be Obtained  1.31
      • 2.  “Birdnesting”  1.32
    • B.  Effect of Law Enforcement Involvement Before Court Order  1.33
  • V.  OBTAINING INITIAL CUSTODY AND VISITATION ORDERS  1.34
    • A.  Effect of Stipulated Parenting Agreements Approved as Court Orders  1.35
      • 1.  Mediation or Parenting Agreements  1.36
      • 2.  Temporary (“Pendente Lite”)  1.37
      • 3.  Permanent (“Stipulation for Judgment on Custody”)  1.38
    • B.  Initial Court Determination of Custody (Pendente Lite Orders for Custody)  1.39
      • 1.  Concepts Applied in Actions Between Undisputed Natural Parents
        • a.  “Status Quo”  1.40
        • b.  “Frequent and Continuing Contact”  1.41
        • c.  “Mini” Best-Interest Test  1.42
        • d.  Other Factors  1.43
      • 2.  Actions Involving Disputed Parental Relationships  1.44
      • 3.  Ex Parte Orders Pending Hearing on Request for Order  1.45
        • a.  Immediate Threat of Violence or Removal of Child From Jurisdiction  1.46
        • b.  Emergency Investigation  1.47
        • c.  Appointment of Minor’s Counsel  1.48
        • d.  Examples of Ex Parte Orders Pending Hearing on Request for Order
          • (1)  No Contact  1.49
          • (2)  Supervised Contact  1.50
          • (3)  Risk of Abduction Order  1.51
      • 4.  Orders Made at Request for Order Hearing That Remain in Effect Until Trial  1.52
      • 5.  Minor’s Counsel  1.53
      • 6.  Custody Evaluation
        • a.  Custody Evaluation Through Local Court  1.54
        • b.  Private Child Custody Evaluator  1.55
        • c.  Considerations in Choice of Evaluation Method  1.56
  • VI.  CUSTODY MODIFICATION PENDING TRIAL  1.57
    • A.  “Change of Circumstances” in General  1.58
    • B.  Move of Parent (or Primary Residence of Child)  1.59
    • C.  Incarceration of Parent  1.60
  • VII.  BASES FOR MAKING PERMANENT CUSTODY ORDERS
    • A.  Need to Determine Child’s “Best Interest”  1.61
    • B.  Prohibited Factors in Determining Best Interest
      • 1.  Parent’s Gender  1.62
      • 2.  Race of Parent  1.63
      • 3.  Sexual Conduct or Preference of Parent  1.64
      • 4.  Religious Practices  1.65
      • 5.  Physical Handicap of Parent  1.66
      • 6.  Disparity in Parental Incomes  1.67
      • 7.  Immigration Status  1.67A
    • C.  Parental Right of Custody Is Subject to Court Intervention  1.68
    • D.  Weight of Child’s Wishes  1.69
    • E.  Weight of Public Policy Goal of Frequent and Continuing Contact With Both Parents  1.70
    • F.  Rights of Third Parties to Impinge on Parent-Child Relationship  1.71

2

Custody and Parent-Child Relationship

Christine N. Donovan

Diane Wasznicky

  • I.  RECOGNITION OF CUSTODY AS FUNDAMENTAL TO PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP  2.1
  • II.  DURATION OF PARENT’S CUSTODIAL SUPERVISION OF CHILD  2.2
  • III.  RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF PARENT WITH PHYSICAL AND LEGAL CUSTODY OF CHILD  2.3
    • A.  Physical Custody
      • 1.  Joint and Sole Physical Custody  2.4
      • 2.  “Primary Physical Custody” Distinguished  2.4A
      • 3.  Related Tax Issue: Claiming Child Tax Credit and Dependency Exemption (Filing Years 2017 and Prior)  2.4B
    • B.  Legal Custody  2.5
  • IV.  CHANGE IN PARENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES WHEN CUSTODY SPLIT OR LIMITED  2.6
  • V.  RIGHT OF STATE TO INTERCEDE IN PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP  2.7
  • VI.  EMANCIPATION OF CHILD BEFORE AGE OF MAJORITY  2.8
  • VII.  ESTABLISHING PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP FOR CUSTODY PURPOSES
    • A.  Introduction  2.9
    • B.  “Child of Marriage” Presumption
      • 1.  Application to Spouses  2.10
      • 2.  Application to Registered Domestic Partners  2.11
    • C.  Paternity
      • 1.  Paternity by Declaration
        • a.  Establishing Paternity by Declaration  2.12
        • b.  Rescinding or Setting Aside Voluntary Declaration of Paternity  2.13
        • c.  Paternity Stipulations in Domestic Violence Proceedings Under Fam C §6323  2.13A
      • 2.  Men Presumed as Fathers Under Uniform Parentage Act  2.14
      • 3.  Men Not Presumed as Fathers Under Uniform Parentage Act  2.15
        • a.  Right of Action if Child Relinquished for Adoption  2.16
        • b.  Action by Alleged Father Who Promptly Seeks Relationship With Child  2.17
        • c.  Other Actions  2.18
        • d.  Same-Sex Domestic Partners  2.19
      • 4.  Setting Aside Judgments of Paternity  2.20
    • D.  Maternity
      • 1.  Application of UPA Presumptions in Maternity Context  2.21
      • 2.  Traditional (Nonsurrogate) Birth Mothers  2.22
      • 3.  Same-Sex Partners of Birth Mothers  2.23
      • 4.  Surrogate Mothers  2.24
    • E.  Parentage Based on Parties’ Intent  2.25
    • F.  Adoption  2.26
    • G.  Child With More Than Two Parents  2.27

3

Initial Assessment of Client and Case

Christopher F. Emley

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Child Custody: A Satisfying Field of Practice  3.1
    • B.  Referring to or Associating Custody Specialists  3.2
  • II.  AVOIDING CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AND INVOLUNTARY RECUSAL
    • A.  Maintaining Adequate Database of Clients  3.3
    • B.  Accepting Minimal and Nonconfidential Information and Using Staff as Insulation  3.4
  • III.  INITIAL MEETING WITH CLIENT
    • A.  Declining Referrals From Friends or Family  3.5
    • B.  Preparing Prospective Client for Interview  3.6
    • C.  Getting to the Truth  3.7
    • D.  Limits on Confidentiality  3.8
    • E.  Suggesting Psychotherapy to Improve Screening or as General Policy  3.9
    • F.  Consulting With Client’s Existing Psychotherapist  3.10
    • G.  Suggesting Reconciliation  3.11
  • IV.  DECIDING WHETHER TO TAKE THE CASE
    • A.  Threshold Questions  3.12
    • B.  Familiarity With Bench Officers  3.13
    • C.  Familiarity With Local Rules and Local Legal Culture  3.14
    • D.  Opposing Counsel and Unrepresented Parties  3.15
    • E.  Danger Signs  3.16
      • 1.  Client Who Had Previous Competent Counsel  3.17
      • 2.  Client Who Invests Counsel With Superhuman Powers  3.18
      • 3.  Client Who Tries to Control Interview  3.19
      • 4.  Client Who Disregards Ethical Duties  3.20
      • 5.  Client Demonizes Other Parent or That Parent’s Attorney  3.21
      • 6.  Client Expresses Desire to Take Revenge on Other Parent  3.22
      • 7.  Client to Whom Attorney Has Trouble Saying “No”  3.23
    • F.  Considering Transference and Countertransference  3.24
      • 1.  Transference  3.25
      • 2.  Countertransference  3.26
    • G.  Importance of Feeling Comfortable With Client  3.27
    • H.  Duty to Child and Self  3.28
  • V.  LIMITING SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION
    • A.  Authority for Limited Representation  3.29
    • B.  Mandatory Forms for Noticed Representation  3.30
    • C.  Maintaining Limited Scope  3.31
  • VI.  CONSIDERING ALTERNATIVES TO TRADITIONAL LITIGATION  3.32
    • A.  Family Centered Case Resolution  3.33
    • B.  Private Mediation  3.34
    • C.  Collaborative Law  3.35
    • D.  Representation Before Private Judge  3.36
  • VII.  NEGOTIATING AND DRAFTING LEGAL SERVICES AGREEMENTS
    • A.  Importance of Good Retainer Agreements  3.37
    • B.  Fixing Amount and Nature of Retainer  3.38
    • C.  Protocols for Negotiating and Executing Retainer Agreements  3.39
  • VIII.  CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRING IMMEDIATE ACTION
    • A.  Measuring Risk of Abduction  3.40
    • B.  Utilizing or Interrupting Status Quo  3.41
    • C.  Timing Considerations  3.42
  • IX.  AVOIDING EARLY DISASTERS
    • A.  Advice Against Self-Help Measures  3.43
    • B.  Advice Regarding Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders  3.44
    • C.  Addressing Allegations of Domestic Violence or Abuse  3.45
  • X.  FORM: SAMPLE CHILD CUSTODY LEGAL SERVICES AGREEMENT  3.46

4

Parenting Plans

Leslie Ellen Shear

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  4.1
    • B.  Overview and Purpose of Parenting Plans  4.2
      • 1.  Checks and Balances  4.3
      • 2.  Detailed Plans  4.4
      • 3.  Collaborative Process With Interdisciplinary Expertise Needed  4.5
      • 4.  Need for Individualized Determinations: One Size Does Not Fit All  4.6
      • 5.  Anticipating Inevitable Need for Change  4.7
      • 6.  Need to Determine Goals of Parenting Plan  4.8
  • II.  DRAFTING PARENTING PLANS
    • A.  Drafting Basics  4.9
    • B.  Preliminary Information and Findings  4.10
      • 1.  Importance of ATROs, Findings, and Statements of Decision  4.10A
      • 2.  Basic Facts: Nature of Proceeding and Order; Identity of Court and Participants  4.11
        • a.  Duration of Order; Triggering Events  4.12
        • b.  Prior Orders  4.13
        • c.  Consequences of Violation  4.14
        • d.  Identification of Parties and Children  4.15
        • e.  Other Identifying Information  4.16
      • 3.  Basis for Exercise of Jurisdiction  4.17
        • a.  Purpose  4.18
        • b.  Content of UCCJEA Findings  4.19
      • 4.  Due Process Findings  4.20
      • 5.  International Custody Jurisdiction Findings  4.21
      • 6.  Abduction Risk Findings  4.22
    • C.  Legal Custody Provisions  4.23
      • 1.  Parental Right of Access to Information  4.24
      • 2.  Information Exchange and Communication Guidelines  4.25
        • a.  “Ex” Etiquette; Civility Guidelines  4.26
        • b.  Importance of Describing Information to Be Exchanged  4.27
        • c.  Communication Methods  4.28
      • 3.  Decision-Making Authority  4.29
        • a.  Importance of Specific Orders  4.30
        • b.  Variations in Level of Authority Based on Type of Legal Custody  4.31
          • (1)  Sole Legal Custody  4.32
          • (2)  Joint Legal Custody  4.33
        • c.  Developing Legal Custody Plan
          • (1)  Allocating Authority  4.34
          • (2)  Factors to Consider  4.35
            • (a)  Quality of Decisions; Ability to Marshal Resources  4.36
            • (b)  Importance of Cooperation and Compromise and Respecting Parental Identity  4.37
            • (c)  Modeling Roles and Shared Decision Making for Children  4.38
            • (d)  Ability to Work Well With Third Parties  4.39
            • (e)  Power Imbalances; Abuses of Power  4.40
            • (f)  Special Issues
              • (i)  Children’s Enrichment Activities  4.41
              • (ii)  Children With Special Needs  4.42
              • (iii)  Religious and Cultural Issues  4.43
              • (iv)  Impasse Resolution  4.44
    • D.  Parenting Schedules (Physical Custody and Visitation) and Related Plan Provisions  4.45
      • 1.  Distinguishing Physical Custody From Visitation  4.46
      • 2.  Restrictions on Visitation  4.47
      • 3.  Physical Responsibility Periods  4.48
      • 4.  Nonparent Custody  4.48A
      • 5.  Geographic Restrictions or Relocation Notice  4.49
      • 6.  Use of Two- or Four-Week Scheduling Charts  4.50
        • a.  Example 1  4.51
        • b.  Example 2  4.52
        • c.  Example 3  4.53
      • 7.  Weekends  4.54
      • 8.  General Factors in Creating Base Schedule and “Step-Ups” in Parenting Time  4.55
      • 9.  Parenting Plan Provisions Related to Base Schedule  4.56
        • a.  Child’s Care in Parent’s Absence  4.57
        • b.  Balancing Care by Parents With Other Experiences  4.58
        • c.  Virtual Parenting Time  4.59
        • d.  Effect of Child’s Illness on Schedule  4.60
        • e.  “Makeup” Time  4.61
        • f.  “Step-Ups” and “Sunset” Provisions  4.62
        • g.  Attendance at Events  4.63
        • h.  Holidays, Vacations, and Other Special Days  4.64
          • (1)  Importance of Context and Planning  4.65
          • (2)  Major and Child-Focused Holidays  4.66
          • (3)  Long Weekends and No-School Days  4.67
          • (4)  Special “Short-Notice” Days  4.68
          • (5)  Vacations and Vacation Travel  4.69
        • i.  Exchanges of Child and Transportation Issues  4.70
          • (1)  School and Day-Care Pickups  4.71
          • (2)  Parent-to-Parent Exchanges and Transport  4.72
          • (3)  Public Neutral Exchange Locations  4.73
          • (4)  Supervised Exchange Centers  4.74
          • (5)  Dealing With Disputes About Exchanges  4.75
          • (6)  Long-Distance Travel  4.76
      • 10.  Prebirth Custody and Visitation Provisions  4.77
      • 11.  Supervised Visitation  4.78
      • 12.  Abduction Prevention Provisions  4.79
      • 13.  Other Parenting Plan Provisions  4.80
        • a.  Support Services; Therapeutic Jurisprudence  4.81
        • b.  Compensation for Nonexercise of Parenting Time or Thwarting Exercise of That Time  4.82
        • c.  Minor’s Counsel  4.83
        • d.  Review and Modification  4.84
  • III.  SELECTED REFERENCES  4.85

5

Jurisdiction to Make Initial Orders

Cheryl Anne Row

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  5.1
  • II.  GENERAL JURISDICTION OVER CHILD CUSTODY MATTERS  5.2
    • A.  Family Court Jurisdiction  5.3
    • B.  Other Courts With Jurisdiction Over Child Custody Issues  5.4
  • III.  APPLICABILITY OF FAMILY CODE TO CUSTODY PROCEEDINGS  5.5
    • A.  Dissolution, Legal Separation, and Nullity Proceedings
      • 1.  Proceedings Involving Spouses  5.6
      • 2.  Proceedings Involving Registered Domestic Partners  5.7
    • B.  Actions for Exclusive Custody Without Bringing Dissolution Proceedings  5.8
    • C.  Actions Under Domestic Violence Prevention Act  5.9
    • D.  Parentage Actions  5.10
    • E.  Support Actions Brought by Public Agency  5.11
  • IV.  LIMITATIONS ON EXERCISE OF CUSTODY JURISDICTION UNDER UCCJEA AND PKPA  5.12
    • A.  Interstate and International Child Custody Disputes  5.13
    • B.  Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)  5.14
      • 1.  Overview of UCCJEA  5.15
      • 2.  Application of UCCJEA  5.16
      • 3.  Conflicts Between Jurisdictions  5.17
      • 4.  Initial Child Custody Jurisdiction  5.18
        • a.  Home State  5.19
        • b.  No Home State; California Has Significant Connection and Substantial Evidence  5.20
        • c.  Other States Deferred to California  5.21
        • d.  No Other State Has Jurisdiction  5.22
        • e.  Emergency Jurisdiction Under UCCJEA  5.23
      • 5.  Declining Exercise of California Court’s Jurisdiction  5.24
        • a.  Inconvenient Forum  5.25
        • b.  Unjustifiable Conduct  5.26
      • 6.  Continuing Jurisdiction  5.27
    • C.  Federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA)  5.28
      • 1.  Overview of PKPA  5.29
      • 2.  Application of PKPA  5.30
  • V.  JURISDICTIONAL ISSUES INVOLVING CUSTODY OF INDIAN CHILDREN  5.31
    • A.  Overview of Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)  5.32
    • B.  Application of ICWA  5.33
      • 1.  Triggering ICWA Rights  5.34
      • 2.  Children Who Qualify as “Indian”  5.35
      • 3.  Determining Tribal Versus State Court Jurisdiction Over Child  5.36
    • C.  Notice of State Court Action to Tribe  5.37
  • VI.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (Judicial Council Form FL-105/GC-120)  5.38
    • B.  Form: Attachment to Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (Judicial Council Form FL-105(A)/GC-120(A))  5.39

6

Application for Temporary Orders

CEB Staff

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  6.1
  • II.  CHOICE OF PROCEEDING
    • A.  Marital Proceedings  6.2
    • B.  Other Proceedings  6.3
    • C.  Domestic Violence Proceedings   6.3A
  • III.  JURISDICTION AND VENUE
    • A.  Jurisdiction  6.4
    • B.  Venue  6.5
  • IV.  TYPES OF TEMPORARY ORDERS
    • A.  Summons Orders (ATROs)  6.6
    • B.  Ex Parte Orders to Address Extraordinary Circumstances  6.7
    • C.  Orders Issued After Hearing  6.8
    • D.  Effect of Parental Agreement  6.9
  • V.  PROCEDURE
    • A.  Overview  6.10
    • B.  Request for Order
      • 1.  Order to Show Cause and Notice of Motion  6.11
      • 2.  Request for Order  6.12
      • 3.  Service of Request for Order (Judicial Council Form FL-300)  6.12A
      • 4.  Requests for Order Without Temporary Orders  6.12B
      • 5.  Requests for Orders With Temporary Orders  6.12C
    • C.  Responding to Request for Order  6.13
    • D.  Reply Papers of Moving Party  6.14
    • E.  Specificity of Declarations  6.15
    • F.  Requirement to Meet and Confer and Exchange Documents  6.15A
    • G.  Mediation of Contested Issues  6.16
    • H.  Hearing  6.17
    • I.  Statement of Findings  6.17A
    • J.  Preparation and Service of Order  6.18
  • VI.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Request for Order (Judicial Council Form FL-300)  6.18A
    • B.  Form: Temporary Emergency (Ex Parte) Orders (Judicial Council Form FL-305)  6.19
    • C.  Form: Request to Continue Hearing (Judicial Council Form FL-306)  6.20
    • D.  Form: Order on Request to Continue Hearing (Judicial Council Form FL-307)  6.21
    • E.  Form: Application for Order and Supporting Declaration (Judicial Council Form FL-310) [Deleted]  6.22
    • F.  Form: Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting Time) Application Attachment (Judicial Council Form FL-311)  6.23
    • G.  Form: Request for Child Abduction Prevention Orders (Judicial Council Form FL-312)  6.24
    • H.  Form: Responsive Declaration to Request for Order (Judicial Council Form FL-320)  6.25
    • I.  Form: Findings and Order After Hearing (Family Law—Custody and Support—Uniform Parentage) (Judicial Council Form FL-340)  6.26
    • J.  Form: Stipulation and Order for Custody and/or Visitation of Children (Judicial Council Form FL-355)  6.27

7

Discovery

Sorrell Trope

Lawrence E. Leone

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  7.1
    • B.  Lawyer’s Role  7.2
    • C.  Getting the Picture  7.3
    • D.  Importance of Initial Client Contacts in Determining Need for Discovery
      • 1.  Understanding Client’s Situation; Gaining Trust  7.4
      • 2.  Defining Client’s Goals and Expectations  7.5
      • 3.  Consideration of Party Misconduct  7.6
  • II.  OVERVIEW OF ISSUES AFFECTING DISCOVERY IN CUSTODY MATTERS
    • A.  Awareness of Critical Time Periods  7.7
      • 1.  Preseparation Period  7.8
      • 2.  Postseparation Period  7.9
      • 3.  Postjudgment Period  7.10
    • B.  Developing Discovery Plan  7.11
      • 1.  Importance of Refining Discovery Plan With Updated Information  7.12
      • 2.  Effect of Involvement of Experts
        • a.  Educating Client  7.13
        • b.  Anticipating Expert Evaluation in Crafting Discovery Plan  7.14
      • 3.  Consideration of Multiple Variables in Developing Plan  7.15
  • III.  DISCOVERY TOOLS IN CUSTODY MATTERS
    • A.  Overview  7.16
    • B.  Unilateral Investigations  7.17
    • C.  Informal Discovery Between Parties  7.18
    • D.  Formal Discovery Tools
      • 1.  Overview and Applicable Law  7.19
      • 2.  Electronically Stored Evidence  7.20
      • 3.  Matters Not Privileged or Protected by Right of Privacy
        • a.  Statutory Privileges  7.21
        • b.  Third-Party Privacy Issues  7.22
      • 4.  Formal Discovery Tools and Their Application  7.23
        • a.  Oral Depositions  7.24
        • b.  Written Question Depositions  7.25
        • c.  Interrogatories  7.26
        • d.  Requests for Admissions  7.27
        • e.  Demands for Production of Documents or Things for Inspection  7.28
        • f.  Request for Interview or Evaluation  7.29
        • g.  Requests for Physical, Mental, or Blood Examination  7.30
        • h.  Demand to Exchange List of Expert Witnesses  7.31
        • i.  Business Records and Records and Testimony Subpoena  7.32
  • IV.  DISCOVERY FOR PARTICULAR ASPECTS OF CUSTODY CASES
    • A.  Discovery for Initial Orders  7.33
      • 1.  Domestic Violence Cases  7.34
      • 2.  Sexual Abuse Cases; Checklist  7.35
    • B.  Discovery in Aid of Mediation  7.36
    • C.  Custody Evaluation Discovery  7.37
    • D.  Discovery of Expert Opinions  7.38
  • V.  FORM: SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONS FOR DEPOSITION WITNESS  7.39

8

Custody Mediation

Katherine E. Stoner

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  8.1
  • II.  GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS IN ADVISING CLIENTS ABOUT MEDIATION
    • A.  Mediation Described  8.2
    • B.  Mediation Compared to Other Programs for Separating Parents  8.3
      • 1.  Parent Education  8.4
      • 2.  Divorce and Custody Education  8.5
      • 3.  Individual Therapy  8.6
      • 4.  Coparenting Counseling  8.7
      • 5.  Custody, Evaluation, Investigation, or Assessment  8.8
      • 6.  Collaborative Law  8.9
    • C.  Confidentiality of Mediation Proceedings and Communications  8.10
    • D.  Decision Making and Negotiation in Custody Mediation  8.11
    • E.  Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Mediation to Resolve Parenting Disputes  8.12
    • F.  Types of Mediation Programs Available  8.13
      • 1.  Voluntary Private Mediation  8.14
      • 2.  Voluntary Agency Mediation  8.15
      • 3.  Mandatory Custody Mediation  8.16
      • 4.  Other Court-Sponsored Mediation Programs  8.17
    • G.  Ethical Considerations in Advising Clients About Mediation  8.18
      • 1.  Duty to Inform Client of Availability of Alternative Dispute Resolution Options  8.19
      • 2.  Attorney Contact With Opposing Party Before or During Mediation  8.20
      • 3.  Attorney May Not Act to Frustrate Mandatory Custody Mediation  8.21
  • III.  VOLUNTARY PRIVATE MEDIATION
    • A.  Determining Scope of Mediated Issues  8.22
    • B.  Confidentiality of Private Mediation Proceedings  8.23
      • 1.  Evidence of Communications in Mediation Generally Inadmissible  8.24
      • 2.  Exceptions to Inadmissibility
        • a.  Mediation Agreement, Tolling Agreement, Fact That Mediator Served or Was Available, and Declarations of Disclosure  8.25
        • b.  Written or Documented Oral Settlement Agreement  8.26
        • c.  Waiver of Privilege  8.27
        • d.  Exceptions to Confidentiality Narrowly Construed  8.28
      • 3.  Mediation Privilege Continues Indefinitely  8.29
      • 4.  Mediator Incompetent to Testify  8.30
    • C.  Selecting Mediator  8.31
    • D.  Determining Role of Counsel in Mediation  8.32
    • E.  What to Look for in Mediation Agreement  8.33
    • F.  Working With Client in Mediation
      • 1.  Preparing Client for First Session  8.34
      • 2.  Consultation During Mediation  8.35
    • G.  Communications With Opposing Counsel  8.36
    • H.  Communications With Mediator  8.37
    • I.  Drafting and Reviewing Parenting Agreement
      • 1.  Mediator Generally Drafts Agreement  8.38
      • 2.  Reviewing Agreement  8.39
      • 3.  Changes to Agreement  8.40
      • 4.  Temporary or Confidential Agreements  8.41
    • J.  Obtaining Court Approval of Agreement  8.42
  • IV.  MANDATORY CUSTODY MEDIATION
    • A.  Mediation Required Before Adjudication of Custody Issues  8.43
    • B.  Proceedings in Which Mediation Required  8.44
    • C.  Issues Limited to Custody, Visitation, and Related Parenting Matters  8.45
    • D.  Purpose of Mediation and Mediator’s Role  8.46
    • E.  Selection and Qualifications of Mediators  8.47
    • F.  Notice and Conduct of Mediation Proceedings  8.48
    • G.  No Right to Participation of Counsel  8.49
    • H.  Interview of Minor Child  8.50
    • I.  Procedure in Domestic Violence Cases  8.51
    • J.  General Rule of Confidentiality of Mediation Proceedings  8.52
    • K.  When Mediator Recommendations Are Permitted  8.53
      • 1.  Recommendations for Appointment of Minor’s Counsel, Referral to Other Resources, or Issuance of Restraining Orders  8.54
      • 2.  Report of Suspected Child Abuse  8.55
      • 3.  Tarasoff Warning  8.56
      • 4.  Recommendations on Custody or Visitation if Authorized by Local Rule  8.57
    • L.  Confidential Programs Authorized by Fam C §3188  8.58
  • V.  REPRESENTING CLIENTS ENGAGED IN MANDATORY CHILD CUSTODY MEDIATION
    • A.  Importance of Following Local Rules  8.59
    • B.  Initiating Mediation  8.60
    • C.  Necessity of Personal Appearance and Exceptions; Other Accommodations  8.61
    • D.  Participation in Orientation; Completion of Intake Form  8.62
    • E.  Advising Client Before Mediation
      • 1.  Importance of Premediation Meeting With Client  8.63
      • 2.  Special Considerations in Recommending Programs  8.64
    • F.  Reviewing and Confirming or Objecting to Mediation Report  8.65
      • 1.  Report of Agreement Reached or Not Reached  8.66
      • 2.  Parenting Agreement  8.67
      • 3.  Mediator Recommendations  8.68
    • G.  Cross-Examination of Mediator  8.69
  • VI.  ENFORCEMENT AND MODIFICATION OF MEDIATED CUSTODY AGREEMENTS  8.70
  • VII.  DRAFTING AGREEMENTS TO SUBMIT FUTURE CUSTODY DISPUTES TO PRIVATE MEDIATION
    • A.  Advisability of Agreements to Mediate  8.71
    • B.  Enforceability of Agreements to Mediate  8.72
  • VIII.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Confidentiality Agreement  8.73
    • B.  Form: Provision to Mediate Future Disputes  8.74
    • C.  Form: Stipulation and Order for Temporary Custody and Visitation  8.75

9

Custody Evaluations

Jessica F. Arner

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Overview and Scope of Chapter  9.1
    • B.  Importance of Evaluation to Custody Case and Attorney’s Critical Role  9.2
    • C.  Unique Nature of Issues  9.3
      • 1.  Close Interrelationship of Legal and Psychological Concepts  9.4
      • 2.  Attorney’s Client-Focused Ethical Responsibility Must Take Children Into Account  9.5
      • 3.  Ongoing Family Life Influences Case Throughout Evaluation Process  9.6
      • 4.  Clients Placed Under Intense Scrutiny for Prolonged Time Period  9.7
      • 5.  Evaluation Is “Adversarial” Process in Which Client Is Not Represented by Counsel in Traditional Sense  9.8
  • II.  ELEMENTS COMMON TO MOST EVALUATIONS  9.9
    • A.  Basic Elements of Evaluation  9.10
    • B.  Need for Diversification of Sources  9.11
  • III.  FACTORS IN DECIDING TO SEEK EVALUATION  9.12
  • IV.  HOW EVALUATOR IS APPOINTED
    • A.  By Stipulation  9.13
    • B.  By Court Order  9.14
      • 1.  Order on Party’s Motion  9.15
      • 2.  Order After Recommendation by Nonconfidential Mediator  9.16
      • 3.  Order on Court’s Own Motion  9.17
    • C.  Opposition to Appointment of Evaluator  9.18
  • V.  SELECTING AND CHALLENGING SELECTION OF EVALUATOR
    • A.  Attorney’s Responsibility to Investigate Potential Evaluators  9.19
    • B.  Selection of Private Mental Health Professional as Evaluator  9.20
      • 1.  Selection by Stipulation of Parties  9.21
      • 2.  Selection by Court Order  9.22
    • C.  Selection by Referral to Family Court Services  9.23
      • 1.  Random Assignment to FCS Staff  9.24
      • 2.  Special Assignment to Senior FCS Staff  9.25
    • D.  Challenges to Court-Appointed Evaluators  9.26
  • VI.  PROVISIONS FOR EVALUATOR’S APPOINTMENT  9.27
    • A.  Forms for Evaluator’s Appointment  9.28
    • B.  Stipulation for Evaluator’s Appointment Negotiated Between Counsel  9.29
    • C.  Elements of Stipulation for Evaluator’s Appointment  9.30
      • 1.  Scope of Evaluation  9.31
      • 2.  Protocol for Appointments for Meetings and Interviews  9.32
      • 3.  Communications Between Evaluator and Others  9.33
        • a.  Parties’ Communications With Evaluator
          • (1)  Oral Communications  9.34
          • (2)  Written or Other Communications  9.35
        • b.  Counsel’s Communications With Evaluator
          • (1)  Oral Communications  9.36
          • (2)  Written Communications  9.37
        • c.  Evaluator’s Communications With Court  9.38
      • 4.  Releases to Third Parties or Agencies  9.39
      • 5.  Psychological Testing  9.40
      • 6.  Obligation to Provide Written Report and Recommendations  9.41
      • 7.  Confidential Nature of Evaluation Report and Its Future Use  9.42
      • 8.  Payment of Fees  9.43
      • 9.  Other Stipulated Provisions  9.44
        • a.  Restraint on Taking Children to Another Mental Health Professional  9.45
        • b.  Retention of Additional Experts or Consultants  9.46
        • c.  Completion Date  9.47
  • VII.  SCOPE OF EVALUATION  9.48
    • A.  Scope Defined by Parties and Court  9.49
    • B.  Different Types of Evaluations
      • 1.  Full Evaluation  9.50
      • 2.  Partial Evaluation  9.51
      • 3.  Assessment or Other Procedures [Deleted]  9.52
    • C.  Special Problems  9.53
  • VIII.  BEGINNING EVALUATION PROCESS
    • A.  Attorneys’ Initial Contact With Evaluator After Appointment  9.54
    • B.  Initial Documents to Send Evaluator  9.55
    • C.  Initial Documents From Evaluator  9.55A
  • IX.  CLIENT’S PREPARATION FOR CUSTODY EVALUATION
    • A.  Case Plan and Attorney’s Role
      • 1.  Plan as Part of Case Assessment  9.56
      • 2.  Explaining Nature of Evaluation  9.57
      • 3.  Explaining Role of Evaluator  9.58
      • 4.  Reinforcing Realistic Goals and Expectations  9.59
      • 5.  Planning for Different Outcomes and Dealing With Evaluator  9.60
    • B.  Advising Client Throughout Process
      • 1.  Communication Between Attorney and Client
        • a.  Maintaining Ongoing Contact With Client  9.61
        • b.  Stressing Constructive Communication Between Client and Other Parent  9.62
        • c.  Reminding Client to Inform Counsel Before Making Decisions Affecting Custody  9.63
        • d.  Reminding Client Not to Sign Documents Without Counsel’s Review  9.64
        • e.  Advising Client on Use of Social Media  9.64A
      • 2.  Advice on Gathering Records and Documents  9.65
      • 3.  Attorney’s Analysis and Strategy  9.66
      • 4.  Use of Therapist or Psychological Expert  9.67
    • C.  Client’s Presentation to Evaluator
      • 1.  Personal Presentation  9.68
      • 2.  Reminder List  9.69
      • 3.  Setting Appointments  9.70
      • 4.  Communication With Evaluator  9.71
      • 5.  Identifying Personal References for Contact by Evaluator  9.72
        • a.  Neutral References Most Useful  9.73
        • b.  References Connected to Parent Less Useful  9.74
        • c.  Preparation of Reference List, Releases, and Contacting References  9.75
        • d.  References Sought by Evaluator  9.76
    • D.  Psychological and Other Testing
      • 1.  Psychological Testing
        • a.  Preparing Client for Psychological Tests  9.77
        • b.  Use of Testing  9.78
        • c.  Types of Testing  9.79
          • (1)  Objective Tests  9.80
          • (2)  Subjective Tests  9.81
        • d.  Review of Test Results; Use of Experts to Assist With Interpretation of Psychological Testing  9.82
      • 2.  Other Types of Tests for and About Children  9.83
    • E.  Home and Other Types of Visits by Evaluator
      • 1.  Home Visits
        • a.  Purpose  9.84
        • b.  Preparing Client  9.85
        • c.  Scheduling and Procedure  9.86
      • 2.  Interview of Children  9.86A
      • 3.  Other Types of Visits  9.87
    • F.  Questionnaire  9.88
    • G.  Other Documents  9.89
      • 1.  Client-Generated Documents or Other Materials  9.90
      • 2.  Documents From Other Sources  9.91
        • a.  E-mails and Text Messages Between Parents  9.92
        • b.  Social Media  9.92A
        • c.  Children’s Educational Records  9.93
        • d.  Children’s Health Records  9.94
        • e.  Professional Assessments of Child for Learning Disabilities, Psychological Issues, or Need for Occupational Therapy  9.95
        • f.  Children’s Sports or Extracurricular Activity Schedules  9.96
        • g.  Parent’s Medical or Other Health Records  9.97
        • h.  Parent’s Criminal History and Civil Claim Records  9.98
        • i.  Child Protective Services (CPS) Records  9.99
        • j.  Private Investigator’s Reports  9.100
        • k.  Depositions or Documents Obtained by Formal Discovery  9.101
  • X.  SPECIAL PROBLEMS
    • A.  Privilege Issues
      • 1.  Parent’s Privilege With Individual Therapist
        • a.  Voluntary Waiver of Privilege  9.102
        • b.  Compelling Waiver of Privilege  9.103
      • 2.  Joint Privileges  9.104
      • 3.  Minor Child’s Privilege  9.105
    • B.  Concerns About Client’s Mental Health  9.106
    • C.  Complex Custody Issues Requiring Special Expertise  9.107
    • D.  Evaluator’s Communications With Judge or Outside Investigative Agencies  9.108
    • E.  Interim Recommendations  9.109
    • F.  Custody Case Initiated in Another Forum When Family Court Evaluation Pending
      • 1.  Child Protective Services  9.110
      • 2.  Juvenile Court  9.111
    • G.  Incompetent Evaluator  9.112
      • 1.  Grievance Procedure  9.113
      • 2.  Motion for Removal  9.114
      • 3.  Complaint to Licensing Board About Evaluator  9.115
  • XI.  ISSUANCE OF EVALUATION REPORT AND SUBSEQUENT PROCEDURES
    • A.  Issuance and Use of Evaluation Report  9.116
    • B.  Evaluator Meeting With Counsel or Parents in Accordance With Local Rules  9.117
    • C.  Evaluator’s Role in Advising Court on Child’s Wishes  9.117A
  • XII.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Stipulation and Order for Appointment of Evaluator  9.118
    • B.  Form: Order Appointing Child Custody Evaluator (Judicial Council Form FL-327)  9.119
    • C.  Form: Authorization to Release Information  9.120
    • D.  Form: Sample Letter to Evaluator and Self-Represented Party on Procedures to Follow  9.121

10

Appointment of Counsel for Child

Charlene S. Baron

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  10.1
  • II.  AUTHORITY FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL FOR CHILDREN
    • A.  Authority Under Family Code and Statewide Court Rules  10.2
    • B.  Local Court Rules  10.3
    • C.  Case Authority  10.4
  • III.  GUARDIAN AD LITEM AND SPECIAL MASTER DISTINGUISHED FROM MINOR’S COUNSEL  10.5
  • IV.  PROCEDURE FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
    • A.  Requesting Appointment in General
      • 1.  On Court’s Own Motion  10.6
      • 2.  On Motion by Attorney, Mediator, Child, or Other Person  10.7
    • B.  Requesting Appointment for Several Children  10.8
    • C.  Application of Local Rules for Appointment  10.9
    • D.  Need for Court Order Making Appointment  10.10
  • V.  ETHICAL ISSUE POSED BY PARENT’S REQUEST FOR APPOINTED COUNSEL  10.11
  • VI.  SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS, TRAINING, EDUCATION, AND EXPERTISE OF COUNSEL FOR CHILDREN
    • A.  Statewide Standards  10.12
    • B.  Requirements for Appointment  10.13
  • VII.  DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF APPOINTED COUNSEL  10.14
    • A.  Duty to Investigate
      • 1.  General Authority to Gather Facts  10.15
      • 2.  Need for Court Direction in Conducting Investigation or Limiting Representation  10.16
      • 3.  Conducting Interviews With Parents, Child, and Other Persons  10.17
      • 4.  Handling Communication Issues  10.18
    • B.  Preparation of Written Report for Court
      • 1.  Overview  10.19
      • 2.  Contents of Written Report  10.20
    • C.  Duty to Present Child’s Wishes
      • 1.  Ethical Dilemma Posed by Advocacy of “Wishes” Versus Child’s Best Interests  10.21
      • 2.  Split of Authority on Counsel’s Ethical Issue  10.22
    • D.  Duty to Advocate for Child  10.23
  • VIII.  COUNSEL’S RIGHT TO RECORDS AND HEARING NOTICES, AND TO ACT AS HOLDER OF PRIVILEGES ON CHILD’S BEHALF
    • A.  General Right to Obtain Reports and Records and to Receive Notice of Hearings  10.24
    • B.  Right to Records and Files of Child Protective Agencies  10.25
    • C.  Counsel Is Holder of Any Privilege on Child’s Behalf  10.26
  • IX.  COUNSEL’S RIGHT TO AVOID TESTIMONY AS WITNESS  10.27
  • X.  COUNSEL’S REFERRAL OF CHILD TO JUVENILE COURT  10.28
  • XI.  TERMINATION OF COUNSEL’S APPOINTMENT  10.29
  • XII.  COMPENSATION OF CHILD’S COUNSEL
    • A.  Payment by Parties or County  10.30
    • B.  Determining Parties’ Ability to Pay  10.31
    • C.  Local Standards and Procedures for Payment by County  10.32
  • XIII.  LIABILITY AND IMMUNITY OF APPOINTED COUNSEL  10.33
  • XIV.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Order Appointing Counsel for a Child (Judicial Council Form FL-323)  10.34
    • B.  Form: Sample Parent Letter  10.35
    • C.  Form: Sample Statement of Issues and Contentions by Minor’s Counsel  10.36

11

Use of Psychologists and Other Experts

Lulu L. Wong

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  11.1
  • II.  ASSESSING NEED FOR EXPERTS
    • A.  Roles of Expert  11.2
      • 1.  Establishing Facts  11.3
      • 2.  Educating Trier of Fact  11.4
      • 3.  Formulating Expert Opinion Based on Facts  11.5
    • B.  Authority to Appoint Expert to Examine Parents or Child  11.6
    • C.  Authority to Order Examination by Expert Retained by One Party
      • 1.  Motion Required  11.7
      • 2.  Motion Procedure  11.8
      • 3.  Limitations
        • a.  Condition in Controversy  11.9
        • b.  Physical Exam  11.10
        • c.  Mental Exam  11.11
        • d.  Not for Alcohol or Drug Testing  11.12
      • 4.  Exchange of Medical Reports; Waiver of Privilege  11.13
    • D.  Joint Retention of Expert to Conduct Examination  11.14
    • E.  Privately Retained Consulting Expert  11.15
  • III.  USES OF EXPERTS
    • A.  Background Qualifications of Most Commonly Used Experts
      • 1.  Psychologist  11.16
      • 2.  Psychiatrist and Physician  11.17
      • 3.  Marriage and Family Therapist  11.18
      • 4.  Social Worker  11.19
    • B.  Selecting Expert  11.20
    • C.  Role of Psychologist  11.21
      • 1.  Custody Evaluation
        • a.  Conducting Evaluation  11.22
        • b.  Preparing Party for Evaluation  11.23
          • (1)  Explaining Types of Tests Administered in Custody Evaluation  11.24
          • (2)  Anticipating Evaluator’s Questions  11.25
          • (3)  Formulating Party’s Issues and Concerns  11.26
          • (4)  Identifying Problems and Making Referrals for Treatment  11.27
        • c.  Reviewing Evaluation  11.28
      • 2.  Mediation
        • a.  Preparing Party for Mandatory Mediation Through Family Court Services  11.29
        • b.  Assisting Party in Formulating Parenting Plan  11.30
      • 3.  Counseling  11.31
        • a.  By Court Order  11.32
        • b.  By Stipulation  11.33
        • c.  By Either Party  11.34
      • 4.  Special Master  11.35
      • 5.  Therapeutic Visitation  11.36
    • D.  Role of Psychiatrist  11.37
    • E.  Role of Physician  11.38
    • F.  Role of Social Worker  11.39
    • G.  Role of Other Specialists  11.40
  • IV.  EXPERT TESTIMONY
    • A.  Qualifying Expert Witness  11.41
    • B.  Disclosure of Expert Witnesses  11.42
    • C.  Litigation Privilege  11.43
    • D.  Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege
      • 1.  General Rule  11.44
      • 2.  Exceptions  11.45
      • 3.  When Disclosure Is Permitted  11.46
    • E.  Limitation on Expert Witness Opinion  11.47
    • F.  Preparing Expert  11.48
    • G.  Deposition of Expert  11.49
    • H.  Expert Reports  11.50
    • I.  Direct Examination of Expert  11.51
    • J.  Cross-Examination of Expert  11.52
      • 1.  Discrediting Expert
        • a.  Attacking Expert’s Qualifications  11.53
        • b.  Exposing Expert’s Bias  11.54
      • 2.  Impeaching Expert  11.55
      • 3.  Attacking Factual Basis for Expert’s Opinion  11.56
      • 4.  Establishing Favorable Facts  11.57
  • V.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Order Appointing Expert Under Evidence Code §730  11.58
    • B.  Form: Stipulation and Order for Appointment of Special Master  11.59

12

Factors Used in Deciding Custody and Visitation Disputes Between Parents

Shelley L. Albaum

Harold J. Cohn

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  12.1
  • II.  HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF FACTORS COMPRISING BEST INTEREST OF CHILD  12.2
  • III.  COURT’S BROAD DISCRETION  12.3
  • IV.  NEED TO ACT IN CHILD’S BEST INTEREST  12.4
  • V.  NO PREFERENCE FOR JOINT OR SOLE CUSTODY  12.5
  • VI.  STATUTORY FACTORS AFFECTING BEST INTERESTS OF CHILD  12.6
    • A.  Effect of Parties’ Agreement  12.7
    • B.  Health, Safety, and Welfare of Child  12.8
    • C.  Abuse of Child, Spouse, or Cohabitant
      • 1.  Relationship of Perpetrator and Victim; Corroboration  12.9
      • 2.  Presumption Raised by Finding of Domestic Violence  12.10
      • 3.  “Domestic Violence” Defined for Purpose of Presumption  12.11
      • 4.  Effect of Parent’s Absence or Relocation as Result of Domestic Violence  12.12
      • 5.  Rebuttal of Presumption  12.13
      • 6.  Effect of Issuance of Domestic Violence Protective Order or Emergency Protective Order  12.14
      • 7.  Effect on Visitation of Court’s Finding of Domestic Violence  12.15
      • 8.  Statement of Reasons and Details  12.16
    • D.  Child Abuse
      • 1.  Consideration of History of Child Abuse  12.17
      • 2.  Denial of Custody Based on Sexual Abuse or Offenses  12.18
      • 3.  False Allegations of Child Abuse
        • a.  Change or Reconsideration of Custody  12.19
        • b.  Limitation for Reasonable Belief  12.20
        • c.  Sanctions for False Allegations  12.21
    • E.  Abuse of Alcohol or Controlled Substances
      • 1.  Effect on Child’s Best Interests  12.22
      • 2.  Statement of Reasons and Details  12.23
      • 3.  Drug or Alcohol Testing  12.24
    • F.  Child Conceived by Parental Rape  12.25
    • G.  Parental Murder  12.26
    • H.  Nature and Amount of Child’s Contact With Both Parents  12.27
    • I.  Allowance of Frequent and Continuing Contact  12.28
    • J.  Effect of Parental Absence or Relocation  12.29
  • VII.  OTHER FACTORS AFFECTING BEST INTERESTS OF CHILD
    • A.  Parental Conflict  12.30
    • B.  Emotional Neglect or Abuse of Child  12.31
    • C.  Parent’s Best Interests Are Subordinate to Child’s  12.32
    • D.  Child’s Expressed Preference  12.33
    • E.  Stability of Environment  12.34
    • F.  Quality of Companionship and Ability to Love (The “Psychological Parent”)  12.35
    • G.  Parent’s Physical and Mental Condition  12.36
    • H.  Race and Ethnicity  12.37
    • I.  Religious and Social Beliefs  12.38
    • J.  Sexual Orientation and Behavior  12.39
    • K.  Wealth of Parents  12.40
    • L.  Home Schooling  12.41
    • M.  Smoking  12.42
    • N.  Split Custody Disfavored  12.43
  • VIII.  CONSIDERATION OF RISK OF ABDUCTION AND PREVENTION OF ABDUCTION
    • A.  Required Jurisdictional Findings  12.44
    • B.  Prevention of Abduction  12.45

13

Disputes Involving Grandparents, Stepparents, and Other Third Parties

Frank E. Dougherty

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  13.1
    • B.  Overview of Statutes Authorizing Third Party Custody and Visitation  13.2
  • II.  AUTHORITY AND PROCEDURE FOR THIRD PARTY CUSTODY
    • A.  Basis and Order of Preference for Custody Award to Third Party
      • 1.  Basis for Award  13.3
      • 2.  Order of Preference as Between Parents and Third Parties  13.4
    • B.  Presumptions, Burdens of Proof, and Production in Nonparent Custody Disputes  13.5
      • 1.  Finding of Detriment  13.6
      • 2.  Clear and Convincing Evidence; Exception  13.7
    • C.  Procedure to Assert Third Party Custody Claim
      • 1.  Need for Joinder
        • a.  Joinder Generally Required  13.8
        • b.  Exception for Stipulation  13.9
      • 2.  Contents and Limitations of Pleadings  13.10
      • 3.  Likelihood of Full Evidentiary Hearing  13.11
      • 4.  Closed Hearing in Court’s Discretion  13.12
  • III.  AUTHORITY AND PROCEDURE FOR THIRD PARTY VISITATION
    • A.  Third Parties in General
      • 1.  Overview  13.13
      • 2.  Constitutional Limits on Nonparent Visitation Orders  13.14
    • B.  Rights of Particular Third Parties
      • 1.  Stepparents
        • a.  Visitation Based on Child’s Best Interest  13.15
        • b.  Restrictions on Making Visitation Order
          • (1)  Domestic Violence Cases  13.16
          • (2)  Conflicting Right of Birth Parent  13.17
          • (3)  Natural Parents Unified Against Visitation  13.18
      • 2.  Grandparents  13.19
        • a.  Parent Deceased  13.20
        • b.  Dissolution or Other Family Law Proceeding  13.21
        • c.  Independent Action if Parents Unmarried or Married But Living Separately  13.22
          • (1)  Status of Parents in Relation to One Another  13.23
          • (2)  Required Findings  13.24
          • (3)  Presumption Against Visitation if Both Parents Oppose Visitation  13.25
          • (4)  Presumption Against Visitation if Parent With Sole Custody or With Whom Child Resides Opposes Visitation  13.26
          • (5)  Visitation as Factor in Change of Residence  13.27
          • (6)  Notice of Petition  13.28
        • d.  Allocation of Child Support and Litigation Costs in Certain Cases  13.29
        • e.  Domestic Violence Cases  13.30
      • 3.  Siblings  13.31
      • 4.  Other Relatives  13.32
      • 5.  Child’s Former Legal Guardian  13.33
    • C.  Special Visitation Provisions in Domestic Violence Cases  13.34
    • D.  Joinder Issues
      • 1.  Claimant to Custody or Visitation May Be Joined  13.35
      • 2.  When Joinder Not Required  13.36
      • 3.  Stepparent-Spouse Need Not Seek Joinder  13.37
      • 4.  Grandparents  13.38
      • 5.  Siblings and Other Third Parties  13.39
      • 6.  Former Legal Guardian  13.40
  • IV.  MEDIATION OF THIRD PARTY CUSTODY AND VISITATION ISSUES
    • A.  Mediation Always Required in Contested Cases  13.41
    • B.  Preparing Client for Mediation  13.42
  • V.  FORM: SAMPLE PETITION FOR GRANDPARENT VISITATION (ONE PARENT DECEASED)  13.43

14

Trial Preparation

Sorrell Trope

Lawrence E. Leone

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  14.1
  • II.  TIMING AND MECHANICS OF TRIAL PREPARATION
    • A.  When to Prepare for Trial; Anticipating Settlement  14.2
    • B.  Placing Case on Civil Active List
      • 1.  Trial Setting in General  14.3
      • 2.  Preferential Trial Dates in Custody Matters  14.4
    • C.  Completion of Mandatory Mediation  14.5
    • D.  Challenges to Trial Judge  14.6
    • E.  Requests for Private Trials  14.7
  • III.  CHARACTER AND SCOPE OF PREPARATION
    • A.  Uniqueness of Family Law Litigation
      • 1.  Practical Versus Emotional Issues  14.8
      • 2.  Variety and Complexity of Issues  14.9
      • 3.  More Than a Moment in Time  14.9A
    • B.  Distinction Between “Overpreparing” and “Overtrying”  14.10
    • C.  Tools for Preparation
      • 1.  Initial and Follow-Up Interviews With Client  14.11
      • 2.  Discovery  14.12
      • 3.  Importance of Reviewing Latest Case Law Affecting Trial Preparation  14.13
      • 4.  Trial Preparation Checklist  14.14
    • D.  Determining Issues to Be Tried  14.15
      • 1.  Creating Issue List  14.16
      • 2.  Eliminating Issues  14.17
        • a.  Abandonment of Issue; Changes in Law; Stipulations  14.18
        • b.  Involvement of Minor’s Counsel  14.19
      • 3.  Avoiding Frivolous Issues Raised by Client  14.20
    • E.  Witnesses
      • 1.  Stage of Proceeding Affects Types of Witnesses Needed  14.21
      • 2.  Child as Witness  14.22
    • F.  Preparing Plans for Custody and Visitation Before Trial  14.23
  • IV.  SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES
    • A.  Negotiations Between Attorneys
      • 1.  Importance and Timing; Negotiating Tools  14.24
      • 2.  Client Participation  14.25
    • B.  Conferences With Judge
      • 1.  Local Variations; Requirements and Sanctions  14.26
      • 2.  Attorney Preparation for Conference  14.27
  • V.  PRACTICE FORMS
    • A.  Chart: ESI Inventory  14.28
    • B.  Chart: ESI Proof Chart  14.29

15

Trial and Judgment

Larry A. Ginsberg

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  15.1
    • B.  Overview of Trial Planning Issues  15.2
      • 1.  Considering Alternatives to Trial Based on Issues and Circumstances  15.3
      • 2.  Knowledge of Assigned Judicial Officer  15.4
      • 3.  Importance of Limiting Scope of Trial or Examination of Witnesses  15.5
      • 4.  Defining and Providing Alternative Remedies to Court  15.6
      • 5.  Planning Order of Proof  15.7
      • 6.  Considering Weight of Evidence in Advance of Trial  15.8
      • 7.  Evaluating Biases, Group Affiliations, and Conflicting Interests
        • a.  Bias  15.9
          • (1)  Judicial Bias  15.10
          • (2)  Bias of Parties, Witnesses, and Counsel  15.11
        • b.  Group Affiliations  15.12
        • c.  Client’s Conflicting Interests  15.13
      • 8.  Advocating Client’s Wishes Versus Child’s Best Interest  15.14
      • 9.  Maintaining and Enhancing Credibility  15.15
      • 10.  Attacking Weaknesses; Enhancing Strengths  15.16
      • 11.  Time Estimates and Continuances
        • a.  Time Estimates  15.17
        • b.  Considerations in Seeking and Opposing Continuances  15.18
      • 12.  Effect of Statutory Priority of Custody Matters  15.19
      • 13.  Stipulations on Use of Reports  15.20
      • 14.  Marking Exhibits in Advance of Trial  15.21
      • 15.  Planning to Create Trial Record; Need for Court Reporter  15.22
      • 16.  Trial or Hearing Brief  15.23
  • II.  TRIAL PROCESS
    • A.  Use of Opening Statements
      • 1.  Decision to Make Opening Statement; General Scope  15.24
      • 2.  Framing Issues  15.25
      • 3.  Application of Burden of Proof  15.26
      • 4.  Application of “the Law”  15.27
        • a.  Use of Facts in Light of Law  15.28
        • b.  Use of Facts in Spite of Law  15.29
    • B.  Presenting Direct Testimony and Other Evidence
      • 1.  Testimony by Direct Examination  15.30
        • a.  Direct and Cross-Examination Compared  15.31
        • b.  Focus on Witness and Information  15.32
        • c.  Chronologically Organized Direct Examination  15.33
        • d.  Direct Examination of Particular Individuals
          • (1)  Client-Parent  15.34
          • (2)  Experts  15.35
          • (3)  Other Third-Party Witnesses  15.36
      • 2.  Offers of Proof  15.37
        • a.  Offer Accepted at Court’s Discretion  15.38
        • b.  Use of Offer Avoids “Bad Witness”  15.39
        • c.  Offers of Proof Lack Impact of Live Testimony  15.40
      • 3.  Submission of Exhibits  15.41
        • a.  Timing and Method of Submission  15.42
        • b.  Stipulations Before Trial on Exhibits  15.43
    • C.  Cross-Examination  15.44
      • 1.  Pace of Examination; Goals  15.45
      • 2.  Impeachment  15.46
        • a.  Considerations in Seeking to Impeach Witness  15.47
        • b.  Use of Deposition Testimony  15.48
      • 3.  Cross-Examination of Evaluators, Mediators, and Court-Appointed Experts
        • a.  Custody Evaluator or Mediator in “Recommending” Counties  15.49
          • (1)  Challenges to Recommendation in General  15.50
          • (2)  Examining Evaluator When Report Favorable to Client  15.51
          • (3)  Examining Evaluator When Report Unfavorable to Client  15.52
        • b.  Court-Appointed or Retained Experts and Their Reports  15.53
          • (1)  Voir Dire of Experts  15.54
            • (a)  Challenge to Expertise  15.55
            • (b)  Rebuttal to Challenge: Weight of Evidence  15.56
          • (2)  Stipulation to Expert Qualifications
            • (a)  Considerations in Reaching Stipulation  15.57
            • (b)  Importance of Evid C §730  15.58
          • (3)  Use of Expert’s Report in Cross-Examination and as Potential Evidence  15.59
          • (4)  Consideration of Alternative Outcomes to Those Reached by Expert  15.60
            • (a)  Apprising Court of Alternatives to Expert’s Recommendations  15.61
            • (b)  Changes in Facts or Assumptions  15.62
          • (5)  Scope of Examination Areas  15.63
            • (a)  Focus of Appointment or Retention  15.64
            • (b)  Scope of Testing  15.65
            • (c)  Precision of Testing  15.66
      • 4.  Cross-Examination of Other Individuals
        • a.  Experts Not Appointed by Court  15.67
          • (1)  Educational or Academic  15.68
          • (2)  Sociological or Environmental  15.69
          • (3)  Geographical  15.70
          • (4)  Psychological  15.71
        • b.  Parents and Other Lay Witnesses
          • (1)  Special Considerations in Cross-Examination  15.72
          • (2)  Establishing Focus of Cross-Examination  15.73
          • (3)  Advantages of Shorter Examinations  15.74
          • (4)  Negative or Hostile Presentations  15.75
    • D.  Other Factors in Presenting Evidence
      • 1.  Cumulative Evidence  15.76
      • 2.  Bias and Weight of Evidence  15.77
    • E.  Role of Minor’s Counsel at Trial  15.78
    • F.  Consideration of Child’s Preferences  15.79
      • 1.  Grounds  15.80
      • 2.  Relationship of Child’s Age to Other Factors  15.81
      • 3.  Child’s Testimony
        • a.  Interviewing Children  15.82
        • b.  Avoidance of Courtroom or Chambers Testimony  15.83
    • G.  Requesting Statement of Decision  15.84
  • III.  COURT’S ORDER OR JUDGMENT
    • A.  Preparation of Order or Judgment
      • 1.  Court Preparation  15.85
      • 2.  Counsel Preparation  15.86
    • B.  Effect of Opposing Counsel’s Refusal to Approve Language of Order or Judgment  15.87
    • C.  Entry of Order or Judgment  15.88
    • D.  Nature and Effect of “Permanent” Custody and Visitation Order or Judgment  15.89
  • IV.  SEEKING RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT  15.90
    • A.  New Trial Motion  15.91
      • 1.  Timing  15.92
      • 2.  Grounds  15.93
        • a.  Lack of Fair Trial Because of Irregularity or Abuse of Discretion  15.94
        • b.  Accident or Surprise  15.95
        • c.  Newly Discovered Evidence  15.96
        • d.  Insufficiency of Evidence  15.97
        • e.  Error in Law  15.98
    • B.  Motion for Reconsideration  15.99
      • 1.  Timing  15.100
      • 2.  Grounds  15.101
    • C.  Writs and Appeals  15.102

16

Modification Jurisdiction and Procedure in General

Staci Campbell Simonton

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  16.1
  • II.  OVERVIEW OF MODIFYING CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION ORDERS  16.2
    • A.  Interim or Temporary Orders  16.3
    • B.  Final Orders  16.4
    • C.  Stipulated Orders  16.5
  • III.  JURISDICTION TO MODIFY CUSTODY AND VISITATION ORDERS
    • A.  Presumption of Exclusive, Continuing Jurisdiction  16.6
    • B.  Nonexclusive California Jurisdiction  16.7
      • 1.  Modification of Another State’s Custody Determination  16.8
      • 2.  Temporary Emergency Jurisdiction  16.9
    • C.  Simultaneous Proceeding Pending in Another Court  16.10
    • D.  Circumstances When California Court May Decline Jurisdiction
      • 1.  Inconvenient Forum  16.11
      • 2.  Unjustifiable Personal Conduct  16.12
  • IV.  PROCEDURE TO MODIFY CUSTODY AND VISITATION ORDERS
    • A.  Modification by Stipulation  16.13
    • B.  Contested Proceedings  16.14
      • 1.  Request for Orders  16.15
      • 2.  Mediation of Contested Issues  16.16
      • 3.  Related Child Support Issue  16.17

17

General Application of “Changed Circumstances” Standard

John F. Staley

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  17.1
    • B.  Overview
      • 1.  Concept and Need to Show Changed Circumstances  17.2
      • 2.  Relationship of “Changed Circumstances” to “Best-Interest” Standard  17.3
  • II.  APPLICATION OF CHANGED CIRCUMSTANCES RULE
    • A.  Nature of “Custody Order” and “Modification”  17.4
      • 1.  Tactical Implications of Request to Modify Custody  17.5
      • 2.  Effect of Mandatory Mediation  17.6
    • B.  Determining Finality of Order
      • 1.  Initial versus Final Orders  17.7
      • 2.  Temporary (Pendente Lite) Orders and Stipulations  17.8
  • III.  EVIDENCE OF CHANGED CIRCUMSTANCES
    • A.  Move-Away Cases  17.9
    • B.  Common Custody Modification Motions  17.10
      • 1.  Motion to Change Legal Custody From Joint to Sole  17.11
      • 2.  Motion to Change Legal Custody From Sole to Joint  17.12
      • 3.  Motion to Modify Without Existing Joint Custody Order or if One Party Has Sole Custody  17.13
    • C.  Court Construction of Changed Circumstances Rule
      • 1.  Change of Circumstances Found  17.14
      • 2.  Change of Circumstances Not Found  17.15
  • IV.  IMPORTANCE OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN MODIFICATION MOTIONS  17.16
  • V.  PROCEDURE AFTER CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIREMENT MET  17.17
  • VI.  FORM: SAMPLE GENERAL DECLARATION SUPPORTING CUSTODY MODIFICATION BASED ON CHANGED CIRCUMSTANCES  17.18

18

Parental Relocation: The Move-Away Case

Hon. Dianna Gould-Saltman

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  18.1
    • B.  Overview of Move-Away Issues  18.2
      • 1.  Older “Expedient and Necessary” Test Rejected by Supreme Court  18.3
      • 2.  Effect of LaMusga  18.4
      • 3.  Court’s Ongoing Duty to Decide Custody Based on Child’s Best Interest  18.5
    • C.  Special Notice to Noncustodial Parent Before Move  18.6
    • D.  Move-Away as “Changed Circumstance” Sufficient for Modification  18.7
    • E.  Move-Away Before First Court Order Contrasted
      • 1.  “Changed Circumstances” Rule Inapplicable Before Initial Custody Order  18.8
      • 2.  Court Not Bound by Parties’ Informal Custody Arrangements  18.9
      • 3.  Burden of Persuasion When De Facto Arrangement Provides Stability for Child  18.10
      • 4.  Effect of Prior Stipulated Order  18.11
    • F.  Seeking Restraint on Move Without Modifying Custody or Visitation  18.12
  • II.  CURRENT STANDARDS UNDER BURGESS/LAMUSGA  18.13
    • A.  Supreme Court’s Decision in Marriage of Burgess  18.14
      • 1.  Facts and Holding of Burgess  18.15
      • 2.  Prior Appellate Decisions Clarified by Burgess  18.16
      • 3.  Cases Disapproved by Burgess  18.17
      • 4.  Showing and Focus of Court Under Burgess
        • a.  Opponent of Move Must Overcome Presumptive Right of Custodial Parent to Relocate With Child  18.18
        • b.  No Difference in Burden for “Initial” or “Permanent” Orders  18.19
        • c.  Focus on Status of “Custodial Parent”  18.20
        • d.  Exception for “Joint Physical Custody”
          • (1)  De Novo Custody Determination Required  18.21
          • (2)  Appellate Interpretations of “Joint Physical Custody” After Burgess  18.22
    • B.  Supreme Court’s Decision in Marriage of LaMusga  18.23
      • 1.  Facts and Holding of LaMusga  18.24
      • 2.  Deviations From Burgess
        • a.  Noncustodial Parent’s Burden of Proof  18.25
        • b.  “Conditional” Custody Changes Permitted Under Some Circumstances  18.26
      • 3.  Absence of “Bright Line” Rules; Important Factors  18.27
    • C.  Presenting Facts in Opposition to Proposed Move Under Current Law
      • 1.  Anticipating Need to Develop Facts  18.28
        • a.  “Positive” and “Negative” Facts  18.29
        • b.  Quandary Posed by LaMusga  18.30
      • 2.  Timing of Factual Presentation in Opposition to Proposed Move  18.31
      • 3.  Presenting LaMusga Factors to Oppose Move  18.32
        • a.  Child’s Interest in Stability and Continuity of Custodial Arrangement  18.33
        • b.  Distance of Move  18.34
        • c.  Age of Child  18.35
        • d.  Child’s Relationship With Both Parents  18.36
        • e.  Parents’ Relationship and Willingness to Make Child’s Interests Paramount  18.37
        • f.  Wishes of Child With Adequate Level of Maturity  18.38
        • g.  Reasons for Proposed Move  18.39
        • h.  Extent to Which Parents Currently Share Custody  18.40
    • D.  Presenting Facts in Support of Proposed Move Under Current Law
      • 1.  Developing Facts  18.41
        • a.  Parent Has “Primary” Physical Custody  18.42
        • b.  Parents Have Substantially Shared Physical Custody  18.43
        • c.  Parent Is Not “Primary Custodial Parent”  18.44
      • 2.  Timing of Factual Presentation  18.45
      • 3.  Presenting LaMusga Factors to Support Move  18.46
        • a.  Child’s Interest in Stability and Continuity of Custodial Arrangement  18.47
        • b.  Distance of Move  18.48
        • c.  Age of Children  18.49
        • d.  Child’s Relationship With Both Parents  18.50
        • e.  Parents’ Relationship and Willingness to Make Child’s Interests Paramount  18.51
        • f.  Wishes of Child With Adequate Level of Maturity  18.52
        • g.  Reasons for Proposed Move  18.53
        • h.  Extent to Which Parents Currently Share Custody  18.54
  • III.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Sample Notice of Intention to Relocate With Child (Fam C §3024)  18.55
    • B.  Form: Sample Declaration in Support of Order Restraining Move With Child  18.56
    • C.  Form: Sample Declaration in Support of Order Permitting Move With Child  18.57

19

General Enforcement Remedies

Neil M. E. Forester

Mary J. Martinelli

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  19.1
    • B.  Enforcement Generally  19.2
      • 1.  Jurisdiction
        • a.  Enforcement by California Court That Made Original Order  19.3
        • b.  Enforcement by California Court if Party Leaves State  19.4
      • 2.  Venue  19.5
        • a.  Enforcement Before Permanent Custody Order Made  19.6
        • b.  Enforcement After Permanent Custody Order Made  19.7
      • 3.  Limitations on Enforcement  19.8
        • a.  Court’s Enforcement Discretion Under Fam C §290  19.9
        • b.  Stays
          • (1)  Stay After Appeal  19.10
          • (2)  Stay After Judgment Allowing Child’s Removal From State  19.11
        • c.  Child Support Reduction Not Authorized for Denial of Visitation  19.12
      • 4.  Defenses
        • a.  Laches and Estoppel  19.13
        • b.  “Unclean Hands”  19.14
  • II.  ENFORCEMENT METHODS  19.15
    • A.  Contempt—Fam C §290  19.16
      • 1.  Elements  19.17
        • a.  Valid Order  19.18
        • b.  Knowledge of Order  19.19
        • c.  Ability to Comply  19.20
        • d.  Willful Failure to Comply  19.21
      • 2.  Distinguishing Civil and Criminal Contempt  19.22
      • 3.  Custody-Related Orders Enforceable by Contempt
        • a.  Court-Ordered Parenting Plan for Custody and Visitation  19.23
        • b.  Attorney Fees and Costs and Other Costs  19.24
        • c.  Restraining Orders  19.25
      • 4.  Procedure
        • a.  Initiating Proceeding
          • (1)  Preparation of Moving Papers and Filing  19.26
          • (2)  Service  19.27
        • b.  Statute of Limitations  19.28
        • c.  Response  19.29
        • d.  Hearing—CCP §1217  19.30
      • 5.  Penalties  19.31
      • 6.  Recovery of Attorney Fees and Costs for Proceeding  19.32
    • B.  Habeas Corpus Proceedings  19.33
    • C.  Modification of Custody for Violation of Visitation Rights  19.34
    • D.  Supervised Visitation  19.35
    • E.  Monetary Compensation in Certain Cases  19.36
      • 1.  Thwarting Exercise of Custody or Visitation  19.37
      • 2.  Failure to Assume Caretaker Responsibility  19.38
      • 3.  Civil Action for Abduction  19.39
    • F.  Criminal Sanctions
      • 1.  Domestic Violence Protective Orders Related to Custody or Visitation  19.40
      • 2.  Custody Orders
        • a.  California Law
          • (1)  Abduction  19.41
          • (2)  False Imprisonment  19.42
        • b.  Federal Enforcement
          • (1)  Fugitive Felon Act  19.43
          • (2)  Federal International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act  19.44
    • G.  Passport Restrictions  19.45
    • H.  Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act  19.46
  • III.  ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS AWARDS IN CUSTODY ENFORCEMENT MATTERS
    • A.  Fam C §2030 Need-Based Fees  19.47
    • B.  Fam C §271 Sanctions  19.48
  • IV.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Request for Child Abduction Prevention Orders (Judicial Council Form FL-312)  19.49
    • B.  Form: Child Abduction Prevention Order Attachment (Judicial Council Form FL-341(B))  19.50
    • C.  Form: Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Contempt (Judicial Council Form FL-410)  19.51
    • D.  Form: Affidavit of Facts Constituting Contempt (Domestic Violence/Custody and Visitation) (Judicial Council Form FL-412)  19.52
    • E.  Form: Findings and Order Regarding Contempt (Family Law—Domestic Violence Prevention—Uniform Parentage—Governmental) (Judicial Council Form FL-415)  19.53

20

Enforcement Under UCCJEA and Hague Convention

CEB Staff

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  20.1
    • B.  Governing Law
      • 1.  Enforcement Under UCCJEA; Effect of PKPA  20.2
      • 2.  Enforcement Under Hague Convention  20.3
    • C.  Relationship Between UCCJEA and Hague Convention  20.4
  • II.  ENFORCEMENT UNDER UCCJEA
    • A.  Enforcing California Custody and Visitation Orders in Other States  20.5
    • B.  Enforcing Out-of-State Custody and Visitation Orders in California
      • 1.  Out-of-State Orders Subject to California Enforcement  20.6
      • 2.  Issuance of Temporary Order Enforcing Visitation if California Lacks Modification Jurisdiction  20.7
      • 3.  Effect of Pending Out-of-State Modification Proceeding  20.8
      • 4.  Procedure to Enforce Out-of-State Order
        • a.  Registration of Out-of-State Order; Notice  20.9
        • b.  Request for Hearing; Confirmation of Registered Order  20.10
      • 5.  Petition for Expedited Enforcement  20.11
        • a.  Contents of Petition  20.12
        • b.  Order to Appear; Service  20.13
        • c.  Hearing and Orders  20.14
        • d.  Warrant for Child’s Custody; Service and Enforceability  20.15
        • e.  Award of Attorney Fees and Costs  20.16
        • f.  Appeal From Enforcement Order  20.17
      • 6.  Assistance of District Attorney and Law Enforcement  20.18
  • III.  REMEDIES UNDER HAGUE CONVENTION
    • A.  Nature and Purpose of Hague Convention  20.19
    • B.  Establishment and Role of U.S. Central Authority; Involvement of California Agencies  20.20
    • C.  Court Action Authorized by Federal Law  20.21
      • 1.  Jurisdiction of U.S. Civil Action  20.22
      • 2.  Notice  20.23
      • 3.  Provisional Remedies; Limitations  20.24
      • 4.  Proof Burdens
        • a.  Petitioner  20.25
        • b.  Respondent  20.26
      • 5.  Relaxed Admissibility of Documents  20.27
      • 6.  Attorney Fees and Costs  20.28
      • 7.  Full Faith and Credit  20.29
      • 8.  Remedies Not Exclusive  20.30
    • D.  Key Elements of Hague Convention Case; Exceptions
      • 1.  Elements  20.31
      • 2.  Exceptions  20.32
    • E.  Importance of Child’s Habitual Residence  20.33
  • IV.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Application Under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (DS-3013)  20.34
    • B.  Form: Registration of Out-of-State Custody Order (Judicial Council Form FL-580)  20.35

21

Modification Jurisdiction and Procedure for Interstate and International Cases

Richard F. Gould-Saltman

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  21.1
    • B.  Overview  21.2
  • II.  JURISDICTION
    • A.  Application of UCCJEA and PKPA  21.3
    • B.  UCCJEA Application to Foreign Country Decrees and Orders  21.4
    • C.  Personal Jurisdiction Over Parent Litigants Not Required  21.5
      • 1.  No Personal Jurisdiction Conferred by Participation in Custody Proceeding  21.6
      • 2.  Jurisdiction for Support Modification Does Not “Follow” Custody Jurisdiction, or Vice Versa  21.7
    • D.  Jurisdiction to Modify Prior Existing California Custody Order
      • 1.  Exclusive Continuing California Jurisdiction  21.8
        • a.  Determination of Whether Parent or Child Has “Left” Decree State  21.9
        • b.  No Exclusive Continuing Jurisdiction Based on Presence of Nonparent “Contestant”  21.10
      • 2.  Nonexclusive California Jurisdiction  21.11
    • E.  Modification of Out-of-State Order
      • 1.  Basis for California’s Modification of Out-of-State Order  21.12
      • 2.  California Review of Other State’s Exercise of Jurisdiction  21.13
      • 3.  Modification of Order While Out-Of-State Enforcement Proceedings Pending  21.14
    • F.  Declining Jurisdiction to Modify  21.15
      • 1.  Declining Jurisdiction Based on Party’s Unjustifiable Conduct in Obtaining Jurisdiction
        • a.  Declining Jurisdiction  21.16
        • b.  Domestic Violence Exception to “Unjustifiable Conduct”  21.17
        • c.  “Exit Orders” to Prevent Reoccurrence of Unjustifiable Conduct  21.18
        • d.  Attorney Fees and Costs After Declining Jurisdiction  21.19
      • 2.  Declining Jurisdiction Based on Inconvenient Forum
        • a.  Evaluation of Forum  21.20
        • b.  Assessment of Fees and Costs on Determination of Inconvenient Forum  21.21
        • c.  “Exit” or “Transition” Orders on Finding Inconvenient Forum  21.22
  • III.  PROCEDURE
    • A.  Registration of Out-of-State Custody Order
      • 1.  Registration of Out-of-State Order; Use of Optional Form  21.23
      • 2.  UCCJEA Declaration  21.24
    • B.  Use of Request for Order to Initiate Modification  21.25
    • C.  Special Considerations in Modifying Out-of-State Orders
      • 1.  Use of Evidence or Testimony From Outside California  21.26
      • 2.  Special UCCJEA Notice and Service Requirements  21.27
    • D.  Drafting of Moving and Responsive Papers  21.28
    • E.  Need for Mediation of Contested Issues  21.29
    • F.  Need for Evaluation or Investigation  21.30
    • G.  Preferential Calendar Setting for Hearing  21.31
    • H.  Submission of Birth Certificate in “Default” Custody Proceedings for Missing Persons; Child Abduction Check  21.32

CALIFORNIA CHILD CUSTODY LITIGATION AND PRACTICE

(1st Edition)

April 2019

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

File Name

Book Section

Title

CH01

Chapter 1

Overview of Custody and Visitation Litigation

01-005

§1.5

Legal Custody Checklist

01-010

§1.10

Physical Custody Checklist

CH03

Chapter 3

Initial Assessment of Client and Case

03-046

§3.46

Form: Sample Child Custody Legal Services Agreement

CH04

Chapter 4

Parenting Plans

04-009

§4.9

Drafting Basics

04-018

§4.18

Purpose

CH07

Chapter 7

Discovery

07-039

§7.39

Form: Sample Instructions for Deposition Witness

CH08

Chapter 8

Custody Mediation

08-073

§8.73

Confidentiality Agreement

08-074

§8.74

Provision to Mediate Future Disputes

08-075

§8.75

Stipulation and Order for Temporary Custody and Visitation

CH09

Chapter 9

Custody Evaluations

09-118

§9.118

Stipulation and Order for Appointment of Evaluator

09-120

§9.120

Authorization to Release Information

09-121

§9.121

Sample Letter to Evaluator and Self-Represented Party on Procedures to Follow

CH10

Chapter 10

Appointment of Counsel for Child

10-035

§10.35

Sample Parent Letter

10-036

§10.36

Sample Statement of Issues and Contentions by Minor’s Counsel

CH11

Chapter 11

Use of Psychologists and Other Experts

11-058

§11.58

Order Appointing Expert Under Evidence Code §730

11-059

§11.59

Stipulation and Order for Appointment of Special Master

CH13

Chapter 13

Disputes Involving Grandparents, Stepparents, and Other Third Parties

13-043

§13.43

Form: Sample Petition for Grandparent Visitation (One Parent Deceased)

CH17

Chapter 17

General Application of “Changed Circumstances” Standard

17-018

§17.18

Form: Sample General Declaration Supporting Custody Modification Based on Changed Circumstances

CH18

Chapter 18

Parental Relocation: The Move-Away Case

18-055

§18.55

Sample Notice of Intention to Relocate With Child (Fam C §3024)

18-056

§18.56

Sample Declaration in Support of Order Restraining Move With Child

18-057

§18.57

Sample Declaration in Support of Order Permitting Move With Child

 

Selected Developments

April 2020 Update

Summarized below are some of the more important developments since publication of the 2019 update that are included in the current update.

Child Custody Evaluations

An evaluation report concerning serious allegations of child sexual abuse under Fam C §3118 must include certain required elements and information, and, as of January 1, 2021, must be on the specific form template promulgated by the Judicial Council. See Fam C §3118(b)(6), (i). See §9.41.

Videographers and court reporters present at a deposition, while officers of the court, are not “court employees” to whom disclosure of a custody evaluation is permitted within the meaning of Fam C §3025.5(a)(2), nor is an attorney for a party who was not a party to the case in which the evaluation was conducted. Marriage of Anka & Yeager (2019) 31 CA5th 1115. See §§9.42, 9.116.

A wife’s conduct, attaching to her appellate brief several pages from the parties’ confidential brief evaluation report, was sanctionable under Fam C §3111(d), but sanctions were not imposed due to her minimal fixed income. Herriott v Herriott (2019) 33 CA5th 212. See §9.116.

Child Custody Determination; Factors

Legislation effective January 1, 2020, prohibits a court from considering the sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation of a parent, legal guardian, or relative in determining the best interest of the child. Fam C §§3011(b), 3020(d). See Stats 2019, ch 551. See §§1.64, 12.39.

A trial court’s determination that an older child’s severe medical condition was evidence of compelling circumstances warranting separation of younger children ignored established precedent that a child’s disability is not automatically evidence of such compelling circumstances. Marriage of McKean (2019) 41 CA5th 1083. See §12.43.

Child Custody; Changed Circumstances

After a final custody order is entered, a family court may not make a change-of-custody order without a finding of changed circumstances. Marriage of C.T. & R.B. (2019) 33 CA5th 87; Marriage of McKean (2019) 41 CA5th 1083. See §4.7.

In Rybolt v Riley (2018) 20 CA5th 864, the appellate court held that an order barring a visitation parent from attending the child’s extracurricular activities outside of the parent’s visitation time is not a custody modification requiring a changed-circumstances showing. See §4.7.

Enforcement under UCCJEA

California had the right to exercise jurisdiction under Fam C §3421(a)(2) after a court in Belarus failed to provide notice of a child custody proceeding to a parent under Fam C §3408. W.M. v V.A. (2018) 30 CA5th 64, 71. See §5.20.

Under the UCCJEA, the other state need not have concurrent jurisdiction in order for California to invoke the inconvenient forum doctrine under Fam C §3427. R.B. v D.R. (2018) 28 CA5th 108. See §5.25.

A California court lacked jurisdiction to rule on the custody modification request after receiving documents disclosing that father lived in North Carolina and that custody proceeding had been initiated in that state, even though the parties “stipulated” on the record in the California proceeding that California had jurisdiction to modify the North Carolina decree. Marriage of Kent (2019) 35 CA5th 487. See §21.12.

Expert Witnesses

The trial court does not need to join an expert appointed under Evid C §730 as a party to the case in order to make an order regarding the expert’s fees. Marriage of Benner (2019) 36 CA5th 177. See §9.43.

For new sample language to include in a stipulation for an evaluator’s appointment waiving the prohibition on the evaluator’s ability to testify about “case-specific hearsay” as defined in People v Sanchez (2016) 63 C4th 665, see §9.118.

Hague Convention

The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Monasky v Taglieri (cert granted 2019) ___ US ___, 139 S Ct 2691, which presents two issues: (1) when an infant is too young to become acclimated to her surroundings, a subjective agreement between the infant’s parents is necessary to establish her habitual residence under the Hague Convention; and (2) the correct standard of review for a district court’s determination of habitual residence. The case was argued on December 11, 2019. See §4.21.

The Application Under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (DS-3013) has been updated. See §20.34.

Move-Aways

A father seeking to change an existing custody order and relocate his child to Arkansas had not met the burden to prove that changing physical custody would not detrimentally affect his son’s interest in continuity and stability, and that relocating his son was in the son’s best interest. Marriage of C.T. & R.B. (2019) 33 CA5th 87. See §18.10.

Parentage

In C.A. v C.P. (2018) 29 CA5th 27, the appellate court granted the biological father’s petition seeking legal confirmation of his paternal rights to the child born to a married woman, creating a three parent family. See §§3.23, 11.34.

Effective January 1, 2020, the procedures and requirements under which a voluntary declaration of parentage may be established and challenged are modified. See Fam C §§7570–7581, operative January 1, 2020; Stats 2018, ch 876 (AB 876). See §§2.12–2.13.

The legislature eliminated the use of gendered pronouns in the Family Code (AB 1817 (Stats 2019, ch 115)) and made widespread changes in terminology in the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) (Fam C §§7600–7730) to reflect gender neutrality. See AB 2684 (Stats 2018, ch 876); AB 1403 (Stats 2013, ch 510). Specifically, the legislature stated that the provisions of the UPA should be interpreted to provide equal treatment to same-sex parents, transgender parents, and their children. Stats 2018, ch 876, §1(c).

Procedure

The 30-day statutory stay under CCP §917.7 commences on entry of the order for removal. If the court directs preparation of an Order After Hearing or Judgment, the 30­day period begins on entry of the order itself, not on announcement of an intended decision. Lief v Superior Court (2018) 30 CA5th 868. See §§4.10A, 19.11.

Restraining Orders

A restraining order prohibiting husband from posting anything about his divorce on Facebook was found to be overbroad and infringed on his free speech rights. Molinaro v Molinaro (2019) 33 CA5th 824. See §12.11.

Sanctions

A request for sanction-based attorney fees under Fam C §271 is not a request for affirmative relief within the meaning of Fam C §213 and are therefore appropriately requested in a responsive pleading. Marriage of Perow & Uzelac (2019) 31 CA5th 984. See §§6.13, 19.48.

About the Authors

Shelley L. Albaum is a partner with Brot & Gross, LLP, of Sherman Oaks, where she practices family law, including complex, high asset cases, and interstate and international child custody matters. She has written extensively on issues related to custody, jurisdiction, and property rights, and is coauthor of an amici curiae brief in Montenegro v Diaz. Ms. Albaum received her J.D. from the University of West Los Angeles in 1985. She is the coauthor of chap 12 of this publication.

Jessica F. Arner is of counsel to Lakin Spears, LLP of Palo Alto and has practiced family law exclusively since 1978, with particular focus in the area of child custody. She is a California Certified Family Law Specialist. She is past president of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo, and has served as a member for over 20 years. Ms. Arner has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America since 1997. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law in 1977. Ms. Arner is the author of chap 9 of this publication.

Charlene S. Baron maintains a family law practice in Carlsbad. She is a California Certified Family Law Specialist. Ms. Baron has been honored as the 2005 Attorney of the Year by the Northern San Diego County Bar Association and as a 2002 Norby Award recipient by the Family Law Judges and Certified Family Law Specialists of San Diego County. Ms. Baron is a current member of the Family Law Executive Committee of the California State Bar. She received her J.D. from Western State University in 1977 and also holds a M.A. in Psychological Counseling. She is the author of chap 10 of this publication.

Harold J. Cohn is a Los Angeles-based Certified Family Law Specialist. He has served in numerous capacities via the State Bar of California, including as a member of the Family Law Section Executive Committee, the Family Law Advisory Commission, the California Standing Committee South on Child Custody and Visitation, and as a grader of the Family Law Specialization Examination. He was Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section Executive Committee and an Executive Board Member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. Mr. Cohn speaks extensively on custody-related issues and is coauthor of an amici curiae brief in Montenegro v Diaz. He received his J.D. from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law in 1975. He is the coauthor of chap 12 of this publication.

Christine N. Donovan is a Certified Family Law Specialist and a senior staff attorney with the Solano County Superior Court. She currently serves on the Judicial Council’s Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee. Ms. Donovan has been published in the Harvard Women’s Law Journal and in other Continuing Education of the Bar publications, and has served as faculty for several continuing education programs for the Administrative Office of the Courts. Ms. Donovan received her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2002. She is the coauthor of chap 2 of this publication.

Frank E. Dougherty maintains a family law practice in Sacramento. He is a California Certified Family Law Specialist. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist who has conducted numerous psychological evaluations in custody matters. He received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1972 and his J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law in 1995. He is the author of chap 13 of this publication.

Christopher F. Emley maintains a private family law practice in San Francisco. He serves as Chair of the Volunteer Legal Services Program Board of the Bar Association of San Francisco, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors for that association, as well as president of the California Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. He is a California Certified Family Law Specialist, and is also a fellow of the Northern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Mr. Emley received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1967. He is the author of chap 3 of this publication.

Neil M. E. Forester is a Certified Family Law Specialist, and a shareholder at Forester Purcell Stowell, PC in Folsom, California. His experience in family law custody matters includes obtaining initial custody orders, modifying custody orders pre- and post-judgment, and working with international custody clients on cases under the Hague Convention. Mr. Forester received his J.D. (with Distinction) in 2004 from the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor teaching Family Law Trial Skills. He is the coauthor of chap 19 of this publication.

Larry A. Ginsberg is a partner with the Los Angeles family law firm of Harris-Ginsberg LLP. Mr. Ginsberg was named a “Southern California SuperLawyer” in 2004 and 2005 by Los Angeles Magazine. He is a former member of the State Bar Family Law Executive Committee, as well as the former president of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, a nonprofit provider of family law legal services to low-income individuals. Mr. Ginsberg is a California Certified Family Law Specialist, and is a frequent panelist and lecturer for many local and national legal organizations. He received his J.D. from Pepperdine School of Law in 1986. Mr. Ginsberg is the author of chap 15 of this publication.

Hon. Dianna Gould-Saltman is a judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. She formerly was a partner with Gould-Saltman Law Offices, LLP, in Los Angeles, which handles family law cases exclusively. While a practitioner, she became a California Certified Family Law Specialist and Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She has served on the boards of California Women Lawyers and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, and also served as the chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section. Judge Gould-Saltman is a frequent lecturer on family law topics, particularly child custody issues, throughout the United States and Canada. In 2004, and again in 2005, she was named a “Southern California SuperLawyer” and one of the “Top 50 Female Southern California SuperLawyers” by Los Angeles Magazine. She received her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law in 1985. She was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court bench in 2010. She is the author of chap 18 of this publication.

Richard F. Gould-Saltman is a partner with Gould-Saltman Law Offices, LLP in Los Angeles, which handles family law cases exclusively. He is a California Certified Family Law Specialist. Mr. Gould-Saltman formerly chaired the State Bar Family Law Sub-Committee on Financial Issues (Los Angeles area) and is a frequent lecturer on family law topics, particularly family law financial issues. Mr. Gould-Saltman was named a “Southern California SuperLawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine in 2005. He received his J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School in 1978. He is the author of chap 21 of this publication.

Lawrence E. Leone is a principal in the Leone Law Group, specializing in complex family law and mediation. Previously, he was a partner at the Los Angeles family law firm of Trope and Trope. Mr. Leone is a Certified Family Law Specialist, and was named a “Southern California SuperLawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine from 2004–2017. He was a member of the Elkins Task Force, and served as the chair and as a trustee of the Technology Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section. He was the recipient of the Spirit of the CEB Award for family law in 2014, and has written extensively for CEB, the California Family Law Monthly, and for other family law publications. Mr. Leone earned his J.D. in 1977 from Loyola University of Los Angeles, School of Law. He is the coauthor of chaps 7 and 14 of this publication, and is also a coauthor of Dividing Pensions and Other Employee Benefits in California Divorces (Cal CEB).

Mary J. Martinelli is a partner with Downey Brand, LLP in Sacramento, where she specializes in family law. She has taught family law as a visiting professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Law, and has served as a judge pro tem in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Ms. Martinelli is a California Certified Family Law Specialist, and received her J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law in 1986. She is the coauthor of chap 19 of this publication.

Cheryl Anne Row is a partner with Lemkin, Barnes & Row in Santa Ana, where she practices family law exclusively. She is a California Certified Family Law Specialist, and has previously served as a member and advisor to the Executive Committee of the State Bar’s Family Law Section (FLEXCOM). In 2005, Ms. Row was named a “SuperLawyer Rising Star” by Los Angeles Magazine. She received her J.D. from California Western School of Law in 1996. She is the author of chaps 1 and 5 of this publication.

Leslie Ellen Shear, a California Certified Family Law Specialist, maintains a private family law practice in Encino, with a concentration on custody and visitation, mediation, and parentage, including writs and appeals. She is a frequent lecturer on these issues and has written numerous articles about them. Ms. Shear has presented argument on behalf of clients before both the California and U.S. Supreme Courts. She is a long-term member of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS) and formerly served as the editor of the ACFLS Newsletter. In addition, she has served as a judge pro tem, special master, and minor’s counsel. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law in 1976. She is the author of chap 4 of this publication.

Staci Campbell Simonton maintains a private law practice in Marin County that concentrates on family law (Law Office of Staci C. Simonton). She formerly practiced family law and civil litigation with the San Francisco firm of Sideman & Bancroft LLP. Ms. Simonton is a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar’s Family Law Section (FLEXCOM). She lectures on such family law topics as family law agreements and the interrelationship between family law and estate planning issues. She is a member of the Family Law Sections of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of California, and the San Francisco Bar Association. Ms. Simonton received her J.D. from the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in 1997. She is the author of chap 16 of this publication.

John F. Staley practices family law exclusively as a partner with the Pleasanton firm of Staley, Jobson & Ford. He is a California Certified Family Law Specialist, and is a founding member and past president of the California Association of Certified Family Law Specialists. In 1994, that organization presented him with the 4th Annual Hall of Fame Award. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and has held positions on the Livermore City Council. Mr. Staley received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1972. He is the author of chap 17 of this publication.

Katherine E. Stoner is a partner in the Pacific Grove law firm of Stoner, Welsh, and Schmidt. She is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and handles both litigation work and mediation. She is a trainer at the Center for Mediation in Mill Valley, as well as an adjunct faculty member of Monterey College of Law. She is the recipient of numerous awards for both her legal and community service work, and is a member of a broad variety of community organizations. She has served as a panelist and lecturer for numerous continuing legal education programs, and has written books on divorce mediation and collaborative divorce, standard premarital agreements, and agreements for domestic partners. Ms. Stoner received her J.D. in 1978 from Monterey College of Law. She is the author of chap 8 of this publication, and also authored chap 7 of California Domestic Partnerships and Same-Sex Marriage (Cal CEB), which has been discontinued.

Sorrell Trope is the founder of the Los Angeles family law firm Trope & Trope. Under Mr. Trope’s leadership, the firm has been very active in supporting local organizations such as the Harriett Buhai Center and Levitt & Quinn, which provide legal services to the needy. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles Bar Association, and is a California Certified Family Law Specialist. Mr. Trope has contributed to the family law community as an author and speaker, professor and judge pro tem. He has been recognized with numerous awards for his contributions to the practice of family law, and has 20 reported cases. Mr. Trope received his J.D. from the University of Southern California School of Law. He is the coauthor of chaps 7 and 14 of this publication.

Diane Wasznicky is the cofounder of the Sacramento family law firm Bartholomew, Wasznicky & Molinaro, LLP. She has served the family law community in numerous capacities, as past president and chair of the Judiciary Committee of the Sacramento County Bar Association, elected member and chair of the State Bar Conference of Delegates Executive Committee, and past president, vice president, treasurer and member of the board of directors of the Women Lawyers of Sacramento. She is a California Certified Family Law Specialist. She also serves as a judge pro tem in the Sacramento County Superior Court, and is the Judicial Council’s liaison to the State Bar’s Family Law Executive Committee. Ms. Wasznicky received her J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law in 1980. She is the coauthor of chap 2 of this publication.

Lulu L. Wong maintains a private practice in Napa and Sonoma counties where she provides litigation, mediation, and collaborative law services in family law. She is a California Certified Family Law Specialist. She has served on the State Bar Family Law Executive Committee and is currently an advisor to that Committee. She was chair of the Sonoma County Family Law Section and on the board of the Sonoma County Bar Association. She currently serves as a judge pro tem for settlement conferences in the Sonoma County Superior Court, and is a patient-care volunteer for Hospice of Napa Valley. Ms. Wong received her J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law in 1993. She is the author of chap 11 of this publication.

About the 2019 Update Authors

Jessica F. Arner is the author of chap 9 of this publication. See About the Authors for her full biography.

Christine N. Donovan is a coauthor of chap 2 of this publication and the update author of chap 6. See About the Authors for her full biography.

Neil M. E. Forester is a coauthor of chap 19 of this publication. See About the Authors for his full biography.

Richard F. Gould-Saltman is the author of chap 21 of this publication and the update author of chap 18. See About the Authors for his full biography.

Lawrence E. Leone is a coauthor of chaps 7 and 14 of this publication. See About the Authors for his full biography.

Cheryl Anne Row is the author of chaps 1 and 5 of this publication. See About the Authors for her full biography.

Leslie Ellen Shear is the author of chap 4 of this publication. See About the Authors for her full biography.

John F. Staley is the author of chap 17 of this publication. See About the Authors for his full biography.

Katherine E. Stoner is the author of chap 8 of this publication. See About the Authors for her full biography.

Lulu L. Wong is the author of chap 11 of this publication. See About the Authors for her full biography.

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PRACTICE AREA Family Law
PRODUCT GROUP Publication