Barefoot Blog

Allies All Around

A previous installment, “Enemies in the House,” I began the story of Silas and Regina, parents of a child on the autism spectrum named Belisario (“Belly”). These characters are synthesized from real people with common traits and common stories. Summary: Silas and...

Evidence of Fault

California’s “no fault” divorce law does not prohibit the court from considering evidence of fault when deciding the issue of spousal support. Family Code §4320, the primary statute governing determination of spousal support orders in California, sets forth a number...

Do I Need A Prenuptial Agreement?

Premarital Agreements have become increasingly popular because people are entering marriage with property from a prior marriage, as well as children. Many wish to preserve their pre-existing property rights and interests for their children and heirs, and avoid...

New Limits On Court Sanctions

Family Code section 271 allows the court in family law cases to award attorney fees and costs based on the extent to which a party’s or attorney’s conduct frustrates settlement and increases the cost of litigation. A Family Code section 271 award is in the nature of a...

Enemies in the House

Having a child with special needs puts a strain on the parents, and on their relationship with each other. It is not unusual for parents to dissolve their relationship over disputes about how to address the special needs of a child. The biggest dispute may be as to...

New law affects definition of “Date of Separation”

Date of Separation plays a crucial role in the divorce process in California. The length of your marriage is determined by the date of marriage and the date of separation (not the date of your actual divorce). Date of Separation impacts your property rights under the...

New California Supreme Court Ruling

Filed 7/20/15 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA In re Marriage of SHERYL JONES DAVIS and KEITH XAVIER DAVIS. In a marital dissolution proceeding, a court determines the division of property between the spouses by first characterizing the parties‘ property as...

Radio – previous

  Ethan Marcus with Dr. Joanna Savarese on Real Talk San Diego on ESPN 1700 June 11, 2015 This is Ethan's fifth time on ESPN Real Talk San Diego.  This time he is joined by  Dr. Joanne Savarese, Neuropsychologist who talks about the ways self reflection is vital in...

Minor’s Counsel Part 1 – Rights and Duties

RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF MINOR’S COUNSEL This will be the first in a series about the position of Minor’s Councel. In Family Law cases, pursuant Family Code §3150(a) the child’s counsel is charged with the representation of the child’s best interest. Duties: The role of...

Parental Alienation

It’s easy to look up Parental Alienation to get acquainted with Parental Alienation Syndrome and the damage it causes. A google search of Parental Alienation yields a fortune of information including a wikipedia entry about Parental Alienation, an article titled...

Educating the Courts about Special Needs

Children with special needs are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. We, as a society, have a duty to ensure that they are protected and treated fairly. To that end, the family court systems are in great need of information about this population. The...

Attorney’s Fees

ATTORNEY'S FEES Family Code Section 2030(a)(1) states that each party in a marriage dissolution has the right to legal representation and that the court preserves this right by ordering the party with access to funds to pay the fees of the other party. Family Code...

In Camera Review

In Camera Review The term “in camera” is latin for “in chambers” and is a legal proceeding when a hearing or evidence is presented before a judge in private chambers. Often this process is used to protect a victim or witness from the consequences of public airing of...

Fiduciary Duties

Fiduciary Duties If a couple is going through a dissolution of their marriage, each party is required to produce all financial records to the other. CFC §2101(a)(3) states: (a) From the date of separation to the date of the distribution of the community or...

Custody Evaluations

CUSTODY EVALUATIONS One tool the parties involved in resolving a custody dispute can use is a CUSTODY EVALUATION. A custody evaluation typically has two parts. The first is a report which resulting from an evaluation which may include a series of psychological tests,...

San Diego (and Hemet and El Centro) Divorce blog: Child witnesses have the right to remote testimony in domestic violence cases, affirms C.A.2

In a ruling made 12/17/12, the 2nd California Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court's decision to allow remote testimony by a child witness in a domestic violence matter even though the child was not, herself, a victim. People v. Lujan was a tragic case. In 2006,...

San Diego Branches Consolidate!

For several years, Marcus Family Law Center, PLC. has maintained several discrete branches throughout the county, each with their own specialization. As time went on, it became clear that MFLC could better serve its clients by consolidating all of the branches under...

New Family Code Amendment Admits Oral Testimony

For over 30 years, California Superior Courts have generally barred live testimony from the Courtroom in family law proceedings pursuant to the "Riefler/Stevenot rule" [Marriage of Reifler (1974) 39 CA3d 479 and Marriage of Stevenot (1984) 154 Cal.App.3d 1051] which...

Minors to be heard in Family Court

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 1050 into law, August 27, 2010, requiring family court to "consider and give due weight to the wishes of a child in making an order granting or modifying custody or visitation" and "permit a child who is 14 years of...

Elkins Task Force submits final report

In 2005, self-represented Contra Costa county resident, Jeffrey Elkins, was barred by local rules from testifying in his own divorce case. The rule was supposed to expedite hearings by keeping lengthy testimony out of the Court room. The result was a crushing judgment...

Roundabout around Prop 8 signed into law

Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment passed into law by the majority of California voters in November 5, 2008, provides that "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." But on October 12, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed...

Marcus Family Law Center, PLC opens new office!

The Marcus Family Law Center, PLC has opened a new office in downtown San Diego just across the street from the Family Court House.  The new facility at 1502 6th Avenue is sited in one of San Diego's most historic houses.  Built more than 150 years ago, it was...