What is a statement of reasons


Family Code Section 3082

When a request for joint custody is granted or denied, the court, upon the request of any party, shall state in its decision the reasons for granting or denying the request. A statement that joint physical custody is, or is not, in the best interest of the child is not sufficient to satisfy the requirements of this section.

What is an Order Shortening Time?

Experienced Bay Area family law attorneys will tell their clients that an order shortening time is a court procedure used by litigants to get in front of Court faster than a normal request.  Orders shortening time are most frequently granted when the court believes that hearing the case more quickly is necessary to fully protect the moving party’s interests upon a showing of urgency or exigent circumstances.   An example of this is when one spouse is in need of immediate financial support.   Orders shortening time are most frequently used when ex parte relief is not appropriate.

If you have been served an Order Shortening Time, you may want to speak to a lawyer to find out whether you can contest the Order Shortening Time or if you need to prepare in a certain way for Court.You can contact me at Amanda@gordonfamilylaw.com for more information.

Do grandparents have a right to visitation with their grandchildren?

Experienced bay area family law attorneys will tell their clients that, yes, Grandparents may petition for visitation with their grandchildren in the following situations:

·      A parent is deceased (Fam C §3102);

·      A dissolution or other family law proceeding is pending in which child custody is already at issue (Fam C §3103);

·      The parents are not married to one another, including after a marital dissolution (see Fam C §3104(b); Marriage of Harris (2004) 34 C4th 210, 211);

·      The parents are married but are living separately and apart on a permanent or indefinite basis, and meet other statutory criteria (Fam C §3104(b)); or

·      The child has been adopted by a stepparent (Fam C §3104(b)(5); Finberg v Manset (2014) 223 CA4th 529, 532).

A court has authority to grant “reasonable visitation” to grandparents in dissolution, nullity, or legal separation proceedings. Fam C §3101. In addition, if either natural parent is deceased or incarcerated, the court may grant reasonable visitation of a minor child not only to the parents and grandparents of the deceased parent, but also to any children or siblings of the deceased parent. Fam C §3102.

If you are Grandparent and are looking to ask the Court for visitation, you have two options when it comes to asserting a right to contact with a child: (1) Either a guardianship proceeding must be initiated, or (2) the grandparent must assert a claim either by filing a separate petition initiating a family law action or by seeking an order in an existing action under Fam C §3021. See Fam C §3103. For (2), you should speak to a lawyer regarding the Joinder procedures.

The judgment of the natural parents will control the grandparent’s contact in most cases, and any contact must still be deemed in the child’s “best interest.” Fam C §3104(a)(1). The family court may make no more than a visitation order between the child and the grandparents. However, in light of the effect this may have on the custody proceeding, the grandparents may also be ordered to pay child support as well as medical and daycare expenses for the child. Fam C §3103(g)(2).

You can contact me at Amanda@gordonfamilylaw.com for more information.



What about our Children?

Divorce is never easy on kids, but there are many ways parents can help lessen the impact of their break-up on their children:

Never disparage your former spouse in front of your children. Because children know they are "part mom" and "part dad", the criticism can batter the child's self-esteem. 

Do not use your children as messengers between you and your former spouse. The less the children feel a part of the battle between their parents, the better.

Reassure your children that they are loved and that the divorce is not their fault. Many children assume that they are to blame for their parent's hostility.

Encourage your children to see your former spouse frequently. Do everything within your power to accommodate the visitation.

At every step during your divorce, remind yourself that your children's interests – not yours – are paramount, and act accordingly. Lavish them with love at each opportunity.

Your children may be tempted to act as your caretaker. Resist the temptation to let them. Let your peers, adult family members, and mental health professionals be your counselors and sounding board. Let your children be children.

If you have a drinking or drug problem, get counseling right away. An impairment inhibits your ability to reassure your children and give them the attention they need at this difficult time.

If you are the non-custodial parent, pay your child support. The loss of income facing many children after divorce puts them at a financial disadvantage that has a pervasive effect on the rest of their lives.

If you are the custodial parent and you are not receiving child support, do not tell your children. It feeds into the child's sense of abandonment and further erodes his or her stability.

If at all possible, do not uproot your children. Stability in their residence and school life helps buffer children from the trauma of their parent's divorce.

You can contact me at Amanda@gordonfamilylaw.com for more information.


Do I need my ex’s permission to enroll my child in swimming lessons during my parenting time?

No. You do not need your co-parent’s permission to enroll your child in extracurricular activities during your parenting time. The decision to permit participation is a parenting decision.  So long as a parent has sole or joint legal custody, they may enroll a child.  If there is a dispute about whether the enrollment unreasonably infringes on the other parent's custodial time or if the child's participation is in the child's best interest are issues that a court can resolve if the parents disagree.

The requirement for an agreement between the parents is usually tied to the expense of the activity, so that one parent cannot unilaterally commit the finances of the other parent.  However, since extracurricular activities are a discretionary add-on, there is no absolute right to require the other parent to share the cost (although, in practice, this is usually what courts order).