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.

Is it contempt to fail to fill out your income and expense declaration?

The best family law attorneys in San Francisco Bay Area will inform clients about the importance of financial disclosures.

An Income and Expense is declaration is a budget worksheet used for several reasons: establishing/enforcing child support, spousal support, attorney fees, sanctions.
California courts require the exchange and submission of financial disclosure documents (I&E, preliminary and final declaration of disclosures) in all dissolution, legal separation and nullity actions.

Can I be held in contempt for failing to file an Income and Expense declaration? No California court has ever held an individual in contempt for filing a false I&E or FL 142. However, the court has inherent jurisdiction and a party may request sanctions under the Family Code for monetary sanctions in an amount “sufficient to deter repetition of the conduct or comparable conduct.”

What is legal custody?

"Legal custody" is the ability of a parent to make decisions regarding the health, safety and welfare of a child.  

As a Bay Area family law attorney, I often see legal custody issues in educational issues - such as where a child attends school and his or her IEP plan.  Legal custody can also impact the types of vaccines given to your child.  

Additionally, parents with joint legal or physical custody who are high conflict may wish to document all interactions for future reference.   

Learn more about child custody and visitation by clicking on the categories below. 


How do I stop child support or get visitation rights on a child I’ve never seen and mother refuses to allow me?

Bay Area Family Law attorneys will tell clients that unfortunately, whether or not you get visitation and contact with your child and child support are unrelated.  You will need to pay child support until your child is 18. If your co-parent is not cooperating in terms of visitation, you may need to file in court for an enforcement order. 

Learn about Contempt and how to file for contempt

Learn more about Child Support and Child Custody by clicking the categories below. 


I want to stop paying spousal support, what are my options?

Are you tired of paying spousal support?  If you are obligated to pay spousal support, you may be frustrated.  However, before you stop paying altogether you should read the following article to understand the consequences for failure to pay spousal support. Here are some important facts that experienced San Francisco Bay Area family law attorneys want you to know before you decide to willfully stop spousal support payments to your ex.  

(1) You May Be Able to Ask the Court For A Reduction of Payments

Some spousal support orders are modifiable by the Court. To determine if your spousal support order is modifiable you should look at your marital settlement agreement and read the language to see if your agreement has modifiable or non-modifiable support terms. 

In California, the Court can modify or terminate a spousal support order at any time, unless there is language in your marital settlement agreement that specifically precludes modification.

Examples of non- modifiable language that could preclude a change to the order include any of the following terms:  this agreement for spousal support cannot be modified; this agreement cannot be modified until ----- ; this is a non-modifiable agreement; or this agreement cannot be modified simply on the basis that the income or expenses of the parties has changed to a substantial degree.

A spousal support order is modifiable if there is a provision in your spousal support order that uses the words .. or upon court order. Those words usually mean that the support ordered can be changed if the moving party shows a material change in circumstances since the order was made. This change in circumstances cannot be a demotion or a child’s education decisions.  Instead the change must be such that the parties are in very different positions than they were at the time the order was made.

If you have experienced a change in circumstances – like caring for the health of a relative or a new spouse, you may be able to change your spousal support order. However, if the language of the order is non-modifiable – you need to understand the consequences of failing to pay.  

(2) Failure to Pay Could Result in Owing Even More To Your Ex Spouse.

Past due support orders accrue interest at 10% from the date of each installment becomes due. Family Code Section 155. This means that every payment you miss accrues interest.  Furthermore, support orders may be enforced like any other money judgment. This means that your ex may obtain a Writ of Execution and enforce a money judgment against your bank accounts, property, or even pension.  
This is even more important because courts do not have discretion to relieve the obligor of the interest and unpaid support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. But let’s say you don’t care about the money, maybe you care about avoiding jail.

(3) Willful Failure to Pay Spousal Support Could Send You to Jail

If you have failed to pay support or paid only part of what you owe and you have the ability to pay, your ex spouse can file a motion for Contempt of Court. If you are found in Contempt because you have the ability to pay but have evaded payment, then you can expect to be fined and/or incarcerated unless you have a defense.

Contact a family law attorney now if you are facing a Contempt charge you can contact me at amanda@gordonfamilylaw.com.

Looking for more posts on spousal support:

My ex stopped paying child support - what can I do?
My child’s mother does not follow our visitation schedule, how can I get her to comply?
What to do if your ex does not pay support or follow visitation: how to file for Contempt.