Holiday Survival Tips for Coparenting

Coparenting survival during the holidays can be tricky. The holidays pose challenges to co-parenting especially for families without a clear and concise holiday schedule. Financial stress, input from relatives, and differing opinions on where the children should be during which holidays can all add conflict. Tips for Coparenting Survival During the Holidays: Keep communication respectful It may be tempting to add “????” to a text, insist on an instant answer, or even send an expletive ridden rant to your ex, but such messages backfire and can land you back in court with the judge irritated at your behavior. Keep your communication respectful, courteous, and brief. Focus exclusively on the children, rather than what is fair or unfair for you, or Read More

Domestic Partnership Termination 101

A domestic partnership may be terminated without filing a dissolution in family court. This article discusses the requirements for terminating a domestic partnership by filing a Notice of Termination with the Secretary of State. What is a Domestic Partnership? A California registered domestic partnership is a legal relationship available to all same-sex couples, and to those opposite-sex couples where at least one party is age 62 or older. Unlike a marriage, a domestic partnership is dissolvable in some instances by filing a termination notice with the California Secretary of State. If you have children, property/debt exceeding a certain amount, or if there is disagreement with your partner about certain issues, you will have to file for dissolution in court. Can we File for Read More

Responding to a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

When most people hear the word “domestic violence,” images of bruises and other physical injuries come to mind. Unfortunately, many people are falsely accused of domestic violence. We help clients with responding to a domestic violence restraining order. In California, domestic violence restraining orders (“DVRO”) are an option to protect a victim from  further abuse. Unfortunately, restraining orders are sometimes sought for the wrong reasons. For example, restraining orders are often used to get child custody orders quickly without paying a filing fee. If you are accused of domestic violence in family court, regardless of whether the allegations are true or false, you need a lawyer.  It is critical to rehabilitate your reputation and present your case in the most persuasive Read More

Family Law 101: Court Hearings

On TV, court is often portrayed as dramatic, or even glamorous. In reality, court is a formal and serious environment and being unprepared can have dire consequences for your case. 1. Arrive 15 Minutes Early Arrive early before your court appearance to avoid delays in travel, time to find parking, and to meet with your attorney before court. Courtroom policies can vary slightly between departments, and some Judges will continue or “trail” your case to a later calendar, or even decide the case without your presence if you are late. When the courtroom opens, be sure to: Check the docket (list with the court cases on it) and note which number your case is Remove hats, sunglasses Sit quietly, and if Read More

Announcing New Family Law Seminar Series

Cortino Law Office is excited to announce our new seminar series on family law. Whether you are a client of ours, considering hiring counsel, or navigating family court self-represented, these seminars covers the information and tools you need to succeed in your case. Our first seminar topic is Protecting Your Rights: Defending Against Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVROs). Unlike a criminal proceeding, there is no right to an attorney if a client is facing a civil domestic violence restraining order. If a DVRO is granted, your constitutional rights are impacted, including your rights to free speech and firearm ownership. The consequences for your employment and family structure can be dire. Attorney Christina Cortino will present: Tips on responding to the DVRO Read More

An Overview of Family Law Discovery

Discovery is the process by which one party requests documents and information from the other party. Discovery can be formal or informal. Family law discovery is often informally conducted through a voluntary exchange of documents and information. Informal discovery is preferred because it is far less expensive and time-consuming than the formal discovery. Obtaining information and documents from informal discovery is limited to what the other party is willing to provide you, and there is no recourse if they fail to cooperate with your requests. If you have been served with formal discovery, such as a subpoena or inspection demand, you may have a short time in which to respond. Failure to respond can prejudice your case and even subject you Read More

California Family Law 101: Qualifying for Summary Dissolution

For some married couples in California, there is a way to get a divorce called “summary dissolution.” Many people think this kind of divorce is available simply because the parties are in agreement to end the marriage. The couple’s agreement, even if on key issues such as property and support, does not necessarily mean the marriage qualifies for summary dissolution. Simply put, “quickie divorce” in California is a myth. In our experience, most couples have to get a “regular” divorce instead. Why? California law specifies that your case must meet nine specific requirements in order to qualify for summary dissolution. Those nine requirements are strict, and only met in limited situations. Mutually deciding to end the marriage, or simply not owning property or Read More

Social Media Guidelines for Clients

Not that long ago, attorneys relied on private investigators to learn facts about opposing parties such as where they work, who they spend their time with, and their activities. Today, however, intimate details about complete strangers can be gleaned from a single internet search. It can take as little as seconds to find information about your addresses, assets, employers, family, friends, and even which sport teams you root for. The information an opposing party, their attorney, or law enforcement official finds out about you can harm your credibility and even damage your case. Most clients have heard of cases where something about a client’s online presence has been used against them, but most do not think it could happen to them. Of course, the Read More