2013-2014 Updates for Important Family Law Cases

Case Updates for 2013 and part of 2014 Concerning Family Law Matters in California

Below are a list and extremely short synopsis for several important cases in California family law circles.  Some of these cases may apply to your Orange County divorce, custody, paternity, DV, child support, spousal support or property division case.

  1. Boblitt: 223 Cal. App.4th 1004: Upon discovery cutoff close in dissolution of marriage (divorce) cases, discovery is not reopened automatically with post-judgment motion. You must obtain an agreement or file motion to open discovery.  The Boblitt ruling caused havoc in family courts and the California legislature enacted legislation to overturn/overrule Boblitt.  Effective January 1, 2015, discovery will automatically open in post-judgment family law matters.  Stay tuned for updates.
  2. Boswell: 225 Cal. App. 4th 1172: This case created a defense to a child support arrears collection case.  If the responding party can prove that the requesting party had unclean hands by hiding the child from the support obligor, he or she may not be responsible for the arrears.
  3. Rosenfeld & Gross: 225 Cal. App. 4th 478: Held a trial court has continuing jurisdiction to modify a college expense order under FC §3587. If negotiating a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA), parties should include a “Rosenfeld Waiver” where terms of college expenses are non-modifiable.
  4. Frederick v. Superior Court: 223 Cal. App. 4th 988: If the death of party occurs during a family law proceeding, the court has jurisdiction to enter a nunc pro tunc order and reserving jurisdiction over other issues.  Nunc pro tunc means the court makes an order that is effective at some earlier point in time.
  5. Jason P. v. Danielle S.: 2014 Cal. App. Lexis 418: Held a sperm donor has right to file paternity action under FC§7613 claim of paternity by estoppels when the donor is actively involved in child’s life after birth.
  6. Crosby v. HLC Properties, Ltd.: (2014) 223 Cal. App. 4th 597: Held that a person’s name, likeness and identity (i.e. Right of Publicity) is not community property.
  7. Davis: (On appeal) 220 Cal. App. 4th 1104: Held a date of separation may occur years prior to the parties’ actual physical separation.
  8. In Re Francis: 505 B.R. 914 (BK Case): A bankruptcy court’s holding that a “hold harmless” clause in an MSA was excepted from the Chapter 7 discharge.
  9. IRMO Greaux & Mermin: 223 Cal. App. 4th 1242: Held the Family Court has the ability to order non-compete orders to achieve an equal division of marital property that trump a former spouse’s constitutional right to engage in any business of choosing.
  10. IRMO Haugh: 225 Cal. App. 4th 963:  Held a trial (family) court does not have exclusive continuing jurisdiction over a child support matter if the parties and children no longer reside and do not consent to California’s continuing jurisdiction.
  11. Sharples: 224 Cal. app. 4th 160: The form FL-319 is optional for an attorney’s fees motion in a family law case, so long as the substantive information contained in that form is presented to the court in some other fashion or method.
  12. Gonzalez v. Santa Clara County: 223 Cal. App. 4th 72: Held that the parental privilege allows a parent to discipline their child as they see fit. Corporal punishment by a parent of child (spoon-spanking or acts resulting in bruises), under the “parental privilege,” is not reportable child abuse under CANRA if the acts constituted the reasonable imposition of discipline protected by the parental discipline privilege.
  13. IRMO Priem: 214 Cal. App. 4th 505: A guilty/nolo contendre plea of misdemeanor domestic violence creates basis for presumptive denial of temporary spousal support per FC§4325.
  14. J.Q. and T.B. 223 Cal. App. 4th 687:  Held the Family Court has jurisdiction to order temporary spousal support despite a pending DVRO under FC§6341. Public policy is that spousal should still be supported pending determination of DVRO.
  15. Lozano v. Alvarez: If a child is abducted internationally, the non-abducting parent must file a request for return of child with the Hague (under article 12) within a 1 year period from the date the child is concealed. If not filed within that 1 year, there is no equitable tolling of the statute of limitations.

For more information about divorce or recent case law, or if you would like to chat with our expert attorneys about your family law matter please call or contact us today.