Need for Income & Expense Dec. (FL-150) in Child Support Modification

The consequences and rules for “timely filings” of income and expense declarations in the context of support modifications was discussed in the recent case of In re Marriage of Tydlaska 2003 DJDAR 13839

Lee and Darlene Tydlaska received a judgment of  divorce in September 2001 after a 27 year marriage.  Lee was ordered to pay, pursuant to the judgment, child support of $2,185 per month and monthly spousal support of $4,000. In December 2001, Lee filed an Order to Show Cause to modify child and spousal support. At that time, Lee provided an income and expense declaration dated December 24, 2001, showing his gross monthly income at that time was $10,423. At the hearing for the order to show cause in February 2002, the court appointed a special master to determine Lee’s income. The special master filed his report with the Court in July 2002. The special master found that for the year 2001, Lee’s gross income was $11,983.00. The Court held a hearing on August 8, 2002 and denied Lee’s request to modify support because Lee did not have a current income and expense declaration filed. Lee appealed the decision and the appellate court sustained and upheld the trial court. Continue reading →

Final Order in Family Law Case Is Not Always Closure

Los Angeles Daily Journal, Vol.117, Issue 219, November 10, 2004

When a hotly contested child custody case spills over into a juvenile dependency case, most family law attorneys will not continue handling the child custody portion of the case in this new arena.  Once a dependency matter is commenced, the child custody portion of the family law case is stayed. However, remaining family law issues, such as property division and support are not stayed. Typically, a family law attorney will wait until the dependency case has terminated to resume working on child custody issues. The recent case of In Re Marriage of David M. and Martha M. (2006)DJDAR7065 (”David M.”, suggests that the family Law practitioner may want to have input in the dependency matter before dependency jurisdiction terminates. Continue reading →

Custody Modifications Post Birnbaum: Form Over Substance?

“Custody Modifications Post Birnbaum: Form Over Substance?”
Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law News and Review,
Vol. 10, #4, Fall 89

When we last wrote about the field of child custody litigation (See “The Changing Nature of the Burden of Proof in Child Custody Litigation”: Family Law News & Review, Winter 1987), the California Supreme Court had recently issues its opinion in Burchard vs. Garay 42 Cal.3d 531.  At that time, the Court indicated a move away from the “change of circumstance” rule enunciated in In re Marriage of Carney (1979)  24 Cal.3d 725 and its prodigy.

Essentially, the Supreme Court in Burchard indicated that when there existed no court order or judicial determination of a custodial arrangement, the burden for changing same was a best interest test rather than a change of circumstance test.  (It is interesting to note that numerous commentators have cited the fact that both Carney and Burchard involved initial determinations of custodial arrangements by courts, yet the burden of proof to necessitate a change in both cases, was radically different.) Continue reading →

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