Kathryn Irene Phillips

Kathryn Irene Phillips

LAW OFFICES OF KATHRYN IRENE PHILLIPS
  • Family Law
  • California
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Summary

I have practiced law in Los Angeles County for the past 39 years. I have always practiced family law throughout my career, but have limited my practice to exclusively family law cases for the last six years. I adapt to a client's needs in an attorney in that some clients want a collaborative and partnership working relationship with their lawyer throughout their case, while others prefer to entrust their case to me and take a more passive role. I enjoy family law because I love people and because it is a fascinating and demanding discipline that is constantly changing and which requires some knowledge of several areas of law, such as probate, guardianship, real estate, tax, business, bankruptcy, etc., in addition to family law. It is my goal to help my clients complete their matters with as little trauma, delay and expense as possible. I have gained much insight from my experience over the years, which I know benefits my clients.

Practice Area
  • Family Law
Additional Practice Area
  • PRACTICES EXCLUSIVELY FAMILY LAW
Fees
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
California
Education
University of San Fernando Valley College of Law
Juris Doctor (1977) | Law
-
Professional Associations
California State Bar Family Law Section
Current
California State Bar # 74873
Member
- Current
Websites & Blogs
Website
Website
Law Offices of Kathryn Irene Phillips
Legal Answers
9 Questions Answered

Q. Paying alimony & child support to my ex wife, was convicted recently for theft, lost her job, can I get alimony stopped?
A: Short answer is no, the support you were ordered to pay will not be stopped. However, it will also not be increased due to the fact that she is no longer employed, because she was at fault in losing her job. I don’t think the facts you have presented will justify a change of custody. Just based on 2 episodes of shoplifting, I do not feel the courts would grant a change of custody based solely on that.
Q. how to handle a house in divorce
A: This comes up in divorces all the time. In dividing the property between spouses, just a quitclaim deed to put 100% of the title in one party’s name does NOT relieve the other party of his credit obligations under a mortgage that has his name on it. Any late payments she makes on that mortgage will negatively affect his credit. So, she will have to refinance the property to take his name off the mortgage. If she doesn’t qualify for that, she could ask for a year or so to do the refinance and hope that she will qualify in another year or so. If she simply will never qualify for the refinance, then one of two things must happen: 1) her husband agrees to keep his name on the mortgage (not likely to happen); or 2) the house is sold.
Q. Hello,I am writing you as a father who is seeking, at the very least, 50/50 custody of my daughter.
A: If you have a criminal record for sex offenses, domestic violence or other violent crimes, or a history of drug or alcohol abuse or addition, if you are awarded visitation with your daughter, you will probably have only professionally monitored visitation of your child for a couple hours a couple of times per month. You will have to pay for the monitor. If drug and alcohol abuse are part of your recent past and are currently issues, then drug and alcohol testing will most likely be part of any order you obtain.
Q. Can I file for contempt if ex is continually interfering with visitation and is harassing me via text?
A: I think what you mean by "fabricated text messages" is that he is making up negative things about you, not that he has somehow fabricated texts as false documents he claims are FROM YOU. If that is the case, you need to read the exact language of your order regarding what constitutes harassment to make sure his actions are included in the definition of harassment in your order. Your order must be a written document and it must have been served on him. You will need proof that he had knowledge of the order to prevail in a contempt. Your boyfriend can produce the texts and testify.. As to the negative comments to your son, that could be harassment, but it could also be parental alienation. As to interfering with visitation, again, look to your orders and make sure his actions are contrary to those orders and that you have proof, documentary or witnesses, to prove he violated the visitation orders. The bottom line is contempt is a very complex action involving very strict Constitutional protections the same as in criminal law and with very technical procedures. You should hire an attorney to represent you if you decide to go forward with the contempt. Alternatives are to discuss those negative comments with your son and your boyfriend and tell them the father is angry person and telling lies about you to discredit you in their eyes, that none of the things he is saying are true and then get on with your life. As to the visitation interference, if he refuses to allow you court-ordered time with your child, you can take a copy of the orders to the police and they will go with you to get your child for your visits. You must show the police the court orders to obtain their assistance with this. One problem with filing a contempt against a parent is that the other parent will use that against you by telling the child that you are trying to put his father in jail. He would do that to damage your relationship with your child.
Q. If my coparent has repeatedly violated the order of custody for our son, is it contempt or custody frustration?
A: You need a lawyer immediately as all of these issues are too complex for you to handle yourself. You have issues of parental alienation and an unauthorized move-away, failure to comply with court orders, and failure to take reasonable steps to care for the mental health of the child. If you want to file for a change of custody, depending on the age of your child, you may need either a Child Custody Evaluation or a PP2, which is a one day Parental Parenting Assessment performed by the court. Advise you to seek legal help immediately. If you cannot afford an attorney, then seek out your court's Family Law Facilitator, or call your local Bar Association to get a referral to a pro bono or modest means panel of attorneys who may help you. In any case, the longer you leave your child in that home, and the longer he is settling in to that home, area and school, the harder it will be to change custody.
Q. MY EX HUSBAND HAS BEEN MANDATED BY THE COURT TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT HE PAYS THEN STOPS. HOW CAN I GET HIM TO PAY PLEASE
A: You should open a case with the Child Support Services Department. They will collect your child support for free. It takes 5 - 6 months for them to set up your case and actually start collecting for you, but they are a free service and have access to information and procedures not available to private attorneys, such as seizing his tax refunds, and access to a parent locator program. If your order is old, they may even update it for you. All in all, you should call them today and start your case. You can find contact information from them on line.
Q. Current custody specifically addresses 2014 only.Do I have to adhere to a visitation agreement my ex emailed me for 2015
A: You didn’t say when your hearing is coming up, so I don’t know if your next hearing will help you before the Winter Break. The courts don’t consider this to be an emergency and so ex parte (emergency orders based on 1 day’s advance notice) will not be granted in most case. So, unless you file right now for orders for Christmas and New Years, you most likely will not be able to get into court for orders for those holidays. It is already too late for Thanksgiving. Your choice is to negotiate with your wife or to file and ask the court specifically for those holidays while the rest of your case is pending. Part of that will be demonstrating to the court that you have “met and conferred” with your wife to try to work this out before you file. Emails, text messages would be good to attach to your Request for Orders.
Q. i own my house with my mother. as joint tennants. I got married and divorced after 4 years. Does the moore marsden app
A: There are factors to consider before the question can be answered. Did you and your wife pay-down the mortgage during your marriage? If so, there will be a approportionment of your community property vs. separate property interest in the equity. However, if your mother paid the mortgage payments and you and your wife did not pay them, then there would be nothing on which to base a apportionment. Did you and your wife invest time and money making substantial and material improvements or alterations in the property? If so, then that may also trigger an apportionment of the equity. Any pay-down of the mortgage by you and your wife for only a 4 year period would not seem to be a substantial amount in any case and so any community property interest would most likely be very small.
Q. Does a parent have to comply with cps for a new born child. Cps is questioning if parent is capable of caring for child?
A: My questions to you are: What is the alternative? Who is asking you to complete that? Probably it is a Certified Social Worker from the DCFS. If you refuse to comply, what is the likely result? Very probably the case will be monitored by the DCFS and you may end up in Juvenile Dependency Court. You have to weigh your options and the likely consequences in making your decision as to whether you will comply.
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