Martha Bronson

  • California
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Empire Coll School of Law
Law Degree
Professional Associations
California State Bar # 133396
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Legal Answers
34 Questions Answered

Q. My father has a living trust leaving the property to me. His wife says he promised her the house, can she get the house?
A: Most Living trusts are revocable - that means they can be changed during the life time of your dad- trustor (person who set up the trust.) What he wrote in his trust today could be changed tomorrow. As such, the answer to your question is yes, she could get the house. Further, she could potentially have an interest in the house with attendant rights, even if she is not named as the beneficiary of that property. If he has been married for a long time and your dad has used his earning and accumulations during marriage to pay the mortgage on the house, then there is likely a proportionate community property interest in the house, one half of which wife is entitled.
Q. Do I accept getting served for child support, even though my kids have lived with me for the past 3 years?
A: Accepting service is not like you are accepting liability for support. Accepting service is only receiving the papers and nothing more. You should contact an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through filing the proper response in a timely manner and assist in addressing the court.
Q. My boyfriend took my daughter Home for a vacation and now he refuses to bring her back there’s no custody agreement
A: Retain an experienced family law attorney who can seek to obtain a temporary order of custody pending a hearing to determine custody. You do not provide enough facts to assess the likelihood that you will prevail, but generally speaking if the child is baby and attached to you as the primary caregiver you have a chance the court will grant the temporary order, particularly if the father does not have a history of visiting and caring for the child. Best of Luck.
Q. If the custodial parent dies and the Non custodial gives custody to Uncle how do they configure child support?
A: As the father of the child you are responsible for care and support of the child whether the child lives with the uncle or not. Unless your son is adopted by someone else, you remain liable for the care and support of the child.
Q. If my ex partner it’s not working can I still ask for child support.
A: You can ask for it, but if he does not have any earnings, the court is not going to order he pay support just because you ask for it. You would need to file a request for order to ask for a support order and establish that he is capable of working but he willingly does not work because he does not want to. The court will likely first enter a seek work order which will require him to go out and apply for jobs. He would be required to prove to the court that he sought employment by applying to a certain number of jobs each week. The court could also impute wages to him if it were to find that there is a job available to him within his ability to work. Thus, in answer to your question, yes you can ask for support, but be prepared to prove he able to work and that jobs are available for him to take, but he just does not want to work. You should contact DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES, to assist you I establishing an order for support and enforcing the order. Good luck.
Q. What can happen if i dont file my respondent paperwork on time, already went to mediation , she wants to see judge?
A: You could be prohibited from being heard by the court if you do not file your responsive papers timely. However, many courts will not impose such a harsh penalty and will allow you to file your papers late and be heard at the hearing. It is within the court's discretion to decide what remedy it will impose when a party fails to file on time. If there is no prejudice to the moving party then chances are the court will permit the late filed response and permit you to be heard.
Q. Does our Parental agreement that we both agreed to and had notarized have any substance in a custody / support hearing?
A: It sounds like you agreed on 50/50 but you did not actually exercise 50/50 physical custody. You mention that she is now "back in the states" which leads me to believe they were out of state such that 50/50 split impractical and not exercised. If it was never or rarely exercised, then the agreement is not going to have any bearing on the court's determination of custody because the agreement is not relevant. What is relevant is whatever the actual time share was that was implemented.
Q. Court ordered child support. Parents agreed to new plan two years later, notarized agreement. Did not make court aware
A: Many courts typically order that both parents provide insurance if it is offered and that medical and other extra ordinary expenses above the child's general daily living expenses, be split 50/50. As such, I would first recommend that you carefully review the initial support order to see if there is an order splitting uninsured medical expenses or other expenses 50/50. If there is, then you would simply file a motion (Request for Order form FL300) with the court asking that it enter an order for a sum certain for reimbursement of fifty percent of the expenses paid. The fact that you subsequently entered into written modification agreement (that was not entered as an order of the court) two years later will not, by itself, serve to invalidate the initial court orders. In fact, if your notorized written agreement states that mother shall pay the uninsured medicals and other extra expenses, it will only strengthen your position that mother is obligated to pay. Your comment that "mother is not paying her 50% portion of insurance" is confusing because it would be unusual for the court to order the other parent to pay for half of the insurance. The 50/50 apportionment typically only applies to uninsured medical expenses and other extra expenses, but not the costs of the insurance coverage itself. I hope this was help. Seek legal advice and assistance from an experienced family law attorney to guide or otherwise represent you if you decide to go forward with obtaining an order of reimbursement. One last point, and that is the court may limit you on how far you can go back and ask for reimbursement because in every case the court enters a support order that includes a right of reimbursement, they attached an information sheet that explains how to go about asking for the reimbursement from the other parent. That notice states that you need to make the request from the other parent within thirty days of incurring the expense. Experience has proven that the court often times does not enforce the time limits because most people do not read the notice or they read it but do not abide by it. Just be aware that the issue may arise. Good luck.
Q. My ex partner and I have an informal agreement regarding child support. No court order has been established.
A: Absent a pre-existing court order for support, the court is limited in its jurisdiction to enter an order for support retroactively. Assuming there are no extenuating circumstances, the court is generally limited to going back only so far as the date that you are served with the papers requesting the hearing to determine support. As such, in answer to your question about whether a judgment can be "placed" on you, the answer, generally, is that the court could not enter an order against you for child support retroactive during the past five years. The court can issue an order for child support and make it retroactive to the date you are served with the request, not further back than that.
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Garrett v. Coast & Southern Fed. Sav. & Loan Assn.
Supreme Court of California
Coursey v. Superior Court (Coursey) (1987)
California Courts of Appeal
Pierce v. Lyman (1991)
California Courts of Appeal
Smith v. Smith
California Courts of Appeal
Robinson v. Superior Court
California Courts of Appeal
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