Los Angeles Superior Divorce Court Extends Court Closure Until May 12, 2020 – COVID-19

On May 15th, 2020 the Los Angeles Superior Court extended their March 17th order to extend the court closure due to COVID-19 until May 12, 2020. The court is closed to all non-essential business.

Keep in mind that the court is still operational. The courts are still allowing for new divorce cases to be filed and are processing existing cases. The closure only affects the ability to enter the courthouse and to attend hearings which have all been continued to future dates.

Our team continues to work here at Divorce661 and are processing new cases daily.

Los Angeles Divorce Court Closed Covid-19

Divorce Judgment Will Supersede Petition & Response

The judgment you submit in your divorce, whether through an agreement or through trial, will supersede any requests you make in either your filed petition or response.

For this reason, what you “request” in your petition or response is just that, requests. They are not requests that will be granted per se, rather they are just an indication to the other party what is on your mind as far as what you are thinking at the time of filing.

For this reason, the filing of the petition and response is mostly boilerplate, statistical information only.

In this episode, we’re talking more about the difference between a default case. A true default meaning no agreement, and a default with an agreement which means with an agreement obviously. I had a client contact me a few weeks ago that was trying to go through the Self Help Center.

I think I did a video on this. Just the frustration and time he put into going down there and all the issues he ran into anyways. He called us, retained us, so we could wrap everything up which we have. The interesting thing is he called me today saying that court called him, which I’ve never heard of that happening in all my years and thousands of cases the court calling someone.

Not sure if that was really the court or not, but they were telling him that because he had put TBD, to be determined, on a property declaration. We’re talking about the FL 160s that he attached to his petition.

He needed to come back in and re file his petition and amend his property declaration, so he called me with some concerns saying that the court was saying there are some issues. The problem was that the court is confused over the difference between a default and a default with agreement.

In the conversation I just had with him, I advised him that yes, it would have been correct where he would have had to amend the petition and update his property declarations from the TBD, to be determined, to an actual value amount with a proposed division of the asset if it was a default without an agreement.

Because he said he would be able to get signatures from his wife we were able to simply have a default with an agreement which will supersede any requests in the petition. That’s why I’m always harping on what a default with an agreement, why it’s so much better than default without an agreement.

You have so much more latitude in what you can do so if you completely screw up the petition and your property declarations are screwed up, and in fact, in our videos, we tell you do not attach a property declaration to your judgment unless you know it’s going to be a true default.

The agreement we put together for you in your judgment that both of you will sign will supersede any requests in the petition that was filed to start the case. Tim Blankenship, divorce661.com. I hope you’re having a great day. We’ll talk to you soon.

I’m Not Separated Yet So What Date Of Separation Do I Use On California Divorce Petition?

Hi, Tim Blankenship here with divorce661.com. In this episode, we’re talking about what to use as the date of separation for your divorce. Very commonly I’ll have people get started with us in the divorce process here in California, and I will ask them what the date of separation is, and they kind of have a blank look on their face and.

They’ll say something to the effect of well, we’re not legally separated, or we’re not separated we’re still living together. That’s a very common answer, and you may find yourself in that situation as well. The issue is you need to have a date of separation when you file for divorce. When you list it on the petition, you need to have a date of separation. You cannot leave it blank.

I see that many times when people are starting their divorce paperwork on their own. You need to have a date of separation on there if no date in the past makes sense like you started living on the couch a month ago or one spouse moved out 6 weeks ago, something like that. Then just use the date filing for the date of your divorce.

Tim Blankenship, divorce661.com. I hope you’re having a great day. We’ll talk to you soon.

Avoiding Child Support Order In Divorce Judgment By Agreement

On this episode, we’re talking about child support and how to request either no child support or to 0 out the support order.

The reason I bring this up is many of our clients want to have no support as part of their divorce, but the problem is that child support is mandatory in the state of California, so you have to have child support. I’ve done multiple videos on this.

You cannot waive child support, but you can set up your child support to be set with a zero support order. There’s a bunch of additional legalese that has to be incorporated into the child support order when you do that, but it is possible.

An example is, I had someone give me a call they’ve been trying to do their own divorce working through the court’s Self Help Center. She said, Tim, I’ve been to court, and they’re telling me I need a disso master because I wanted zero support order and she had found one of my other videos I had done online.

I said well why don’t you just go down to the facilitator and have them do your disso master report? She said she did go see the facilitator and the facilitator’s exact words are “child support is mandatory”.
That someone has to pay and not a negative way, but this is either the wife is paying the husband, or the husband is paying the wife after divorce based on the custodial agreement and the incomes between the parties.

So, when you go through court, I guess the point of this story is if when you go through the court process, you don’t have any options. You’re going to have to follow California law, and that’s one of the benefits of using my service.

Many of our clients, it’s a very popular option, that folks are going through an amicable divorce, they have an amicable custody or parenting plan, they just don’t want the child support built into the divorce.

So, what do you do? Well, if you go through the court and do it on your own or go through attorneys, you’re going to have child support one way or another. You’re going to pay, or your spouse is going to pay, and that’s just the way it’s going to be.

If you use my service, you guys have so many more options. We can package up your divorce case however you want. If you don’t want there to be child support as part of your divorce even though it would normally be required, that’s fine I can take care of that. There’s a way of doing it.

Again, there’s special legalese. It has to be packaged up a certain way, but again it’s a very popular option. Most of our clients who do not want a child support built in we get that done, and it’s not a problem because we know exactly how it needs to be drafted in to accomplish that.

Tim Blankenship, divorce661.com. I hope you’re having a great day. We’ll talk to you soon.

Do I Need A Detailed Child Custody Plan In California?

Hi, Tim Blankenship here with divorce661.com. In this episode, we’re talking about California child custody agreements and parenting plans. Basically, what you can come up with and what is required by the courts as far as a parenting plan?

People have asked me what’s required. Like how much detail does the court need as far as a custom plan? Here’s the answer.  The courts do not need a detailed parenting plan at all. All they need to know is how you are going to label your custody.

Meaning, are you going to have joint legal and joint physical or is one party going to be the sole physical custodial parent etc.? You don’t need an actual detail plan. For people who want to have an open parenting plan and not a specified plan, you can simply say joint legal, joint physical, and reasonable right of visitation to the other party.

That’s sufficient enough for the court. They’re not going to kick that back and say no we need a parenting plan. If you want an open schedule for people that maybe have schedules that change frequently, law enforcement officers, nurses, firefighters, people that have a changing schedule, you may not want a detailed parenting plan.

It may not be workable because maybe your schedule changes frequently. Now in the alternative, you can have a detailed parenting plan so if you have a good relationship with your spouse and the open parenting plan works that’s great. But if you want to have some detail or specificity of your parenting plan, you can have as detailed as a plan as you want.

You can attach the attachments that are part of the court orders. You can have a joint legal custody attachment. You can have a physical custody attachment. You can have a detailed plan where you are laying out every hour and every minute who picks up in what vehicle. I mean you can get as detailed as you want. It’s not necessary, but you can have an open plan, a very detailed plan, or anything in the middle.

Tim Blankenship, divorce661.come. I hope you’re having a great day. We’ll talk to you soon.

We Have No Property Together | Common Mistakes With Assets During Divorce

Hi, Tim Blankenship here with divorce661.com. In this episode, we’re talking about assets and debts property. Not just real property. Not just a home but when we say property we’re talking about any type of assets and debts.

Commonly we’ll have people tell me is when I say, hey, do you have any property to divide or any assets or debts divided they’ll commonly say no we don’t have anything together. Well having something together, and what they mean is in each other’s name, meaning they each have assets of death in their own name but not combined assets and debts.

That’s not how that works in a California divorce it is about when the asset or debt was acquired. Regardless of whose name it’s in.

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So, if you guys acquired an asset or debt during the marriage, a credit card in your spouse’s name, a car in your name, it’s considered a shared asset or shared debt. Doesn’t mean you have to divide it, it just means it has to be addressed and has to be confirmed to one of you or the other.

Tim Blankenship, divorce661.com. I hope you’re having a great day. We’ll talk to you soon.

How To Serve California Divorce Papers When Amicable

Hi, Tim Blankenship here with divorce661.com. Ladies and gentlemen, there is a better way to serve your divorce documents when your case is amicable. I’ve said this a million times.

The reason I’m bringing this up is I had a client this week who is trying to do his own divorce, hadn’t used us, hadn’t called us for advice, try to do his own divorce. It was amicable, so he goes down to court files his paperwork, and then he has someone serve his wife. The wife is at work. Process server shows up at work, you’ve been served. You know how it goes.

You’ve seen it on television. People don’t like that. I don’t care how amicable your divorce is, if you have your wife or your spouse served paperwork it’s going to start you down a dark road. No one likes to be served. There’s a different way of doing it. We never have our clients served by a process server or anybody for that matter.

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There’s a way you can have a single form signed. You just provide it to your wife or your spouse or your husband. You provide them a form. You give them copies of the paperwork. They sign a form saying they acknowledge receiving a copy of it and everyone’s happy.

Tim Blankenship, divorce661.come. I hope you’re having a great day. We’ll talk to you soon.

Pomona Divorce Court Rejecting Judgments That Don’t Include Withholding Order FL-195

Hi, Tim Blankenship here with divorce661.com and today we’re talking about some issues we’re seeing, in this case particularly with the Pomona Courthouse.

So, when you file for divorce and you’re doing your judgment, we’re talking about the FL 180, the final paperwork, you’ll notice at the bottom it says this judgment contains provision for child support or family support. It’s letter H on page 1.

What this is telling you is that if you have a child support order, then you need to attach an FL 191. The FL 191 is a child case registry form. Now, it says you have 10 days to do that after you file the judgment, so in most cases we are not ever filing this case registry form, although the judgment form says it’s required and we’ve never had any issues.

Recently we’ve been having issues with the Pomona Courthouse wherein they are rejecting judgments that do not have the case registry form attached at the time of submission of the judgment, so of course we’re now complying with that and making sure we’re doing that.

Obviously, there is either a new clerk or a new judge who is in there and is making sure or demanding that that be turned in. In addition, Pomona is also now making it mandatory that, when there is a child support order, that a FL 195 Withholding Order also be attached.

They’re not even allowing that to be something that you guys can agree upon. I’m going to do another video about what to do about that FL 195, which is the Withholding Order. Many people who are paying support do not want to have support being paid directly from their employer, or maybe they just don’t want their employer knowing they’re paying child support.

It is sort of a personal issue and I get that. If you have a Pomona case, we’re not seeing this in any other courts right now except Pomona. Pomona is requiring and they are rejecting judgments if there is no case registry form and if there’s no withholding order when there is child support involved.

Tim Blankenship, divorce661.com. Hope you’re having a great day. We’ll talk to you soon.

How To File California Divorce Form By Mail

Hi, Tim Blankenship here with divorce661.com and today we’re talking about whether or not you can file court documents by mail.

You might find yourself out of town or in a different state dealing with a divorce in California and you may need to get some documents filed, or perhaps you just don’t want to have to drive down to the courthouse because it’s 20, 30 miles away.

There is a way to file your divorce paperwork by mail, but there’s a certain way you want to do that. Here’s how you do that.

1st of all you have to, obviously, mail your documents to the court, but what you need to do is have a copy of whatever it is you want to receive back, because you’re going to want to get copies of whatever you’re filing back. You have to have an original followed by a copy, followed by postage returning to you, so a self addressed, stamped envelope back to you.

If you mail in documents to the court with just an original, they’re not going to mail you a copy, they’re not going to make a copy, mostly because they charge for it. And, number 2, they won’t just put it in an envelope and address it to you, so you have to basically spoon feed the court.

If you’re going to mail it in, mail it with the original and a copy, and I’d even put a note to be clear that you want a copy of what you’re filing and to mail it back to you in the self addressed, stamped envelope. Tim Blankenship, divorce661.com. Hope you have a great day. We’ll talk to you soon.

My Thoughts On The California Divorce Self Help Centers

Hi, Tim Blankenship here with divorce661.com. In this episode what we’re talking about is the California courts and the self help centers.

I met with a gentleman the other day. He started his divorce 6 months ago. He has full time employment, so does his spouse, but thought he would try and save some money by trying to do his own divorce, as many of you do, and I get that. You want to save some money, but I’m going to tell you, you are going to spend so much time and resources down at the courthouse trying to do this free service. All you’re going to do is get stuck in the end.

I see this, I get this phone call 10 times a day where people have tried to do their own divorce, they’ve gone to the self help center and then reported back to me, when they finally hired us some 6 months or a year later, the trouble they ran into in using the self help center.

This particular gentleman said he spent 3 days at the self help center over a period of 6 months and he had to go down there multiple times. Aside from them being rude, which they almost always are, they are unhelpful. So it’s kind of funny they call it the self help center.

He was given bad advice. He was told he had to amend certain documents when he didn’t. They had him filling out all kinds of forms that weren’t required for his particular case. Here’s someone, as most of you are, you have full time jobs, you have children.

This is not your industry, this is not your business. You’re not in the business of divorce, like I am, as far as from the perspective of handling the paperwork and dealing with the courts. This is not something you should take on for yourself. You’re going to spend more money in lost wages as this gentleman did, going down to court, missing work at whatever your hourly rate is, instead of just hiring someone from the get go.

Now, I know that’s a hard pill to swallow upfront. You’re going to have to figure this out and learn it for yourself the hard way, it’s not something I can probably tell you. I can just share for you from experience with our clients.

They come to us after starting their own divorce. They are not getting good help at the self help center and it’s costing them more in their own missed wages from not working than just hiring someone from the get go. We can get you squared away if you find yourself in this position, we can help you. We help people finalize their divorce that get stuck somewhere through the process, so just give us a call.