December 2012 Archives

It Is 9:00 p.m. -- Do You Know Where Your Spouse Is?

December 26, 2012, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

infidelity.jpgYour spouse leaves the room each time the cell phone rings, and it rings a lot more lately. She works late a couple of times a week. Or, he takes care of the bills now, when you used to do them together. Another business trip?

While California is a no-fault divorce state, fault such as adultery can be used to influence settlement negotiations, or you may be entitled to a credit if community assets were used to keep the mistress in the lap of luxury. In fact, if a substantial amount of community assets were spent on the new boyfriend or girlfriend, you may also have a breach of fiduciary duty claim against your soon to be former spouse.

Spouses suspicious of their partners have never had it easier -- whether by making use of devices like global positioning satellite (GPS) devices placed inside the family car, or snooping through electronic communications on cell phones, computers and Facebook.

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December 24, 2012, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone


Assembly Bill 1909 Implemented To Benefit Sonoma County Foster Children

December 18, 2012, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

fosterCareKids.jpgThe primary focus of Assembly Bill 1909 ("AB 1909") is to require that a foster child's attorney and appropriate welfare representative (usually their social worker) be notified in situations where the foster child faces possible suspension or expulsion from school. This notification is in addition to parental or guardian notification. The purpose of this bill is to benefit foster youth by helping ensure that they have an adult advocate on their side during the disciplinary process. As stated by the author of the bill, "A lack of notification to parties responsible for the foster youth's welfare creates a missed opportunity to address the root causes of that youth's behavioral issues and may lead to an unnecessary disruption in the foster youth's education."

AB 1909 requires the following types of notifications to a foster child's attorney and appropriate welfare representative.

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Seeking Back Child Support in Santa Rosa California

December 11, 2012, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

albuquerque-child-support.jpgCalifornia law imposes a duty on both parents to support their minor children. Therefore, when the court issues any orders that address child custody, it will almost always include a provision for child support. Alternatively, the court can issue an order on child support only that does not address custody. This is very common when the Sonoma County Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) is involved in your child support case.

The amount of all child support orders in California is determined under the statewide uniform child support guideline formula. It is the legislative intent in California that a parent's first and principal obligation is to support his or her minor children. What does this mean? Simple, don't waste your time going to court and trying to get your child support lowered or eliminated based on the fact that you do not make enough money because your car payment is too high, your mortgage is too high, or your grocery bill is too high, it does not matter! As the law provide that y our first and principal obligation is to support your children, the retort to your lack of money will basically be, lower your other bills by any means necessary.

What is the answer to this? While, according to some, it is to not pay your court ordered support. Don't make that mistake. DCSS has many ways of going after you for back support that will make your life difficult.

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Former Sebastopol Tenant Gwen Smith Is Up To Her Old Tricks

December 8, 2012, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

kim-jong-il.jpgFor those of you following along, Gwen Smith is at it again. Off the heels from her defeat in federal court attempting to sue the Press Democrat for defamation, she has now filed a lawsuit in federal court against her former landlord Barbara Wilt. Smith vs. Wilt.pdf

As usual, you can formulate your own opinions.

Falsely Accused of Child Abuse: Understanding The CPS Investigation

December 4, 2012, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

false allegations.jpgAll too often allegations of child abuse get brought up in a highly contested child custody litigation. Too many men have become the targets of false allegations. False allegations of domestic violence. False allegations of sexual assault. And false allegations of sexual abuse.

Getting a phone call from an agent of Child Protective Services (CPS) is frightening. An indictment can result in the loss of your child or the implementation of a service plan that interferes with your relationship. Even unfounded cases can have traumatic effects on your record and your closeness with your family.

Anybody can report suspicions of child abuse. Some medical professionals, educational staff, caretakers and social service providers are required to file a report. CPS has 24 hours to begin an investigation of child abuse or neglect allegations after receiving the initial report. After interviewing all parties and gathering all relevant information, CPS caseworkers must determine whether maltreatment has occurred and can be substantiated. In most States, CPS staff are mandated by law to determine whether the report is substantiated or founded (meaning that credible evidence indicates that abuse or neglect has occurred) or whether the report is unsubstantiated or unfounded (meaning that there is a lack of credible evidence to substantiate child maltreatment--but does not mean it did not necessarily occur). During the investigation, the agent may:

  • Review family history that exists with the CPS
  • Conduct home visits
  • Contact the person who reported the abuse
  • Interview you and other caretakers
  • Question people who may have relevant information -- such as teachers, medical professionals and neighbor

What you should do if contacted by CPS

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