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Encino Family Law Blog

August is Child Support Awareness Month

Listen up, California parents: August is Child Support Awareness month. The state wants to ensure that parents take the time to focus on meeting their financial obligations regarding their children, and publicize where both paying and receiving parents can get information about child support cases. The goal of the awareness campaign is to try to help California children have all the things necessary to live day to day. Food, clothing and shelter can be expensive, and it is important for both parents to contribute.

Many parents may feel as if child support issues are difficult to deal with. Sometimes, a parent may be unsure how to establish a court order. On other occasions, even if an order already exists, they may need some help enforcing it. This can often seem overwhelming. 

NFL star embroiled in child custody dispute

California residents may have personal experience with situations in which children are shared by unmarried parents. Often called co-parenting, it can sometimes be difficult to reach an agreement detailing when and where a child will have access to each parent. In cases where the parents were never a couple, determining child custody may prove a daunting task.

This January, NFL player Josh Norman, of the Washington Redskins, learned that he had fathered a child with a woman from California. The pair was never in a serious relationship, and do not claim they had intended to form one. Norman now finds himself having to fight in court to see his infant daughter. 

Police dog nabs domestic violence suspect

Domestic violence remains an enormous concern in California communities. When a victim calls for help, police do not hesitate to respond. Domestic violence situations can be dangerous for the officers that respond, because there is a risk that the suspect may continue abusing a victim, or turn his or her rage toward police who have come to help. 

Recently, California police responded to a call in which a woman told dispatchers she was the victim of domestic violence. Officers came as soon as they could, but upon arriving at the residence, they realized that the suspect was still inside and would not surrender. They were able to get the victim out safely, but still needed to apprehend her abuser. 

Poor parenting choices can become a matter of family law

California children may belong to the fortunate group that has an extended family to love and care for them. Sometimes, when a parent makes poor choices, he or she can lose rights to physical custody of a child. In these situations, the extended family may feel the desire to make themselves available to provide guardianship for a child. Family law courts regularly hear cases involving these issues. 

Recently, one California mother inexplicably left her young son, who was deaf and unable to communicate, at a busy train station. Law enforcement and other people at the station attempted to speak to the child using sign language, but the child was unable to respond. The strange circumstances appeared on the local news as people at the station attempted to figure out to whom the child belonged. Police tried to keep the child safe and calm as they investigated, and bought him lunch and stayed by his side. 

Online stalking is a type of domestic violence

California residents are probably aware that domestic violence is a nationwide problem. Most people are aware that if they suspect themselves or a loved one are victims of violence, they should seek help immediately. What many people may not know is that in addition to physical violence, there are other crimes, like online stalking, that are still potentially classified as domestic abuse. 

In June, police arrested a California man that was continuing to harass his ex-girlfriend by using electronic communications like text messages and social media. The victim told authorities that the man would message her thousands of times, despite her attempts to prevent further communication from him after the couple split. The woman said she blocked the man's number, which only led to more serious abuse on his part, as he allegedly hacked into her online accounts, some of which contained her financial information. When he continued to send the woman threatening messages, she moved to another town to try to lose contact with him once and for all, but that did not stop the abuse either. 

Actor Brad Pitt hopeful new ruling will allow more parenting time

California residents are likely used to seeing headlines full of celebrity drama. Hollywood remains the heart of the global film and television industry, and people around the world like to keep up with their favorite stars.  Sometimes fans feel as if they can relate when big time stars face real world issues. The once iconic couple that is Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have recently found themselves splashed across media outlets as the story unfolds about their heated custody dispute, in which Pitt claims he is being denied adequate parenting time by Jolie. 

The former couple shares six children ranging in age from 16 to 9, three of whom are adopted, while the other three are the biological children of Pitt and Jolie. Since the pair entered divorce proceedings over two years ago, they have not yet been able to reach a permanent custody agreement for their children.  Since the couple separated, Jolie has had the children with her most of the time. She has been hesitant to allow the children to have time with their father, and has been accused of attempting to turn the children against him. 

Child custody dispute crosses state lines

Many California parents may be all too familiar with the type of stress that can arise from trying to come to terms with a custody order. A child custody order is put into place by the courts to detail the physical and legal and financial role each parent shall play in the lives of their mutual children. A child support order takes care of the financial aspects. Many times, these orders can alleviate disputes between parents, but when one or both parents finds themselves disinclined to accept a custody arrangement, disaster can strike. 

In June 2018, multiple police agencies from two states became involved when the father of a 6-year-old child decided to take matters into his own hands. A parental dispute between the man and the child's mother quickly escalated into a possible missing child situation. The mother reported that the father had taken the child over the weekend, but the pair never returned. 

False accusations of domestic violence by alleged theif

California residents are likely aware that law enforcement takes reports of violent crime quite seriously. Domestic violence in particular can be a frightening situation for victims, and for police that respond to the scene. Often, police react by removing the person accused from the situation, and conduct an investigation after the fact. This method is used to ensure the immediate safety of potential victims, and prevent further incidents at the scene. 

Being accused of domestic violence can be stressful. A person may think that even if no violent act was actually committed, an accusation is enough to seal one's fate in a courtroom. This is not the case. Recently, one California woman decided to take advantage of the quickness with which law enforcement responds to a victim's call for help. 

Girl reported missing amid child custody dispute.

California parents would likely agree that when it comes to arguments over the custody of their children, it can be difficult to reach an agreement. Often, parents that share children but maintain separate households quickly become familiar with a court-mandated custody order.  Court orders are put into place to make clear the role of each parent, and outline what must be done to ensure that the order is obeyed. Many times, parents may be able to follow such an order in an amicable manner; sometimes, though, frustration or uncertainty can lead to a child custody dispute.

Recently, a California girl was reported missing after family members contacted police. According to the family, the child was at the center of a custody battle, to which her mother was a party. The mother had said she was taking the child out to dinner, but the pair never returned, and the family grew concerned. Authorities now believe the mother has absconded with the child. 

Irreconcilable differences lead to divorce.

California couples may be all too familiar with the term " irreconcilable differences." The term is used to describe a situation in which neither spouse has committed any sort of act that would immediately warrant a divorce, and yet the marriage has irretrievably broken down. Referred to as a no fault divorce, this type of legal split has become one of the most common ways Americans are choosing to dissolve their unions. 

Recently, celebrity actress Alicia Silverstone cited irreconcilable differences when filing for divorce from her husband of 12 years. Though the couple has been separated for two years, both parties seem to agree that it would be best to end their marriage entirely. While neither party has spoken out to indicate contention, there are still matters that must be dealt with before their divorce can be made final. 

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