What Happens if a Parent takes the Child and Disappears?

There are times when a parent abandons the home and takes a child without saying where he/she will be living and/or how contact can be made.  This is extremely stressful and may occur for a number of reasons.  One reason that a woman may do this is due to a Domestic Violence situation in which she is afraid to remain in the home.  In this case a woman may go to a shelter with the child or to family or friends and may not wish to say where she is out of fear.

If Domestic Violence is not a factor, it is a crime for either parent to take children out of the home and not state where the children will reside.  This is especially stressful when children are taken out of the city, state or, much worse, out of the country.   If you are married and your spouse and child leave the home and you do not know where they are, be advised that the offending parent can be charged with ‘parental kidnapping‘.  In this case a report should be made with the police so that every attempt can be made to find the child.  The same report can be made if you are not married, but have court orders for custody & visitation.

However, if you are a father, not married and without court orders then you will need to file a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship and try to find the mother so that she can be served.  If you can’t find the mom, it will be difficult to move forward.  For this reason, it is very important for fathers to get court orders for children when they know where the mom is and not wait until a potential change.

If you have questions about ‘parental kidnapping’, paternity or child issues such as Custody, Visitation & Support give the Family Law Lawyers at  Legal Action Workshop a call @ 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444). With over 35 years’ experience, we can advise you as to your best options.  Please visit our website @ www.LegalActionWorkshopLAW.com for more information.

Posted in Abandoning the Family, Abandonment, Child Custody, Child Custody & Visitation, Child Custody in California, Child Visitation and Support, Custody, Family Law, Family Law Attorney, Father's Rights, How to Get Child Custody, What is Domestic Abuse | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Sure if You are the Father?

Notification of fatherhood may come to you from the Family Court in the form of a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship, or from Child Support Services.  No matter how it comes, it is best to take action right away.  In some instances you may not know who the mom is and are certain you are not the father, or you may know the mom and still be unsure as to whether the child is yours or not.

Whatever the situation, your response depends on what you receive.  If you received a Notice and Complaint from Child Support Services you will have 30 days to respond to it. When you respond you must say that you are NOT the parent and request a DNA test. Child Support Services will typically arrange for the testing.  If the test comes back negative, Child Support Services will usually dismiss the case.

If you are served with a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship, also known as a Paternity Action, from the Family Court you will also need to Respond within 30 days. However, make sure to check either the box indicating that you are unsure that you are the father OR that you are sure that you are not the father.  You can also request a DNA test to confirm paternity.

Do not wait to dispute Paternity.  Make sure to reply right away so as to request a DNA test to confirm fatherhood.  Those who wait or who do not respond correctly run the risk of being determined the father and paying the necessary Child Support.  If the dad waits more than 2 years, once a judgment as to Paternity has been made, the courts will not change the determination.

If you have questions regarding Paternity or have received a document regarding Paternity, give us a call!  We can determine how best to handle your specific case and see that a DNA test is administered. We can be reached at 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) or visit our website for more information www.LegalActionWorkshopLAW.com .

Posted in Child Custody, Child Custody & Visitation, Child Custody in California, Child Support, Child Support in California, Child Visitation and Support, Family Law, Father's Rights, How to Get Child Custody, How to Get Child Support, Paternity Action, Want to get Child Custody? | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Action Steps if your Spouse Committed Bigamy

If you find out that your spouse is not divorced from a previous spouse i.e. committed Bigamy, you can:

  1.  File for Annulment as Bigamy is a legal ground for Annulment
  2. If a Divorce is in progress and not completed, your spouse could complete the Divorce then you could remarry if desired
  3. If children or property are involved in the current marriage to a spouse who is not divorced, you can still file for Divorce under the ‘putative spouse‘ law.  This law states that if a spouse believed that he/she was in a valid marriage then a Divorce could be filed and other issues such as division of property, spousal support as well as custody, visitation and support of children could be addressed.

In most cases, the spouse who committed Bigamy is often unaware that his/her Divorce was not finalized by the court, therefore a simple completion of the Divorce is all that is needed so that the couple can remarry.  However, an Annulment or Divorce could also be filed depending on the situation.

If you would like to discuss a California Annulment or Divorce, our experienced Family Law Attorneys can help for Low Flat Fees!  Please call our offices at 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) or visit our website www.LegalActionWorkshopLAW.com for more information.


Posted in Annulment, Bigamy, California Divorce, Child Custody, Child Custody & Visitation, Child Custody in California, Child Support, Child Support in California, Child Visitation and Support, Divorce, Divorce and Family Law, Divorce Attorney, Divorce Lawyer, Family Law, Flat Fee Divorce, Flat Fee Los Angeles Divorce Attorneys, Los Angeles Divorce Attorney, Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer, What is an Annulment? | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marriage when Spouse is Not Divorced

Why do people remarry when not Divorced?  Bigamy (marrying when not divorced from a previous spouse) is illegal and can happen for a number of reasons:

  1. Mistaken beliefs:  People mistakenly believe that the 6 month ‘waiting period’ for a California Divorce means that 6 months after filing for Divorce you are automatically divorced!  They may also believe that once the Divorce is filed, it is finalized!  In truth, the minimum time period for a Divorce in CA is 6 months and 1 day from the date of service–not the maximum time period!  There is nothing ‘automatic’ about Divorce. Papers must be filed, served, issues (if there are any) must be addressed, then final docs filed and approved by the court.  A final judgment from the court that is stamped with the date of the Divorce will be sent to both parties upon completion or would be available at the court.  You must have this paper before you remarry.
  2. One party does not tell the truth:  One spouse tells the other that he/she was not married previously so there would be no problem with regard to marriage.  Once married, the spouse may discover that there is another spouse and/or another family.
  3. The spouse states that his/her Divorce is finalized:  To be assured that this is true, it is best to request the final stamped judgment from the court, with the date of the Divorce, before you marry.

The bottom line is that in order to remarry, you must have a stamped judgment from the court to confirm that the Divorce is finalized.  Without this paper, you should not assume that you are divorced and hence should not remarry.

If you have questions about whether your Divorce is finalized or how to finalize it, give us a call @ 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444).  With over 35 years’ experience in California Divorces, we can advise you and help solve your Divorce issues.  You may also visit our website @ www.LegalActionWorkshopLAW.com for more information.


Posted in Bigamy, California Divorce, Default Divorce, Division of Property, Divorce, Divorce and Family Law, Divorce Attorney, Divorce for Men, Divorce for Women, Divorce Lawyer, Divorce Papers, Divorce Process, Divorce with Children, Divorce with Property, Family Law, Finalizing a Divorce, Flat Fee Divorce, Flat Fee Los Angeles Divorce Attorneys, How to Divorce, Remarriage, Remarry in California, The Initial Filing for Divorce is only the First Step, There is More to a Los Angeles Divorce than just Filing, You Need Attorney Oversight to Complete Your Divorce | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making the California Probate System Work for You

Legal Action Workshop, a Professional Corporation, has been handling Probate matters for over 36 years. Clients typically have properties or other assets in Los Angeles County, but could also have assets that need to be resolved in Orange, San Bernardino or Riverside Counties. No matter where the property or assets exist, the first step for any possible Probate matter is to have a consultation with Attorney Stephen Marc Drucker to determine the specific issues of the Probate. Legal Action Workshop offers a FREE initial consultation for Probate matters.

Attorney Drucker, owner of Legal Action Workshop, strives to make the Probate system work for you. In order to do this, clients can consult with him by phone or in person and he quickly determines if a Probate is required or not. If a family member or friend has passed away and did not have a Trust (also called a Living Trust) and the assets are over $150,000 then a Probate may be necessary. If the assets are below $150,000 a Probate Code Declaration or other shorter process may be needed. Although a Will does not avoid Probate, it may help in designating an executor of the estate as well as how the assets are to be distributed.

Attorney Drucker states, “A short conversation with a client regarding his/her possible Probate can quickly answer questions and determine what needs to be done”. Attorney Drucker can also give clients a realistic idea of cost. Most people are surprised to find out that Probate fees are not paid up front. In fact, most of the fees are paid at the conclusion of the Probate process.

Legal Action Workshop makes the Probate process understandable by answering all questions promptly as they occur. Attorney Drucker explains, “Most Probates take anywhere from 8 months to 1 year to complete. I try to make sure that all documents are filed in a timely fashion so as to expedite the process.” With more than 1,000 Probates completed over the span of 36 years, Attorney Drucker understands the Probate court system.

In many Probate cases the court requires a Bond to protect the assets in the estate. Attorney Drucker will advise if a Bond is required, and then contact the bonding company to issue the Bond. Once the Bond is issued, the Probate can proceed.

If the probated property is real estate, then the beneficiaries need to decide if they wish to sell the real estate or keep it. If the real estate needs to be sold, there are 2 kinds of sales—one requires a court confirmation hearing and one does not. Attorney Drucker will explain which option is in the best interest of the client.

It should be emphasized that creditors should not be paid in a Probate unless a formal creditor’s claim has been filed with the court. In many instances, these creditor claims can be negotiated so that the full amount of the claim is not paid. Again, Attorney Drucker is very experienced in negotiating creditor’s claims.

In conclusion, the best way to make the California Probate system work for you is to hire a very experienced Attorney in Probate matters. As such, Legal Action Workshop and Attorney Stephen Marc Drucker seems to fit the bill. Attorney Drucker is available to answer questions and help clients through the process.

Posted in California Estate Planning Attorneys, California Trust Lawyers, Probate, Probate Advance | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment