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Gordon Dale Cruse
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Gordon Cruse’s Answers

66 total


  • I am really trying to figure out if it is necessary I found a new mediator now in case my ex decides to reopen case for anything

    because there was a conflict of interest during our entire divorce process..but divorce final

    Gordon’s Answer

    If your case is done you do not need to keep the mediator at all. If your judgment is filed with the court the case is concluded. If some motion to modify the judgment is later filed you can decide then if mediation is the right way to go for the problem you are then facing. If you are uncomfortable with your existing mediator, do not return to them.

    If you have evidence of mediator acting improperly, see a lawyer at once to discuss setting the judgment aside. You have a limited window of time to set aside a judgment so do not wait and just hope it all works out. You were pro-active enough to hire a mediator and be involved in your case, be pro-active now and consult with a lawyer about the propriety of your judgment.

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  • My wife receives monthy disability money from a private insurance company. We are going to get divorced. Am I entitled to 50%?

    She has been receiving this insurance money before we married. We were married for 14 years. She will continue to receive this insurance money until her death.

    Gordon’s Answer

    With what you have stated, it sounds like the insurance payments are your wife's separate property. Do talk to a lawyer though so they can get all the details. I only know what you are telling me here. Also be mindful that while you are not likely to have a right to this money as property, you may have the right to receive a portion of it as spousal support, you said you were married 14 years. One way or another, this money your wife receives will impact support. Please talk to a lawyer.

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  • Can I or should change a mediator even though Divorce is finished?...just in case my ex need to open case again....

    mediator had conflict of interest the entire process of our divorce and still partying..going on week end with my ex.....

    Gordon’s Answer

    If your case is done you do not need to keep the mediator at all. If your judgment is filed with the court the case is concluded. If some motion to modify the judgment is later filed you can decide then if mediation is the right way to go for the problem you are then facing. If you are uncomfortable with your existing mediator, do not return to them.

    If you have evidence of mediator acting improperly, see a lawyer at once to discuss setting the judgment aside. You have a limited window of time to set aside a judgment so do not wait and just hope it all works out. You were pro-active enough to hire a mediator and be involved in your case, be pro-active now and consult with a lawyer about the propriety of your judgment.

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  • Can an attorney serve the other party in a divorce with documents that have not been filed with the court?

    My divorce has been going on since July 2013. I am the respondent in the case and all of documents the petitioner's attorney has served me have no date stamps from the court. It seems the attorney is serving me the documents and then filing them w...

    Gordon’s Answer

    This is a regular occurrence as the lawyer is also filing a proof of service, stating you were served, with the court at then time they are filing the pleadings.

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  • For a California Divorce attorney. Since Family code 4326 expired in January

    does that mean that today a supported ex-spouse can't use the termination of child support as a "material change in circumstance" to ask for an increase in spousal support?

    Gordon’s Answer

    The legislature is working to reinstate this state since it hit its "sunset" time. Expect to see a new statue to add this basis in the next few months. In the meantime, give weight to the prior answer. Until then, the loss of the child support will be a factor in the court's decision to modify the spousal support or not. It will not be the only factor though. Talk to a good family law lawyer and give them the entire set of facts so they can help you assess the likely outcome of the motion.

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  • Is it worth insisting on the market value of my house in a divorce?

    I'm going through a divorce. We were originally selling the house to split the profit, but my ex had a second thought, she's now refinancing it to pay me out. The appraisal value came from the mortgage company is about 6% lower than the market val...

    Gordon’s Answer

    Take the time to review the net you receive from the tax free buy-out versus the net after a sale to a third party at the additional 6% of value. Remember to deduct the costs of sale and the capital gain taxes, if any. Talk to your accountant about the taxes. I cannot answer that with the limited information you have provided me. Talk to an experienced real estate broker about what properties are selling for in your neighborhood. This is just a numbers issue. With what do you end up after both transactions? when you know that you have your answer.

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  • I am petitioner to file for divorce , what forms need to be sign by respondent .

    Do I have to write one agrement ?

    Gordon’s Answer

    I am assuming you have filed your case and served the Respondent with the Summons, Petition and your Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure. (Other documents are needed if there are children of the marriage.) The Respondent does not have to sign/file anything; he/she can have their default entered. You will need to prepare the documents to enter their default, 30 days after they were served, and the proposed default judgment. If they have filed a Response to your Petition now you have a very different case. You need to see a lawyer.

    With the limited information you have given here it is really difficult to know where you are in your case and what has been served. Please see a good lawyer and get some advice.

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  • Home mortgage on a married couple but name on only one spouse,when if divorce, does other spouse have ownership?

    if a married couple finance a home together but only one spouse gets the name on title. after home is paid or divorce during mortgage payments does the other half have any wornership.

    Gordon’s Answer

    Title is one indicia of character, community or separate, there are others and you need a qualified lawyer to help you analyze the facts. This seems like a really easy question to answer but the issue of ownership and character are more complex than you might think. Do talk to a lawyer.

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  • Can I look at the papers filed in a divorce case in the Park Avenue branch of Santa Clara Court in which my friend was involved.

    Do I need some sort of written authorization from my friend?

    Gordon’s Answer

    Yes, you can look at any portion of the non-confidential file. Give timing advice from Attorney Benton due consideration as you don't want to waste time at the courthouse only to find that the file has been moved to the archive at another location.

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  • Benefits to separating but never seeking legal separation or divorce?

    I am wondering if there are benefits to separating but not seeking a divorce or legal separation in LA? My spouse and I just don’t want to live together anymore. We have no kids, separate everything else. We are not interested in ever ma...

    Gordon’s Answer

    The benefit of a judgment of legal separation is the legal end of the "community" and that's a big deal. Sure you can just live separate and apart but that does not tell the rest of the world you have no joint estate with your spouse. Debts can be a problem if your spouse gets a credit card and doesn't pay the debt. It's a simple resolution when the creditor contacts you, to just present a copy of the judgment. There are some estate issues as well. A meeting with an estate planning lawyer would help as would a consultation with a good divorce lawyer.

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