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Cristin Michelle Lowe

Cristin Lowe’s Answers

284 total


  • Divorce in CA: Preliminary Disclosures: Do we need to file INCOME AND EXPENSE DECLARATION , along with Form FL141

    My friend is undergoing divorce in CA and served preliminary disclosure to the spouse. As a proof, does she need to file INCOME AND EXPENSE DECLARATION along with FL141?

    Cristin’s Answer

    The Income and Expense Declaration is a mandatory form that must be filed with the Court. As the other attorney stated, there are four forms that make up the preliminary declaration of disclosure. FL-141 is the "proof" that the Income and Expense Declaration and Declaration of Disclosure were served on her spouse. The Declaration of Disclosure states that your friend served both an Income and Expense Declaration and Schedule of Assets and Debts.

    A good tip is to look at the top right hand side of the document. If there is an empty box there, it's supposed to be filed with the Court - the clerk will put a stamp in that box when you do file the document. If there is no box (like on the Schedule of Assets and Debts and Declaration of Disclosure), you do NOT need to file them with the Court. That being said, your friend still needs to serve all the documents.

    Good luck to her!

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  • Husband is in prison, how do I file for divorce???

    I want to divorce my husband. He is in prison, we married while hes in prison and hes still in prison. How do I go about this? He is also stating he wants to collect alimony, can he? We have only been married for a year and a half. I also do not w...

    Cristin’s Answer

    You will file for divorce the same way you would if he was not in prison. That starts by two documents, a Petition and a Summons, which you would file with the Court and then serve him. In some ways, it's easier that he's in prison, because you know where to serve him. You'll want to contact the prison's legal department to find out how to get the papers to him and to also ensure that you'll get the proof of service back.

    Regarding your alimony question, yes, he can ask for spousal support; however, you will argue that he has no need for support due to being in prison, and furthermore, you've never supported him during your very short-term marriage. There are a number of other arguments that an attorney can help you with as to why spousal support is inappropriate.

    Finally, as for an address, you do not need to list your physical address with the Court; however, you must provide a mailing address. Many people use a PO Box or a parent's address when trying to keep their present address confidential. Alternatively, if you use an attorney, the attorney's address will be used, not yours.

    Good luck!

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  • If the Father has documents and wants to bring them up on the day of court but I have never seen them is that legal?

    Family Law

    Cristin’s Answer

    The answer to your question is a little tricky - I wouldn't say it's per se illegal to bring documents up the day of court. Obviously though, it puts you at a big disadvantage, and it's not something you should ignore. You will want to inform the judge that you object to these documents being brought up, since you have never seen them before and are therefore unable to respond. You can ask the judge to order him to provide you copies, and if necessary, ask for a continuance (new court date) so that you have time to respond.

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  • What happens when you go to trial on a guardianship.

    I have 3 grandkids that the court investigator wants me to have until their 18 or until court decides other wise. Dad is incarcerated and mother left the home without the kids Feb 12th 2012 and I the grandmother have had the kids since they were b...

    Cristin’s Answer

    It's a little difficult to know exactly where you are in the guardianship process based on the brief description provided. In general, though, a guardianship trial is a "bench trial," meaning that there is no jury and the judge is going to decide whether or not a guardianship is appropriate. If the parents consent to the guardianship, there is no need for a trial. You'll just need them to sign the appropriate paperwork. If, however, one or both parents contest the guardianship, the judge will need to hear from each one of you. The judge is trying to determine whether there is "clear and convincing evidence" that it is in the best interests of the children to live with you AND if it would be detrimental to return them to the custody of one or both parents. Having a court investigator report in favor of the guardianship definitely helps you out, and you may want to make sure that person is there to testify at your trial.

    You have nothing but my respect and admiration for taking on this very daunting task. Your grandchildren are very lucky to have you in their lives. Good luck!

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  • Child custody and visitation

    I am a NCP. I am in the process of requesting a modification on custody and visitation and want to establish grandparent visitation during my visitation periods requested. When filing the moving papers, should I list the grandparent as the "Other ...

    Cristin’s Answer

    The grandparents would need to file their own paperwork requesting visitation. You would not list them as the "Other Parent," as they are not yet part of your case. My suggestion is that you focus on your own visitation, as it's very important that you, as the parent, have a close relationship with your child/ren. The Court's primary focus is also on the relationship between you and your child/ren, which is another reason for you to have the same priority. If you want to share your visitation time with the grandparents, you are free to do so during your custodial periods of time, and that may keep the paperwork and court orders much simpler.

    Good luck!

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  • Who Can Claim an 18 year old college student as Dependents For Tax Purposes?

    My son is 18 1/2 and has always split 50/50 custody time with me and his father. However, the custody order states that his father has the right to claim him for income tax purposes. Since my husband and I have always provided him with the majori...

    Cristin’s Answer

    Your orders regarding custody, visitation, and child support have terminated now that your son is 18 and a graduate of high school. That being said, it's a good idea to make sure that both you and your son's father are on the same page regarding who claims your son on taxes - the last thing you want to do is create an audit, which is likely to happen if you both claim him. It seems appropriate that you would claim your son since he is still your dependent.

    Good luck!

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  • Will I have to pay another filing fee to change my divorce petition to a legal seperation?

    I want to amend my divorce petition to a legal seperation. The respondant did not respond to the initial petition, can I easily amend the petition?

    Cristin’s Answer

    You should be able to file one amended petition without issues, so long as the Respondent has not yet filed a Response. So long as you file an amended petition, rather than a new petition with a new case number, there should be no additional filing fee.

    Good luck!

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  • Custody question

    IF you file a request for Temporary Custody order, do you have to attach a declaration to it IN addition to the Declarations attached to the regular custody request? Would a P&A be more helpful in place of the declaration? I do already have a Mem....

    Cristin’s Answer

    You are not required to attach a declaration; however, it is definitely very helpful to write a clear and concise declaration explaining why you need a temporary custody order. As for P&As, they tend to be less helpful in custody hearings, especially on an ex parte basis, unless you have a complex legal argument to make (jurisdiction dispute, sexual abuse, etc.). Filing both a declaration and P&As can be done, but I would not make either too long.

    Good luck!

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  • Married young, thought divorced, but recently found out i wasn't and have been married 10 years

    we had no kids, no community property and are now separated. since #2 marriage is void do i have to divorce her in order to remarry?

    Cristin’s Answer

    If I understand correctly, your question relates to your second spouse. Although you would not divorce your second spouse, you need to annul that marriage and divorce your first spouse. I understand that seems very burdensome and complicated, but in order to make your next marriage valid, you will want to clear up the past two relationships.

    Good luck!

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  • What are my options? Im a non custodial father i get my children every weekend yet my child support payments have not changed.

    I have requested 3 times for them to change and also my working situation has changed as well.

    Cristin’s Answer

    I'm assuming that your case is being handled through the Department of Child Support Services, and that you have been requesting them to modify your support. You need to do more than just request to modify your child support. You will want to file a motion with the court requesting a change in your child support, along with an Income & Expense Declaration showing your decreased income. Those forms are FL-300 and FL-150, and you'll need to provide your last two months' worth of pay stubs.

    Good luck!

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