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Donald Andrew Hansen
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Donald Hansen’s Answers

107 total


  • I currently share 50/50 legal/physical custody of my children with my ex.

    I share custody of my children with my ex. He recently moved about 25 miles from where the both of us used to reside. He moved my daughter out of her school without my knowledge and on top of that, his girlfriend is the person that signed her re...

    Donald’s Answer

    Sacramento Family Court is currently understaffed and is VERY insistent that Ex Parte requests must be based on a clear emergency regarding children's welfare. However, your description of the situation suggests you may have grounds for claiming such an emergency. You would be wise to consult an experienced attorney on this.

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  • Can a mediators report be brought into evidence without the mediators testimony?

    I object to the mediators report, the OPC has not subpoenaed the mediator. Can his report be brought into evidence without his testimony?

    Donald’s Answer

    The first response to this question is also pertinent to Sacramento. You must subpoena the mediator to testify if you want the report brought into evidence -- unless the other party will stipulate to admission.

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  • Can I represent myself in court for child and spousal support, even though I have a lawyer.

    I have been with very little child and spousal support for the last 8 months and have been asking my lawyer over and over again to file a motion to get it readjusted...but he keeps on brushing the matter under the carpet. I'm not sure why!!!!!

    Donald’s Answer

    Your lawyer may have sound reasons to advise against a request for modification of support, but it is his/her obligation to help you understand those reasons. If you do not agree with your lawyer, you should instruct him/her to either file as you request, or substitute out so you can file yourself or find another more receptive lawyer.

    Clients should recognize that both they and their attorney have rights and obligations (which, hopefully, are spelled out in their agreement for services). Bottom line: The decision to file in court is the Client's -- the lawyer can advise, but must either consent to the client's decision or withdraw from the case. (In some cases, this may require a court hearing and order.)

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  • Divorce was final in Dec. 2011. Judge's order was for both parties to remove ex wife from financial responsibility of the mortg

    I have recently fallen behind on mortgage. Ex-wife has filed motion to force me to sell house. She has signed quit claim deed in Aug 2011. How can she request the court to make me sell home she has no interest in?

    Donald’s Answer

    The facts you present offer no evidence that you complied with the court order to remove your ex from financial responsibility for the home. A quit claim deed only transfers title. If she is still obligated to the lender, your default will impact her credit rating and expose her assets to collection by the lender. Have you presented all relevant facts?

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  • If my husband is buying me out of our house, is the value based on current appraisal, or value on the day I moved out?

    He thinks he should not pay me the equity accrued since I moved out two years ago. Although I had the lower salary, I have paid solely for my own rental house and received no child support or spousal support. He maintains that HE should benefi...

    Donald’s Answer

    If the house is community property and you are both on title, the spouse taking control of the home is responsible to pay the community a fair market rental value -- but both spouses remain responsible for mortgage payments, insurance and taxes. Often the remaining spouse makes those payments in lieu of paying the community rent -- if a fair market rent is roughly equal to the payments.

    In such a case, both spouses remain "owners" of the property until it is sold, or there is a court order dividing it. Date of separation is not relevant. As you present the facts, you probably would be correct -- but undoubtedly there are other facts.

    An hour spent with an attorney who knows California Community property law would be wise.

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  • Recently, I filed for divorce via FL-800. It has been filed & judgement has been given. He's now trying to reverse it.

    We had a joint bank account, which has since been closed. He is now wanting to sit down and discuss finances again and trying to threaten to have the judgement reversed. There is NO community property, finances, children or assest. We were married...

    Donald’s Answer

    It would be necessary to review all of the documentation related to your summary dissolution to answer your question. He would have had to file for the summary dissolution, as well as you -- and both of you would have signed all of the declarations under penalty of perjury. If either of you submitted fraudulent declarations the other could possibly file to have the judgment "overturned" -- but it is not likely he would succeed in simply saying he "is now wanting money".

    You might wait to see if he actually files something in court, and serves it on you. At that point you should arrange for an office consultation with a good attorney.

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  • Do I file an Request for Order for Child Custody now that I received a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage?

    I received a Petition for Dissolution from my wife this past week. She is requesting full custody of my son and very limited visitation for me. I do not agree with this and we have only been split for a week now and I want joint physical and joi...

    Donald’s Answer

    It is not clear from your query whether you have discussed custody and parenting time with your spouse -- unless she is intractable that would be a good first step. Procedurally, you can file an RFO at the same time you file your Response to the Petition. The filing desk will set a hearing date, allowing time for the two of you to attend a custody evaluation -- usually, that will be some six weeks or more after filing. You will remain the Respondent for all matters, throughout the case. There are other, limited, options -- such as a request for emergency orders -- that might apply, depending on the facts in your case. You would be wise to consult an attorney.

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  • My husband filed for divorce in LA county. I would like to file response in another county what should I do?

    husband is living in LA county. I'm living in Sacramento county. We have 1 child.

    Donald’s Answer

    The two answers already provided give you the basic information you need. However, it would help to know the age of your child, where and with whom she/he lives and how much time the other parent has been spending with him/her, whether there are any medical/physical conditions that would make it difficult for you to litigate in LA, or for him to litigate in Sacramento, etc. If you think you have compelling reasons, other than inconvenience or expense, for requesting a change of venue, you might first consult a Sacramento family attorney to help you file your Response, along with a motion for change of venue. If you motion is denied, you should then consult an LA family attorney.

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  • My wife is having an affair. Can I legally take my children and leave the house.

    Want to take my children and leave.

    Donald’s Answer

    Legally, unless there are court orders currently in place forbidding such an act, you can take the children out of the family home to reside elsewhere -- but you should immediately inform your wife of the location of the children. and it would be unwise to take the children out of California, or even to a location in California that would make it difficult for your wife to visit the children.

    BUT you should carefully consider your options. If you take the children away without your wife's consent it is very likely you will soon be in court, defending your action, perhaps even against a criminal charge (child stealing or "criminal custodial interference"). And you should be prepared to convince a court that the relocation was in the best interests of the children,

    To protect yourself, you should immediately contact an experienced attorney, and provide all information needed to help you decide what to do and how to do it. After hearing you, and considering the evidence you offer, the attorney may advise you to file in court for a custody order as soon as you have informed your wife of your intent to relocate the children. In court, the focal concern will be on the best interests of the children, so unless you can show they were being harmed by your wife's affair or by her harmful parenting, you will have a steep uphill battle to convince the court that she should be denied parenting time, or even that you did the right thing by removing the children from home.

    In situations like yours, it is difficult to sort out your own feelings from your evaluation of your children's needs and interests. Choose your advisors carefully.

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  • What is the process to get divorced from a spouse that resides in Mex?

    My fiancée and I want to get married . He is legally married in Mex . but has been separated for 10 years . We have been together for 5 years and we want to get married . What do we need to do to be able to get married ?

    Donald’s Answer

    One further point, as you want to get married. There is a mandatory six-month waiting period after service of process (or "service" by publication) in California. Good luck!

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