Skip to main content
Ester Kim

Ester Kim’s Answers

16 total

  • Custody questionARCHIVED

    Ester’s Answer

    Hi There,

    Just like the attorneys answering before me, I think I need a little more information.

    DEFAULT: :Usually if you want a matter to proceed as a default, you must file a request for default. If that request is granted you will prepare a default judgment and a notice of entry of default which would later become an enforceable court order.

    STATUS CONFERENCE: The first thing I usually do is take a look at your case summary on the County Court website. You live in San Bernardino so go to a search engine and type on "San Bernardino County Court" and a link should appear. Follow the instructions and review any updates on your case. If there is still a status conference calendared, I would call the court clerk and let him know the case is going by default and perhaps he/she can give you some guidance. Or you can appear on that date and let the court know that the status of the case is the matter is proceeding through default.

  • I have RO against my husband. We both live in CA, but in different counties. What's the best way to serve the divorce papers?ARCHIVED

    Ester’s Answer

    Hi There,

    If you know his home address and work address, you can send the paperwork to HIS local sheriff's department with "service instructions" OR you can hire a professional process server to serve him as well. Both require a fee.

    Good luck!

  • Can i find a divorce attorney that can help me get divorced.ARCHIVED

    Ester’s Answer

    Hello Sir,

    If you have lived in this state for at least 6 months and in your county for 3 months, then you are file at your local superior court.

    The problem is: you will have to serve her personally but you do not know where she lives. There are plenty of other avenues to serve your wife if you are not able to serve her personally but I suggest you speak with an attorney.

    If you are able to serve her personally, then you can proceed with the divorce by default (if she does not respond within 30 days). If she does respond, then this will complicate matters because you will have to either litigate or agree to child custody, child support, spousal support, property determinations and possibly attorneys fees. I suggest you consult with an attorney who can thoroughly explain all your options.

  • How can a psychological evaluation be requested in a custody case?ARCHIVED

    Ester’s Answer

    The parties can always stipulate to a psychological evaluation.

    But I must ask, what is your end goal? Do you want father to commit to regularly seeing a psychologist? Or do you think father's alleged psychological problems merit a change of custody?

    If you want him to go see a psychologist then you can stipulate to an order than you can try that. If you are alleging that his medical condition merits a change in custody then you might as well go with a 730 evaluation. These are typically used in the family law system in order to streamline cases like these. The evaluators are usually skilled in these types of cases and are familiar with the language and requirements of the law.

  • What can I do to get custody of my child?ARCHIVED

    Ester’s Answer

    Hello Sir,

    From the format of your question, I will assume that you and the mother are not married. As my colleagues have already stated, you should file a Paternity Suit for custody and visitation orders when the child is born.

    However, a basic requirement to have the ability and/or right to request for custody and visitation orders (standing) you must prove to the court that you are the presumed father of the minor child. If the parties are not married, then the court will usually require that the parties agree (or stipulate) to parentage or you will have to prove you are the father.

    Typically, when a child a born, the hospital will not only have the parents sign a birth certificate BUT ALSO a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage Form (VDP). By signing the VDP you acknowledge that you are the child's father and assume all responsibilities of that child including support. This is what you will need to sign when the baby is born.

    As for your intended request for full custody of a brand new baby, you success is very unlikely unless the mother is a danger to herself and/or the child. The baby's mother moving out of State is probably not enough for the court to give you full custody of the child because courts do not like to take infants from their mothers. I suggest that you please rethink this path in litigation.

    The court does have the power to grant you frequent contact with the child and will provide some type of visitation schedule--whether the child is in California or not. But, before it comes to litigation, I really suggest sitting down with mother and calmly discuss how you two will co-parent this child. Perhaps you can come up with a custodial arrangement on your own and avoid litigation altogether.

    Good luck and i hope for the best.

  • How can my son get involved with his oldest son's school ( he is all most 4) he was given joint legal custody but his visitatioARCHIVED

    Ester’s Answer

    To answer your primary question: If you son has joint legal custody of the child then he and the mother have equal access to the child's school and medical records. Therefore, if the requests those records from the school they should give him the requested information. The school may request some type of proof that your son has joint legal custody and that can easily be accomplished through a copy of a prior court order, a stipulated agreement signed by the court or minute order stating both parties have joint legal custody. Copies of these documents can easily be obtained from the courthouse file clerk for a small fee.

    It seems the primary problem here is your son does not have any information regarding the location of the child's school and the mother's residence. Here he could do two things: (1) he can request that information from mother directly and (2) if she refuses then, he can file a request for order requesting the court to order mother to provide him with that information. If number 2 occurs then he can calendar the hearing on the same day as the modification hearing in three months.

    Hypothetically, if this is an extreme example and, for instance, your grandson has some type of learning disability or perhaps is on the autism spectrum, your son may be able to show irreparable harm that would cause serious detriment to the child and he can try to obtain emergency orders for mother to ensure the son is getting the proper assistance in and out of school. This would ensure your grandson will obtain the helps he needs without having to disturb the current parenting plan. I must warn you that these types of motions are not usually successful however if your grandchild needs help and it is substantially hindering his development in light of his special needs then this could be a possible solution.

    Good luck to you and your son.

  • Do I need a child custody attorney?ARCHIVED

    Ester’s Answer

    Your primary question is whether or not you need an attorney. Going to court is a very stressful experience. Usually, self-represented litigants are fearful and intimidated by the happenings in a court room and court room procedures. This stress is further exacerbated in Family Law hearings because the court will ask you questions directly and whatever responses you give can impact your case.

    Having an attorney with you during these proceedings helps eliminate the anxiety that comes with not knowing the usual court protocol. An attorney is also able to best organize your positions with legal backing of your requests. They will be able to answer questions for you and, hopefully, enable a more smooth hearing. An attorney will be there to protect your rights and counsel you on the best ways to achieve your goals. Although an attorney cannot promise to "win", he/she can at least present your position in a reasonable and thoughtful way.

    Child custody litigation can be lengthy and may require repeated court appearances and hearings. They can drag on and parties will be required to submit to examinations and, in some cases, minor's counsel (an attorney for your child) could be appointed. This could result in a very high bill.

    So, it is up to you to choose whether or not you think you need an attorney. Usually, having counsel is ideal but you must balance that against your ability to afford representation. Perhaps you can consult with an attorney before your hearing and obtain a consultation on the complications of the case?

    I wish you the best of luck.

  • Custody trial questionARCHIVED

    Ester’s Answer

    Yes, usually the court will heavily rely on the mediator's report when making a ruling. This is usually because the mediator has already done extensive work with both parents and the child in order to determine what is in the child's best interest. It makes sense that the court will look to the most reasonable an unbiased opinions on this matter and the mediator fits the definition by design.

    This is not to say that the court will rely on them 100% but the mediator will definitely have the ear of the court when giving her/his opinion.

  • While the Divorce is on process and if I leave the country, will i still get the divorce? what will happen to me?

    Ester’s Answer

    Going in and out of the country will not hinder your ability to get a divorce.

    I am wondering if you are concerned about not being able to return due to immigration (green card, resident alien, or visa) issues. If this is the case, then you should probably consult with an Immigration attorney.

    But to answer you specific question in more depth, the divorce process will not cease just because you are out of the country. If you and your husband are amicable about your divorce, then perhaps you might want to consider a Marriage Settlement Agreement that is signed by both parties and notarized. This might become a little complicated, so if you need assistance, please contact an attorney.

  • DivorceARCHIVED

    Ester’s Answer

    You sister is currently involved in two different legal problems. First, is the Domestic Violence charge against her in the CRIMINAL court. You said your sister went to jail, so that indicates that she will be arraigned and charged with some sort of domestic violence offense. She should retain a criminal lawyer that is experienced with Domestic Violence violations.

    Second, your sister also has a Divorce pending in the CIVIL FAMILY COURT and is currently in the process of establishing the Physical and Legal Custody of the children. In these types of matters, the court will look at what is in the "best interest of the children" when making custody and visitation determinations. To answer your specific question: yes, the court will likely look at the domestic violence charge against your sister when factoring what is in the "best interest of the children" and it will also look at the behaviors of the father.

    I must say that there is a deeper problem here, you sister and her husband need to figure out a way to stop fighting and refocus on the children or (if things get worse) they could both lose custody. I strongly urge the two to attend therapy and mediation. It's would also be beneficial to retain counsel for both her Criminal and Civil cases.