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Naomi T Stal

Naomi Stal’s Answers

159 total


  • Do we need divorce lawyers if we've hired a mediator?

    My husband and I have filed for divorce and are planning to divide assets with a mediator. We have a house and a child, but are splitting amicably. Do we still need to hire our own attorneys?

    Naomi’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The other attorneys provided correct and appropriate answers but realistically speaking, the question is: will an attorney be willing to take you as a client if you are only asking them to represent you for the limited purpose of 1) advising you of your rights and entitlements before/between mediation sessions, 2) reviewing any tentative settlement agreement drafted by the mediator, and 3) reviewing the master settlement agreement drafted by the mediator and the related court documents OR, drafting the agreement and documents themselves.

    The crossroads of lawyer and mediator is confusing because there is no standard experience and there is no standard lawyer reaction to the question "Can I hire you to represent my interests while go through mediation?" each lawyer has their own comfort zone.

    A norcal san fran attorney with solid family law experience may not want to touch your case because they aren't making enough money to warrant the kind of liability that they are on the hook for. If they can't be in the mediation session, they might not be interested because of their liability in the event something goes south later.

    However, if you let them into the mediation session, there is no guarantee you can keep them under control (no dis-respect to myself as a lawyer or other attorneys) in a fashion that will keep the good faith of the mediation continuing. This also applies in the other direction. If your husband hires an attorney who ends up to be aggressive in mediation, it won't feel good for you and may derail the process.

    The next issue is the drafting. If you do find an attorney who will take you as a client, knowing their role is limited in scope, if they draft the paperwork, it may undermine your husband's faith in you and system, and subject them (the attorney) to a conflict of interest (because they don't represent your husband). So both of you should have an attorney, at a minimum, to review the settlement agreement and accompanying family court paperwork.

    In your scenario, the best thing you can do is FIRST, get lots and lots of information from the mediator regarding the settlement agreement, the Family Law documents to be filed in court, and if the mediator will be doing all the collecting of discovery (bank statements, pay stubs, etc.). Does the mediator have access to Dissomaster (child support software to calculate) or does the mediator intend for each of you to present your own child support numbers, etc.

    Once you know how much of the "legal" part of the mediation process the mediator is going to handle, only then can you go to an attorney and tell them the scope of representation between the two of you.

    You must understand that an amazing mediator could still derail the process if they write a settlement agreement that is faulty with numerous flaws. If your attorney has to hack apart a terrible settlement agreement and clean it up, from your husband's perspective, this would make your attorney look like a "bad guy" at the end of the process who is trying to undermine the mediation process.

    Your most ideal scenario: your mediator drafts the agreement and paperwork and has lots of experience doing so. Your husband and you both manage to find attorneys that will represent each of you through the process, agree to stay out of the actual mediation sessions, and independently agree to review the settlement agreement.

    If you found this response helpful, please indicate so below! Good Job on choosing mediation~

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  • What do you do when your ex does not pay his court ordered support and hides from dcss by working for his family?

    It has been almost 2 years and he has never made a full payment and now he stopped paying. dcss cant help? He also has stopped all communication with me and had children over holiday and has not allowed me to speak to them for 7 days?

    Naomi’s Answer

    You hire an attorney that has experience in child support owed, child support due, and violations of Court Orders. They will do all the necessary work and present it to the Judge. It may seem expensive now but if you have another 10-15 years of dealing with this individual, in the long run it will help you protect your children, yourself, and save you thousands of dollars.

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  • How to go about getting my daughter back home I have full physical custody from her father whom we both have legal joint custody

    we are divorced I have full sole custody of my daughter he has sole custody of our sons legal joint custody of all 3 he lives in Oregon I live in California divorce out of Wyoming he was supposed to return my daughter to me in California after his...

    Naomi’s Answer

    Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is very complex. I do not recommend trying this on your own. You need to hire an attorney.

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  • Custody and restraining order California

    Im a single dad, is it possible for me to get a restraining order and gain custody of my children if the mother never does anything for them and when she is at the house all she does is do drugs (meth) I had taking pictures of cut up strong and fo...

    Naomi’s Answer

    I agree with attorney Stephen Penner. It is your job to protect your children. The courts will help you by creating Orders that will require her to do things that you can never compel her to do.

    I believe you need an attorney. Your daughter must be protected.

    As a side note, if you see the good in people, this is a great thing. It is possible for the mom to turn her life around but not without someone giving her consequences. That someone should be Child Protective Services and the Courts.

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  • Is withholding joint financial informatoin i marriage emotional abuse? Below is edited version of email i sent wife explaining.

    when given chance 2 come clean I can't trust ur actions becuz u still refuse 2 be lOO% forthcoming. I am simply trying to protect urself/myself/ our mariage and our kids future. I offered that 2 u many times and in writing. U refused.What you have...

    Naomi’s Answer

    Couples have fiduciary duties and responsibilities to each other.

    This confidential relationship imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse, and neither shall take any unfair advantage of the other. Family Code section 721(b).

    A presumption of undue influence may arise if your Wife benefits from the credit card usage and you do not.

    I would recommend contacting a family law attorney in San Diego.

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  • RHow long do I have to respond to a mediation order? We haven't heard anything from the other parent in four months!

    My husband received a order for mediation. It was dated as filed 3 weeks ago and the post mark reads just last week. It only says mediation is to commence. No order for payment or date or anything. The mother has been largely absentee for 3 years....

    Naomi’s Answer

    Your facts are confusing because you begin with "my husband received a order for mediation" and in the middle of the fact pattern you said, "... by my ex-wife". If you were a heterosexual couple when conceiving your daughter then you need to clarify what you are talking about.

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  • Can she change a court order with out going back to court.

    I have a court order that says I can have supervised visits of my children. I have had for the last 3 years. My ex now says I cant see the kids because she wants them professionally supervised, instead of the mutual friend that has been doing it f...

    Naomi’s Answer

    You need to hire an attorney and your attorney will file the appropriate motion to get you back with your children on the supervise d visitation.

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  • Would it be wise if I divorse my husband and still love in our house with our daughter

    Married 17 year toghter 20 he has no Interest in me makes love to me once a year we sleep in to different rooms his choice he has had 14 surgeies and was hocked on pain pills for a long time he work in the movie busniss and when he work he makes ...

    Naomi’s Answer

    You need to consult with a divorce attorney.

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  • Hi. I am wanting to find out if I have a case. My mother lived with me and helped care for my daughters. She overdosed in Jan.

    My mother was a drug abuser. Her doctor had her on 4oo and something Methadones, Zanax, Somas and more a month. She almost died when she stopped them because she couldnt function and was missing out on life. She was clean for 2 months and had a ne...

    Naomi’s Answer

    not having a license in your state, but having compassion for a daughter taking care of her mother prompts me to respond to this question-

    It's difficult from the small set of facts you provided to answer this question. Also, you are probably not a licensed medical doctor so you may not actually know specifics of your mother's medical history and medical reports.

    Unless you have Power of Attorney over her, you also will not be privy to her medical records, and even if you had POA, there may still be federal or state laws prohibiting you from viewing any such records.

    f you have an claim against her doctor, you would need an attorney in another area of law; NOT family law. Medical malpractice, or negligence, perhaps personal injury. If you want to take control of her person, then you need to go to the court where you would get an adult type guardianship. If you want to try to stop the doctor but don't want to file a lawsuit, try contacting the medical board in your state and talk to them about the problem.

    Please click below if you found this helpful.

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  • I have a 290 conviction. I have joint legal custody with my wife.

    My question is can she take that away from me. We got it through family court 3 years ago. she agreed to everything. Now 3 years later after meeting someone, she wants to end it. Also I have supervised visits with my children. Last Easter there wa...

    Naomi’s Answer

    I think you need to provide some additional facts before attorneys can respond to this.

    Was the 290 conviction in place 3 years prior when the Judge issued your custody order?
    Have there been any violations in the past 3 years whereby you were brought back into court by the Ex for any supervision violations?
    Your comment "she has agreed to everything ... 3 years ago". Was that all in a court order or a mediation agreement?
    Also your comment pertaining to the third party neutral/personal friend of the family: "she states she can get in trouble?" sounds like a separate question- who is the "She"?
    Who is stating they can get in trouble?

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