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Cathleen Elisabeth Norton
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Cathleen Norton’s Answers

653 total


  • Will we most likely get same mediator we had in last RFO two years ago?

    The same mediator is there ... And in this RFO I will be referring to last mediators report which ruled in my favor and we are facing similar issues.

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Nobody knows. :)

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  • See below

    What are the rights of a 14 year old? My friend has a court order to see his soon to be 14 year old daughter on the weekends every other week. She refuses for no apparent reason as he is an excellent father (very responsible, employed for many yea...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    If the other parent is not encouraging the child to see her father per the court's orders, then technically there is a violation of the custody order. In reality, though, it is difficult to get a teenager to do just about anything and if he files for contempt (which he can certainly do), it may only make things worse. Moreover, children 14 and older have the right to address the court so long as they are mature enough to do so. I am including the statute below for your reference. The point is there may be facts at play here that you are unaware of, and your friend should speak to an experienced family law attorney to advise his of his rights as well as his legal options.

    Family Code 3042:
    (a) If a child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation, the court shall consider, and give due weight to, the wishes of the child in making an order granting or modifying custody or visitation.

    (b) In addition to the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 765 of the Evidence Code, the court shall control the examination of a child witness so as to protect the best interests of the child.

    (c) If the child is 14 years of age or older and wishes to address the court regarding custody or visitation, the child shall be permitted to do so, unless the court determines that doing so is not
    in the child's best interests. In that case, the court shall state its reasons for that finding on the record.

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  • My ex want to file stipulation form without lawyer. Is it safe?

    We have court order for child support. He just retired from the US Army and have no job lined up. He wants to file stipulation as $0 child support until he gets a job. Then we will re-submit it when he gets a job. But I can't trust him if he will ...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    There is no reason why his retirement pay should not be considered "income" for the purposes of calculating child support. While I am generally in favor of avoiding litigation if that is possible, it does not mean that you should do so without the advice of counsel. You can hire an attorney on a limited scope basis to run the numbers for you and draft a stipulation regarding his child support obligation, all without going to court. The attorney will likely include a provision that he is obligated to report an employment. There are other creative clauses that you may want to include as well, this is why you need to consult with an experienced family law attorney. If you do nothing, then the current court order remains in effect, and if he does not pay the current child support amount, then he will be accruing arrears and interest on top of that--he knows this which is why he wants to modify the support order for the time being. He may have the benefit of counsel, and so should you. I am including links below which you may find helpful. Good luck.

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  • How is child support calculated when you agree to reasonable visitation

    The calculator asks for a percentage of time spent with the child

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Good question. The best thing to do is try to calculate how many hours per week (month, etc.) the other parent spends with the child and then convert that into a percentage of time. I am including links below which address this issue. Good luck.

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  • I got married in April 2013 to a Korean National and now I need to have the marriage annulled.

    We lived together for 6 Months before we decided to get married. We have been in our relationship for about a year. I am legal permanent resident in California. I applied for US citizenship to help her arrange for her green card sometime in th...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Based on the facts you presented, I doubt you are eligible for an annulment. But it is best to consult with a family law attorney to discuss your legal options. I am including links below about how to file for divorce, the process, as well as other relevant information. Begin educating yourself on the law, and that will make your conversations with an attorney more meaningful. Good luck.

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  • Why would I receive a reduced spousal support order after my child support ended?

    I filed a motion for a spousal support modification after my son graduated from high school ending my child support. I was expecting to receive an increase. My expenses have increased and son lives at home still. I am perm disabled and my ex husba...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Judges have discretion in awarding spousal support and these issues are not cut and dry. I would suggest that you speak with a family law attorney after providing a current copy of your Income and Expense Declaration as well as that of your ex so that the attorney can properly analyze the issue for you. There are too many factors to explain as to why your spousal support was reduced (I can think of several off the top of my head). That's why it is always important to speak with an attorney before taking legal action because what you may think is a slam dunk case is not when you understand the complexities of the law.

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  • Can my x boyfriend keep me from moving out of state with our daughter...

    He has never financially supported her, she is now four. We never filed with the court and he rarely makes time to see her. I am married now and our home is out of state.

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Yes, if there are court orders preventing you from moving out of California, then he most certainly can prevent the move. If there is no pending case and no court orders, then you aren't technically violating any court order by moving out of state. I am including links below which will explain the paternity process, as well as custody and support issues. Good luck.

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  • How can a temporary restraining order affect my career and job placement, and how can i dismiss it?

    my x wife got a TRO on me after i called the police. i got arrest because i took the phone from her. the case is now with the DA and it has been there for 3 1/2 weeks and i still don't know what i am being charge with. it was my first time getting...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    You have a constitutional right to have a trial on the alleged abuse, which was scheduled at the time the TRO was issued. The trial date is written on the face page of the TRO. I strongly suggest that you hire counsel to assist you in preparing you for the Domestic Violence trial, including but not limited to, working with you to cross-examine the protected party and the police officers who arrived at the scene.

    You have at least 2 legal issues that you are facing: 1) the family law domestic violence restraining order (with all the custody implications surrounding the domestic violence), and 2) the criminal case which the DA has not yet decided to prosecute.

    For the family law matter, you want to hire an experienced family law litigator to represent you. You have a very limited amount of time to prepare for your trial, so do not hire someone at the last minute. If the restraining order is granted on a permanent basis, then it will be registered in the CLETS (California Law Enforcement Transmission System), which will be available to all police officers.

    I am including links below which will explain how a domestic violence restraining order can affect custody of your son, as well as the basics of child support and the interrelationship between custody and child support. Begin educating yourself on the law, and hire the best attorney you can afford. Good luck to you.

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  • Can I get a passport If I'm over 2500.00 behind on child support if the reason for getting this passport is to get a job oversea

    I stopped paying child support due to the lost of my job

    Cathleen’s Answer

    No, you cannot. If you lose your job, you need to file a Request for Order to modify (or terminate) your child support obligation BEFORE it continues to accrue over time. If you do not, the court does not offer you a remedy. The best you can do is attempt to negotiate a compromise on the arrears, assuming the other parent did not receive any government aid. If the other parent did obtain government aid for the support of your child, then Child Support Services will ensure that the taxpayers who paid benefits for your child will be paid back.

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  • How would you prove that your spouse was on drugs before the divorce procedure started?

    The spouse is now claiming they are completely clean. There are children involved and I am afraid they will use again in the future. I want to make sure my kids will be safe.

    Cathleen’s Answer

    If you have other evidence of drug use other than your word, you can ask the court for drug testing. You may also ask for supervised visitation if the facts warrant it. The best thing to do is consult with an experienced family law attorney to assess your specific situation and provide legal advice based on the facts of your case. In the meantime, I am including links below which will help you begin educating yourself on the law. Good luck.

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