I filed for a motion for bifurcation and gave the reason that I wanted to remarry. My ex served me with a declaration to object to my motion for bifurcation. My ex has fabricated a story and is showing old pictures to the judge as if we are still seeing each other. How can I inform the judge that these pictures are old and my ex has fabricated the story?
I have a hearing coming up next week for the motion for bifurcation. Are there any reasons that my motion wouldn't be granted for?
The pictures should not have any relevance on the bifurcation. You can achieve the bifurcation provided you comply with the statutory terms - and sometimes maintaining the health insurance can be a concern. The maintenance of stability with retirement benefits pending the later Judgment should not be a concern at all. So, if you cover your wife now with health insurance and she does not cover herself with health insurance, she will still need health insurance that the court will likely make you provide,
My colleague is correct. These pictures and stories should have no effect on these proceedings. If your case meets the statutory requirements, the court will likely grant the motion for bifurcation.
If you do not have a lawyer representing you in this matter, you need to get one immediately.
You have a right to move on with your life. I would be less concerned about photos than I would about the indemnifications that have to be handled in a bifurcation hearing. If you are providing employment-related heatlh insurance for your ex, for example, then you would have to continue to provide COBRA benefits for your ex, which can be very expensive. If there are any pension plans, they have to be joined before the court can grant the bifurcation - and if they aren't you are placing significant property rights at risk.
I strongly suggest that you review this with either your local court's self-help staff, or with a local attorney, prior to your court appearance next week.
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At either party’s request, the family law judge assigned to your case may bifurcate the matter on the issue of dissolution of marriage status (“status only”), expressly reserving jurisdiction for later determination of all other pending issues (including division of the community estate). Family Code § 2337(a) & (f); Marriage of Wolfe (1985) 173 CA3d 889, 894, 219 CR 337, 340).
This must be done by a motion to bifurcate, and it is appropriate when one of the litigants wants to remarry, but the other issues (custody, property divisions, etc.) will take a longer period of time. Bifurcation allows a judgment of dissolution to be entered (“status only”), reserving jurisdiction to resolve the contested issues thereafter. Under Family Code Section 2337(f), “A judgment granting a dissolution of the status of the marriage shall expressly reserve jurisdiction for later determination of all other pending issues.”
Motions for bifurcation in order to obtain a “Status Only” judgment are favored by the courts because it furthers the legislative intent that marriage dissolution not be postponed simply because issues relating to property, support, custody or attorney fees are not ready for decision. (See Marriage of Fink (1976) 54 CA3d 357, 363–364, 126 CR 626, 630.)
Finally, the moving party need only present “slight evidence” in support of a “status only“ bifurcation request, as opposed to the party that opposes such a motion. (See Gionis v. Super.Ct. (Gionis) (1988) 202 CA3d 786, 790, 248 CR 741, 744.) It is unlikely that your wife’s opposition to the motion will be successful.
I hope this helps.
Drew Allan Cicconi
Attorney at Law
Disclaimer: This is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. This is not intended to be legal advice in your specific case. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website. You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information in your case.
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