At MFLG, we strive to maintain a very high level of standards. Each member of our staff is a “Rock Star” and we wouldn’t settle for less. The team continuously works to improve in all areas. To help achieve and maintain Rock Star status, we have regular staff meetings to discuss feedback from clients, exchange ideas, and implement better methods.
In June, MFLG had its first annual “Rock Star Retreat” at Eagle Glen Golf Club. We spent the day outdoors with a lovely view and enjoyed tasty food. Our agenda focused on customer service in addition to some great firm-wide improvements. We played team building games, encouraged greatness amongst each other, and maybe spent a sip or two at happy hour to end the event.
MFLG sponsored two events in June. The first was Riverside Porsche’s reveal of the new Porsche Macan. Our founder, Holly J. Moore, gave a fun and informative speech about our firm to the attending Porsche aficionados where she likened MFLG to the Porsche of law firms. The crowd of Porsche owners were fun, engaging and the cars weren’t bad.
Aside from discussing our services at our fun and fancy booth, the conversation was great, the cocktails weren’t bad and the dinner spread was worth a second helping (courtesy of MFLG!) MFLG raffled off a high-end car detail. The lucky winner was Zona F. Congratulations, Zona, and enjoy your shiny and sparkly ride!
Do you like the smell of new car or gasoline and burnt rubber? We like ‘em all!
We ended June with a bang—well more like a burnout—as we sponsored another Autocross event at Fontana Speedway. It was hot—the day, not just the cars! More than anything, it was fast and fun. Meeting with drivers and spectators is always enjoyable and learning how we can help so many in different ways, not only in family law but our new services, like asset protection.
Keeping those babies, and I mean, the Porsches, protected is important, so make sure they are gifted in a carefully drafted will or trust. Contact our office to discuss our new services, if you need assistance with asset division due to a
divorce or you want to join us at the next Autocross event. Call (951) 463-5594.
There is a big misconception that a minor child can tell a Judge which parent he wants to live with, and the child will have the final say where he sleeps every night. The chosen parent will think their custody case is a slam dunk because their child says, “I want to live with you,” or “I don’t like going to dad’s, or mom’s,” and other similar statements.
This article will discuss this fallacy, and what California courts actually defer to when it comes to parenting plans.
My Child is Really Smart with a Wise Ole Soul
Many parents think, “my child is extremely mature for his/her age.” This goes handin-hand with having a face only a mother can love. Parents want to believe they have the smartest and most mature child than everyone else, but is that really the case? I have heard these statements from parents of 6-year-olds and parents of 16-year-olds. “The judge will be impressed with how smart and articulate my son is.” Oh, will he? Most judges are not impressed with how smart and articulate the attorneys are.
I Have Done My Research and Google Said…
Parents think around the ages of 12-14, the Courts have to hear from the child, per Google. The verified non-Google response is that there is no specific age at which a child can say where they want to live, and the Court automatically has to go along with it.
Depending on certain factors, the Court may choose to hear from the child as to their preference regarding which parent they would like to live with, but the standard is “best interest of the child.” Hearing from your child is at the Court’s discretion. Sometimes the Court feels the best interest of the child does not align with the child’s preference.
Despite your belief that your child is really smart and wise beyond years, you may be disappointed when the Judge doesn’t put as much weight on your child’s desires as you’d like. Some parents have suffered serious disappointment when a child thought to be willing to testify in favor of living with them actually flips when a mediator or Judge questions them on specific circumstances, or incidents. This happens when a child gets nervous, fears the other parent, or does not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Poof ! This is when the actual maturity level appears, but they cannot be to blame or at fault for doing this—they are kids!
Depending on the circumstances, it should be a well-thought-out plan as to a whether a minor’s desires should be presented to the Court at all.
Don’t Underestimate Your Own Age, Maturity, or a Great Attorney
In short, there is no age at which time a child can decide where they can live. Maybe your own testimony and supporting evidence is enough to demonstrate what is in the best interest of little Susie or Johnny. You have probably been journaling every incident, taking photos of every injury, tracking every tardy or absence when your child is not in your care, and saving every nasty text message from the other parent who refuses to co-parent.
MFLG can help you navigate and conquer your custody battle. We help you strategize a plan that may or may not include your child’s testimony.
If you or someone you know is having custody issues, contact our office for a free consultation to evaluate your case and see how we can effectively argue that the best interest of your child is to be with you.
We frequently hear some similar questions across the board, whether it is a divorce or a paternity case, and they are definitely good questions. Here is an oldie but goody:
Does it matter who files first?
Sometimes it is just about principle. I do not want to be the one who gets served, so I will file first. I want to be the Petitioner not Respondent. If that’s what matters to you, then that is a good enough reason to file first.
Sometimes it’s a matter of travel/expense. I live in San Bernardino County. He moved to Huntington Beach. In this situation, whoever files first should also serve the other person first and will only have to travel to the court in their county. For example: If you live in Lake Arrowhead, do you want to drive to Orange County for an 8 a.m. court hearing; about 75 miles or two + hours to court? Rather than taking just the morning off from work, you may need the whole day off. This equates to extra gas and potentially unpaid time off work. If that matters, then by all means save yourself the time and money.
Sometimes it is a matter of time. She told me she was going to file and I want to put this behind me. If you want to finalize your divorce and the other party is dragging their feet, by waiting for the other party to initiate a case, you are prolonging the date that your judgment can be finalized. If you file and serve her, then you can start the countdown clock because the soonest you can be divorced is six months and one day from the date she is served. This can also apply if you want some court orders, you delay the ability to appear in court if you wait for the other party to file, which can be detrimental to you in some cases.
Careful preparation of assets distribution after your death, including trusts, wills, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives.
Asset Protection (Family, Individual and Business)
Protect your wealth from lawsuit-hungry individuals and companies.
Protect your assets from unnecessary risks in regards to tax implications.
Contact us to schedule a complimentary assessment.