family law, Legal

When To Modify A Custody, or Visitation Order: Legal Reasons #52

When Can You File for a Modification of Child Custody Orders?

You may seek a modification of child custody and visitation orders at any time.  The court may find a visitation and/or child custody order modification “necessary or proper” if it’s in the child’s best interest [Ca Fam § 3022].  The parent who seeks the child custody modification will need to show the court a “significant change of circumstances” to support the modification request.

As a practical matter, many parents seek to change custody and have their request granted without showing a significant change of circumstances, or they or their attorneys create such a change of circumstances to justify their request.

Some Common Reasons for Seeking a Change of Custody Include:

  • The non-custodial parent’s work schedule changed
  • The non-custodial parent moved closer to the other parent
  • Child’s preference-the child desired to live with or spend more time with the non-custodial parent
  • One parent is being an irresponsible parent-not getting child to school on time or doing poorly in school, substance abuse issues, etc.
  • A parent seeks relocation outside of the geographic area where the child has resided, called a “move away case”

If you believe that your child should be spending more time with you and less with the other parent, consult with your attorney to explore your options.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Sources of Re-energy

The weeks have begun to blur as I balance Ziba, Legal Clients, BNI, Volunteering, Working Out, Writing, and duties as the Vice President for the Artesia Chamber of Commerce. This doesn’t include intimate time with loved ones, mentoring others, reading or having time to unwind. I am not going to lie, some days are a balancing act, however  unknowingly, I also set myself up to win by installing three energy centers during the week.

Mondays are days I volunteer for the Illumination Foundation which, by far, sets me to win because being in service really does satisfy me to the core. It reminds me why I do what I do and that others matter. Wednesdays, I am part of a young chapter of BNI in Cerritos whose members energize me with their smiles, passion for their varying industries, and openness to stretching theirs (and my) comfort zone in speaking, networking and presenting ideas.  But then I lastly end the work week on Fridays with morning conference call with my Leadership power team where we explore various prompts about life, leadership, and intimacy.

It hit me that when I am engaged, I draw energy which pushes me to be a better version of myself. In fact, nothing I do feels like work because I do it with joy and purpose. I am at peace with my vision in life. It’s strange, but as I become more content and confident in my purpose, I am asked to contribute in new and exciting ways. The old me would shun new challenges especially in arenas I felt were not in my “experience” or outside “abilities” yet with my energy sources, it feels as if nothing is out of reach anymore.

What are you doing about your vision/life purpose?

Happy monday!

family law, Legal

When Can Separate Property Become Community Property? Legal Reasons #51

There is a strong presumption under California law that assets and debts a couple accumulates during marriage are community property. Property one spouse owned alone before the marriage, or acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage, is that spouse’s separate property. Separate property also generally includes items purchased with or exchanged for separate property, earnings on separate property, and any increase in value of separate property, as long as the property owner can prove the claim with financial records or other documents.

California law also provides that property spouses acquire before divorce but after the date of separation is separate property. The date of separation is not necessarily the date one spouse moves out of the marital home. Instead, it is the date that one spouse decides to end the marriage, and it requires some act of physical separation combined with other actions clearly demonstrating that the spouse has decided to end the marriage.

The date of separation can become a big issue if just before the divorce one spouse either earned an unusual amount of money—got a large bonus at work or won the lottery, for example—or spent a significant amount of money. If the couple can’t agree on a date, a court will decide after considering all of the evidence. Courts usually lean toward later rather than earlier dates when evidence conflicts, so that more property is included as community property, rather than less.

A couple can agree either before or during marriage to change an asset that was originally separate property into community property, or vice versa. Such agreements must be in writing and must clearly state the intentions of the parties; simply changing the title of the property is not enough.

Sometimes a spouse changes a separate asset into a community asset without meaning to by combining—or “commingling”—separate property with marital property. A premarital bank account belonging to one spouse can become marital property if the other spouse makes deposits to it; a house owned by one spouse alone can become marital property (either in whole or in part) if both spouses pay the mortgage and other expenses.

Many types of assets can be partially community and partially separate, including retirement accounts one spouse contributed to both before and after the marriage, or a business one spouse started before marriage and continued operating after marriage.

Distinguishing community property from separate property can become very complicated, especially if one spouse owns a business or other asset to which the other contributed labor or funds during the marriage. If you have a complex property situation, you may need to consult an attorney for advice. Spouses who can’t decide what belongs to whom will have to let a court decide whether commingled property was a gift to the marriage or whether the original owner should be reimbursed in whole or in part.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Growing Experientially

It’s been a whirlwind of week.  As I learn more at my new Volunteer position, and my networking BNI group (Professional Business Alliance), I feel as if my world is expanding. I finally feel I am stepping into my vision, and firing on all cylinders. One thing that’s truly enabled me is managing my calendar on Law of Attraction Planner. Then I also got to spend some intimate time with my wife and later on, my cousins and dear friends. With each moment, it hits me that living my vision and purpose is not about money or how much work I got done. To be sure, it matters that the basics get taken are care of, and I take care of my responsibilities, but more and more it’s become apparent that showing up for yourself means showing up for others.

It is easy to be busy, however it’s only task related and not something that moves you forward in life, then it is just things to do to feel as if you are doing something when, in actuality, you are marking time. More and more, I feel that I’ve been put here to do more than just take up space, but be in contribution to others. Happiness for me has become about experiences not material wealth. And I am more than okay with that. Happy Monday!

employment law, Legal

Fired While On Disability Leave? Legal Reasons #50

If you were fired while you on leave, you may have a claim for wrongful termination.

The laws covering whether you can be fired while you’re off work recovering from a physical or mental illness or injury are complicated. First, it depends whether you are taking leave under the FMLA or similar state leave law, taking other unpaid leave, or collecting workers’ compensation temporary disability benefits. Whether or not you are collecting short-term or long-term disability (LTD) insurance benefits doesn’t matter – LTD policies offer no protection for your job.

Third, there are some situations in which you can legally be fired even though you’re on disability leave, as long as your employer follows the rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Job Protection Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

If you are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to deal with a physical or mental medical problem (or to take care of a family member’s medical issues). Unfortunately, the FMLA does not apply to most employees who work for small businesses—it applies only to employees who work at companies with at least 50 workers (who must work within 75 miles of each other). Also, employees can take FMLA leave only if they worked at least a year for an employer and worked at least 1,250 hours for that employer last year.

Assuming you are eligible for FMLA leave and you correctly requested it, you cannot be fired while on FMLA leave. And when you return from FMLA leave, your employer must give you back your position, or one that is nearly the same—assuming you can still do the job.

Job Protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Even after you have exhausted your 12 weeks of FMLA leave per year, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can make it difficult for your employer to fire you when you are out on disability leave. Fortunately, the ADA covers more small businesses than the FMLA—those with just 15 or more workers.

Before firing you while you’re on disability leave—or not reinstating you to your position after your disability leave ends—your employer has to try to “accommodate” you; that is, make the job suitable for you, given your impairments. Examples of ways an employer could accommodate your disability include granting you more unpaid leave after you’ve exhausted your FMLA leave, allowing you to work a flexible schedule, or making your workspace more ergonomic.

Your employer must work interactively with you to try to come up with accommodations that would allow you to do your job. (To protect yourself, it’s best to request accomodations from your employer in writing.) During discussions with your employer, you may need to compromise on the accommodations you asked for, however, since your employer only has to make accommodations that are reasonable and that won’t cause the company “undue hardship.” What constitutes undue hardship is based on the cost of the accommodations to your employer and the size of the company.


Diet, Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

A New Monday and My Why For Weight Loss

Each week, I spend a few minutes just reviewing what I accomplished. I take a moment to express gratitude and truly take in when I move forward. It’s crazy but I have lost 28 pounds in five weeks without trying to lose that weight.I have never been about binge eating or dieting, but Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live plan was something that resonated with me. It is NOT a diet and definitely NOT for losing tons of weight but an anti disease eating regimen that involves eating most Fruits, Vegetables, Whole grains and seeds. I also added being active 7 days a week, cut out salt, and oil as well as visualized myself lighter.

Are my results typical? Probably not. Dr. Fuhrman does say that most people lost 20 pounds in 6 weeks. And also what was my why? See, that’s the thing, you need a real why. A why that will get you to move off your ass otherwise it is just a pipe dream. So my why is My father. Both my dad and grandfather died from heart disease, and I am determined not to go that way. I want to stop the cycle of dying due to preventable diseases. It seems ridiculous to me to die from something I did to myself. Now if a car hits, I am ok with that, but I am not going down without a fight!

But there is something. The time in the gym or when I am jumping rope or walking barefoot everywhere is my alone time, my processing time, the time where I feel I am working through the many thoughts in my head. So that is also my why. I don’t say any of this to brag, but I truly believe that you need a why to keep moving forward. That is the only way to seek change because you know what it’s for. So what’s your why?

Happy Monday! :0