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How do I fill out my court paperwork?

How do I fill out my court paperwork?  A question, which is often asked but has an answer which is much more in depth than simply checking boxes and filing in blank spaces, should be further examined.  Whether you are requesting orders from the court, or responding to paperwork that was served on you, the information that you provide to the court and the other party, will forever be memorialized in the paperwork you file and needs to be thought out and reviewed before filing. The laws of California, specifically those of family law, are very precise and have lasting results.  Information regarding the length of your marriage may determine whether you pay spousal support for a limited term of five years or for a potential life time.  The proper classification of property will determine whether or not you retain specific property, or divide it with your spouse.  And, entering into an agreement with your spouse regarding child custody or support, may prevent you from changing the arrangement without proving a significant change in your life – costing you time with your child and considerable financial hardship. The court will expect you to complete several forms; they may include a Response, a Schedule of Assets and Debts, and an Income and Expense Declaration.  If you have any questions regarding these forms, the Law Office of Heath L. Baker will help you.  Please contact us at (951) 222-2228, or at our website: www.heathbakerlaw.com.  We would love to talk to you in person and discuss the family law or divorce issues that are important to you....

Can I change my child’s last name?

“Can I change my child’s last name?”  Every once in a while a client will ask, and more often they will arbitrarily act on their own, to change the surname of their child without talking to the other parent.  This occurs most frequently when mom reverts back to a maiden name or takes the new spouse’s surname, or when dad wants the child to take his name if the child previously bears only mom’s last name. Surnames have been used since at least 1066.  They originated from individual reputations, characteristics, occupations, or places of birth and residence.  Surnames were not passed on from generation to generation as they are today. The custom of patrilineal succession (father-to-son) came from England’s social and legal system in medieval times, which vested all rights of ownership and management of marital property in the husband.  King Henry VIII accelerated the trend of paternal surnames, when he required the recordation of legitimate births in the name of the father, and giving rise to the custom and practice of children bearing the names of their fathers. In California, decisions concerning a child’s last name are based on the best interest of the child, much like child custody and child visitation decisions.  Keeping, changing, or modifying the child’s name is often based on the length of time the child has used the current name, the impact on the child of changing the name, and the effect on the child that changing the name will have on relationships within the family unit. If your child’s last name has become an issue, please contact us.  We would love to...