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Inland Empire Claremont Upland Family Law And Estate Planning Attorney

Get Started With An Initial Consultation

 (626) 765-4469


We understand that two of the most important things in life are family and finances. At The Kahn Law Firm, we strive to prepare, educate, and equip you with the necessary tools to understand how to protect your family and your finances. We want you to have an understanding of the laws and rights that may affect you.  It can be difficult to navigate the legal system, especially when it involves rights that you may not even recognize you're entitled to. Our goal is to assist and educate you in making informed and effective decisions, in order to allow you to focus on the important things in your life.

It can be overwhelming to consider that the decisions you make can affect and impact the future of your family and finances. At The Kahn Law Firm, we take special care to listen to your future plans and concerns, to offer you relevant advice and answers. We provide accommodating, personal legal services with a thoughtful and sensitive approach, while offering advocacy and understanding representation.  We guide you through a daunting process and give you the tools that you need to advocate for yourself.  Let us help you take some of the fear out of the legal process. Please give us a call today at (626) 765-4469 to set up a consultation.


The Kahn Law Firm, located in Claremont, serves clients in Claremont, Chino Hills, Chino, San Bernardino, Redlands, Montclair, Ontario, Upland, Pomona, San Dimas, La Verne, Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Victorville, Riverside, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, the Inland Empire, high-desert communities and throughout Southern California.

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ATTORNEY PROFILE

Deborah L. Kahn, Esq., J.D., M.B.A.

Principal Attorney & Founder

Deborah L. Kahn is the Principal Attorney and Founder of The Kahn Law Firm. She is a Los Angeles, Orange County,  San Gabriel Valley, and Inland Empire Attorney who has maintained caseloads in both Family law and Civil litigation. She has represented clients in all aspects of divorce, including appeals.  Ms. Kahn has even submitted writs to the California Court of Appeals and petitions to the California Supreme Court. 

Although concentrating in Family Law and Estate Planning, Ms. Kahn has also performed document review, drafting of operating/business agreements, business formation and incorporating procedures, and various real estate law issues.

Prior to Ms. Kahn’s graduation from Southwestern Law School where she earned her Juris Doctorate, she externed at the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, where she had the opportunity to be in the courtroom every day.  She was one of three students chosen for a year-long fellowship at the Edelman Children's Court.  As a certified law clerk, she represented minors in dependency hearings and maintained her own caseload.  Also in law school, Ms. Kahn researched, drafted, and argued an appellate brief, where she earned the title of “Honorable Mention Oralist,” a distinction only 20 first year students obtain.

Furthermore, while in law school, Ms. Kahn was selected to be a member of the Southwestern Journal of International Law. During her time on Law Journal, she completed several intensive legal research and writing projects.  She also wrote an article on a controversial international legal topic, which was published in an online periodical.

Post-graduation and after passing the California Bar Exam, Ms. Kahn went on to pursue her passion for business strategy and obtained a Masters in Business Administration at Claremont Graduate University.  She successfully completed the Southwestern JD/MBA dual-degree program.

Since 2014, Ms. Kahn has passionately worked in the Title IX arena. Ms. Kahn has maintained roles involving complex Title IX investigations at various Southern California Colleges and Universities. Ms. Kahn has conducted numerous Title IX investigations, served as a support person to Complainants and Respondents and also served as Title IX Investigator, Coordinator and an ADA Coordinator. She has experience in all roles and facets involving Title IX of the Education Amendments.

Ms. Kahn is diverse from other law practitioners because she is able to see more than just faceless text on a page. When reading facts for the first time, the people behind the actions immediately come to life in her mind.  Ms. Kahn brings a humanistic approach to the practice of law.  She has a unique ability to hone in on both parties’ strengths and weaknesses and determine the minutia the trier of fact may have overlooked.

Ms. Kahn is also fluent in Cantonese and conversant in Spanish. A lover of languages, Ms. Kahn is working to improve her Hebrew language skills.

Inland Empire Claremont Upland Family Law Divorce Attorney And Estate Planning Attorney
 

Phone

(626) 765-4469

Email

deborah@thekahnlawfirm.net

Location

415 W. Foothill Blvd., Ste 106

Claremont, CA 91711

Hours

7 Days A Week

Monday to Sunday-9am-5pm


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Inland Empire Claremont Upland Family Law Divorce Attorney And Estate Planning Attorney

Practice Areas

BUSINESS LAW:


Document Review
Business Contracts
Operating/Business Agreements
Corporation, LLC & Partnership Formation   

TRAINING

Discrimination Training

Harassment Training

Sexual Harassment Training

Work Place Investigations & Trainings

 

Reasonable Fees

At The Kahn Law Firm we provide affordable full service representation for a reasonable fee.  We will always provide you with a specific cost so you will know up front what you will be paying for our legal services.  We also offer unbundled legal services by handling a specific portion of your case for a lower cost than handling your case from beginning to end.

Document Preparation: We help you with a step-by-step approach in preparing your legal documents to simplify the filing process. 

Limited Appearance:  If you already have an open case and you have already filed your documents, but feel that you would like an attorney to accompany you to court for your court appearance, we offer limited representation to provide you with the comfort of having an attorney that will appear with you in court on your behalf.

Mutual Consent Decree: If you and the other party are able to come to an agreement but you want an attorney to help mediate or draft the terms of the agreement and represent your interests in the agreement, we provide those services also.
 
Full service- If you prefer representation from beginning to end, our firm will represent you from the start of the filing of your petition to the final court hearing.

Please call us for a consultation at (626) 765-4469.

The Kahn Law Firm, located in Claremont, serves clients in Claremont, Chino Hills, Chino, San Bernardino, Redlands, Montclair, Ontario, Upland, Pomona, San Dimas, La Verne, Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Victorville, Riverside, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, the Inland Empire, high-desert communities and throughout Southern California.


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Understanding Revocable Living Trusts

DO I NEED AN ESTATE PLAN?

You do — whether your estate is small or large. Either way, you should designate someone to manage your assets and make health care and personal care decisions for you if you ever become unable to do so for yourself.

If your estate is small, your plan may simply focus on who will receive your assets after your death, and who should manage your estate, pay your last debts and handle the distribution of your assets.

If your estate is large, your lawyer will discuss various ways of preserving your assets for your beneficiaries and of reducing or postponing the amount of taxes which otherwise might be payable after your death.

If you fail to plan ahead, a judge will appoint someone to handle your assets and personal care. And your assets will be distributed to your heirs according to a set of rules known as "intestate succession." Contrary to popular myth, everything does not automatically go to the state if you die without a will. Your relatives, no matter how remote, and, in some cases, the relatives of your spouse, have priority in inheritance ahead of the state. Still, they may not be your choice of heirs; an estate plan gives you much greater control over who will inherit your assets after your death. —http://www.calbar.ca.gov

WHAT IS A WILL?

A will is a traditional legal document that:

  • Names individuals (or charitable organizations) who will receive your assets after your death, either by outright gift or in a trust.
  • Nominates an executor who will be appointed and supervised by the probate court to manage your estate; pay your debts, expenses and taxes; and distribute your estate according to the instructions in your will.
  • May include nominations of guardians for your minor children. —http://www.calbar.ca.gov

WHAT IS A REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST?

It is a legal document that can, in some cases, partially substitute for a will. With a revocable living trust (also known as a revocable inter vivos trust or grantor trust), your assets are put into the trust, administered for your benefit during your lifetime and transferred to your beneficiaries when you die — all without the need for court involvement.

Most people name themselves as the trustee in charge of managing their living trust’s assets. By naming yourself as trustee, you can remain in control of the assets during your lifetime. In addition, you can revoke or change any terms of the trust at any time as long as you are still competent. (The terms of the trust generally become irrevocable when you die. However, in trusts created by married couples, some or part of the trust may continue to be revocable by the surviving spouse.)

In your trust agreement, you will also name a successor trustee (a person or institution) who will take over as the trustee and manage the trust’s assets if you should ever become unable to do so. Your successor trustee would also take over the management and distribution of your assets when you die.

A living trust does not, however, remove all need for a will. Generally, you would still need a will — known as a pour over will — to cover any assets that have not been transferred to the trust.

 Keep in mind that your choice of trustees is very important. That trustee’s management of your living trust assets will not be automatically subject to direct court supervision. —http://www.calbar.ca.gov

Do I Need a Will if I have a Trust?

Yes. A special type of will referred to as a “pour over will,” works hand-in-hand with the revocable trust and acts as a safety net, in the event you forgot to re-title an asset in the name of your trust.  This legal document is included in your estate plan. 

Advantages of a Trust vs. a Will

Apart from avoid probate, there are other advantages to using a revocable trust in your estate plan. 

  • If an illness or accident leaves you incapacitated, your successor trustee can handle your financial affairs without the need of a court appointed guardian or conservator.
  • If the beneficiaries of your trust are minor children or others who might not use an inheritance as you intend, the trust can continue to hold the assets until they reach a more mature age.
  • If you own real property in more than one state, you avoid the expense, time and hassle of multiple probate proceedings.
  • By using the “A-B” provision in a trust, a husband and wife can pass the maximum estate tax exemption to their heirs. 

What is so bad about Probate

Probate has many disadvantages, including:

TIME CONSUMING: The probate process can take a few months or as long as several years to complete.  The average probate takes about 12 months. In complex situations, probate lasting 18 months or longer is not unusual.  

COSTLY: Attorney’s fees to probate an estate can run into thousands of dollars.  In addition, the executor must be compensated.  All related probate fees must be paid before any of the descendant’s assets are distributed to the family. The average cost of probate is 4-8% of the gross estate.

LOSS OF CONTROL: The probate court controls the entire process.  Someone “on the outside” will tell your beneficiaries who gets what and when.

LACK OF PRIVACY: All probate transactions are a matter of public record. Anyone can find out the size, contents and beneficiaries of your estate.  This can be embarrassing and frustrating for your family, create disputes, and expose your family to unscrupulous solicitors.  

The Bottom Line is that Probate is time consuming, inconvenient, and expensive.  Even at best, probate is an unpleasant and emotionally trying experience. At worst, it can be a nightmare.

Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust

  •       Avoids probate at death, including multiple probates if you own proPERTY in other states.

  •       Prevents court control of assets in the case of incapacity.

  •       Provides maximum privacy.

  •       Quicker distribution of assets to beneficiaries.

  •       Assets can remain in trust until you want your beneficiaries to receive the assets.

  •       May reduce or eliminate federal estate taxes.

  •       Inexpensive, easy to set up, and maintain.

  •       May be amended (changed) or revoked (cancelled) at any time.

  •       Difficult to contest.

  •       Prevents court control of minors’ inheritance.

  •       Can Protect Dependents with special needs.

  •       You only need to set it up once during your lifetime.

  •       Avoids probate in all 50 states, even if you move to a different state from where you created it.

The Kahn Law Firm, located in Claremont, serves clients in Claremont, Chino Hills, Chino, San Bernardino, Redlands, Montclair, Ontario, Upland, Pomona, San Dimas, La Verne, Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Victorville, Riverside, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, the Inland Empire, high-desert communities and throughout Southern California.

Inland Empire Claremont Upland Family Law Divorce Attorney And Estate Planning Attorney Title IX

What is Title IX?

In short, Title IX ensures gender equality in the educational setting in the United States.

The actual language is part of the 1972 Education Amendments and states:

Inland Empire Claremont Upland Family Law Divorce Attorney And Estate Planning Attorney Title IX

Therefore, if your institution receives federal funding, and you have experienced sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, intimate partner violence or stalking, you are entitled to specific protections and resources.

It's important to know your rights and understand what occurs once a formal complaint is filed.

Complaints filed with the Title IX office are typically resolved within 60 working days. That time may be extended due to parallel criminal investigations, police inquiries, school breaks or other events necessary to ensure a fair, complete and thorough investigation.

When a formal complaint is filed, the Title IX coordinator conducts an initial assessment to determine the best way to bring about a resolution of the complaint. There are normally two forms of complaint resolution: early resolution and formal investigation.

When you decide to file a complaint, the Title IX coordinator will likely initiate a series of steps to address and resolve the complaint.

In most cases, a physical complaint form is not necessary to initiate the complaint process.

When you file a complaint, the Title IX coordinator conducts an initial assessment with you to determine:

  • The health and safety of the individual(s) involved as well as that of the larger College or University community.
  • What steps to take to mitigate the immediate impact of the incident and connect the complainant/claimant with services.
  • The best way to bring about a resolution of the complaint

Generally, complaints filed with the College or University's Title IX office are typically resolved within 60 working days. That time may be extended due to parallel criminal investigations, police inquiries, school breaks or other events necessary to ensure a fair, complete and thorough investigation.

There are two forms of complaint resolution: early resolution and formal investigation.

Characteristics of an Early Resolution

An early resolution can provide a wide range of measures to address an incident’s effects, resolve a complaint and prevent the incident from reoccurring. Within the early resolution process, circumstances may require a simple investigation before potential remedies are put in place.

Possible remedies include:

  • Having no future contact with the person against whom the complainant files
  • Attending sexual harassment prevention courses
  • Attending alcohol education courses
  • Attending counseling
  • Terminating the alleged behavior
  • Disciplinary sanctions

Characteristics of a Formal Complaint

A formal complaint includes:

Investigation

This is conducted by either an internal or external investigator or investigator team. The investigators speak to all involved parties and any witnesses.

Investigators also consider all relevant evidence, such as text messages and pictures.

Determination of Outcome

If the investigation finds that there was a violation of your College or University's Policy, depending on the circumstances, the Title IX coordinator will likely recommend that the case be forwarded to a decision maker for the potential initiation of disciplinary sanctions or further investigation.

There are two sides to each Title IX incident:  The Claimant or Complainant's perspective and expectations and the Respondent's perspective and expectations.  It is important that there is parity for both sides during an investigation.

CLAIMANT/COMPLAINANT'S RIGHTS & EXPECTATIONS

What to do when you've experienced Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, and Stalking ?

What rights or expectations does a claimant/complainant have in a Formal Title IX Complaint?

What You Can Expect During an Investigation

To have a prompt, fair and impartial investigation.

To review and revise the notes taken by the investigator during your interview.

To present any evidence or the names of witnesses you feel are relevant to the investigation.

To have a support person accompany you to the meetings regarding the allegations. The support person may be anyone, but not a person who has information relevant to the allegations. The support person may not answer questions regarding the subject matter of the investigation.

To be informed of the outcome of the investigation within a reasonable time frame.

To provide feedback, pose questions to witnesses or request additional investigation.

To appeal the outcome of the investigation if the circumstances qualify for an appeal.

To have your information and information pertaining to the complaint kept private (released only on a need-to-know basis).

To be protected from retaliation or any negative action taken against you for participating in the investigation.

When you disclose an incident of sexual assault or intimate partner violence, you may:

Seek support from confidential resources.

Speak and present information on your behalf, free from prejudice.

File a police report and take legal actions separate from and in addition to any Harvey Mudd College process.

File a complaint that initiates an investigation through the College’s resolution process.

Receive information and assistance with the following:

Academics

Employment

Housing

Physical and/or mental health

Safety

Transportation

Interim remedies tailored to your specific circumstances

RESPONDENT'S RIGHTS & EXPECTATIONS

What to do when you have been accused of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking.

What You Can Expect During an Investigation:

To have a prompt, fair and impartial investigation.

To review and revise the notes taken by the investigator during your interview.

To present any evidence or the names of witnesses you feel are relevant to the investigation.

To have a support person accompany you to the meetings regarding the allegations. The support person may be anyone, but not a person who has information relevant to the allegations. The support person may not answer questions regarding the subject matter of the investigation.

To  pose questions to witnesses or request additional investigation.

To be informed of the outcome of the investigation within a reasonable time frame.

To appeal the outcome of the investigation if the circumstances qualify for an appeal.

To have your information and information pertaining to the complaint kept private (released only on a need-to-know basis).

To be protected from retaliation or any negative action taken against you for participating in the investigation.

Receive a statement of explanation regarding the complaint and the name of the person or organization who has filed it.

Know of any limitations or restrictions placed upon you as a result of the complaint.

Speak and present information on your own behalf, free from prejudice.

Know the status of the complaint throughout the process.

Seek support from confidential resources.

Receive information and assistance with the following:

Academics

Employment

Campus escorts

Housing

Physical and/or mental health

•Safety

       •Transportation

 

Inland Empire Claremont Upland Family Law Divorce Attorney And Estate Planning Attorney Title IX

What to do if you feel that your College or University has mishandled your Title IX complaint?

If you feel that you were treated improperly, the campus policies were not handled properly, or you felt that the complaint and/or investigation itself was mishandled, you have the ability to file a complaint with the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

You can File a Complaint against your College or University for several reasons such as discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin is prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  This includes discrimination based on pregnancy, parental status, and sex stereotypes (such as treating persons differently because they do not conform to sex-role expectations or because they are attracted to or are in relationships with persons of the same sex).

Discrimination against persons with disabilities is prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities, whether or not they receive federal financial assistance).  This includes discrimination against individuals currently without an impairment that substantially limits of a major life activity, but who have a record of or are regarded as having a disability.

Discrimination on the basis of age is prohibited by Age Discrimination Act of 1975. 

These civil rights laws extend to all state education agencies, elementary and secondary school systems, colleges and universities, vocational schools, proprietary schools, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, libraries and museums that receive federal financial assistance from ED. These include all public schools and most public and private colleges and universities.

Who Can File a Discrimination Complaint - Anyone may file a complaint. The person or organization filing the complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination but may complain on behalf of another person or group. A complainant filing on behalf of or pertaining to another person(s) is responsible for securing any necessary written consent from that individual, including when a parent files for a student over the age of 18.

Timeliness - A complaint must ordinarily be filed within 180 days of the last act of discrimination. If your complaint involves matters that occurred longer ago than this and you are requesting a waiver, you will be asked to show good cause why you did not file your complaint within the 180-day period.

How to File an OCR Complaint

Online: You may file a complaint with OCR using OCR’s electronic complaint form at the following website: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html.

Mail or Facsimile: You may mail or send by facsimile information to the address or phone number available at this link.  You may use OCR’s Discrimination Complaint Form or write your own letter.  If you write your own letter, please include:

  • The complainant’s name, address and, if possible (although not required), a telephone number where the complainant may be reached during business hours;
  • Information about the person(s) or class of persons injured by the alleged discriminatory act(s) (names of the injured person(s) are not required);
  • The name and location (city and state) of the institution that committed the alleged discriminatory act(s); and
  • A description of the alleged discriminatory act(s) in sufficient detail to enable OCR to understand what occurred, when it occurred, and the basis for the alleged discrimination.

Email: You may email OCR’s Discrimination Complaint Form or your own signed letter to ocr@ed.gov. If you write your own letter, please include the information identified above.

For those without current email accounts, Internet access may be freely available from your local public library, and free email accounts are available from several large providers.

Note: Your College or University CANNOT retaliate against you for filing a complaint against them.

The OCR office for California is located at:

San Francisco Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
50 United Nations Plaza
Mail Box 1200, Room 1545
San Francisco, CA 94102

Telephone: 415-486-5555
FAX: 415-486-5570; TDD: 800-877-8339
Email:
ocr.sanfrancisco@ed.gov 

The OCR National Headquarters is located at:

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100

Telephone: 800-421-3481
FAX: 202-453-6012; TDD: 800-877-8339
Email:
OCR@ed.gov 

 Title IX Investigations

Prompt Response. Trauma-Informed Lens. Reasoned & Well-Supported Analysis.

When investigating allegations of sexual misconduct, discrimination and/or harassment, a neutral, trauma-informed lens towards the Claimant(s), Respondent(s), and Witness(es) is imperative. Discrete and Sensitive investigation techniques are required to reach a prompt and well-supported conclusion without delay.

Our firm has been trained in the Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI) approach, The Reid Technique of interviewing and interrogation, and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and Social Behavior. With more than five years of experience in the Title IX arena, our firm investigates allegations with the required sensitivity and care to ensure a thorough and comprehensive investigation, considering all evidence and circumstances available, to ensure a well-reasoned, supported, and fair conclusion.

 Title IX Hearing Officer Services

Our firm’s attorney has over five years of experience in the Title IX arena at both large and small, private, and public, Colleges and Universities in California. Our attorney has held roles as a Title IX Investigator, Title IX Coordinator, and ADA/504 Coordinator.

TITLE IX HEARING OFFICER TRAINING

Utilizing your own College’s or University’s policy, our firm will create a custom, hands-on training that will satisfy annual training requirements. Trainings can be customized depending on audience. Our firm has experience training public safety, law enforcement, faculty, staff, athletics, resident advisors, board of trustees, parents and 3rd-party vendors.

HEARING OFFICER + APPEAL SERVICES

Pending the new 2018/2019 Title IX regulatory requirements pertaining to the availability of remedies for violations, Colleges and Universities will likely soon be required to provide both an investigation and a live hearing for the parties. Currently, many Colleges and Universities have provided a party to a Title IX matter the right to an appeal on procedural or substantive grounds. In the aforementioned circumstances, an external hearing officer may be necessary.

As with Title IX investigations, Title IX hearings require a deep understanding of the applicable policy, careful attention to the facts, and sensitivity to the needs of the parties involved. A prompt, thorough, and impartial lens is required in conducting both a neutral hearing and/or an appropriate appeal review.

As an experienced Title IX administrator, our attorney provides prompt services as a neutral and fair hearing officer. Further, if necessary, our attorney evaluates the appropriateness of the scope of the hearing and/or the appeal and ensures consistency with the client’s appeal policy. In the context of a hearing, a well-reasoned and supported explanation for each of the findings will be provided to the client.

WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS

Prompt Response. Thorough Fact Finding. Reasoned & Well-Supported Analysis.

Our firm conducts prompt and thorough investigations, with concise and comprehensive analyses.

  • Harassment

  • Discrimination

  • Retaliation

  • Workplace Misconduct

  • Cross-Complaints with Multiple Claimants and/or Respondents

Our attorney has investigated cases involving both public and private clients, with both large and small size organizations. Cases have involved a multitude of allegations with cross complaints and mixed motive allegations. Investigations have been performed involving multiple Claimants and Respondents with allegations involving procedural rights.

Investigations include necessary meetings with Claimant(s), Respondent(s), Witness(es), and a thorough review of circumstantial evidence. A preliminary investigation report may be recommended based on the clients’ policy and practices. At the conclusion of the investigation, clients will receive a concise, high quality report with comprehensive analyses, applicable policy and a well-reasoned finding for each allegation.

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Inland Empire Claremont Upland Family Law Divorce Attorney And Estate Planning Attorney Title IX

CHILD CUSTODY

1.     Do I Need an Attorney to help me fight for custody?

There are numerous ways to fight for custody:

1)    Retain an Attorney;

2)    Hire a Paralegal;

3)    Represent yourself (pro per)

Representing yourself is very risky.  Not only do you not know the law, but you will be held to the same standard as an attorney.  The problem with representing yourself is that once a decision is made in your case, the process to rectify the mistake, (motion to set aside or appeal) is very difficult.

If you hire a paralegal to represent you, they can only assist you in preparing the necessary paperwork.  Paralegals cannot give you any legal advice.

When you retain an attorney, you can feel confident that your case will be handled by an individual who has an in-depth understanding of the laws that effect your parental rights and the future of your family.  

2.      How can an attorney help mediate the terms of custody if my ex and I can’t be civil?

An attorney can serve as an unbiased 3rd party who understands the laws and rules of the Court and assist you and your co-parenting partner in creating a child custody and visitation schedule that is fair to both parents.

An attorney mediator will help you identify the strengths of your family and help determine a plan that is in the best interests of your child.

The attorney mediator will be neutral and they will NOT be representing you or your co-parenting partner.  The attorney mediator’s purpose is to serve as a peace keeper, someone who is there for the sole purpose of assisting you and your co-parenting partner in coming to a peaceful custody agreement that is fair and reasonable.

Once an agreement is reached, the attorney mediator will assist you in preparing the official custody agreement, which can become a court order if you choose and will thereafter be enforceable by the Court.

3.      What is the legal process involved in arranging for child custody?

 

To begin the legal process for filing for child custody, you or your co-parenting partner must file the necessary paperwork to properly request that the Court’s assistance . 

If you already have a family law case, you will already have a case number and will be filing a Request for Order (RFO).

If you are beginning your family law case for the very first time and do not currently have a case number, you will need to file the necessary paperwork to obtain a case number and then file your Request for Order simultaneously, or after you obtain a case number.

Most court houses have a self-help center that can assist you with beginning the steps for filing for custody.  You can look online or call your local courthouse to determine if these services are available in your area.  An attorney can also assist you in beginning this process and filing the Request for Order.

For every child custody/visitation Request for Order, you and your co-parenting counselor will be required by the Court to attend mandatory mediation.  Normally, this mediation appointment will be given to your after you file your Request for Order and will take place before your hearing date.  The appointment will be given to you and will take place at the Court house.  The mediator will assist both parents in trying to resolve their custody dispute and create a binding court order if a resolution is reached.

4.      What factors determine levels custody?

California courts normally make child custody decisions based on the "best interests of the child" standard.

The Judge uses this “best interests of the child” standard to determine a schedule for how the parents will co-parent together and share time with their children.

Gender of the parent does not give one parent special preference or a greater time-share with the child.    The Court cannot use a parent’s gender as a determining factor for basing it’s custodial decision.

In California family law, the “child’s best interest standard” is separated into two specific considerations:

1)    the health, safety, and welfare of the child

and

2)    the frequent and continuing contact with both parents.

Other Factors

In addition to these two specific and most important considerations, the Court can also take into consideration other relevant circumstances or factors involved in each unique family.

Health and Safety

The Court gives this factor great weight.  For example, if a child suffers from a severe disability or has other ailments or impairments, the Court may look to factors such as which parent has a schedule that can accommodate a disabled child or where the child will be able to receive the best health care and services. 

Another example, Judges cannot grant custody to a parent, if a child was born with birth defects because of that parent’s pre-natal drug usage.  The previous drug usage (pre-natal or otherwise) is a heavy factor that is extremely relevant to a child’s health and safety. If there is a risk or history of domestic violence, sexual or physical abuse, the Court cannot grant unsupervised visitation in most cases unless the Court finds that the risk or history no longer exists. 

Child’s Preference

In California, the law does not state which age Courts will give deference to a child’s own preference.  However, children can submit a declaration or give live testimony in Court, if they are able to write coherently and are mature enough to make an educated decision in regards to their own custody.

Co-Parenting Skills

A parent that conveys a desire to support frequent and continuing contact between the other parent and their child, is given great weight in determining custody and visitation. 

A parent who makes disparaging comments, does not cooperate in co-parenting, and alienates the other parent is looked at poorly by a Judge and weighs greatly in child custody decisions.

False allegations of abuse made by one parent made against another parent is taken very seriously by California Courts.

Ensuring Stability and Continuity

California Courts look highly upon a parent who seeks to ensure a stable living environment for their child.  This includes working to maintain continuity in their child’s life such as established patterns of care and ensuring that sibling bonds are maintained.

5.     What are the main types of child custody?

There are two different types of custody:

1)    Legal

and

2)    Physical

Custody can be shared jointly in both legal and physical custody.  Legal custody includes a parent’s ability to discuss a child’s health, education, safety, and welfare.  Physical custody involves where the child physically stay’s each night. 

Joint physical custody is easily presented as a 50/50 child custody schedule.  However, joint physical custody may not actually equate to that amount of time.  It just invovles each parent having a significant period of custodial time share with the child.

Joint legal custody is awarded in most cases, but Courts who award joint legal custody do not have to also order joint physical custody.  Although California Courts have wide discretion in granting custody based on the child’s best interests,  California public policy favors granting both joint physical and legal custody.

If parents are able to decide and agree upon a parenting plan that is in their child’s best interests themselves, it is always better to do so.  California law requires parents to attend mediation prior to the date of their hearing to see if they can agree upon a parenting plan.  If the parents are not able to agree upon a schedule, a Judge will decide a parenting plan for the child using the “best interest of the child” standard.

6.     How do I prove my ex is unfit to be a parent?

 In instances where you would like to tell the Court that your child’s father or mother is unfit to be a parent, it is imperative that you do so by providing substantial and credible evidence of your allegations. 

You must provide credible evidence such as witness declarations and/or testimony, expert declarations and/or testimony, credible evidence such as police and medical reports, criminal records, phone records, and photos, etc. 

The fact that you feel that your previous partner is an unfit parent is not enough.  There must be enough evidence to satisfy your burden of proof and prove to the Court that your child’s father or mother is actually unfit.  

7.     In what situations does the child choose where they want to live?

In California, the law does not state which age Courts will give deference to a child’s own preference. However, children can submit a declaration or give live testimony in Court, if they are able to write coherently and are mature enough to make an educated decision in regards to their own custody.

In the past, by common practice, the age has been around age 14 or 15 years old.  Depending on the Judge, there are some instances where Court’s will appoint minor’s counsel.  The child will not attend Court hearings, but their attorney will meet with them beforehand and either state their preferences or state what has occurred in their lives since the last hearing.   

The Kahn Law Firm, located in Claremont, serves clients in Claremont, Chino Hills, Chino, San Bernardino, Redlands, Montclair, Ontario, Upland, Pomona, San Dimas, La Verne, Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Victorville, Riverside, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, the Inland Empire, high-desert communities and throughout Southern California.


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Resources

At The Kahn Law Firm, our goal is to help you navigate the legal arena and educate you regarding your rights and opportunities.  Below, we have included pertinent information and links to help guide your through the laws, processes, and legal implications. The more you understand about the legal process and circumstances surrounding your case, the more we can help you move forward in achieving the best possible results for you and your loved ones. 

Please call me today at (626) 765-4469 to set up a consultation.

Learn more by reviewing the links, resources, and information below:

California Laws & Codes

self help

Find information about the California court system, various lawyers, legal aid and other legal help from your local court. Learn information and resources on other legal topics that are not covered in this Self-Help Center.

Already have a case?

Find Your Case
Look up case information and proceeding information including a list of documents that have already been filed in your case.  Find out information about future hearings.

Filing for divorce or separation

Learn about the requirements to file for divorce or legal separation to end your marriage or domestic partnership (or both), and where to get help.

Click here for more information on filing

accessing filing forms

The Judicial Council adopts legal forms in one of two ways. Under Government Code section 68511, the council may “prescribe” certain forms. Use of those forms is mandatory. The council may also “approve” forms. Use of an approved form is not mandatory, but the form must be accepted by all courts in appropriate cases (rule 1.35). Forms thus are “adopted” for mandatory use and “approved” for optional use.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is abuse or threats of abuse when the person being abused and the abuser are or have been in an intimate relationship (married or domestic partners, are dating or used to date, live or lived together, or have a child together). It is also when the abused person and the abusive person are closely related by blood or by marriage.

The domestic violence laws say “abuse” is:

  • Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, intentionally or recklessly;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Making someone reasonably afraid that they or someone else are about to be seriously hurt (like threats or promises to harm someone); OR
  • Behavior like harassing, stalking, threatening, or hitting someone; disturbing someone’s peace; or destroying someone’s personal property.

Child support calculator

The child support calculator will help estimate your child support obligation or how much you are entitled to in child support. For a more accurate number or to calculate an estimate for spousal support, please contact me for a consultation.


The Kahn Law Firm, located in Claremont, serves clients in Claremont, Chino Hills, Chino, San Bernardino, Redlands, Montclair, Ontario, Upland, Pomona, San Dimas, La Verne, Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Victorville, Riverside, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, the Inland Empire, high-desert communities and throughout Southern California.