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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 aconsultation.


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 legal 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 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

KahnLawFirm@outlook.com

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 

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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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EXPULSION HEARINGS

Public schools can expel students under specific circumstances.  Unfortunately, school officials are expelling students for a wide variety of behaviors (occurring at school or on the way to or from school).  Often the behaviors resulting in expulsion are things which in years past would have been handled with after-school detention or, worst case scenario, a suspension.  Shockingly, even students with very minor or no discipline records can be referred for expulsion at the discretion of school officials.  Students can be referred for expulsion regardless of whether the student also received a citation for juvenile delinquency court for the exact same behavior.  If your student is facing expulsion, having an attorney such as Attorney, Deborah Kahn represent your student may make all the difference.

How an Attorney Can Help You

If your child is facing expulsion, an experienced expulsion attorney such as Deborah Kahn can help you in several ways.
 

First, Attorney Kahn can make sure that the district has complied with the many procedural protections given to students by the California Education Code. Schools and districts must comply with strict requirements in suspending and expelling students. If schools or districts skip steps, an expulsion could be overturned.
 

Second, Attorney Kahn can help make a much more persuasive presentation during the hearing. It is critical that the student put forth all relevant evidence at the panel hearing, as you do not get "two bites at the apple."  In almost every case, any review of the hearing by a Board of Education will be limited to what happened at the hearing. Attorney Kahn can help you decide what written evidence or live testimony should be presented. It is difficult for an attorney to appeal an expulsion decision faced with an incomplete record, although Attorney Kahn has had some success when faced with these challenging circumstances.
 

Third, Attorney Kahn can make appropriate arguments about why the California Education Code does not justify an expulsion. Just because a student is referred for expulsion does not mean that an expulsion is permitted, even if the student actually engaged in the conduct complained of by the school. Some expulsions are discretionary, not mandatory, and Attorney, Deborah Kahn can artfully explain why a student should not be expelled. And for most offenses, a student can only be expelled if one of two factors is proven: first, the student poses a danger to his/herself or others; or second, that no other “corrective measures” are available to get the student to comply with school rules. Making a record about these factors is critical, and understanding the law is a must.

 

You can help prepare for this hearing by getting copies of any awards or honors your child has received, making a list of available character references for your student, and making a list of any possible witnesses to the alleged incident.

 

When working with Attorney, Deborah Kahn, your initial consultation is always a time for you to ask all of your clarifying questions.  It is important to gather your thoughts ahead of time and prepare a list of all of the helpful information to expedite this initial meeting. To contact San Bernardino expulsion attorney, Deborah Kahn, please call 626.765.4469.

Consequences of Expulsion

If your child is expelled from school, the consequences are not just having to move to a new school out of the district. It can impact your child long into adulthood. Expulsion carries a stigma that can affect your child’s ability to go to college, obtain a job, and can otherwise significantly impact his or her future prospects.

Suspensions and expulsions are widespread across the country, with estimates for the 2011-2012 school year numbering 3.5 million suspensions and 103,000 expulsions nationwide.

Overview of School Expulsion

Depending on the nature of the act, a recommendation of expulsion may be mandatory or at the discretion of the school administrator. The most egregious violations for which expulsion is required include:

  • Carrying a firearm
  • Threatening another with a knife
  • Selling certain controlled substances
  • Sexual assault, and
  • Carrying an explosive.

However, expulsion can also be ordered for infractions of a lesser nature including selling “look alike” drugs or alcohol, profanity or “defying” school staff.

An order of expulsion requires that an official hearing be held with the decision determined by the school district governing board, a panel of three appointees and a county hearing officer, or a hearing officer from the Office of Administrative Hearings of the State of California.

Although school expulsion is not a criminal act, it is still important to retain the expertise of an attorney in light of potentially serious repercussions. The Kahn Law Firm is one of the only law firms in California with extensive experience successfully representing clients facing school expulsion hearings.

The School Expulsion Process in California

You may be able to fight school expulsion first by having your attorney present a strong argument on your child’s behalf at a school expulsion hearing. School expulsions begin with a hearing in front of an independent panel, typically made up of educators and administration staff.

The panel hears testimony regarding your child’s case. School officials, witnesses, students and anyone else who is authorized to speak on behalf of your child may be called upon to speak at the hearing. This is why you should consider hiring a lawyer to represent your child. Your lawyer may be able to attack the credibility of the witnesses and the evidence against your child. Your lawyer may also be able to provide evidence that your child is an exemplary student that should not be expelled.

After the hearing, the panel will recommend to the school board whether your child should be expelled. The school board can choose to accept the recommendation or reverse it.

Appealing an Expulsion Decision (Education Code 48919)

If the school board decides to expel your child, it does not mean your case is over. You can continue fighting the expulsion. Under California Education Code Section 48919, a student who is expelled from school (or their parent or legal guardian) can appeal the decision with the county board of education. You have 30 days to file an appeal.

When determining whether to hear your child’s appeal, the county board of education will review the following information pursuant to Education Code Section 48922:

  • Whether the school board acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction
  • Whether there was a fair hearing before the school board
  • Whether there was a prejudicial abuse of discretion at the hearing
  • Whether there is relevant evidence which could not have been reasonably produced or was improperly excluded at the hearing

If your child’s appeal is granted, a hearing will take place in front of a hearing officer or an impartial administrative panel. Your school expulsion lawyer can argue against your child’s expulsion during the appeal hearing.

The hearing officer or panel will make a recommendation based on the appeal hearing to the county board of education within three school days after the hearing. The board will make a final order within 10 school days of receiving the recommendation. The board can choose to reverse or affirm the decision.

The Controversy around School Expulsion

This disciplinary measure of forced permanent removal from school is highly controversial, particularly when used to punish seemingly minor misbehavior. In one case in Victorville a 10-year-old boy was expelled for bringing a plastic toy gun to school. In another case, a 12-year-old girl was expelled from her school for having too many absences, which was a result of her acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

The “willful defiance” clause in California Education Code Section 48900(k) is criticized for being overly broad. This rationale accounted for 43% of suspensions and 6% of expulsions in 2012-2013, and included infractions such as not submitting homework or interrupting a class. Fortunately, California is already seeing a diminishing number of suspensions and expulsions as a result of changing approaches to discipline and Assembly Bill 420, passed in 2014. The Bill bans the use of willful defiance as a reason for expulsions and for suspensions for students in grades K-3. The Department of Education released figures showing a 15.2% drop in suspensions and 20% in expulsions in 2013-14 over the previous school year.

What Could Happen if Your Child is Expelled From School?

Aside from having to change schools, there are severe consequences for being expelled. Expelled students have a greater risk of experiencing negative outcomes later in life. As a result of drastically interfering with academic performance and the possible referral of the student from school jurisdiction to police authorities, the student may become trapped in what is known as the “school-to-prison pipeline.” This term describes how expulsion as a disciplinary measure pushes at-risk students toward a life of crime and makes them more likely to drop out without graduating high school. Often, the school will turn the student directly over to the juvenile justice system, effectively criminalizing him or her early in life.

Removal from school reduces a student’s engagement with education, and data suggests that suspension and expulsion do little to deter a student from misbehaving anyway. A recent study shows that suspension or expulsion from school increases a student’s chance of being arrested within the same month. If your child is excluded from access to education, he or she has a higher likelihood of incarceration and unemployment.

Will the Expulsion Follow a Student on His or Her Record?

Yes. Under California Education Code 48918(k), a record of expulsion will be kept by the school district and is deemed public information. The expulsion record can also be requested from any school that the student may wish to subsequently apply. This can severely impact the student’s ability to get accepted into an alternate high school, as well as into college. In California, a record of expulsion can be kept on file for an indefinite period of time.

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

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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.