Date of separation would seem like a very simple concept to most. In true lawyerly fashion, it has been subject of many case law.

Current case law states, in a nutshell, that in order to be  considered “separated” the parties have to be living separate and a part. This creates a problem once a party files for dissolution or legal separation but still lives with their soon to-be-former-spouse. So by the current case,  there are instances where long after the divorce has been filed the parties are still not considered separated.

This is important  because all earnings during this time would still be considered community property. For example, if Wife files for dissolution and does not move out, the divorce takes two years to complete, by the current case law it is likely that all of the retirement contributions and her earnings would still be considered community property.

The Bill 1255 proposed by Governor Brown would give some clarity as to the date of separation.

The facts of the bill are at the link below. If you have any questions or want to learn more about date of separation do not hesitate to contact Ms. Palazuelos.


The most important part of having a positive child custody outcome  is being successful mediation.  Often parties make the mistake thinking that  the judge will have a greater role than the mediator in their custody case. Most counties in California will have recommending mediators. What this means is that the mediator makes a recommendation for  the judge after meeting both parents. It is very unlikely that the judge will make any significant changes to that recommendation.
Therefore, it is of the most importance to prepare for mediation.  Below are important tips to be successful in before the mediator.

1.     Focus on the positive attributes you will bring to the child’s life instead of the negative of the other parent.
2.     Keep in mind that the mediator will read bodily language and will pick up on verbal cues. Therefore, it is important to express your self clearly and not use words such as “my child” and  “I want.”  Instead use language such as “our child”, and talk about what is the best interest of the child instead of your needs.
3.     Bring a calendar with you and outline your custody proposal. Being prepared is key.
4.     Do not focus on percentages in timeshare, instead on what would be the best for the child involved.
5.     Keep child support out of the conversation. Money should not be discussed before the mediator.
The best tip in being successful in mediation is to obtain an experienced attorney who cares about your child’s best interest.  Call our office today with your child custody and support questions.
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The divorce process can be long and very emotional, especially if children are involved.  There are steps you can take before starting the process to make it easier financially, and emotionally.

Before starting the process it is important to discuss your particular circumstances with an experienced family law attorney.  This consultation would ideally happen months before the divorce process is even started. An experienced attorney can provide you with guidance as to the requirements of each particular county.

As a general guideline before starting the process, it is important to have a handle of the whereabouts of important financial information. Before starting the divorce process, it is important that of financial information such as mortgage statements, tax returns, 401k statements and other important documents is in a safe location and readily available.
Further, it is important to consider the practical implications of the divorce such as potential custody issues.  Having a parenting for the children involved before filing is always important.

The most important factor in ensuring a peaceful and successful divorce process is preparing for the changes that the divorce will bring emotionally.  Before filing for divorce, it is an excellent idea to speak to a pastor, a therapist, a close friend, or a mental health professional. Having a support system during the divorce process is almost as important has having a great attorney.

If you are ready to speak to an attorney about possibly starting the divorce process in Modesto, CA, Stockton, CA or other surrounding cities give our office a call and speak to Ms. Palazuelos.


In family law the most common cases before the court are child custody and support cases. As children grow and life changes, child custody orders need to be modified. A child custody and visitation order that worked for a three year old is not going to work well for a high school student.

The court in making a modification considers the best interest of the children involved. The court wants both parties to have frequent and continuous contact with both parents. However, there are practical limitations to that such as the child’s schooling and parent’s location.

If you need to modify a current child custody order call our office today. We offer flat fees for child custody modification and can prepare you for mediation. To find out more information read our  Child Custody/Child Support page.


There are very strict rules as to what type of notice must be given in the event that the landlord wants to regain possession of their property. There is 3, 30, 60, and even a 90 day notice that may be required depending on the facts.
Certain circumstances allow for the landlord to give a 3-day notice.  There are two types of 3-day notices; either pay or quit notice, or 3 days to perform the covenant. One or both may be served on the tenant depending on the reason for the eviction.
The three day requirement is construed very strictly by the court. The California Civil Procedure Code requires  a landlord to allow for full three days to pass before an Unlawful Detainer action can be filed with the Court. That does not include holidays and weekends. Gersten Cos. v Deloney (1989) 212 CA3d 1119: (CCP 1161) For example, if you were to be served a notice on Wednesday, your first day would start on Thursday and the earliest that the Unlawful Detainer action can be filed would be Tuesday.
Filing a lawsuit prematurely will result in a dismissal and the landlord would have to start the eviction court process over. This is a costly and time-consuming mistake. It is imperative that the right type of notice is served.

Even small mistakes can cost the landlord thousands and the tenant to be evicted unlawfully. It is important to consult an experienced landlord-tenant attorney in Modesto, CA to ensure that you are protected.