Family Law Section

News from the Section

Flexcom Sponsored AB 414 Reenacts Section 4326 as Urgency Legislation and Fixes the Gap so No One Falls Between the Cracks

By Michele B. Brown, CFLS

On August 15, 2014, Governor Brown signed AB 414 (Fox) into law.  AB 414 is the bill Flexcom sponsored to re-enact Family Code section 4326, which expired on December 31, 2013.  AB 414 was enacted as urgency legislation, which means the statute takes effect immediately. As such, effective August 15, 2014, Family Code section 4326 is once again the law in the state of California. [1]

Section 4326 holds a termination of a child support order under Section 3901 constitutes the required change of circumstances for either party to file a motion for a modification of spousal support, so long as said motion is filed within six months of the child support order terminating. [2]

To ensure the parties whose six-month deadline to file an RFO under section 4326 were not prejudiced by the lapse in time to re-enact section 4326, Flexcom ensured a provision was placed into the statute to capture this group of litigants.  The statute has a provision permitting those parties whose six month deadline expired between January 1, 2014 and September 30, 2014, to file their 4326 motion until December 31, 2014.

Given the urgency clause associated with this legislation, FLEXCOM wanted to alert Family Law Section members to the immediate change.  Additionally, the officers of FLEXCOM wish to salute the members of its Affirmative and Developing Legislation team for all their hard work in getting this bill through to enactment.  From discovering the sunset provision to helping shepherd the bill through the Legislature, the team’s hard work demonstrated the benefits of Section legislative advocacy.  FLEXCOM will provide additional updates on the outcome of the 2014 legislative session in the coming months. 

1. On 01.01.2014, the law reverted back to case law on this issue, which under Marriage of Lautsbaugh (1999) 72 Cal.App.4th 1131, held that a termination of child support is not a change of circumstances to modify spousal support.

2. The bill also permits either party to request the appointment of a vocational evaluation counselor under Section 4331 if a motion is filed pursuant to this section and provides circumstances Section 4326 would not apply, such as in stipulated judgments, settlement agreements or orders where spousal support has been waived, is non-modifiable or jurisdiction has already been terminated.

4 Hours of Self-Study CLE in Legal Ethics -- Complimentary for Members of the Family Law Section!

As a 2014 benefit of Section membership, we are pleased to offer four hours of MCLE credit in the field of Legal Ethics. That's enough to fulfill the Ethics requirement.

The Section thanks you for your membership!If you were purchasing these courses individually in our Online Catalog, they would cost $140 -- so that's your Section membership more than paid for, and then some!

Just watch these programs, and keep a record of having done so in the event you're audited for MCLE compliance.

You can access these programs and the accompanying written materials any time this year in the Members Only Area.

The programs are:

  • Avoiding the State Bar Disciplinary System
  • Client Trust Accounting Fundamentals
  • Ethical Implications for Lawyers in Cyberspace and Social Media
  • Ethics and Civility: Want an Extension? Forget about It!

Webinar: How to Manage Your Relocation Case

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1.5 hour participatory MCLE credits, including 1.5 hour credits in Legal Specialization in Family Law. You must register in advance in order to participate.

This webinar discusses the limited research on how relocation impacts children as well as legal issues and cases, such as In Re Marriage of LaMusga. It will also discuss critical risk and protective factors to consider and how to approach a relocation case, whether you client is the moving or non-moving parent. Finally, this workshop will focus on parenting plan issues and ways to help children when parents live far away from one another. This program will help you approach a case, whether you are representing the party moving or the party resisting the move. With speaker Philip M. Stahl, Ph.D., ABPP (Forensic), Director, Forensic Programs.

The State Bar of California 87th Annual Meeting, September 11-14, 2014, Grand Hyatt San Diego

The State Bar of California 87th Annual Meeting
September 11-14, 2014
San Diego, California

Annual Meeting PreviewYou can now REGISTER ONLINE for the Annual Meeting.
Early-bird Pre-Registration Deadline (Save $100): August 13

The State Bar of California returns to San Diego for the 2014 Annual Meeting. The new meeting logo “My Annual Meeting” simply states that this is your annual meeting: an event for legal professionals that blends business, education, entertainment and the opportunity to meet and engage with law professionals from throughout California.

The four-day meeting will showcase an education agenda consisting of 143 MCLE seminars covering a variety of substantive topics, legal technology, access to justice, UPL, attorney advertising, and other key areas of interest.

The Annual Meeting Preview is now online! Be sure to see Special Events for information about luncheons, social events, the California Women Lawyers Annual DinnerAnnual Exhibit Show62st Annual Bench & Bar Art ExhibitConference of California Bar Associations (CCBA), and Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities. See Hotel and Travel for information about the Annual Meeting hotels, airline and rental car discounts.See the schedules for individual days for a chronological list of all programs, with descriptions: Schedule for ThursdaySchedule for FridaySchedule for SaturdaySchedule for Sunday.

The Section is presenting:

Program 4

Beyond Basics: Enforcing Support, Equalization and Attorney Fees

Program 15

My Smoke, Your Mirrors: Accounting Games People Play in Family Law Matters

Program 36

All About Spousal Support: A Practical Learning Experience on Establishing, Modifying and Terminating Support

Program 105

Family Law: Creating an Interesting and Effective Financial Information Presentation

Program 115

Recent Developments in Family Law

Program 139

“Doctor Can You Help Me?: Using Mental Health Professionals Before, During, and After Custody Disputes”

We look forward to seeing you in San Diego.

2014 Family Law Awards

The Executive Committee for the Family Law Section of the State Bar of California (FLEXCOM) is seeking nominations for outstanding contributions to the practice of family law for 2014.  The award categories are Family Law Judicial Officer of the Year, Family Law Lifetime Achievement Award, Excellence in Family Law, Court Staff Award, and Barrister of the Year and are described below.

Family Law Judicial Officer of the Year – The award is intended to recognize excellence on the Family Law bench. Particular focus is paid to outstanding service to the practice of Family Law, career achievements, or a distinguishing singular act or performance of the nominee.

Family Law Lifetime Achievement Award – Designed to honor and recognize the most distinguished long-term achievements and sustained substantial contributions to the substance or practice of Family Law in the State of California over the recipient’s career or lifetime. 

Excellence in Family Law – The award is to honor and recognize recent notable acts or outstanding service that contributes substantially to the improvement of California Family Law substance or practice. Recipient need not be a lawyer.

Court Staff Award – The award is to honor and recognize sustained superior performance or extraordinary efforts in the recipient’s performance of his or her work with the Family Law courts.  Nominations shall be solicited from Family Law bench officers.  Nominees shall be deserving court personnel, which may include (but not limited to) clerks, judicial assistants, Family Law Facilitators, DV counselors, court reporters, bailiffs, administrative personnel and Family Court Services employees.

Barrister of the Year Award – The award is to recognize outstanding contributions to the practice of Family Law or outstanding performance in the practice of Family Law for barrister lawyers. The recipient of this award must be a lawyer who practices primarily in the area of Family Law and who has been a member of the State Bar of California for five (5) years or less.  The recipient need not be a member of the Family Law Section. Nomination forms can be obtained by sending an email to Jill Barr at jill@hemmerbarrlaw.com or Mitch Wood at mitch.wood@calbar.org The deadline for submissions of nominations is March 1, 2014.

Past Webinars from the Family Law Section Available

The Family Law Section has over 100 archived webinars available for participatory and legal specialization credit.  Watch these webinars from the convenience of your office or home and on your own schedule.  We recommend members take a few minutes to review the entire library of webinars available from the Family Law Section.  Among the highlights of this archive are videos of the full-day seminars described below.

Essentials of a Family Law Case

Available at $35.00 per session for a full hour of MCLE credit including 1-hour of credit in Legal Specialization for Family Law
Total Price: $210

A Family Law Case 1: Basics for New Attorney; Initial Filings; and Jurisdiction
A Family Law Case 2: Custody; and Parenting Planning
A Family Law Case 3: Child Support and Temporary Spousal Support
A Family Law Case 4: Community Property and Fiduciary Duties
A Family Law Case 5: Post Judgment Spousal Support
A Family Law Case 6: Judgment and Post Judgment Modifications

Thinking about taking on a family law case? This one day class will cover the basics of what you will need to know from initial filings through judgment documents and modifications. An esteemed panel of bench officers and attorneys will walk you through the highlights of the substantive law, as well as outline numerous practice pointers to help you navigate your way through each matter. Topics will include basics for new attorneys, initial filings, jurisdiction, temporary orders, parentage, custody, parenting plans, child support, temporary and post judgment spousal support, property, attorney fees, judgment issues, and post judgment modifications.

Minor’s Counsel Training

Anyone looking for assistance completing the educational requirements for minor’s counsel appointments can now do so from the comfort of their office. In collaboration with the Sacramento County Bar Association, video was taken from workshops conducted in 2011.  The package is broken down into segments based on subject matter. Please note that the Section is offering a discount to those that buy the entire package.  Purchasing each of the seven webinars in the series separately would cost $280.  If bought in a bundle, the entire package will cost only $200.

Several Articles from Family Law News Are Now Posted in the Members Only Area

Section members, we have posted several recent articles from Family Law New and Section members can request other recent articles s in our Members Only Area.

Other News

Save money with CEB

CEB Discount Program for Section MembersContinuing Education of the Bar, California (CEB) is extending some special discount offers to our section. As a member of the Family Law Section, you're eligible for:

  • 10% off selected CEB print or online books
  • A rebate on your section dues that can be applied to the cost of a CEB Gold CLE Passport or a CLE program ticket

A complete list of the products eligible for a discount is available on a CEB web page accessible through our Members Only Area. Information about the section dues rebate program can be found on the CEB Web site.

Free Access to Attorney's BriefCase OnCall™

As a membership benefit, State Bar Family Law Section members have free access to BriefCase OnCall™, an online updating service from Attorney’s BriefCase® Legal Research Software. OnCall™ provides the following features:

  • Indexed summaries of all cases going back approximately six months relating to California Family Law, Juvenile Law, Evidence and PreTrial Adjudication.
  • Full text of all summarized opinions.
  • Week in Brief: An at-a-glance summary of all new cases by case name and holding in the four practice areas. (Week in Brief is also available by email as described below.)

For the details of the offer, see Attorney's BriefCase in the Family Law Section's Members Only Area.

Member Benefits for the State Bar Family Law Section

In addition to the discounts from CEB and access to Briefcase OnCall, the Family Law Section encourages you to take advantage of the benefits listed below.If you have any questions concerning the Family Law Section or the benefits available to you with your membership, please feel free to contact the Chair of our Member Services Subcommittee, S. Roger Rombro at Roger.Rombro@rombrolaw.com or 310-545-1900.. These benefits include:

  • NEW! -- $75 OFF every California Family Law Report (CFLR) seminar.
  • NEW! -- 30% OFF every CFLR product and publication for 30 days following a CFLR seminar. For example, members can get CFLR DissoMaster™ Suite for only $378 (regularly $540, a $162 savings).
  • NEW! -- $75 OFF every Rutter Group (TRG) seminar.
  • NEW! -- 30% OFF every TRG Practice Guide and publication for 30 days following a TRG seminar. For instance, get the Family Law Practice Guide for only $406 (regularly $580, a $174 savings).
  • NEW! -- 20% OFF the initial purchase price of Attorney’s Briefcase software (regularly $1,200, a $240 savings)
  • FREE Family Law Toolkit. The Toolkit allows members to obtain 6 MCLE credits in the hard to obtain areas such as ethics, bias and substance abuse. (A $210 value)
  • FREE or LOW-COST programs on cutting-edge issues of Family Law, presented as webinars so you don't have to travel to participate.
  • FREE subscription to the Family Law News, a quarterly publication containing a variety of articles of practical interest to attorneys at all levels of experience.
  • FREE access to Family Law Case Studies, a monthly analysis of published and unpublished Appellate Court Opinions, by Judge Jeffrey Burke of San Luis Obispo.
  • FREE access to Family Law ENews bulletins, keeping you abreast of developments statewide.
  • FREE Trial Objections Handout for use in court.
  • UNLIMITED ACCESS to the members-only portion of the section website, which contains valuable information for family lawyers and provides electronic access to current and past issues of Family Law News, Family Law Case Studies and many other Section publications.
  • NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY with family lawyers throughout California through standing committee membership, and section-sponsored events and activities.
  • LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES, including eligibility to apply for service on FLEXCOM, and to nominate family law attorneys and judicial officers for statewide family law awards and recognition.

Your Legal Rights"Your Legal Rights"

The Family Law Section is a sponsor of the radio program 'Your Legal Rights' which is hosted by Chuck Finney in the San Francisco Bay Area.

FLEXCOM assists in funding this public service radio program. FLEXCOM members are regular contributors. To listen to some past programs, see Your Legal Rights.Family Law Section members can access back issues of the Family Law News, special discounts for Section members and legislative tracking through My State Bar Profile. You can access this information at any time by signing into your State Bar Profile and clocking on Family Law Section - Members Only Area. Or go directly to the Members Only Home Page.

Consumer Education PamphletsConsumer Education Pamphlets Available for Purchase

The State Bar of California's "Get the Legal Facts of Life" Pamphlets are available for purchase from the State Bar. These pamphlets are both educational and informative for your clients.

For more information, see Consumer Education Pamphlets or call the Education Pamphlet Hotline: 888-875-LAWS (888-875-5297).

Online and Self-Study CLE from the Family Law Section

Online AudioView Family Law Section programs over the internet for participatory MCLE credit . Choose from hundreds of hours of official State Bar of California MCLE programs. For more information, see streaming audio and video, and select Family Law Be sure to check out CLEtoGo , downloadable podcasts you can listen to on the BART, or on the drive in or from the office.

Contact Us

Family Law Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
415-538-2238
FAX 415-538-2368