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Family Law Section

News from the Section

Message from the Immediate Past Chair - Vanessa Kirker Wright

The State Bar staff calls us the "volunteers." We refer to ourselves, variously, as FLEXCOMers or Committee members.  We serve to enhance the level of practice in the state. And the best part is that we have a blast working together on the most cutting edge issues in Family Law. One of my favorite sayings is "all law is family law." When I utter those words amongst my non-family law colleagues, I get one of two reactions: 1) pregnant pause and sudden subject change, or 2) odd look, small chuckle and sudden subject change. READ MORE

Webinar: Honorable Thomas Trent Lewis: Davis One Year Later, Trial of Date of Separation

Thursday, December 8, 2016, 12 noon - 1:30 p.m.

This program offers 1.5 hours participatory MCLE credit and 1.5 hours legal specialization credit in Family Law. You must register in advance to participate.

The issue of the date of separation has become increasingly more complex by the enactment of Family Code Section 70.  Before marriage of Davis was decided, the date of separation often turned on the questions of whether the parties continued to reside under the same roof.  While not living together was no guarantee of separation, courts could find the parties separated while still living under the same roof.  With the bright line test created in marriage of Davis, living apart became a crucial factor.  Family Code Section 70 merges this consideration (living together or not) into a totality of the circumstances analysis.  No single factor has greater impact on the issue of property than determining the date of separation.  So the method by which this issue is decided is often outcome determinative for families of all economic situations.  Moreover, the date of separation determines the length of the marriage for purposes of spousal support so it has tremendous impact in the area of support.  Now that we have Family Code Section 70, there is serious concern about whether the new method for determining separation can be applied retroactively to couples who separated before 1.1.17 but try their case after 1.1.17, which rule applies?  Join us for this important discussion before the statute becomes effective.

Moderator: Abbas Hadjian

Speaker: Hon. Thomas Trent Lewis

Webinar: Cultural Competency in Family Law Practice: Followers & Leaders, Marital Rights and Duties

Thursday, December 15, 2016, 12 noon - 1:30 p.m.

This program offers 1.5 hours participatory MCLE credit and 1.5 hours legal specialization credit in Family Law. You must register in advance to participate.

Universally, cultural lifestyle is the foundation for raising children, providing support and dividing marital assets upon divorce or death. In the Marriage Rights and Duties Panel of the Cultural Competency Seminar, speakers with diverse legal backgrounds, rooted in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America, will provide us with alternatives to those styles recognized under California law. They will make us think twice when preparing our next RFO or Trial Brief for the clients born and raised under different cultures.

In California spouses have equal right to the marital fortunes and enjoy post-marital support based on the factors shaped by the California style of living. But not every jurisdiction follows the California model and not all spouses enjoy a lifestyle based on mutual and equal rights.

In majority of the families around the world, men are still the heads of the family with sole right to select domicile, have sex or seek divorce. These rights are fortified by power of husbands in limiting education, employment, driving, and travel of their wives. Under these styles of living, equal division of family estate and enforcing reasonable marital standard of living are unattainable. Even the divorce itself is meaningless since many husbands choose to remarry, while keeping and refusing the divorce their first wife. Relying on the Family Codes Section 2550 to divide marital assets, on Section 2337 to terminate the status, or Section 4320 to decide spousal support is beyond the reach and scope of majority of cultural lifestyle.

Moderators: Robert Brandt and Abbas Hadjian
Speakers: Hugh John Gibson, Alex Grager, Noelle Halaby and Merlyn Hernandez

Webinar: Honorable James M. Mize: Dealing with New Statutes

Thursday, January 5, 2017, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit and 1 hour legal specialization credit in Family Law. You must register in advance to participate.

An in depth presentation of the following Family Code Sections and other Statutes impacting our practice in the years to come:

  • Family Code Section 70: Date of separation.
  • Family Code Section 143: “Spouse” includes ‘registered domestic partner”.
  • Family Code Section 215: Service of new (post-judgment) request for order.
  • Family Code Section 302: Consent to marriage.
  • Family Code Section 304: Premarital counselling.
  • Family Code Section 306.5: Marital name.
  • Family Code Section 308: Marriage out of state.
  • Family Code Section 360: Duplicate marriage license.
  • Family Code Section 400: Solemnization of marriage.
  • Family Code Section 420: Form of ceremony of marriage.
  • Family Code Section 500: Confidential marriage.
  • Family Code Section 2103: Waiver of preliminary declaration of disclosure.
  • Family Code Section 7613: Assisted reproduction.
  • Family Code Section 8712: No adoption by convict of violent felonies.
  • Family Code Section 9001: Step parent adoption.

Moderator: Abbas Hadjian
Speaker: Hon. James M. Mize

On-line Billing and Payment for 2017 Fees

The State Bar will be launching  a new on-line billing and payment application for 2017 fees.  Paper billing statements will not be sent to members. Instead, statements will be available online through My State Bar Profile. Individual members will continue to be able to make payments online through My State Bar Profile. Attorneys should make sure that the email they have provided for State Bar communications is up to date.

Law firms and agencies will be able to use the State Bar’s new Agency Billing system where they can calculate billing costs and make payments for a group of attorneys. 

Please be sure your Section Membership Fees are included in your payment.

Once an attorney’s fees are paid, a paper bar card will be conveniently available for download through My State Bar Profile. Plastic bar cards will still be made available, but only upon request and can also be ordered through My State Bar Profile.

The online billing system makes it easier than ever for individual attorneys and agencies to help make the justice system available to everyone.  When paying your bill, please consider making a contribution in support of legal services for low income Californians.  Your support is a lifeline that can help prevent homelessness, keep kids in school, protect elders from fraud and abuse, and connect veterans to services, among other critical legal assistance. 

It is anticipated that the on-line agency and billing application will be available through the State Bar’s website by mid-December.  

Go to calbar.ca.gov for more information, or contact Member Records and Compliance at 1-888-800-3400.

Member Benefits

Are you a Section member who wants to be reminded of all the benefits? Do you have a colleague on the fence about joining the Section? Being a Family Law Section member offers a number of great benefits.READ MORE

Other News

FLEXCOM Congratulates Rita Aguilasocho

FLEXCOM Congratulates Rita Aguilasocho

FLEXCOM was honored to confer the “Court Staff Award” on Rita Aguilasocho who works as the judicial assistant, courtroom clerk and all-around person-in-charge for Judge Wells in Indio.  The award ceremony was attended by each and every staff member of the courthouse, along with the Court Administrator, most of the family law bar and the judges!  Ms. Aguilasocho has been working in family law for many years and is a perfect example of the kind of court staffer every judge and litigant loves – friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to go the extra yard to help the process go smoother.  We thank her and are so pleased to be able to recognize her work!

Jocelyn, thank you for your hard work, hallmark grace under pressure and positive attitude that has made working in this sometimes difficult area of law more pleasant for everyone.

Thank You for Being a Section Member in 2016 - Here's 6 Hours MCLE in Legal Ethics!

We're very grateful for your membership in the Section. As a token of that, we're offering six hours of self-study MCLE credit in the area of Legal Ethics. The programs are posted in our Member's Only Area.

Simply watch the programs and read the accompanying materials, and keep track of having done so. You can report this to the State Bar when it's time to demonstrate your compliance with the MCLE requirements.

Know Your Legal Rights – Podcasts Now Available

The Family Law Section is a sponsor of the radio program “Know Your Legal Rights” hosted in the Bay Area by San Mateo Deputy District Attorney Chuck Finney. Mr. Finney welcomes attorneys and other professionals to talk about hot legal topics on a weekly basis. He routinely hosts members of FlexCom and other family law attorneys to educate the public on burgeoning issues important to our practice. FlexCom thanks Mr. Finney for providing our Section with this forum over the years.

If you are interested in listening to prior broadcasts focused on family law issues, the State Bar website now has a list that dates all the way back to when the Section first started sponsoring the program. Visit the Family Law Section page for additional details. For an entire list of podcasts hosted by Mr. Finney, please see HERE.

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.

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.

Making the Connection: The Family Law Section is on Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/calbarfamily http://www.twitter.com/calbarfamily

Who said family law lawyers weren’t social? A reminder, our Family Law Section is on Facebook and Twitter - join us! The Section sees social media as another way to connect our members with information as it develops. Stay in touch with us to learn about the great work being done by Section members across the state. You can Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter at the links below.

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