California Case Reviews of Supreme Court and Appellate Court Decisions

Is There Common Law Marriage In California?

No, even when you have given the best seven years of your life: As noted by the US Census, the percentage of married families continues declining while the percentages for all other family groups increase ( As more and more couples, especially seniors, choose cohabitation over marriage, the needlessly muddled views on the common law marriage doctrine remain a matter of perspective. One partner might think that living together without marriage for seven, ten or any other number of years will provide marital rights of spousal … [Read More...]

Substantial Evidence Supported Trial Court’s Termination of Adoptive Father’s Parental Rights

In Re Marriage of E. & Stephen P. (2013) 213 CA4th 983 (2nd Dist): Adoptive mother E. petitioned trial court to terminate adoptive father Stephen’s parental rights under Family Code § 7827. Requiring evidence from two experts, FC § 7827 provides for the termination of parental rights of a mentally disabled parent when the parent is likely to remain mentally disabled for the foreseeable future and accordingly unable to care for and control the child adequately. Prior to the adoption, Stephen treated his mental illness with medication but then stopped after the adoption, … [Read More...]

Grandparent Seeking Visitation Must Satisfy Clear and Convincing Burden of Proof

Rich v. Thatcher (2011 DJDAR 16570), 2nd App. Dist., November 14, 2011 Family Code § 3102: Grandparent Seeking Visitation Must Satisfy Clear and Convincing Burden of Proof To Overcome Rebuttable Presumption Mother gave birth to child in 2006, and Father filed Petition to Establish Parental Relationship in 2010.  Father died in 2010, and Grandmother filed a Petition for Joinder which the trial court granted.  Obviously, Mother and Grandmother “do not get along.” After an evidentiary hearing on Grandmother’s visitation request, the trial court found (1) that … [Read More...]