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AttyCBradford
AttyCBradford, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 643
Experience:  Criminal Defense and Family Law Attorney serving California Statewide
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Need clarity around "objections"

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I am scheduled to be in family court in ct on Monday. I have filed a motion for modification and two motions for contempt against my ex wife (one contempt is that she fraudulently files her taxes without proper information,the other contempt is she did not remove my name from an account and the other is to modify transportation). She was served in late December.  She then delayed appearing in court claiming she was not properly served.  Our judge recognized the intended delay tactic and set us to come back what is now tomorrow. I am not asking how to prove my motion or to defend myself, it is more procedural. I just received three documents called "objections" on Friday afternoon. What are they and how do they impact my case? I have read a bit about them and I need to understand if this is another delay tactic, do I need to respond to her objections? Does this replace the court appearance? I checked the court website and they have not been filed. Need to know what to expect. Please advise!


AttyCBradford :

Hello! It sounds like the other attorney is probably objecting to information you put in your "declaration" Generally, declarations have hearsay and other objectionable statements. But with the enactment of Family Code 217, it really does not matter anymore because anything you wrote you have every single right to state in open court. What happens with objections is that before the hearing, the parties must meet and allow the judge to rule on the objections to see what will and will not be allowed based on the objections. Also, this is not a delay tactics. OBJECTIONS should NOT prolong a hearing.

AttyCBradford :

In a contempt action the first hearing is the arraignment, in which your ex will plead guilty or not guilty to what you are alleging. If she pleads not guilty, then there will be a formal hearing at the next court date.

AttyCBradford :

With regard to the tax issue, unless it has something to do with your custody arrangement or divorce decree, there is no contempt issue there. You can only bring a contempt issue for those things that are being violated as a court order, which was issued out a court with regard to the case at hand. No as for the not removing your name from an account (that is a contempt issue) You MUST bring proof that you showed her how many times and she is still refusing to comply.

AttyCBradford :

Lastly, with regard to the transportation, even if the contempt does not go forward you should ask for that issue to be heard as it is a separate issue from the other two

AttyCBradford :
Customer:

Agree that the name issue is cut and dry and understand the transportation issue as well. However, with the tax contempt, I am accusing her of claiming both children in lieu of the one (as dictated by our original divorce agreement) and claiming zero alimony (original divorce agreement allows me to claim all alimony). I have previous testimony from a different modification issue we are having where she admits to claiming both children on the taxes in question and admits that SHE made that decision. She also claims she received zero alimony, but then, moments later, after probing from my previous attorney, admits she had received some. In this written "objection" I received on Friday, she argues that she was advised by her lawyer and tax attorney to make these decisions (which is not what she said in her deposition). At the time she filed her taxes, we were going through a modification because I lost my job in mid-2011. A judgement on that modification was not granted until Dec 2012 and it was a downward modification in my favor. However, the judge was very clear that the original divorce agreement stood in every other aspect. She says that because the underlying judgement was not followed by me in 2011, that she decided to file the way she did, claiming both kids and zero alimony. At the end of her document "Objection to MOtion for Contempt", she asks the court, because of the downward modification of support in Dec 2012, to change the exemptions so she could claim both children. Would this even be considered? Wouldn't she have to file a motion for modification to do so?

Customer:

Re: the taxes, here is the deal...

Customer:

Re; the taxes, here is the deal: Original divorce agreement - we each claim on kid and I deduct all alimony. We then went through a modification where there was a downward modification of support that I give her because I lost my job. In that judgement, the judge made it clear that nothing else changed except for the amount. This modification was initiated in mid 2011 and did not finish until Dec 2012. She filed her 2011 taxes deducting both kids and claiming zero alimony (despite receiving thousands in alimony). In her formally written "objections" she just sent to me against her contempt on this topic, she claims because the underlying agreement was not respected (because I lost my job and was paying her less) and because I am spending less time with the kids (which is a lie, I am spending more time with them), that she should not be held in contempt. She also says that her attorney and accountant advised her to file the way she did in 2011.

Customer:

Ignore my question for 6:06. I thought I had erased the one I posted at 6:01!

AttyCBradford :

As far her not claiming the children right, you should be bringing this as a contempt issue. As well as the failing to report alimony. It doesn't matter who advised her, alimony is federally reportable by the IRS... she is in a lot of trouble if she has been failing to do so. Also I highly doubt an attorney would tell her to do something illegal.

AttyCBradford :

The main thing here is that they are filing an objection to the contempt, which sounds like an answer (which is generally not filed until after she pleads not guilty) I would not worry about it too much.

AttyCBradford :
Customer:

So when do I show my evidence? I mean, I went through her objections point by point and can prove, through her previous testimonies that they are all lies. And if she contests these two contempt motions tomorrow, will it go to a trial even if it is cut and dry? Would a bench decision be made right then and there if the violation is quite obvious and her defense she wrote in these objections not even applicable?

AttyCBradford :

The judge will rule on the objections and you will be allowed to present evidence at the hearing regarding each one. Just bring everything you have with you to the hearing. Yes it will go to a contempt hearing, which is a mini trial, much like an order to show cause. No, there will be a hearing, because she will also be facing criminal liabilitiy

Customer:

What does "rule on the objections mean?"

AttyCBradford :

The judge will say yes the evidence can be admitted or not he evidence can't. Objection means that the other party is trying to exclude something...but like i said because of family code 217 written objections are almost obsolute

AttyCBradford :

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