© 2016 DennisTemkoLaw.Proudly created with Wix.com

Areas I serve include: Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Sacramento, Alameda, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, Monterey, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Barbara , San Jose, Anaheim, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Glendale, Santa Rosa, Corona, Pasadena, Carlsbad, Burbank, Santa Monica, Newport Beach, Kern County

Celia S. v. Hugo H. Summary

 

Celia S. v. Hugo H. published August 26, 2016

 

Factual Background

 

The Court of Appeal in Celia S. v. Hugo H., held that a trial court could not use visitation as a run around of section 3044’s presumption joint custody is not in a child’s best interest where there is domestic violence. In Celia S., Mother and Father had two children. The parties’ relationship later failed due to abusiveness.  The court entered as its order the parties’ joint custody stipulation.

 

There was subsequent abuse after the Order.  Mother invited Father over to her house.  An argument ensued over who was entitled to sit at a dining room chair and Father punched Mother.  Mother called the police.  One of the children told the police he saw Father hit Mother.  The police arrested Father.  The next day, Mother filed for a DVRO and sole legal and physical custody. 

 

Trial Court’s Order

 

At a contested hearing on the matter, the court found Mother was more credible.  The court issued a one-year restraining order.  As to custody, the court awarded Mother sole legal and physical custody, citing to section 3044, but allowed Father 50/50 timeshare. Mother appealed

 

Decision on Appeal

 

The Court of Appeal recounted section 3044 established a rebuttable presumption that awarding physical or legal custody to a parent who has committed domestic violence was detrimental to a child’s best interest.  The presumption was mandatory and divested the court of any discretion.  The Court of Appeal agreed with Mother’s contention the statute prohibited a 50/50 timeshare because it effectively awarded joint physical custody without requiring Father to present evidence to show the arrangement was in the children’s best interest. 

 

The trial court’s characterization of the order as visitation and not custody could not save it.  Joint physical custody meant each of the parents had significant period of physical custody.  While “significant periods” went undefined by the legislature, the Court of Appeal held 50/50 timeshare, or instances where a child saw a parent four or five times a week, was a joint custody order.  When the true nature of the court’s order was considered, not just its label, it was evident the 50/50 timeshare order was an impermissible joint custody award absent circumstances the 3044 presumption was overcome. 

Contact Me

FOR A CONSULTATION

 

 

(858) 274 3538

 

Dennis Temko, Esq.

Law Office of Stephen Temko
750 "B" Street Suite 2100
San Diego CA, 92101

 

 

EMAIL

Dennis.Temko@Yahoo.com OR

Email me through this site by clicking HERE

      

Dennis Temko was recognized as a “Rising Star” in 2017 by Super Lawyers, a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

  • Wix Facebook page
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Wix Google+ page

Viewing the presentations, articles, other content, or contacting me/you through my web site does not establish an attorney client relationship. I will not file a notice of appeal nor calculate the time in which a notice of appeal must be filed by until I have received a signed retainer agreement.  Warning, the time from which to file a notice of appeal is statutory. The time in which you have to appeal may pass between when you first contact me and when an attorney client relationship is formed upon when I receive a signed retainer agreement .  Until a retainer agreement is signed and received by me, it is YOUR responsibility to insure your appeal is filed within the statutory period.  The articles on this website are not legal advice and should not be used in lieu of an attorney.  The accuracy of articles and information on this site cannot be relied upon.