Earlier this month, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a California divorce case requiring the court to determine if the husband was responsible for half of the children’s medical expenses not covered by insurance. The court ultimately held that, pursuant to the agreement entered into between the husband and wife, the husband was responsible for half of the expenses. Furthermore, since the trial court awarded full custody over the children’s orthodontia care to the wife, the husband had no say in obtaining the care.
The husband and wife were married in November 1996. They had two daughters during the marriage and filed for divorce in 2009. Both the husband and wife heavily litigated many issues during the divorce proceedings, and the overall environment was very contentious. Eventually, the husband was determined to have defrauded the wife, and a court ordered that he pay nearly $450,000 to the wife as a result. The agreement awarded joint legal custody to both parents and required the husband to pay child support and half of all medical expenses that were not covered by insurance. There was no order for spousal support.
At some point in the proceedings, the wife petitioned the court for sole legal custody because the husband was refusing to pay for the children’s orthodontia care. The trial court awarded the wife full authority over the children’s orthodontia care and ordered the husband to pay for half of the expenses not covered by insurance.
The wife obtained orthodontia care for the children, as per the agreement, and requested that the husband pay for half of the expenses not covered by insurance. The husband refused, and the trial court again ordered he pay.
In response, the husband made several arguments. First, he argued that the trial court wrongly interpreted the agreement between the parties in finding that he was to pay half of the uncovered medical expenses. However, the court determined that this argument lacked merit because the agreement clearly stated each party’s obligations. Next, the husband argued that the trial court was improper to award the wife full authority over the children’s orthodontia care because there was no “change in circumstance” warranting the change. The court rejected this argument, finding that a trial court need only find that the modification is in the best interest of the child. The court explained that a finding of a “change in circumstance” is only required when there is a change in legal custody.
Are you Considering Filing for Divorce in California?
If you are considering filing for a Bay Area divorce, you need effective counsel who can help you through what may be a long and drawn-out process. While not every California divorce is messy, many are. As in life, when preparing for a California divorce, it is best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Attorney John S. Yohanan has decades of experience handling a wide range of California family law matters, and he believes that diligent preparation is the key to his success. To learn more about California family law, call Attorney Yohanan at 408-297-0700 to schedule a free consultation today.
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Court Finds Husband Has Duty To Provide Spousal Support to Immigrant Wife After Separation as Immigration Sponsor, Bay Area Divorce Attorney Blog, November 7, 2017
California Court Rejects Husband’s Annulment Claim Based on Alleged Fraud, Bay Area Divorce Attorney Blog, October 25, 2017