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Changes in the Law that Affect Our Children: Part II

Laws in California are ever-changing. It is important that citizens remain informed about these changes. This article focuses on changes in the law that affect our children.

Contributing to Underage Drinking

California is clamping down on those who provide alcohol for minors. Per B&P C 25658, it is now a misdemeanor to buy alcohol for anyone who gives alcohol to a minor (the code previously made it illegal to purchase alcohol for a minor).

Setting Aside Paternity Judgments

Many of us who practice family law believed for some time that the limits placed on a personís right to challenge paternity were unfair. Fortunately, recent legislation has modified the procedure in which parents may challenge paternity judgments. Family Code Sections 7645-7649.5 assert that the legal father, the mother, the child, or their legal representatives may file a motion to set aside or vacate a paternity judgment within two years after (1) the man learned or should have learned about the paternity proceedings or the judgment, whichever occurred first; (2) the child was born, if parentage was determined by a voluntary paternity declaration; or (3) the new sectionís effective date (January 1, 2005), if a default judgment had already established paternity before that date.

Confidentiality of Custody Evaluations

It is well-known that many embarrassing facts or opinions about a parent go into the child custody evaluatorís report, which is kept within the court file. These reports were previously available to the public, which caused a great deal of anxiety for many parents. The law regarding the public-nature of these reports has been changed. The new law provides that in custody proceedings, reports submitted to the court that contain custody recommendations or psychological evaluations of a child must be considered strictly confidential and may not be disclosed to anyone except the parties and their attorneys, the childís appointed counsel, judicial or law enforcement officers, local family court facilitators (or their employees or agents), court employees, or anyone else who the court has ordered may see the material (good cause).

Inheritance Rights of Posthumously Artificially Conceived Children

After a person dies, the inheritance rights of any frozen egg or sperm deposits made by the decedent must be considered. The Probate code now has a law that spells out the inheritance rights of a child who was artificially conceived after a parentís death with sperm or an egg deposited for that purpose.

Copyright 2006 Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer

Submitted by:

Donald P. Schweitzer

Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer201 South Lake Avenue, Suite 700Pasadena, California 91101(626) 683-8113http://www.PasadenaDivorce.com





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