A little knowledge can go a long way to protect your assets and family relationships. Planning can save headaches and money, and can provide peace of mind. The articles and tips in this section of the ENENSTEIN RIBAKOFF LAVINA & PHAM website are intended to help you understand and prepare for some of the issues you’ll encounter in a divorce, child custody, or other family law matter.
Please be advised that family cases can be very complex. The posting and potential response to this blog does not create an attorney-client privilege.  Moreover, the information provided here should not be construed as legal advice in your case.


1. Reassure Your Child
Children want to hear that everything is going to work out “alright.” They need to hear that their parents have a plan, and that plan has things that are important to the child as part of it. More specifically, you need to reassure your child that their school, friends, play-dates, sports activities, and other favorite things to do will all remain the same. The only thing that will be different is that their parents will be living in two different homes, and they will spend part of each week with each parent.

2. Encourage Your Child to Talk
The best way to encourage your child to talk is to show him or her empathy and respect when they do try to talk. The positive experience of being “listened to” and “understood” by parents is probably the single most important element in encouraging further talk. Giving your child the experience of receiving active and empathetic listening is even more important, ultimately, than providing a problem-solving experience. Make your child feel comfortable about coming to you with problems first; try to jump in and solve them a little later. Continue reading


In child custody cases in which one party is a citizen of a foreign nation, or where one party has significant ties to another country, it is important to investigate whether anti-abduction custody Orders are needed.

California Family Code Section 3048(b) provides that in any cases in which the Court becomes aware of facts indicating a risk of abduction of a child, it must consider the risk-level for the abduction of the child, the obstacles to location and recovery of the child if abducted, and the potential harm to the child if abducted.

Continue reading


In a recent case heard in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a wealthy real estate agent who balked at paying his immigrant ex-wife alimony must, nonetheless, continue to support her as he promised to do in her immigration papers.

In Erler v. Erler, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10361 (9th Cir. June 8, 2016), Yashar Erler, a real estate agent in Oceanside California reportedly worth approximately $5 million married Turkish citizen Ayla Erler in 2009.
Continue reading