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In Re the Marriage of Kayton and Kawanaa Carter. v. Kawanaa Carter

August 16, 2012

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF KAYTON AND KAWANAA CARTER.
KAYTON CARTER, APPELLANT,
v.
KAWANAA CARTER, RESPONDENT.



(Super. Ct. No. 02FL07621)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mauro , J.

Marriage of Carter

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Kayton Carter (father) appeals from orders appointing counsel for his three minor children and ordering father and Kawanna Carter (mother) to each pay half of counsels' fees.

Father contends (1) the trial court abused its discretion in ordering him to split responsibility for the fees with mother, because a prior order required mother to advance all fees; and (2) the trial court violated his due process rights by depriving him of the opportunity to be heard.

We conclude:

1. The prior order requiring mother to advance fees was made with a reservation of jurisdiction to reallocate responsibility for the fees at a later date, and in any event did not prevent the trial court from issuing new and different orders. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining that both parents had the ability to split the fees.

2. The trial court did not deny father the opportunity to be heard. Although father contends he never received a hearing on an ex parte application to enforce the prior order requiring mother to advance the fees, the trial court reviewed his ex parte application, set the matter for hearing, and subsequently heard father's arguments in a hearing on June 23, 2011, before reaffirming its order that father and mother split the fees.

We will affirm the orders.

BACKGROUND

Father and mother have two sons and a daughter. As part of their marital dissolution proceeding, father and mother participated in custody mediation. Following the mediation, Judge Gweon ordered the appointment of Michael Jonsson as minors' counsel. With mother's assent, Judge Gweon further ordered mother to advance all fees for minors' counsel, but reserved jurisdiction to reallocate responsibility for the fees in the future. Judge Gweon also ordered the parties to participate in an Evidence Code section 730 custody evaluation with Dr. Jacqueline Singer. Judge Gweon's minute orders were subsequently memorialized in an order signed by Judge Lueras.

Months later, father filed an ex parte request to modify visitation and to enforce the prior order regarding minors' counsel. Judge Gary denied the ex parte request but set the matter for regular hearing on May 25, 2011, and ordered ...


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