Family Law

Our Family Law firm is committed to providing outstanding and effective Legal Representation to ALL clients, from highly contested divorces and tough child custody battles, to simple uncontested divorces or child support/ visitation modifications.
We are here to offer you the right balance of Aggressiveness and Compassion!  Our tactful representation produces the most favorable results for all Clients! We vigorously represent YOU and vindicate YOUR rights.
Our strategic planning and careful analysis produces quick and well developed solutions to your problems!  Our clients hire us, stay with us, and refer their friends, family and colleagues!
We carefully guide our Clients from the basic Petition or Response, to obtaining temporary orders of support, custody, visitation, and distribution of property.   You’ll always know the status of your case, and get an honest outlook on what you can expect!
As for emergencies, we provide to each Client a 24 hour answering exchange which provides you with around the clock service.  You need a restraining order? We will immediately seek it!  As a firm, we have the staff and ability to promptly react and defend your legal needs!
As a side, our fees are reasonable and fair.  We provide affordable fees and provide a detailed accounting regardless of the type of legal matter you may have.

FAMILY LAW
The goal and role of a family law lawyer is to act as an advocate for the best interest of the Client!

 

DIVORCE/ LEGAL SEPARATION/ DISSOLUTION OF DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS/ ANNULMENTS:

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE (DIVORCE OR MARITAL DISSOLUTION)
A dissolution of marriage, which is more commonly known as divorce, terminates the marriage of the spouses and resolves issues between them, including child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, asset and debt distribution, former name restoration, and even restraining orders.

California is a NO-FAULT jurisdiction.  Another words, the actual reasons for the marital breakdown is irrelevant.  It is irrelevant whether one spouse or the other was at fault, or whether one spouse committed adultery.  Also California does NOT have ABANDONMENT laws, and thus one spouse or the other may leave the home, and not be charged with abandonment.

 

LEGAL SEPARATION
Our Firm typically suggests a dissolution of marriage over a legal separation when the parties believe that their marriage has irreparably broken down. However, if this is not the case, Legal Separation is an alternative to the dissolution of marriage.

A Legal Separation resolves issues between the spouses, such as spousal support, child support, custody/ visitation, and the division of the community estate; however, Legal Separation does NOT terminate the marriage of the spouses so the spouses may NOT remarry.  Also, if one files for Legal Separation, one does NOT have to meet the residency requirement in California, which is six months prior to filing for divorce.  Often, people who seek legal separation do so for religious or personal reasons.  One common reason to seek a Legal Separation instead of a dissolution (divorce) is that the parties retain eligibility for medical insurance that would otherwise be lost by a termination of the marriage.  Interestingly, after a judgment of legal separation, the spouses do not acquire further community property and  they do NOT owe each other any spousal duties of care and support except as ordered by the court pursuant to the judgment.

 

DISSOLUTION OF REGISTERED DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS:
Our Firm has handled Registered Domestic Partnerships, and has assisted in their dissolution.  In many ways, the process is identical to that of a dissolution of marriage (divorce) Domestic partners are “two adults who have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring.”   Persons of opposite sexes may not constitute a domestic partnership unless one or both of the persons are over the age of 62.  Currently, the new Supreme Court case condones marriage between persons of the same sex.

ANNULMENTS (NULLITY)
An Annulment of marriage is also known as a Nullity and is often difficult to prove, unless there is substantial evidence that one of the following grounds is met:  incest, bigamy, underage without parental consent, prior existing marriage, unsound mind, fraud, force, and/or incapacity.  You may consult our Firm to see if you are eligible for an annulment.  If you are granted an annulment, it is as if the marriage never happened.

 

ISSUES RELATED TO THE FAMILY:

PATERNITY
Our Firm strongly suggests that unmarried parents bring a Paternity Action to establish their biological ties to a child.  Typically, if our Client has not been married, or is uncertain of whether or not their child or children are biologically theirs, we begin by opening a Paternity Action.  In the State of California, if one does not pursue a Paternity Action within the first few years of the Child’s life, then a person loses the ability later in the child’s life to bring this action.  Thus it is essential to bring this action early on.

A Paternity Action is held when the parties do not know who the actual father of the Child is. In California, you may establish the parentage of a child through any one of these avenues: Sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity, or ask the Court to establish Parentage.  Usually, unmarried people file a Complaint to Establish Parental Relations. This is a legal action in California Superior Court that determines parenthood rights, child support, and establishes the future rights and privileges of parenting, i.e. a parenting plan, custody, visitation, and time-sharing arrangements.

RESTRAINING ORDERS (PROTECTIVE ORDERS)
Our firm is committed to obtaining justice for all of our Clients!  Whether you are the victim, or the person wrongfully accused, we can help!  We expeditiously & successfully prepare and defend restraining orders on a case by case basis.  We understand the emotional and tragic consequences that occur if a restraining order is denied to a victim, or wrongfully placed on someone.  We aggressively and carefully fight to preserve the integrity and rights of our Clients!
A person seeking a Family Law Restraining Order is considered a “protected person” and usually falls into one of the following categories: He or she is a spouse, cohabitant, is dating or engaged to the aggressor, is a coparent, child, or blood relative to the aggressor.
A “protected person” may obtain a restraining order if he or she has been abused. 

The California Family Code Section 6203 defines abuse as the following: intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, sexual assault, placing a person in “reasonable apprehension” of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or another or engaging in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined pursuant to California Family Code § 6320.
IF one is granted a temporary restraining order one may obtain temporary custody, child abduction prevention orders, protective orders where child sexual abuse is alleged, assaultive conduct & Property destruction orders, an order excluding a party from “the family dwelling, firearms restraining order, wiretap order, restitution orders, orders to attend a batterer’s program, harassment/ stalking orders, an order determining the temporary care and control of any minor child of the endangered person and the person against whom the order is sought (Ca Fam § 6252(b))
CHILD CUSTODY
We take extreme caution with Child Custody and Visitation rights, and devote our efforts to looking for what is in the best interest of the children.  We help both mothers and fathers maintain and/or create a significant bond with their child. We handle child custody matters expeditiously.  Our mother and father clients alike appreciate our consideration, but objectiveness in pursuing custody and/or visitation.
It is important to recognize that California Courts only have jurisdiction over natural born or adopted children.  They do NOT have jurisdiction to hear the custody request of a stepparent.  Thus a stepparent does NOT have any custody and or visitation rights over their stepchild.
Two forms of custody or Legal and Physical Custody.  These terms are often confused and misused; however, if you would like to see what best suits you, you may contact our Firm for more information of the type of custody you would like to seek.
CHILD VISITATION
We can help you decide what is in the best interest of the child as far as visitation with the factors at hand.  You will never be alone.  You will always have someone to guide you!
Visitation is often awarded to the non-custodial parent, or the parent who does not have primary custody.  Typically, child visitation is alternate weekends, which include midweek visits.  However, there are many options to the parenting schedule that a parent may pursue.  Our Firm will help you in coming up with a parenting plan that best fits your needs, and more importantly, the needs of your children.

CHILD SUPPORT
In California, both parents have a legal duty to provide financial support for their children.  Child support is a formula, and is essentially based on two factors 1) the income of the parents, and 2) the time that each parent spends with their child.  The court may order either or both parents to make ongoing payments to cover a child’s living and medical expenses.  If there is no current court ordered custody or visitation, our Firm encourages and advised that parents seek to obtain one.  Without a custody/ visitation order, then the timeshare of each parent will be an estimate, and may not be accurately calculated.  Our Firm will help ensure that all factors are including in the formula, including but not limited to hardships, mandatory retirement payments, health care premiums, spousal support and child support from another marriage, and property taxes.