DIVORCE
 

When a married couple decide to formally end the marriage relationship, they must file for divorce. California law has specific requirements that our firm can help walk you through so that you can end that relationship properly. At the time of divorce, all property obtained during the marriage by either party should be awarded to one person or the other. One reason to file for divorce is that in California a person cannot marry again without that first marriage being dissolved. One reason for hiring an attorney is to make sure ALL assets are divided properly and the marriage is properly ended. Our Firm is able to assist you in every aspect of a Divorce case, including Collaborative methods.


CHILD CUSTODY


The phrase "child custody" is sometimes mistaken to mean that the parent designated as the "custodial parent" enjoys greater rights than the "non-custodial parent." In fact, a parent who is named the custodial parent in a parenting plan is designated as such for purposes of state laws other than the laws related to divorce or parenting plans. In the State of California, a child's residential schedule and other parental rights and responsibilities are typically addressed in a court order called a "Parenting Plan," which is determined by agreement or by the court, and usually with the guidance of a California State licensed divorce attorney or child custody lawyer. The court's responsibility under the law is to ensure that the Parenting Plan arrangements serve the best interests of the child.


The non-custodial parent normally retains his or her parental rights under the parenting plan, including residential time and decision making, regardless of custodial designations. Parental rights such as residential time with the child, participating in decision making, and other aspects of the parent/child relationship are only limited upon legal findings of abuse, neglect, or other factors which the court concludes has or will negatively impact the best interests of the child, such as domestic violence, and alcohol or drug abuse.


This area of practice includes child custody, such as possession schedules, the rights a parent has in regard to their child, child support, paternity cases, as well "mistaken paternity". California courts strive to rule in “the best interest of the child” and our firm helps the judge see all sides of the issue so that you can spend the maximum amount of time with your child.


GRANDPARENT CUSTODY/HIGH-CONFLICT CHILD CUSTODY

In non-parental custody cases it is fairly typical to have increased restrictions on parental rights, as the court must find the parents unfit or unwilling to meet parental responsibilities in order to award custody of the child to the petitioner, is typically a family member, such as a grandparent.
 

 

We also focus on high-conflict child custody cases, such as cases involving sexual abuse allegations, domestic violence, or drug or alcohol abuse where limitations on the parent/child relationship are being sought. These limitations can include no contact, limited contact, or supervised contact between parent and child. High-conflict child custody law is often highly complex, and it is critical that these cases be managed strategically from the very beginning.

MODIFICATIONS

 

When two people divorce, there are often lingering obligations governed by the divorce decree. The most common deal with possession schedules of children or child support, but other obligations could be money paid directly from one party to the other over time or health insurance coverage. Our firm can discuss modification of those obligations with you, determine if a modification you want is possible and likely, and help you obtain that modification.

 

ALIMONY/SPOUSAL SUPPORT

 

Alimony in a divorce or dissolution case is based primarily on two important factors: need and an ability to pay. But what does that mean? Well, California courts have the authority to grant alimony (spousal support) to either party in a divorce or dissolution. That alimony award could be either permanent or rehabilitative (temporary).Some statutory factors that a court can then consider in determining what, if anything, would be a fair alimony award. Those factors include:

  • The standard of living established during the marriage (the court will generally try to maintain that standard if reasonable)

  • The duration of the marriage (a long term marriage will generally create a stronger presumption of dependence than a short term marriage)

  • The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party (these factors often contribute to a court's determination of a spouse's ability to support himself or herself)

  • The financial resources of each party, the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each (as we saw above, the issue here is one of need versus ability to pay)

  • The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.

 

DIVISION OF PROPERTY

 

When people think about divorce one of the questions they almost always get around to asking is who gets to keep the (insert valuable or sentimental item here). Property division is an important consideration in every divorce even if you don't always feel great about bringing it up.  The court has the responsibility to fairly distribute the marital and non-marital property of the spouses. Marital property is generally any items acquired during the marriage. And no, it doesn't matter whose name the property is titled in. On the other hand, non-marital property is pretty much everything that you owned before you got married. Keep in mind that a division of property does not necessarily have to be "equal". Courts often make what may at first seem like an unequal distribution based upon the specific circumstances of the marriage. Several factors are taken into account here. Courts generally consider each spouse's contributions to the marriage, both monetary and non-monetary. The ultimate goal is to arrive at a fair solution which takes into account the whole of the marriage.

Division of property is often the most troublesome issue in a divorce proceeding.

 

If you are thinking about filing a divorce, parenting plan modification, non-parental custody action, paternity case, or other family law action involving child custody, we invite you to contact our firm at (951) 747-4913 or on line to schedule a consultation appointment.     If you are thinking about filing a divorce, parenting plan modification, non-parental custody action, paternity case, or other family law action involving child custody, we invite you to visit our lawyer profile page and contact our firm to schedule a consultation appointment.