Areas of Practice
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Below you will find brief summaries of our areas of practice. To learn more about any given area, please click on the “Read More” link to be taken to the appropriate page. You can also reach these pages by using the links in the navigation menu at to the top of each page as well as the sidebar to the right.
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Emotions often run high when divorce forces couples to apply legal concepts to personal matters such as property division, child custody, visitation and financial support. This is just one of the reasons why it is so important to have an objective advocate on your side to guide you through the legal process of divorce.
When a party feels that their safety is threatened by a family member, significant other, spouse, or another party with whom they have had a relationship, whether involved in a dissolution proceeding or not, a request for a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) may be necessary to obtain against the abuser.
In California, parents can establish the paternity of a child in various ways. For married couples, or those in a registered domestic partnership after January 1, 2005, the law presumes a child born to the couple is the child of the husband/partner. Parents who are unmarried at the birth of a child can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity to include the father/partner’s name on the child’s birth certificate and confer parental rights and responsibilities on that parent.
When divorcing couples have children, they must determine who will have custody and/or what type of visitation arrangement to put in place. California law grants two types of child custody: legal custody — the right to make decisions regarding the child’s care — and physical custody, or the amount of time spent with each parent.
California state law requires every parent to support his or her child financially. Unfortunately, in a divorce, this responsibility is often the biggest cause of disagreement between couples with children.
Spousal support in the state of California can be a very complicated matter and is included in only 10 to 15% of divorce or separation cases. Where courts do grant spousal support, however, it is often the largest financial obligation in a divorce.
In today’s increasingly mobile society, people often relocate for a better job, a new relationship, educational opportunities, etc. However, when someone is divorced and has children, moving away is never simple. Even when both parents agree, such “move-away” situations involve tough decisions regarding the best way to maintain the child’s relationship with both parents. When parents do not agree, things can get much more emotionally — and legally — complicated.
An important part of the divorce process is the separation of assets and debts, known as “property division.” As a “community property” state, California law assumes each spouse is entitled to an equal share of all property and assets acquired (and responsibility for debts incurred) during the marriage. Certain exceptions apply, however, such as property owned prior to marriage or acquired by gift or inheritance during marriage.
As more and more people marry later in life, or re-marry after divorce, they are using marital agreements to clarify their rights to marital assets should they divorce or separate. Whether prenuptial (entered into before marriage) or postnuptial (signed after marriage), couples use these agreements for a variety of reasons; to protect the rights of children from a previous marriage, responsibly manage and protect assets or shield a new spouse from the debts and liabilities of a previous relationship.