Frequently Asked Questions

Divorce?

Divorce or dissolution of marriage in California can range from simple to highly complex.  A divorce proceeding will generally encompass issues such as child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal support or alimony, asset valuation, division of assets, domestic violence, and enforcement of orders to name a few.

When looking for an attorney to represent you, you should seek someone with experience and knowledge. I believe that I can help you with all of your divorce issues whether simple or complex and I will do so in a manner that will help keep your costs down.  Please call for a no cost consultation.

Step-parent Adoption?

When a married couple has a child in the home that is the biological child of one parent only, the step-parent may wish to adopt the child as his or her own.  I have helped many couples attain this goal.  A step-parent adoption is not as difficult as it may seem.  If you are a parent wishing to adopt your stepchild I can help you.  Please call for a no cost consultation.

Child Custody?

Child custody it is often the most contentious part of a divorce proceeding.  It can be a difficult process to experience both for the parties and their children.  Litigated child custody issues often involve the use of experts and psychologists.  Child custody disputes can involve some of the most costly issues in a divorce.

In California child custody is determined by the Court making a determination of the child's "best interest".

I am proactive in protecting children's best interest.  My policy is to handle these issues compassionately while fighting aggressively for the children as well as my clients.

If you're divorce involves children, contact me for a no obligation consultation.

Child Support?

In California child support amounts are determined by statute.  The state has adopted "Guidelines".  These Guidelines amount to a formula which uses various factors to determine the amount the supporting parent has to pay to the supported parent for the children.  The major factors are the amount of income that each parent earns and the amount of time the children spent with each parent.  Other factors include "New Spouse" income, health insurance premiums, out-of-pocket medical expenses for the children, various tax consequences, union dues, mandatory retirement, hardship deductions, and child care expenses to name a few.  

If you need help with a child support issue I believe I'm the one that can help you.  Please call for a no cost consultation.

Spousal Support/Alimony?

Many people stay in bad marriages because they don't believe they can afford to pay spousal support if they are the payor or receive enough spousal support if they are the recipient.

In California, Alimony is called Spousal Support.  Spousal Support may be temporary or permanent.  Temporary Spousal Support is generally determined by the use of computer programs which have been developed to assist attorneys and judges in the calculation of the temporary spousal support.

Permanent Spousal Support is not determined by a support calculator.  Numerous factors are used to determine the appropriate amount of Spousal Support in individual cases and they include such items as Marital Standard of Living, Length of Marriage, Income of each Spouse, educational levels of each spouse, Assets of each spouse, whether or not the supported spouse is Cohabitating with a person of the opposite sex and health of the parties to name a few.

Spousal support or alimony can be negotiated by a skilled family lawyer.

If you have questions regarding spousal support please contact me.  Please call for a no cost consultation.

Modification of Court Orders?

As a general rule, attempts to change or “modify” a temporary order or an interim order (order pending trial) is the subject of an Request for Order for Modification.  These issues carry substantial complex considerations, legal consequences, and complex burdens of proof.  An attempt to modify a court’s order after entry of judgment is also called Order to Show Cause for Modification and is generally brought to try to achieve a modification of existing child custody, child visitation, child support, or spousal support orders, or to address “move away” cases.  These issues are also the subject of substantial complex considerations, legal consequences and complex burdens of proof.  Generally, after entry of judgment of dissolution of marriage, the division of assets and debts is not modifiable.  The division of assets and debts is generally intended to be a permanent consequence, unless otherwise stated.  Please call for a no cost consultation.

Paternity?

The emotional and financial implications involved in a paternity case can be extremely complex and inflammatory.

I have helped both mothers and fathers establish paternity as well as helped individuals interested in refuting claims of paternity.

I understand the full range of paternity issues.  These may include establishing paternity, securing child support, establishing custody or visitation, same sex relationships, and the rights of unwed fathers.  I can assist in discovery and DNA testing when needed.

I have the experience and personnel to help you with any paternity issues. Please call for a no cost consultation.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements?

I  help clients create prenuptial agreements as well as represent individuals who are confronted with issues arising from prenuptial agreements. Interpreting and enforcing the terms of a prenuptial agreement is not always a simple task, but I am here to help you.  

If you are contemplating getting married and think you need a premarital agreement, or if you need help in interpreting a premarital agreement that you have entered into I can help you.

Guardianship?

A guardianship is a legal arrangement in which an adult has the court ordered authority and responsibility to care for a child (someone under 18) or an incapacitated adult.  A guardianship may be necessary if a child's parents die, or if the child has been abandoned or is not receiving adequate care by their biological parent.

The process is started by filing guardianship papers in court.  A court investigator will then interview you, the child and his or her parents if they are alive and available, and make a recommendation to the judge.  The judge will then review the case and decide whether to appoint you, usually after a hearing.  The court must find the appointment is in the best interests of the child.  In certain instances, the court may appoint the petitioner or another person as guardian of the child during the investigation period if it is in the child's best interests.

Typically, a guarding takes care of a child's personal needs, including shelter, education and medical care.

Once a permanent guardianship has been established, termination will usually occur when the child reaches the legal age of 18, the child dies, or if the judge determines that a guardianship is no longer necessary.

Please call for a no cost consultation.

Enforcement of Orders?

Obtaining a favorable settlement or result becomes meaningless and illusory when the opposing side fails to perform (i.e., defaults on) court-ordered obligations.

In regards to both financial matters and child-related issues, I have the knowledge and skills necessary to enforce these obligations.  Those include child and spousal support as well as child custody and visitation provisions.

If one spouse is recalcitrant and will not obey the court’s orders, it is possible to cite them with “contempt”, which is a quasi-criminal action for failure to obey the court’s orders.  If a litigant is found to be in contempt of a court order they face fines, including monetary sanctions as well as possible jail time.

If you have questions regarding enforcement of court orders, please call for a no cost consultation.

Community Property?

In general, community property or quasi-community property will be divided equally through the marital dissolution.  With very few exceptions, separate property will retain its character as separate property after the separation.  This generally means that separate property will continue to be the property of the spouse who acquired it separately despite the marital dissolution.

In some cases, the division of community property itself can be very complex, requiring the use of forensic accountants and other experts.  The same can be said for separate property.

If you need help with the issue of community property, please call for a no cost consultation.