Family Law

Paternity - Parentage - Custody - Divorce - Restraining Orders - LGBT Family Building

Eat Drink and Remarry. Dissolution, sometimes called Divorce, is one of the most stressful things a person can go through, for both parents and children. If you have been served with custody and divorce papers, or need to dissolve your marriage, you need a family law attorney with significant experience in this area to guide you through it. This is a complex area of the law, and we will walk with you and your children through it.  This is especially true in cases of Domestic Violence, you need an advocate.

The court system, besides being intimidating, is also very impacted. If both sides agree, your family law case can be heard by a private judge, and the orders will be binding. You still need a lawyer to represent you, but can get your matter decided in a reasonable amount of time.  

The first step is making a consultation appointment for family law. There you can discuss your parenting plan, or lack thereof, ask questions about your particular situation, and even find out what child or spousal support may be ordered by the court.

So if you care about ... knowing your rights, protecting your kids, and  getting your life back, we can help.

We also do step parent adoption, and termination of parental rights when necessary.

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Pre-Nuptial Agreement

If you are contemplating marriage, remember it is the biggest contract you will ever enter. Especially if you have significant assets, or this is a second marriage, getting solid legal advice can help you avoid costly mistakes. A well drafted prenuptial will confirm your separate property to you and can even avoid spousal support in most cases in the event of divorce.

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Paternity & Parentage

A person is presumed to be the natural parent of a child if the "presumed" parent and the child's natural mother are or have been married to each other  and the child is born during the marriage, or 300 days after divorce. Also if the presumed parent is on the child's birth certificate, or if you openly held the child out as yours! Biology is not the be all and end all, but this area is more complex than you may think. 

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Dissolution & Divorce

A good and healthy divorce can be much better than a toxic marriage. There are wait times, however.

The earliest a court can restore your status as a single person is six months. The date the "Respondent" is personally served starts the clock.

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Child Custody & Support

Instead of "visitation" most courts use the term "Time Share" to recognize that children need and want quality time with both parents. We have experience in negotiating a plan with the opposing party or counsel that keeps your children's best interests in mind. 

Same Sex Couples & LGBT Families

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Its just Marriage. Stephanie and Reba have been recognized for their LGBTQ advocacy. Now that all fifty states recognize marriage for  same-sex couples, you might think this is an area of settled law, it is not. There are still some things you need to know, especially if you were in a long term unmarried partnership. Don't leave assets on the table by failing to file a "Marvin" claim when needed. This can apply to long term heterosexual couples too!

Restraining Orders

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Intending on getting a restraining order is very different than actually having one.  There are different burdens of proof depending on whether you are seeking a Domestic Violence or Civil Restraining Order. An Elder Abuse restraining order is also available for persons over 62 years old. We are not afraid to fight to protect you nor are we afraid to defend you against false allegations.

division of property

California divides property 50/50. All property acquired during the marriage are split equally, unless acquired by gift, devise or descent. Separate property is anything you owned before marriage or acquired after the date of separation.

Some property has both separate and community property characteristics. For instance: A family residence could have been purchased by a separate property down payment, but the "community" made the mortgage payments. Sometimes a special accountant is needed to determine each parties interest. 

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step parent adoption

The most common scenario is where a couple marries, and one has a child from a previous relationship. These are fairly simple procedures unless the other biological parent does not consent.

In cases such as this, the adoption may still be possible, and our knowledgeable adoption attorney can advise you on your options.