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Family Law Overview

Family ties are thought to be the most private and enduring relationships in society. As most can attest, however, these relationships are rarely free from conflict. When domestic issues cannot be solved within the home, family law seeks to restore order and provide a fair resolution for all parties involved.

For many, family law is thought to be synonymous with divorce proceedings. In reality, divorce is just a small part of family law which covers a broad array of domestic issues including adoption, premarital agreements, paternity and child support issues.

When legal action is necessary to resolve familial matters, it is essential that you entrust your most private matters to a compassionate and knowledgeable family law attorney. Our dedicated attorneys and staff serve as good listeners, confidants and advocates for all of our clients during their most difficult times.


Adoption
While adopting a child can be an immensely rewarding experience, it is often accompanied by a host of legal and bureaucratic complexities.  Those who approach the process with the aid of a knowledgeable adoption attorney often find that they are spared much of the delay, frustration and expense it entails.

Whether you are a parent struggling to find the right home for your child, a couple looking to welcome a new member into your home or a relative hoping to assume responsibility for a minor in your family, you should contact our family law attorneys to ensure no detail is overlooked.  We will take the time to explain all of the adoption issues to you, assist in the preparation of required documentation, represent you at the adoption hearings and advocate on your behalf should any challenges arise in the future.


Child Custody
The dissolution of any marriage or partnership raises a plethora of issues. When children are involved, the resulting issues are even more complex as custody and child support issues come to the forefront. To ensure that a fair arrangement, based upon the children’s best interests, is reached, you should contact a knowledgeable family lawyer.

Our law firm routinely handles child custody cases and can help to determine the best custody arrangement for you and your children. We will review the custody evaluator’s recommendations, identify the children’s preferences and explain how local and state laws impact your specific case and family situation. Considering these factors, our family lawyers will work with you to devise a plan of custody for your children.

Child custody is dual faceted in that it encompasses both the physical and legal custody of the child. Physical custody is where the child resides while legal custody entails the decision making process for the parents including the right to decide education preferences, religious practices, medical treatments and activity involvement. Both of these aspects must be considered during child custody proceedings.

Our team of child custody attorneys will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome while preserving your parental rights and protecting your children’s best interests.


Child Support

Each year millions of parents across the country seek judicial intervention in child support matters. Courts generally adhere to an objective process when determining the proper child support amount. Whether you are a single parent seeking child support or a non-custodial parent with questions about your current support order, our family law attorneys can help to ensure that your children receive the necessary financial support congruent with your income as well as ex-partner’s earnings.

Calculation of Child Support
Child support calculation is generally based upon a number of financial factors pertaining to both parties. Our knowledgeable legal team will help you compile your financial information as well as ascertain the other parent’s current situation in order to make certain your support obligation is fair in light of both party’s monthly income and lifestyle. Factors commonly considered by family court judges include:

  • Monthly employment income (minus alimony or other child support obligations)
  • Childcare expenses deducted from your paycheck (e.g., health insurance)
  • Additional medical expenses for the child
  • Each parent’s contribution to extra-curricular expenses
  • Costs of daycare or private school tuition
  • Number of children involved in the action
  • Number of dependents of either party not involved in the action

Modifying a Current Child Support Order
If you already have a child support order in place, you may be in need of a modification of the monthly obligation. In general, a court may modify a child support order if it finds the financial status of either party has substantially changed and the current support obligation is no longer fair. For instance, if the parent paying support suddenly becomes disabled and is no longer able to work, the court will likely consider reducing his support obligation to meet his current income level. Conversely, if either parent experiences a sudden increase in monthly income, the court may decide to adjust the monthly support amount accordingly. If you require a modification to your child support order, our attorneys will help your compile the requisite financial documentation and present your case presentation to the judge in the proceeding.

Whether you are the obligor or obligee, our family law firm can work with you to obtain a child support amount that reflects the best interests of your children. If you are having difficulty meeting your monthly support obligation or believe your child’s parent is able to pay more than the amount in the current order, our attorneys will work diligently to achieve a modification of support on your behalf. To speak with one of our reputable family lawyers about your child support matter, contact us today.


Divorce
Divorce proceedings usually involve intense emotions and significant expense. Our dedicated matrimonial attorneys can work with you throughout the divorce process to minimize the emotional strain and cost normally associated with these proceedings. We handle complex contested and uncontested divorces.

During the divorce proceedings, we will assess all of the assets and debt and strive to attain the largest possible distribution of marital assets for our clients.  When appropriate, we will work closely with you to guarantee proper financial support through alimony. If children are involved, we will work with you to help you obtain custody of your children, child support payments or help in the development of a parenting plan, if preferred.

If you and your spouse choose to keep your divorce proceedings private and away from the courts, our law firm will work with you through voluntary mediation known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). During this process, both you and your spouse will meet with a neutral mediator to help resolve issues by bringing both parties to an agreement. With ADR, there is complete disclosure and no litigation.  Many individuals prefer this method as it tends to be faster, less costly and produces a more amicable outcome.


Paternity
Paternity lawsuits may be necessary to determine parental rights, custody or support matters when the identity of the biological father is in question. In these instances, the court will order a genetic test. The results of this test are then used to establish a legal relationship between the parent and child and determine the extent to which the father has an obligation to support the child. Even if the biological father does not wish to play an active role in the child’s upbringing, he still has the obligation to provide financial support to the minor.

These suits may be brought by the mother, the presumed father (in many instances the husband of the mother), the man alleged to be the father, a government agency or the child (if he or she is underage, a representative must act on his or her behalf). Our family law firm is available to offer you legal guidance, assist in filing a paternity suit with the appropriate court or defend you against paternity action.


Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is unfortunately prevalent in many relationships and may include harassment, assault, sexual abuse or neglect.  If you or someone you love has been physically or emotionally abused by their spouse or another relative, you should contact the police and an experienced lawyer who can inform you of your rights.  Our dedicated attorneys will work to obtain an Order of Protection from the court to ensure your physical safety.

In the case of marital abuse, if you wish to pursue a legal separation or divorce in light of the events, our legal team can advise you on the best steps to keep you safe and dissolve the marriage as fast as possible while keeping your best interests in mind.

Our entire staff understands the sensitive nature of domestic violence and will strive to provide you with peace of mind throughout the proceedings. Should you require additional support beyond the legal realm, we can refer you to other professionals and resources to address all of your needs and begin the healing process.

Family law raises emotional and legal challenges for all parties involved. In such cases, it is essential that you surround yourself with trusted advisors and friends. Our law firm provides you with the legal and emotional support needed to get you back on your feet.



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39899 Balentine Drive, Suite 225, Newark, CA 94560
| Phone: 510-498-1949

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