Family Law issues are more difficult than they appear. Emotions run high making it easy to make mistakes. If you go about your situation without knowing all the legal consequences, it will likely lead to unintended results. It is important that you understand what is most important and why from the beginning of your case.
Family Law encompasses divorce (commonly referred to as dissolution of marriage), dissolution of domestic partnership, legal separation, child custody and visitation, child and/or spousal support, parentage actions, and much more.
Laurie Peters & Associates, APLC has an experienced team of California Family Law Attorneys who are available to assist you with what can be a very difficult time in your life. They will do so with compassion and understanding.
Don’t try to do it alone. Some issues seem fairly simple, but once a bad decision is made, it is difficult to turn it around making it important that things get going in the right direction immediately. Remember, laws are constantly changing and Family Law Judges have wide discretion in making decisions. Once a case starts down the wrong tract, it may have long-term consequences.
Whether you are filing for legal separation, divorce, dissolution of domestic partnership, domestic violence, nullity, or any other family law matter in Ventura County, you want to make sure you file appropriately. This is the first communication to the Court regarding your case. Issues such as the date of separation and choice of what to file can make a difference.
Community property issues involve property acquired during the marriage. Sometimes property acquired by gift or inheritance, or with separate property assets, are still community property. The way property is titled is not controlling. Even if property was owned prior to marriage, the community may still have an interest.
Separate property sometimes requires tracing to the original separate property used to acquire the property now in existence. That is: going back to the original source to prove something you own is separate property.
Sometimes property can be a combination of both separate and community property.
Child custody issues are also complex. There are presumptions that could affect custody depending on the facts of your case. The worst thing you can do is just assume it is simple.
Move away cases, even if you win, are stayed for a certain period of time, and they take a long time to be heard. However, there are ways to avoid the backlog through private judges or mediators.
Grandparent and step-parent rights. Under certain situations, grandparents and step-parents have rights to visitation in the best interest of the child/ren.
Guardianships. Another avenue for obtaining custody of child/ren if necessary and appropriate.
Support issues must also be approached carefully as they involve more than one might think. Child support is based on certain factors. If the correct factors, or exclusions, are not properly considered, there may be a substantial impact to the amount of support to which you may be entitled. For Spousal support, there are several factors the court needs to consider as well. Knowing all the proper facts makes all the difference.
Division of assets. Community assets must be identified to ensure a proper division between the parties. Sometimes, finding hidden assets is important and knowing how to value and divide them could be the difference between a fair and reasonable result and not getting your fair share. Also, if assets are hidden and later discovered, the consequences for not disclosing them could result in loss of the hidden asset, and/or significant attorney fees.
Joinder. Sometimes other parties need to be joined to your case for the court to deal with an asset. By way of example, when property is owned or held by others with the parties.
Experts. Sometimes experts play a crucial role in determining the values of assets, such as businesses or other property. Even if you believe the property has no value, the court and an expert may see it differently.
Post-Judgment Modifications and/or Enforcement. Unlike other civil cases, a Judgment is not necessarily the end of the story. Once you have a Judgement, there may be the issue of enforcement. If a Judgment is poorly written, it may be difficult, but necessary, to have the court interpret it for enforcement purposes. There may also be the issue of seeking modifications to the Judgment for things such as support or custody. In these situations, it is important to have an attorney who can assist with getting the intended results.
Adoptions. There are several options for adoptions: adoption of a minor, step-parent adoption, and adult adoption.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements. There may be situations where you need contractual agreements relating to how you would like to handle assets and debts in the event of a separation or divorce. Prenuptial Agreements are entered into prior to marriage, but there is also the option of entering into a Postnuptial Agreement after the wedding.
Document Preparation Services. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, Laurie Peters & Associates, APLC offers document preparation services. Our office can assist you with drafting documents and guide you through the process as you represent yourself.
The Attorneys at Laurie Peters & Associates, APLC are ready to provide you with compassionate legal representation tailored to your needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the legal services we offer.