Family Legal Services
Divorce: Nobody enters into their marriage planning that it will end in divorce, but for too many people that is the sad outcome. Generally, there will be deep emotional feelings on both sides. As your attorney, I will act as your advisor so that you can get beyond these emotions and make decisions that are in your best interest.
You know what is in the best interest of your family better than any judge ever will. For this reason, I encourage all parties to settle their family law matters without the interference of the court. However, this is not always possible. If your matter requires litigation, I will work with you to determine the best method for resolution, and to strongly advocate for you.
A divorce often involves multiple issues including child custody, division of assets, and child and spousal support, among other things. Even after parties have received their final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, there may still be issues of enforcement and modification. I can provide experienced assistance for you in all of these areas.
If you have not yet determined that a divorce is the best path for you, I can assist you in understanding your rights and responsibilities before your decision is made.
Child Custody: If you have children, you and your spouse or partner are not the only ones hurting from a divorce. Your children are also experiencing a major change in their lives and they will rely on you to make the right decisions for them.
Deciding where a child will live and with whom is often the biggest challenge in divorces. The policy in California is for children to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents, and that parents should share equally in the raising of the children. This is subject only the court’s determination of what is in the best interest of the child as well as the health, safety and welfare of the child.
I will work with you to help you find an arrangement that works for you, your children and your spouse. If necessary, we will use the services of therapists and other mental health professionals to help you and your spouse reach a point in your relationship where are able to co-parent effectively.
Domestic Partnership/Gay Marriage: California is one of the few states that give same-sex partners almost the same set of rights as heterosexual couples. However, if a registered domestic partnership breaks up, the process poses special difficulties. This area of law is constantly changing and if you decide to enter into a domestic partnership, you should seek advice as to your rights and responsibilities under the law. I will be able to advise you about these aspects before you enter into a domestic partnership.
Under California law, registered domestic partners can only terminate their partnership in the family court context which closely resembles the process for divorce. I have experience in assisting domestic partners through this process and advising them of the pitfalls and specific concerns in this area of the law. I will work with you to settle your case in an amicable and favorable way and be a strong advocate for you.
Child Support and Spousal Support: In general, these issues are dealt with in the divorce context. This is a critical aspect in family law matters, and can make a big difference in how you move forward with your life after a final Judgment is entered. I will work with you to explain the process through which the court makes determinations as to amount and duration of support, and to ensure that we take into account the entirety of your financial situation in negotiating support.
Often, parties will have a final child support and/or spousal support which the other party refuses to pay. In this event we will enforce the order and, if needed, garnish the other spouse’s wages, put liens on their property or bring contempt of court proceedings.
When circumstances have changed and you require a modification of child or spousal support, I am also able to assist you in that area.
Please be aware that child custody and child support are two separate issues, and I accordingly treat them as such. In no event will I use the determination of child custody as a method of gaining a financial advantage in your case.
Mediation Services: Mediation is voluntary process whereby you and the other party explore settlement options in order to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. In this process, you decide what is best for your family instead of putting the matter in the hands of attorneys or judges. As a mediator, I will not represent you individually as an attorney, but will work with all parties to clarify issues, communicate effectively, consider multiple settlement options and reach agreements .
Clients often find that mediation is a more cost-effective approach to resolving disputes, and that they are happier with the end results.
I offer mediation services in all areas of family law including divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support and division of assets. I will also assist you in completing all required paperwork and court filings in order to obtain your final Judgment.