The Guidance You Need To Resolve Your Family Law Case
Whether you are seeking a divorce, child custody, a paternity action or stepparent adoption, a family law attorney on your side can help prevent and solve problems along the way.
Family law issues can have a long-lasting impact on your finances as well as the strength of your family ties. At KKG Law, we are sensitive to the needs and expectations of our clients.
We understand the emotional nature of a separation or divorce, and the impact of parents’ marital discord on children. We advise parents of the importance of honoring the best interests of the child in custody, visitation and other child-related issues. Every family law judge keeps this principle as a high priority in any family law case that involves children.
- High Asset Divorce
- Child & Spouse Support
- Domestic Violence
- Pre-Marital & Post-Nuptial Agreements
- Parental Alienation
- Parental Rights
- Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning
1. Property Division
In California, Community Property Law governs how property is divided. This means that unless it was a gift, an inheritance, or was obtained prior to marriage, all property gained by you or your spouse during the marriage will be divided equally between you and your spouse. The partition of the family home, bank accounts, retirement funds, debts, and vehicles are likely to occur in most divorce cases. Other real estate, various bank accounts, retirement funds, stock options, patents, copyrights, royalties, and one or more enterprises are examples of things that make a divorce case more complicated. A divide of the labor you invested in your separate property or the income from a loan you took out while you were married can be more complicated issues.
2. Divorce And Marriage Dissolution
There are two methods to end a marriage: divorce or marriage dissolution. Even though they are frequently used interchangeably, they have distinct legal meanings. The main distinction in a separation is whether the spouses are applying fault laws. Marriage dissolution is an agreement between the spouses to end the marriage, as opposed to divorce, which is legally defined as one spouse accusing the other for the breakup. A no-fault divorce is another way to think of the marriage dissolution.
Because of the state’s no-fault divorce laws, theoretically every couple in California is dissolving their marriage rather than getting a divorce. In California, a spouse cannot seek a divorce on the basis of fault. Due to its no-fault legislation, the courts will not hold one spouse accountable for wrongdoing, even if that partner had committed adultery or otherwise destroyed the marriage. All couples may instead elect to dissolve their marriages through no-fault divorces.
A marriage can usually be ended more easily through marriage dissolution. It is not necessary to demonstrate the other spouse’s fault in order to obtain a divorce. Simply state irreconcilable differences or that the marriage is no longer on good terms when filling out the divorce paperwork. The no-fault divorce procedure is quicker and exempts one spouse from having to establish fault. However, a no-fault divorce may still be complicated if one spouse challenges the terms of the divorce.
2.1 Legal Separation
Divorce and Legal Separation are similar. A married individual or domestic partner who wishes to remain married or in a domestic partnership but also wishes to settle all other matters, such as child custody, child and spousal support, and complex property split, may file for a legal separation. With a formal separation, the parties’ assets and obligations are divided, and you are no longer held legally liable for your spouse. A legal separation determines child support, visitation, and custody arrangements. A legal separation does not end your marriage to your partner. Any life or health insurance will remain in effect even after a legal separation. The legal separation will never take the place of a divorce or a dissolution of the marriage since if either spouse chose to later marry another person, they would have to apply for a divorce even though they had already been legally separated.
3. Child Custody
Some of the most challenging and difficult components of any divorce procedure are child custody disputes. Even while it is frequently in everyone’s best interests, including the children, to reach an understanding regarding visitation and parenting duties, this is not always achievable. It is crucial to have legal counsel in these circumstances, so if you are divorcing and have kids, you require an attorney at law that settles an agreement with the other party and guarantees both yours and your child’s rights.
The best way to prevent conflict and drawn-out court processes is for parents to create their own parenting plan outside of court, which is what California family courts strongly encourage. Even while families are free to design their own custody plans, the court must still accept it before the order can be put into effect. Sadly, these kinds of agreements are not always feasible, in which case the court must intervene and establish a child custody schedule.
4. Visitation Orders
Even though visiting orders differ depending on the unique circumstances of a family, there are a few fundamental models from which courts might select. For instance, a typical visitation schedule will designate particular weekdays or weekends when the child will be with the noncustodial parent. These are the visiting orders that are issued most frequently. The court will impose what is known as supervised visitation when the noncustodial parent’s capacity to keep the child safe is in doubt. These orders also designate specific periods when the child can see the noncustodial parent, but they stipulate that the youngster must go with a monitoring adult or a qualified organization.
A judge will order no visitation if he or she determines that permitting the child to see the noncustodial parent would be detrimental to the child’s physical or mental health. When there has been a history of marital violence or child abuse, this happens most frequently.
When one parent, typically the one with primary physical custody, wants to relocate their child to a new home outside of their present city, county, state, or nation, this is referred to as a move-away or relocation case. Regardless of how far away the relocation is supposed to be, move-away lawsuits are among the most complicated in family law. Without the assistance of a knowledgeable move-away attorney, you shouldn’t take on a move-away lawsuit.
A parent who has primary physical custody of their child is allowed to move the child’s address under California Family Code. You cannot, however, move your child’s domicile without the other parent’s consent or a court order. The California Supreme Court has granted family court judges broad power to reject move-away motions if doing so would jeopardize the rights or welfare of the kid. Whether you are a non-custodial parent attempting to stop a move-away order or a custodial parent attempting to relocate with your child, you will need a professional attorney to go in this kind of process.
Even if most people who get married do not anticipate their union ending in divorce, it is true that some unions will not last. In these situations, having a premarital agreement can help the parties avoid spending a substantial amount of time, worry, and money trying to decide who will keep what assets. However, a prenuptial agreement will only be regarded as legitimate if certain conditions are met. It is crucial to choose a skilled family law attorney who can make sure that all legal standards are met in order to ensure that your premarital agreement is properly established.
Prenuptial agreements must be in writing and signed by both parties in order to be legally binding in California. However, these agreements will only be enforceable if the parties were competent to enter into them. Even if an agreement is reduced to writing and is duly signed, it will not be enforceable if the party against whom its seeking enforcement can demonstrate that she or he did not execute the agreement voluntarily or that the agreement was unfair at the time it was signed, or that before it was executed, he or she:
Did not receive the other spouse’s complete financial information.
Did not have at least seven days to review the agreement
Was not represented by independent legal counsel (unless he or she expressly waived the right to representation)
Child Support And Enforcement
Even though the majority of parents want to provide for their children in any situation, there are parents out there who refuse to pay their required child support even after a court has previously ruled against them, despite the fact that the majority of parents want to provide for their children in any situation. Because of this, the majority of states, including California, have measures in place to assist parents in obtaining the child support payments to which they are legally entitled.
Without a child support agreement that has been properly established, enforcement cannot occur. Parents who have not received their required payments can move forward with enforcement once the requirement has been established. The non-paying party must be held in contempt for not making child support payments as the first stage in this procedure. This counts as a “quasi-criminal” offense and is punishable by fines, community work, and maybe jail time.
In order to help establish how much child support each parent will be obliged to pay in the case of a divorce, California has rigid criteria in place. These standards are determined by the remuneration of the parties and the proportion of time the child spends with each parent. Even while these agreements can be changed, courts won’t do so unless one of the parties can convincingly demonstrate that there has been a significant change in the circumstances, which is often incredibly challenging, that’s why you need a Pleasanton child support lawyer who is knowledgeable in state law and can help you understand your rights and obligations if you have issues about an existing or pending child support order.
The restrictions, needs, and capacities of minor will determine the guardianship’s nature, legal and material status. The minor may occasionally be able to complete certain tasks on their own (such as pay bills, wash clothing, eat). In other situations, more comprehensive treatment may be required because the person is too young, sick, or psychologically traumatized due to prior abuse. Depending on the arrangement, the guardian may be responsible for a variety of tasks.
California law recognize two categories guardianship, one where court grants authority to make decisions and one limited just to overseer the decisions of the person itself, depending on the situation, either one person or two different people can be selected to fill the two guardianship positions. The guardian will have to submit reports to the court, take on the minor’s rights and obligations, and be involved in the person’s life for years or perhaps decades. A guardianship can be difficult to establish and requires expertise to correctly approach the best option.
Domestic violence is a general term for abuse that takes place within a family or close friendship. This mistreatment may be psychological, financial, emotional, or physical. Domestic violence is most clearly identified by the fact that it involves two or more individuals from the same home, family, or relationship. Domestic violence can have serious civil and criminal consequences.
Domestic violence victims in California have the legal right to sue their abuser for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. These legal actions are civil rather than criminal in nature. Depending on the kind of abuse they experienced, a victim may pursue a variety of personal injury claims. An example of a civil action that domestic violence victims could file is for damages based on assault, battery, sexual battery, intentional infliction of mental distress, stalking, or elder abuse.
A victim of abuse has the right get compensation from their abuser for their damages when their civil claim for damages is successful. You can use this money to cover things like medical bills, lost wages, embarrassment, emotional agony, and suffering.
A restraining order makes it illegal for an abusive partner to approach you or make any kind of contact with you. You may be able to utilize restraining orders as a powerful tool to defend yourself from an abuser. By requesting a restraining order, you can make it simpler to establish a history of abuse, make it more likely that you will be prosecuted for abuse in the future, make it more likely that your abuser will be punished if they contact you, and make it more likely that they will leave the house.
Sadly, every year thousands of people become targets of sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, and harassment. Sometimes you need to obtain a restraining order against a risky friend, lover, or family member in order to protect yourself or your kids.
Wills And Trust
Lack of estate planning might make it harder for a person’s surviving family members. Even with careful planning and no legal issues, your family may still face a significant amount of work in administering your estate. Tax preparation, asset distribution, trust declarations, and other common estate issues can be complicated and need for expert help. No matter how complicated your estate may be, a will or other estate preparation document makes the process simpler and less stressful for your loved ones should you pass away.
A Living Trust is established to safeguard the assets retained in your estate during your lifetime as well as your personal information. Your personal assets, such as real estate, farmland, stocks, bonds, and bank accounts, are used to fund trusts. A trustee may hold assets on behalf of one or more beneficiaries under a legal document.
A Will it is a legal document that states your final wishes. Also known as a “Last Will and Testament.” A Will is read by the county court after your death. The court, known as a “probate” court will get involved to make sure that your final wishes are carried out. A “self-proving” Will does require a notary and can speed up the probate process, as the court will accept the Will without needing to contact the witnesses who signed it.
The most crucial factor is that a trust avoids the potentially costly and drawn-out Probate process. Your recipients will consequently save time and money as a result. The gifts you designated for your beneficiaries will be distributed to them right away in accordance with the directions you specified in your Trust. You can decide whether to set up a trust or a will.
Child Support, Guardianship And Adoption
The amount of child support that one parent will be expected to pay the other will be largely determined through a state calculator that takes into account:
- The incomes of each parent
- The amount of time the child will spend with each parent.
There may also be special factors to consider such as a parent’s disability or a child’s therapy or tutoring needs. A family law attorney can help you make a case for deviation from the standard child support calculations.
Sometimes families pursue solutions for adults with disabilities or children through guardianships. Most guardianship cases are handled through probate courts in California. You may be:
- A grandparent seeking legal rights to raise your grandchild whose parents are deceased, absent or unstable
- An aunt, uncle or close family friend caring for a child. Guardianship may provide security in such circumstances.
- A family member watching out for an adult relative with dementia or another disability
At KKG Law, you will find the help that you and the child or disabled adult need to make guardianship a reality.
Adoption is a family law issue that many clients and attorneys alike consider to be very positive and even joyful. This can be true for:
- A stepparent adoption
- A grandparent adoption
- The adoption of a niece, nephew, brother or sister
- The adoption of a foster child
- A private adoption
- The U.S. completion of an international adoption
- Surrogacy involving genetic donors
It is also important to ensure that an adoption will be irreversible. At KKG Law, we will help you complete all requirements for a secure adoption.
Schedule A Consultation
Get the guidance that you need to resolve your family law problems with your family’s long-term well-being in focus.
Call 510-721-3477 or send a message to request a consultation with an experienced, caring family law attorney in the San Francisco Bay area.