Family Law

Divorce/Legal Separation:
A divorce is uncontested when parties agree on issues of support, property division, debt division and child sharing and any other concern that may be raised by one party or another to the divorce. A divorce is contested when either of the divorcing parties disagrees with the other on any issue raised in the divorce. The parties may desire an amicable approach or to use mediation to resolve disagreement on the issues or they may prefer to use the court. Legal separation is an option only if both parties agree to be legally separated instead of divorced. The decision to divorce or legal separate has both legal and financial consequences. Clients will have the opportunity at every aspect of their case to voice their preference and position and will be provided legal advice that will be most effective in meeting their objectives.

Whether a marriage as a contract is void or voidable due to fraud or other circumstances should be considered in some Family Law cases. While the law may be clear, the set of facts that give rise to consideration of an annulment are usually complex If you believe that your marriage may not be valid, this issue will be one among the very first addressed in your case.

Child Custody/Child Sharing:
Families who have children will need help determining what is in the best interest of the children during and after the divorce of the parties is final.

Move-Away Cases:
One party or another may desire to relocate to another county, state or country with the child or children of the relationship. When a client wishes to move a child, or is faced with the other parent desiring to do so, the client will be advised as to his or her rights and obligations and all of the legal implications of a move-away request or order.

Military Divorce:
San Diego is a military community and parties who have married elsewhere and moved here from around the world face unique issues when they decide to divorce in a California court. My office handles all aspects of divorce involving military members and their spouses.

Child Support:
Factors including income and child-sharing time are primary when awards of custody are made to one parent or another. Many times after the orders are made, either the paying party or the receiving party will want to make a change in the amount that is paid or received. Whether you are entitled to support or required to pay support and whether such orders are changeable, will depend on the unique circumstances involving your child custody or child-sharing plan.

Spousal Support/Alimony:
Support between one spouse and another may be ordered in divorce matters during the litigation as temporary support and after the judgment has been entered as a permanent support. The courts will look at both the length of the marriage and the income of the parties in determining temporary support. The court will look at those factors and many others required by the Family Code in making orders on permanent support. Support can be a complicated and emotionally charged issue in any family law case. Clients receive advise on payment of or eligibility for support from the inception of their case.

Property Division:
In a community property state like California, property that is acquired during marriage is usually characterized as community property and it is to be divided equally between the parties at the time of divorce. Certain property that is considered separate property is not subject to division and certain property acquired during marriage by one party may be considered separate depending on the source. Further, if there is a premarital or marital agreement that addresses acquisition of property, certain property acquired during marriage may not take on the character of community property and may not be subject to division. Determining which assets are subject to division and how they should be decided will be explained to you in full.

Marital Agreements:
Parties may want to enter into an agreement before marriage to protect certain assets or to control how the assets are characterized and support of your spouse in the event that your marriage ends. If you are planning to get married and you are concerned about certain assets and how they may be divided or shared with your new spouse, these issues should be addressed with your attorney with sufficient time before you marriage to ensure there is enough time to prepare the agreement and allow for the other party to review the agreement before the date of the ceremony. Other agreements regarding assets and support are written during the marriage and before a divorce is contemplated to address this issues of property and support.

These cases, formerly referred to as Paternity cases, are cases involving determination of legal parentage and disputes over legal parentage. California law defines who is a parent and the law is not limited by genetics or biology. Clients who are involved in matters involving parentage issues will be provided the help they need to thoroughly understand their rights and their obligations to a child.

Assisted Reproduction:
My practice provides legal services for clients who are seeking to become parents through assisted reproduction including surrogacy, sperm donation and egg donation. Persons seeking to start a family through assisted reproduction will need legal protections for their family. These protections are achieved by thoroughly understanding the client’s and by preparing well-drafted, thorough and accurate agreements that are specifically tailored for each client.