WHAT IS FAMILY LAW?
The area of Family Law covers domestic violence, divorce or dissolution of marriage and legal separation, paternity matters and parental rights related to minor children, child support and spousal support (formerly known as “alimony”) and adoptions of minor children, both step-parent adoptions and third party adoptions, which includes adoptions of children by family members, legal guardians, and foster parents.
We prepare agreements for cohabitants outlining each party’s rights and obligations to the other, including provisions for co-ownership of homes, vehicles or other assets, custody and visitation of minor children belonging to the parties, and addressing issues of support in the event of separation.
PREMARITAL OR PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS:
The laws have changed over the years regarding premarital or prenuptial agreements. If you are contemplating marriage and need a premarital/prenuptial agreement, please contact our office for an appointment.
LEGAL SEPARATION, DIVORCE AND DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS:
We offer both legal representation and mediation services related to legal separations, divorce and domestic partnerships. California law treats domestic partnerships the same as marital relationships. Both legal separations and divorce involve property division and spousal support (formerly known as “alimony”). If the parties have minor children together, issues that come up during legal separation or divorce also include child support and custody and visitation.
We provide legal representation in domestic violence cases. The term “domestic violence” refers to any physical, mental or emotional abuse that is inflicted by one co-habitant or family member upon another. Domestic violence includes abuse inflicted by any family member residing in your household, such a sibling on sibling, child on parent, parent on parent, or spouse on spouse, but does not include roommates/housemates unless the roommate/housemate is or was in a dating relationship with the victim.
CUSTODY AND VISITATION:
We offer both legal representation and mediation services related to custody and visitation issues. The term “child custody” refers to the physical and legal custody of minor children and dependent adults with disabilities. “Physical custody” refers to who the child spends his/her/their time with and “legal custody” refers to the right to make decisions for the child regarding his/her/their religious upbringing, education, medical care and dental care.
SPOUSAL SUPPORT, CHILD SUPPORT OR FAMILY SUPPORT:
We provide legal representation in spousal support, child support and family support matters. Child support is only available to a parent with a minor child or a parent with an adult child with permanent developmental disabilities. Spousal support is only available to a person who is married or in a domestic partnership. Family support is support payable to a spouse or domestic partner with a minor child.