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Family Law Overview

Practice Area: Divorces, Same-Sex Divorces, Paternity disputes, Alimony, Child Custody, Visitation and Child Support.

Family law is the blanket term for all legal matters concerning spouses or parents and their children. This includes divorces, same-sex divorces, paternity disputes, alimony, child custody and visitation, and child support. Family law issues draw close to the heart and can be stressful and emotionally painful for all involved. While your wedding may have been a joyous occasion, you are likely seeking legal assistance now due to a contested family law issue such as divorce, child support, or custody.

California state law and common law recognize certain rights and privileges of spouses and parents. Family law cases, especially divorces and support disputes, are complex, heavily litigated, and often drawn out over a number of years. In order to properly fight for your rights in family law court, you need a dedicated and understanding family law attorney on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady have decades of experience with negotiating favorable custody arrangements, asset division, and support payments with parties. If you anticipate becoming involved in a family law dispute, call The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady today at (866) 666-6529 for a free consultation.

Divorce and Separation

The most heavily contested area of family law is divorce. There are two types of divorce: contested divorce and uncontested divorce. Albeit still emotional, uncontested divorces are usually clean and swift breaks. One spouse or both can file an uncontested divorce petition. One spouse needs to be a resident of the California county in which he or she is filing for divorce. In addition, the couple cannot have lived together the past several months, known as cohabitation. If the parties have no assets or debts to divide and no outstanding issues involving child custody or support, the divorce is uncontested.

Uncontested divorces do not require that the couple be without children or assets. Rather, most couples co-draft marital property agreements to divide up assets and property. If the couple has children, they will often sign a child custody agreement that identifies which parent has legal and physical custody, when each parent has visitation, what the support payments will be, and what they will cover.

Contested divorce occurs when there is an issue that needs to be decided by the court. The most commonly contested issue is child custody. Often times, the parents do not get along and will not agree on the best interests of the children. If one parent asks for sole legal and physical custody and the other objects, the court will need to make the ultimate decision. In addition, asset division is also a heavily contested issue, and many parties spend years in court tying up these assets by litigating them. Again, a judge will be saddled with reviewing the evidence and arguments and determining the best way to distribute assets based on ownership claims and interests.

Child Custody

While child custody is often times intermingled with a divorce case, it does not have to be. Child custody issues can occur between non-married parents or parents and grandparents. For instance, the grandparents of a child may petition the court to grant them permanent custody of the child because the parents are abusive and neglect the child.

In family law, the court recognizes the rights of both parties. The biological mother and father have equal rights to parenting under the law. Thus the law favors joint custody. In order to show that sole custody is proper, the petitioning parent must show extenuating circumstances. Examples of extenuating circumstances include:

The other parent is abusive or neglects the child.

  • The other parent has not seen or spoken to the child in a long time.
  • The other parent is incarcerated.
  • The other parent does not provide for or support the child.
  • The other parent has relinquished their rights as a parent.

Support

Child support and spousal support, known as alimony, are also hotly contested issues in family court. Child support is mandated by California state law. State law calculates the costs of supporting a child based on the joint income of the parents. When the parents are married, it is presumed that the costs of raising the child are shared. When the parents are divorced or were never married, child support payments need to be calculated to ensure that the child is provided for. Child support payments are solely for the benefit of the child. They are not to be used as supplemental income for one of the parents. Thus the payments are only to go towards items or services for the child, such as clothing, food or daycare. A California judge will calculate your monthly child support payments based on your ability to pay, which includes your paycheck and assets.

Spousal support or alimony allows an ex-spouse to continue to be able to cover their living expenses following the divorce. This allows the spouse to continue to maintain his or her lifestyle. Alimony can come in several forms. One form occurs when spouse A is unemployed but in school full time while spouse B works and supports the household. Spouse A may be required to provide spouse B with spousal support following a divorce as a form of repaying spouse B for their earlier support. Another form occurs when spouse A was unemployed and acting as a stay-at-home spouse during the marriage. Alimony following divorce can help provide for spouse A’s living expenses so that he or she can focus on finding work.

Family Law Legal Experts with 17 Years of Experience

Here at The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady, we understand how difficult your divorce, child custody, or support issue may be, both financially and emotionally. Our role as family law attorneys is to help you transition smoothly and painlessly to divorced life. We will advocate for your best interests, provide you with personalized and compassionate representation, and dedicate ourselves fully to your cause despite your case size or income level. Call The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady at (866) 666-6529 today for more information and to schedule a free consultation.