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Southern California Family Law Frequently Asked Questions
Things You Should Know About Family Law
What is family law?
Family law typically has to do with anything concerning the family unity and traditionally refers to situations of divorce, separation, and child custody.
Despite the fact that many states now offer no-fault divorces, getting a divorce always brings up thorny issues like child custody, separation of assets, and payment of support, which is why you need a family law attorney in your corner representing your best interests.
What are a few things I should know about a divorce in family law court?
The most important thing you need to know is that no matter how it seems at first, divorces are never simple. Inevitably, there are hurt feelings involved, and so having a family law attorney to represent you is a great way to ensure that the process is seamless and you do not find yourself at the losing end of court decisions.
In a divorce, the family law judge will do more than just grant a divorce. They will decide where your kids live, who gets what property, and if there are any alimony or child support payments to be made. This is not a situation you want to face without the expert advice of a family law attorney.
How is child custody decided in family law court?
Child custody is one of the most difficult issues for parents to deal with in a divorce. The court system is designed to focus on one thing and one thing only: the best interest of the child. What this means is that your feelings or emotions do not have bearing on the family law court’s decisions.
They will look at things like the stability of the child, income of the parents, ability of the parent to provide a safe and nurturing environment, and other intangibles.
In order to ensure that you have full or joint custody of your children, you will have to prove that you are the parent best suited to the best interest of the children, something much harder to do without a family law attorney by your side.
Could I owe my ex monthly payments ordered by the family law court?
The simple answer to this question is yes.
You could very well end up having to pay your former spouse child support, alimony, or both. A family law judge is going to look at every aspect of your life, starting with your financial situation, which you will reveal on your finance worksheets before the trial.
Once the judge decides where the children are going to spend the majority of the time, he or she will also assign child support to the parent who has custody based on the income of each parent. In cases of alimony, also called spousal support, if the family law judge decides that the divorce will cause one party to lose a lifestyle they are accustomed to and unable to secure on their own, they may order alimony payments.
What about business interests in family law court?
If you and your partner are involved in a family business together, your family law attorney is going to need to work with you on finding a value for this business. The important thing to remember is that the court will be treating the business like property, meaning they will need to assign a value to the business. Naturally, this also means you have to show your stake in it, your income, and anything that you brought to the business prior to the marriage. Ultimately, the family law court will separate the interests and may even assign the entire business to one party.
How are financial decisions made by a family law court?
In order to reach a fair decision on financial separation, the court has you fill out what is known as a financial declaration. It is important to report everything you have on this document in terms of investments, income, and debt.
As your family law lawyer, it is our job to help you fill this out in a way that protects your best interests.
One thing to note on financial declarations: they are filled out very early in the process and are subject to a thorough examination by the other party. What this means is that you need to have a family law attorney by your side also very early in the process to protect your interests.
Is there such a thing as an easy divorce?
The reality is that divorces are typically painful, even when the parties agree on most things. For this reason, you need to have family law counsel involved very early in the process.
Regardless of how smooth the process is, you want great advice and someone who understands the many pitfalls that come naturally when you are dealing with the legal justice system. The easiest divorce is the one where the attorneys do most of the talking.
If this Southern California Family Law Frequently Asked Questions Page have not answered your questions, don’t hesitate to call our office.
For help, call The Law Offices of Laurence J. Brock at 909-466-7661 or get in touch with us online. We can get your case-specific legal advice and help ensure that you are represented fairly in court during your divorce.