Whether you’re dealing with marital problems, parental issues, or some other aspect of family law, our family law attorneys can help you arrive at the best solution for you and your loved ones.


Getting divorced from your spouse is complicated, whether the situation is amicable or otherwise. You’ll want our divorce lawyers on your side to ensure that you get the best divorce decree possible.


When you’ve got kids, nothing is more important than securing custody of your children. If you need to secure full or joint custody, our Rancho Cucamonga law firm is here to help.


Raising kids is expensive, so it’s important to make certain the other parent does his or her part in providing for their needs. We’ll get you the best child support order possible.


Family law issues don’t always have to result in a trip to court. When family mediation is an option, our family lawyers are here to represent your interests throughout the process.


Is the other parent of your child attempting to deny your paternal rights? California has specific laws on establishing paternity, and we can help you secure your rights as a parent.


Not every troubled marriage must end in a divorce: Sometimes legal separation is an option—but it must be done right. With the help of our lawyers, you’ll be covered no matter the outcome.


Domestic violence is a leading cause of divorce and marital strife. Our compassionate divorce attorneys will help you protect yourself while exiting this dangerous situation.

About the Law Office of
Laurence J. Brock

The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock aggressively represents clients facing a broad range of complex legal issues arising from divorce, child custody and support, alimony, and other family law problems.

Our Rancho Cucamonga Family Lawyers Can Help

The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock is a family law firm that represents clients throughout California, including in San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, Chino Hills, Upland, and the Inland Empire. We know family law inside and out, and our attorneys can help you get the solution you need to resolve your legal issue.

Family law cases are emotional and stressful. A Rancho Cucamonga family lawyer with our firm can resolve matters involving divorce and family law using a variety of methods, including settlement through negotiation, mediation, litigation, or trial. We are relentless in representing our clients’ interests and strive to be the best family law attorneys in California.

We focus specifically on the area of family law and have extensive experience representing our clients in each phase of this process. When you speak with an experienced Rancho Cucamonga family law attorney from the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock, we can begin developing a legal strategy for your situation right away.

Consult a Family Lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga

Rancho Cucamonga divorce lawyer Laurence J. Brock has practiced family law for over twenty-five years. Our law firm understands the pain, confusion, and fear that you feel. You can depend on our experience, counsel, and integrity to preserve your dignity as we guide you through the emotional journey and intricate legal process of family law in California.

Our family law attorneys are here to support you and provide the best legal counsel available. When you work with the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock, you work with a law firm that is laser-focused on handling your case in the best way possible so that you come out on the right side of the family law issue that brought you to us.

Sign up for a case review with one of our Rancho Cucamonga family lawyers today. Get the answers you’re looking for and the legal strategy you need. Just click on the button to the right and complete the form or give us a call at 909-466-7661 to schedule your appointment today.

Check Out the Video Below to learn more about our services.




I went to Larry during a very sensitive and overwhelming time in my life. Upon having a consultation with Larry, I knew he was the lawyer for me. He has compassion for me and continues to fully listen to what I am saying and the concerns I have. A year later we have been very successful. I have a long road ahead of me, but I know with the team here that I am getting the best representation for my family.


Why Choose the Law Office of
Laurence J. Brock

As experienced family law attorneys sensitive to the individual needs of clients, we do everything possible to put our clients at ease and to keep them informed every step of the way.

Trusted Rancho Cucamonga Family Lawyers and Leaders of the Profession

Having been previously voted president of the East-West Family Law Council, Attorney Brock has led a specialized bar association of family law and divorce lawyers in San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties. Trusted as a leader by other lawyers, Laurence J. Brock is at the top of the field.

Our firm is ready to assist clients in finding the right strategy to resolve their cases effectively and efficiently. Every case is different, but our goal is always the same: The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock provides individualized service to assist each client through the difficult family law legal process and provide a strategy tailored to each case. We know and understand that your case is unlike any other.

We pride ourselves in providing efficient and personal service to our clients in the Inland Empire of California, whether you are in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Riverside, or elsewhere. Contact our office at 909-466-7661 for more information and to schedule a consultation with a Rancho Cucamonga divorce and family law attorney who will protect your rights with dignity.

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce and Family Law Attorneys

Legal matters pertaining to your family are always of paramount importance. Whether you’re in the process of getting a divorce, need to modify a child custody agreement, need help setting up a prenuptial agreement, or need another family law matter handled, you probably want an attorney who will work to get to know you and understand your individual needs.

Some family law cases are unpleasant, complicated, or downright stressful, and you want someone who will make this process easier. You will find a caring, understanding, and experienced Rancho Cucamonga divorce attorney at the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock.

Types of Divorce and Family Law Cases

When you think of a family lawyer, you likely think of a divorce lawyer. It’s true that a family attorney does handle divorce and separation cases, but there are many other family law situations your lawyer can help you with, as well.

Some of the main types of family law situations our law firm can help you resolve are listed below:

  • Divorce, Separation, and Annulment When you’ve made the decision that a divorce or marriage separation is right for you, your divorce attorney will help you with the process. This includes matters such as division of property and assets, fair distribution of debts, spousal support, and issues relating to children.
  • Child Custody, Visitation, Child Support, and Parental Rights Issues pertaining to custody and support of children can be among the most contentious when it comes to family law cases. You need an attorney who can ensure the child’s best interests are looked after, watch out for your rights, and make this process less stressful.
  • Premarital and Postnuptial Agreements There are many reasons that a couple might decide to get a premarital agreement—and it doesn’t mean that you expect the marriage to fail. Protecting your assets and inheritance is a smart move, no matter what the situation is. Our Rancho Cucamonga divorce law firm can arrange premarital agreements that are fair for both parties.
  • Adoption Adopting a child can be a long, emotional, and arduous process. This can be made easier knowing that you have a lawyer on your side ready to fight for you and what’s best for the child.
  • Grandparents’ Rights In California, grandparents do have rights. Asserting those rights can be difficult, however, since you aren’t the parent. Get help with your case by working with an attorney who understands how important the bond between a grandparent and grandchild really is.

Understanding the Difference Between Divorce and Legal Separation

A divorce is the legal end to a marriage or domestic partnership, also called dissolution of marriage or domestic partnership. When a divorce is finalized, the parties can legally remarry or enter into another domestic partnership.

Common issues that arise during the divorce process are child custody, spousal support, and division of property and debts. The court’s main focus during divorce proceedings is ensuring the fair and equitable division of property and debts, as well as ensuring the best interests of any children are being served.

A legal separation, however, is not a divorce. The two parties cannot remarry afterward, as they remain married in the eyes of the law. That being said, the couple can divide other aspects of their lives during a legal separation, such as property, debts, and assets. Child custody, child support, and spousal support can also be decided in a legal separation.

Why would you want a legal separation rather than just getting a divorce?

There are many reasons you may want a legal separation. Perhaps your religious or personal beliefs prevent you from obtaining a divorce. Maybe you don’t want a divorce for financial reasons or healthcare reasons, or perhaps because you simply aren’t yet sure you want to get a divorce but know you want to separate from your spouse for a time.

Keep in mind that divorce is permanent, whereas a legal separation can be reversed. If you still have questions about the differences between divorce and legal separation your Rancho Cucamonga divorce lawyer can review these two legal processes in more depth with you.

What’s a Marriage Annulment?

An annulment is not a divorce; it’s the legal declaration that your marriage was never legally valid to begin with. When you obtain an annulment, it will be as though you were never married at all. There are several situations in which you can receive an annulment. They are listed below:

  • If you or the other party were under the age of eighteen at the time of the marriage or domestic partnership.
  • If you or the other party entered into the marriage because of threat of force, coercion, or fraud, or if one of the parties was not mentally competent.
  • When the marriage is incestuous (when close relatives get married).
  • When the marriage is bigamous (one of you is married to someone else).
  • When one of the parties is already married, but the spouse was missing for over five years or thought to be dead.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements in California

There are many misconceptions about premarital agreements when they are really just simple legal contracts that outline the division of assets, debts, and property in the event of a divorce. These contracts are designed to protect both parties, and you should never feel guilty for planning for your financial future.

Many people don’t like the idea of prenuptial agreements because it seems like you’re planning for the eventual end to the marriage. This kind of thinking is very simple-minded. Planning for the future and potential negative outcomes is both smart and practical.

When you purchase flood insurance for your house, are you hoping that your house will be flooded? When you pay for car insurance, are you hoping that you’ll eventually be in a car accident? Of course not, and no one thinks that. You are simply preparing for the worst.

The truth is that there are many reasons to get a premarital agreement. Protecting the assets you and your family have worked hard for should not be a bad thing. Here are a few examples of times when a pre- or postnuptial agreement might be right for you:

  • To protect children’s and grandchildren’s inheritance
  • Business owners may want to protect their businesses in the event of a divorce, to make sure that the business won’t be divided
  • If one of the spouses has a great deal of debt the other may not want to be responsible for that debt
  • In some cases, you can add other items to a premarital agreement not of a financial nature, such as how the household duties are to be shared
  • Premarital agreements can be used to protect very wealthy individuals or those who’ve had multiple marriages
  • If one spouse decides to sacrifice a career for the family, that spouse can use a postnuptial agreement to secure his or her financial security for the future

Spousal Support

When a couple is divorcing or separating, one of the most controversial issues is that of spousal support, also known as alimony. One spouse may believe that he or she shouldn’t have to pay, and the other believes that he or she isn’t getting what is fair. When you closely examine the issue of spousal support, you’ll realize that it’s not meant to punish or award either party.

Spousal support was designed to ensure that as both parties are going their separate ways, one party doesn’t have an unfair advantage over the other. When married, spouses are seen as one unit: Their property, debts, and assets belong to both parties equally. The same goes for income.

If one party was working and the other stayed at home, it would be incredibly unfair to punish the spouse that stayed home. What if that party sacrificed a career to take care of the children? What if one party sacrificed education and other interests to further the career of a spouse? The court will try to make the financial outcome of this situation as fair as possible.

They will, however, examine many different factors when deciding spousal support:

  • The earning potential of both spouses
  • The health and age of each
  • How property is being divided
  • If one party will need to stay home to care for children
  • Income, assets, and debts
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • How long one party was out of the workforce
  • If one party is disabled or otherwise unable to work
  • The lifestyle that the former couple was accustomed to during the marriage

Here are a few example situations that would require payment of alimony:

  • One of the parties stayed home to be a homemaker or care for children.
  • One spouse sacrificed career and other goals in order to further the career of the other spouse.
  • One spouse is physically unable to work or otherwise unable to provide for him or herself.
  • One party makes considerably less income than the other spouse.
  • It’s not in the best interest of the children for one of the spouses to work.

Child Visitation, Child Custody, and Child Support Issues

Arguably the most difficult aspect of divorce and unmarried parenthood, custody over the children is almost always a heated family matter. You surely want what’s best for your kids, and you may not think that the custody or parenting plan the other parent wants is right, fair, or in the best interests of the children.

What is child custody?

  • Physical custody refers to the time when a child is under your physical control and care.
  • Legal custody pertains to a parent’s right to make decisions regarding the child.
  • Sole custody is when a parent has total legal and physical custody over a child, meaning that the parent can make all decisions regarding the child’s welfare, education, and overall care, and the child resides full-time with that parent.
  • Joint or shared custody is when both parents have equal legal custody over the child, but they have shared physical custody, often divided on different days of the week.
  • Child visitation is when one parent has legal custody over the child and the other parent is allowed visits.

Child custody depends entirely on what is best for the kids, and the court will always put the children’s needs first. They will examine many different factors when deciding child custody, making it important to retain a divorce attorney to ensure each factor is presented properly. The court will consider the following:

  • Issues pertaining to substance abuse
  • Mental stability
  • Physical limitations
  • Domestic violence issues
  • Child abuse issues
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child
  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the child
  • Which parent provides the nurturing, care, and support
  • Any negative issues that would affect the child’s overall wellbeing

In most situations, the court will award a form of joint custody—unless they have a reason not to. There must be proof that it would not be in the interests of the child to spend time with one of the parents because of questionable behaviors.

Child support is the financial support provided for a child, usually given to the parent who has primary custody over the child. In this situation, one parent has more physical custody than the other parent. The parent with “visitations rights” may be ordered to provide financial support.

Grandparents’ Rights

Grandparents do have some rights in California regarding visitation with their grandchildren, especially if there was a preexisting relationship and bond before visitation ceased. If you’ve been abruptly shut out of your grandchildren’s lives, you may be able to petition the court for visitation.

There are some stipulations, however, which you should be aware of before attempting to petition the court. For instance, if the parents are married, living together, and denying the grandparents visitation, you will not be able to petition the court.

Your situation must meet at least one of the following for the court to consider your petition.

  • If the parents are married but presently living separately
  • One of the parent’s whereabouts is not known and he or she has been missing for at least one month
  • If a stepparent has adopted the child
  • One of the parents wants the grandparent to have visitation with the child
  • When the child doesn’t live with either parent
  • If one of the parents is incarcerated
  • If one or both of the parents has substance abuse issues
  • If one or both of the parents has mental health concerns
  • When there is a history of domestic violence in the home

Keep in mind that petitioning the court for visitation rights can be a long process, and you will need to prove that you have a right to visitation with your grandchild.

Establishing Paternity in California

Why would someone need to establish paternity? There are many reasons, but the main reasons are as follows, any of which could call for a lawyer:

  • A father may want to establish paternity if he’s not married to the mother and she’s denying his parenting rights.
  • A man may believe that he is not a child’s father but the mother is trying to get him to pay for child support or forcing him into other parental obligations.
  • A mother may want to establish parentage because the father is denying his parenting responsibilities and she’s in need of financial or other support.

The state of California automatically recognizes the children of a married couple as belonging to both the wife and the husband, but there are situations in which a husband may not be the father of his wife’s children.

Additionally, many children are born to unwed parents, and the father won’t have rights unless a “Declaration of Paternity” was signed at the hospital (or later). A father would need to establish paternity in order to have legal rights over his child. The mother automatically has rights over her child.

If a father is hesitant about establishing paternity for whatever reason, the court can order him to undergo a DNA test to determine whether he is the father. Questions of paternity can get complicated, but your attorney will help this process move as smoothly as possible.


There are many reasons that a person may decide to adopt a child.

One of the most common reasons involves a stepparent’s desire to make a permanent and lasting relationship with his or her stepchildren. In this situation, the couple must be legally married or registered as domestic partners. This is a simpler adoption procedure because one of the child’s birth parents is still an active parent.

The other types of adoption are independent, agency, and international.

An independent adoption is when there is no involved adoption agency and the child’s parents agree to have their parenting rights terminated and agree to the child’s adoption. This type of adoption is common when other relatives wish to adopt a child because the birth parents are unable or unwilling to take care of a child.

Agency adoption is when an outside agency or the California Department of Social Services is a part of the adoption process.

Finally, an international adoption is when the child is adopted after being born in another country.

No matter what type of adoption you’re in need of, our Rancho Cucamonga law firm can help. Adoptions are often fraught with emotion and stress, but it can be made easier when you have legal assistance.

Mediation vs. Litigation in Divorce Law

When facing a divorce or other difficult family matter, there are a few main ways of getting your situation resolved.

  1. You work things out entirely on your own and file paperwork with the court when you come to agreement. This is obviously rare, but it does happen.
  2. You and your spouse can try mediation in order to resolve any issues between you.
  3. You can take your family law or divorce matter before the court, where it will be decided by a family law judge.

Why would you choose mediation? Many people at least like to try mediation rather than going straight to litigation. There are several reasons you may want to do this. It’s much cheaper than divorce court, you have more of a say in the end result, and finally, what happens during mediation is not public record, whereas divorce proceedings are.

During mediation, you and your ex attempt to work out any unresolved issues by hiring a mediator, an impartial third party trained to help you resolve family matters. The mediator will try to guide you and your spouse toward compromise and a fair solution both parties can live with.

Even if you do choose mediation, it’s important that you still have a lawyer on your side. The mediator is a neutral third party and will not take sides. Your Rancho Cucamonga divorce lawyer does take sides—your side. This means that someone will always be looking out for your best interests and making sure that your rights aren’t trampled.

Mediation is definitely not for everyone. For some, such as those couples with a history of domestic violence or other forms of abuse, you probably don’t want to attempt mediation. Litigation would be the only real option.

While litigation is more expensive, many couples opt to go straight to court where the judge will make decisions regarding their case. Some people prefer this method, as they trust the judge to come up with the best solution for both parties. Your Rancho Cucamonga divorce attorney at our firm will help with either method you choose.

Reach Out to a Rancho Cucamonga Divorce Lawyer

Regardless of what kind of family case you need help with, a top attorney can be a great resource for resolving your case as quickly and easily as possible. Family matters are always going to be emotional and difficult, but they can be made less so when you have experience, knowledge, and support from an attorney.

If you’re ready to discuss your divorce case during a consultation, contact the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock. Fill out the form at the bottom of this page, or dial 909-466-7661.

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce FAQ

When legal family issues arise, they can be overwhelming and emotional to deal with. You may not know how to resolve your family legal matter, and it’s understandable that you would need some help. The Rancho Cucamonga divorce attorneys of the Office of Laurence J. Brock are here to assist you with resolving your matter in the best and easiest way possible.

Naturally, you will have loads of questions for your attorney that are specific to your unique circumstances. The good news is that you can reach an experienced attorney who would be pleased to answer all of your questions at the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock.

In the meantime, feel free to review some more general information in our Q&As down below.

What is family law in California?

Family law refers to the branch of law that handles legal family matters, such as divorce; legal separation; child custody; grandparents’ rights; and other parenting, family, or relationship issues of a legal nature.

Because this area of the law deals directly with very personal relationship issues, this is considered one of the most emotional legal practice areas. Family and divorce lawyers are meant to help you navigate these difficult and emotional issues, with the goal of making the process easier for you and ensuring that your rights aren’t overlooked.

How do I get a restraining order?

If you are being harassed or abused, you may decide that you want to obtain a restraining order against the person who is harassing or abusing you. There are two main types of restraining orders in California: civil restraining orders and domestic restraining orders.

A civil restraining order can be filed against abusers who are not related to you. Domestic restraining orders are filed against people who are either related to you or in a close personal relationship with you.

To file a restraining order, you will first need to file a form with the court. The judge will then issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) so that you can be safe until a restraining order is put in place. You will then need to serve papers on the party who has been abusing or harassing you.

That party will then have a chance to attend a hearing so that the judge can hear his or her side of the story. At that point, the judge will rule on whether to issue a restraining order. If issued, a restraining order can last for up to five years. You don’t have to file a restraining order on your own. Your Rancho Cucamonga divorce lawyer can help you with this process.

What’s the difference between divorce and legal separation in California?

A divorce is the legal ending of a marriage. In the eyes of the law, your marriage will be over, your property, assets, and debt will be separated, and if there are children involved, custody arrangements will be reached. A divorce is final and can’t be undone (although you could choose to remarry).

A legal separation is when a married couple decides to live apart for a time, or forever, but they still remained married by law. The couple can still have their property, debts, and assets divided, and they can have child custody arrangements made, as well. However, a legal separation can be undone.

Why would someone want a legal separation rather than a divorce?

There are many reasons that a married couple would choose a legal separation over a divorce:

  • They don’t want to be hasty in the decision to end their marriage, but they do want to live separately for a while.
  • The couple doesn’t have any plans on remarrying, and they want to keep their financial status intact.
  • One spouse may be dependent upon the other for financial or healthcare reasons, and ending the marriage could alter the person’s legal rights. For instance, some healthcare providers will only allow family members on a policy.
  • The couple’s religious or personal beliefs do not allow for divorce, but they no longer wish to be together.
  • Some government programs are only available to married couples, and getting a divorce could affect eligibility.

What’s a marriage annulment?

An annulment is when the court declares a marriage invalid. This is not the same thing as a divorce or legal separation, which is the ending of the marriage. An annulment makes it as though the marriage never happened at all—because it was never legal to begin with. Some people can request an annulment if their marriage meets the requirements, and our Rancho Cucamonga divorce attorneys can help you make this determination:

  • If the marriage was incestuous.
  • If the marriage was bigamous.
  • If one of the parties was under the age of eighteen years old at the time of the marriage.
  • If one of the parties was already married (but the spouse had been thought to be dead or had been missing for a lengthy period of time).
  • If the marriage was coerced, forced, or otherwise fraudulent.

What is spousal support?

Spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony, is when one spouse is required to pay the other financial support after the marriage has been terminated. Spousal support is intended to allow both parties to go their separate ways while ensuring that they leave the marriage with a fair start at a new life.

Spousal support can be a contentious matter during a divorce or separation, with one spouse often feeling like he or she is not receiving enough and the other spouse feeling taken advantage of financially. The court does everything possible to order what is fair in terms of spousal support payments.

What factors does the court consider when deciding spousal support?

The court considers many different factors when determining what fair spousal support will be in your case, as well as how long spousal support must be paid. The court will consider the following points:

  • How long the marriage lasted
  • The earning potential of each party
  • Whether one party has an unfair advantage over the other
  • Whether one party sacrificed career or education to further the other spouse’s career or education
  • Whether one party stayed home to be a homemaker or stay-at-home parent
  • The physical health and age of each party
  • The mental health of each party
  • Whether it’s realistic for both parties to work
  • Any children and their affect on the parties’ ability to work
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Financial assets and debts

Should I get a prenuptial agreement?

Only you can decide if a prenuptial agreement is right for you, but it can be helpful to settle some financial matters before the wedding. A prenup, or premarital agreement, is a legal contract between a couple as to how financial assets and debts are to be divided in the event of a divorce.

This may seem unromantic, but there are many situations in which a premarital agreement would be a good idea. For instance, if there is a great disparity of wealth between the marrying parties, it may be a good idea to protect the assets of the wealthier party.

In another example, if one party has children or grandchildren, that person may want a premarital agreement to protect the inheritance set up for them. Not all financial assets need to be protected in a premarital agreement.

If you have a business and you don’t want the business to be fair game during a divorce, you can have your premarital agreement address only your business assets but leave all other assets as marital assets.

What’s a postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is the same thing as a premarital agreement: a financial contract—only one that’s done during a marriage rather than before. There are many occasions during a marriage in which someone might want to get a postnuptial agreement.

For instance, if you decide to sacrifice a career so that you can stay home with the children, you may ask for a postnuptial agreement to protect you financially if your spouse ever decided to divorce you.

How can I prepare for divorce court?

The best way to prepare for a divorce hearing is to make sure that you have all the important documents you need. You will need all this information because the judge must have it to figure out your income, assets, debts, and other important financial matters.

The judge is trying to fairly divide yours and your ex’s lives and will need all the information to do so. If you have children, you need to bring all documents related to your children’s care and wellbeing. You will want to have proof of residence, school enrollment, medical information, and any other information that pertains to your child.

If you are trying to prove that the other parent is unfit to have custody of your child, you will need to bring evidence of that, such as a criminal record showing a history of violence or demonstrating substance abuse issues. If your ex is mentally unsound, you will need to show psychological records.

These are just a few examples, as each case is unique, but documentation and evidence are the order of the day in divorce court. The other ways to prepare for divorce court are to dress appropriately, be respectful, and teach yourself to control your emotions. Your Rancho Cucamonga divorce lawyer will help you prepare.

What’s the difference between sole, legal, physical, and joint custody?

Sole custody is when one parent has complete physical and legal custody over a child. Legal custody is the right to make decisions regarding a child’s life and welfare. Legal custody can be awarded to one or both parents.

Physical custody refers to the actual time a child is granted with a parent. Physical custody can be awarded to one or both parents. Joint custody can refer to legal and physical custody. Joint custody is usually used to refer to custody that is shared equally between both parents.

If one parent has primary custody over a child, meaning more physical time with the child, then the other parent’s time spent with the child is often called visitation.

What is child visitation?

When one parent has custody of a child but the other parent is allowed to “visit” with the child, that visiting time is referred to as child visitation. Visitation rights can change and child custody orders can be modified. In some cases, one parent may only have visitation rights but can be awarded more custody at a later time.

What factors does the court consider when deciding on child support?

Child support is the financial payments one parent must pay to the parent who has primary custody of the child. There are several different factors the court considers when deciding what the child support payments should be. Here are the main factors:

  • The income of both parents
  • How many children need support
  • The physical and emotional needs of the children
  • The lifestyle the children had before a divorce
  • Financial assets and debts

What is family law mediation?

Family law mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process for settling legal family matters. The parties will hire a mediator who they both agree on, and the mediator will help them come to agreements on family matters they haven’t been able to settle. The mediator is considered a neutral party and is not supposed to take sides.

The family mediator is trained to help both parties see different ways to resolve their disputes. Sometimes a third party can be a great asset and see things in a different light, especially as that party isn’t so emotionally invested in the situation. Additionally, a third party can keep the conversation moving in a positive direction, rather than spiraling into a blaming game or yelling match.

Mediation can be a wonderful way to resolve disputes because it gives you and the other party a say in decisions involving your family matters. Also, it’s far cheaper than taking your family matter to court. Finally, mediation is private. What happens during mediation is not public record, whereas what happens in court is.

Mediation is a great option for resolving family disputes; however, it’s not going to be the best process for every situation. Your Rancho Cucamonga lawyer can help you decide if family mediation is right for you.

How can I get guardianship over a child?

Applying for guardianship of a child is a long and difficult process. The court wants to ensure that any appointed guardian will be the best person to care for the child. A guardian is any person who has legal custody over a child and is not the child’s parents.

Even if you’re a relative, you would still be considered the child’s guardian if you obtain custody.

There are many reasons that a person might want to become a guardian:

  • The parents are unfit or unable to care for their child
  • The parents are missing
  • The parents are incarcerated
  • The parents have died
  • The parents are disabled
  • The parents have abandoned the child
  • Any combination of the above (e.g., one parent is missing and the other is dead)

The court examines many factors to determine if you are the best fit to raise the child. Here are some of those factors:

  • Your financial ability to care for the child
  • Are there other people who want to be a guardian in addition to yourself
  • Any criminal behavior, mental health issues, substance abuse issues, or violence issues
  • Your physical and emotional ability to take care of a child
  • Your relationship with the child
  • The child’s preference, in some cases

Do grandparents have visitation rights in California?

Grandparents do have rights in California but only under certain circumstances. First, if a couple is married and living together, they have the right to deny the grandparents visitation rights. They have the right to make decisions regarding their child and can choose not to allow visitation.

If that is the case in your situation, then the court will not allow you to file for visitation. There are circumstances where grandparents can file for visitation rights, however. Here are those situations.

  • If the grandparent already had a preexisting relationship with the child and the parents are not married or not living together.
  • If one of the parents wishes for visitation to continue between the child and grandparent.
  • When at least one of the parents is incarcerated.
  • If one (or both) of the parents has substance abuse issues.
  • When one (or both) of the parents has mental health issues.
  • If one of the parents is missing and his or her whereabouts have been unknown for at least one month.
  • If one (or both) of the parents are unable or unwilling to care for the child.

How long does a California divorce take to be finalized?

In California, the divorce process will depend on your case and how quickly you and your ex can come to agreements on family matters related to divorce, such as division of property, division of assets and debts, child custody, spousal support, and child support.

The faster you and your ex can agree on these matters, the faster your divorce case will be resolved. The shortest amount of time a divorce case can take is six months from the date the petition for divorce is filed, even for an uncontested divorce. Your divorce could take much longer, however, especially if your case goes to trial.

Can I be forced to take a paternity test?

Yes, you can. If the court orders you to submit to a paternity test, then you must follow the court order, although you might be able to dispute it with help from a Rancho Cucamonga attorney. If you fail to do so, you can go to jail for violating that order. If a woman has named you as the father but you are not on the birth certificate and you’ve never signed a “Declaration of Parentage,” then you can be made to take a paternity test.

The court believes that the father of a child is obligated to provide financial support. If the paternity test proves that you are the father, then you could be ordered to provide child support. In addition, if you are found to be the father, then you also have rights to the child, such as visitation rights, and you could even be granted partial legal and physical custody.

What are a mother’s rights?

All mothers have rights to their children. They have the right to custody and visitation, and they have the obligation to provide care and support. If the mother is married, then she has equal rights to the child as the father. Custody can be shared between the two parents, or the mother could be granted sole custody if the father is unfit.

What are the rights of an unwed mother?

Unwed mothers have slightly different rights. The unwed mother is granted sole physical and legal custody of her child when the child is born. If she doesn’t name the father, then she can’t be challenged for rights to her child.

If a paternity test is done and the child’s father is proven, then the father can assert his rights. If no paternity test is performed, then the mother doesn’t have the right to request child support payments.

What is a 730 evaluation?

When parents are in dispute over custody arrangements, a 730 evaluation can be ordered by the judge. A 730 evaluation is simply an evaluation conducted by an appointed evaluator, someone who will examine both parents’ histories to see what the best custody solution would be for the children involved.

The evaluator could be a psychiatrist, therapist, social worker, or psychologist. This person will then examine several factors to determine the best custody arrangement:

  • Mental health problems
  • Substance abuse issues
  • Domestic violence issues
  • Questionable parenting practices
  • Issues related to child abuse
  • The relationship between the parents and the child
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child

Can a parent request that a 730 evaluation be conducted?

A parent can also request that a 730 evaluation be ordered if the parent believes that the other parent is not fit to take care of the children. Basically, when you ask for a 730 evaluation, you are requesting that the court take a deeper look into both parents’ backgrounds to ensure that the child’s best interests are being met.

If you would like a 730 evaluation ordered, your attorney can request one on your behalf.


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