Rancho Santa Fe Family Lawyer

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The branch of civil law that addresses family and domestic relationships is known as family law. For many people who find themselves confronted with a family law issue, it can be a sensitive situation. Family is the most important aspect of so many people’s lives, and it can be difficult when you realize the way that the state will need to impose the law onto the situation. It’s imperative that you have the right Rancho Santa Fe family lawyer to help you process the situation and advocate for your interests.

The Law Firm is dedicated to providing family law clients with strong legal help and sensitivity regarding these issues. Our team understands the nuances of family law and brings our knowledge and experience to every client’s situation.

Choosing a Rancho Santa Fe Family Lawyer

Family law involves many issues that are important aspects of people’s lives. Given the significance of what’s at stake in these situations, you want to be sure that you are working with a lawyer who you feel represents you properly and is dedicated to pursuing your interests. You don’t want to be left second-guessing and wondering if there’s more that could have been done. That’s why it’s critical that you choose the right lawyer for you.

Knowledge and Experience

As with all legal issues, you want to feel confident that your lawyer has a firm grasp of the law. In particular, experience can be critical for a family lawyer. Every family law situation is unique and involves much more than any study of the law could prepare you for. However, a lawyer who has experience can use what they’ve learned from being faced with similar circumstances to benefit you and your situation.

Good Communication

You also need to find a lawyer with a strong emphasis on good communication. Because of the emotions and tensions involved in family law concerns, good communication can be critical to making you feel at least aware of what’s going on, allowing you to be more comfortable with the situation and ease some of your stress. Good listening is also a part of good communication skills, as you want to be sure that your lawyer has heard and firmly understands what your objectives are throughout the process.

Trust

Lastly, you need a lawyer you trust. These are important aspects of your life, and you are going to be allowing your lawyer to represent you in your efforts to secure as many of them as possible. More than anything else, you need to be as comfortable with that situation as you can be and trust your lawyer to act faithfully on your behalf.

Family Law Issues

Family law largely pertains to the way that families are structured and the dynamics involved in that. In some cases, this includes issues like prenuptial agreements and adoption, which involve establishing or expanding a family. However, the majority of family law is centered around separating or divided families and how their important issues will be managed moving forward. That’s why the primary family law concern is often divorce, with many other family law issues being included in that process.

Divorce

California is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that someone can seek a divorce by citing “irreconcilable differences,” and it’s not necessary to prove harm or wrongdoing by the other spouse. As long as one of the spouses meets the residency requirements, which are six months within the state and three months within the county where the divorce is being filed, then either spouse is free to petition for a divorce.

In many cases, a divorcing couple will try to avoid going through full litigation. That option can be expensive and take a long time to resolve. It also carries the risk of being left with an undesirable outcome, as a judge will make a decision based on what’s presented before the court.

Instead, couples will attempt to negotiate a separation agreement, which gives them the opportunity to have more influence over the situation. A judge will then sign off on the agreement as long as it meets the requirements of the law.

In either case, a divorce attorney can be vital to ensuring that your interests are given a strong chance. If you decide to pursue divorce mediation, a lawyer can help keep negotiations moving and prevent the emotional challenges that are sure to occur from stalling the process. If the case should go to litigation, they can make a strong case before the judge on your behalf.

Child Custody

The primary standard for child custody decisions in California is the interests of the child. A judge will take in the totality of the situation and determine an arrangement that they believe to be optimal for the child. Even in situations where parents offer their own plan, such as in the case of a separation agreement in a divorce, a judge will still check to ensure that the child’s welfare is being served by the agreement.

Custody orders will rule on both physical custody, which involves how the child will divide their time between parents and where they will live, and legal custody, which decides who has the decision-making on important parenting concerns, such as education, healthcare, and religion.

The court may grant sole custody to one parent or joint custody between the two parents. However, it’s possible that while sole physical custody may be awarded, joint legal custody may still be given. The orders will also usually include some kind of visitation rights for the parent who is not given custody, unless the court has a compelling reason not to do so.

Grandparents Rights

There are times when, due to custody determinations, death, or imprisonment, one parent may no longer have time with a child, but that doesn’t mean that the grandparents on that side may not still want the opportunity to be with their grandchildren. The law allows grandparents in these situations the chance to petition for some kind of time and visitation with their grandchildren. A family lawyer can help these grandparents with the petition process and advocate for them before a judge.

Child Support

Child support is an especially challenging issue in family law. Often, because the parent who spends more time with the children will need more resources to provide for them, the parent with less time ends up paying support to the parent with more time.

This can create resentment and frustration because that parent feels like they are having to pay to spend less time with their child. It’s important, in these situations, to have a good family lawyer who can help their clients work through such a complicated issue.

Spousal Support

Spousal support can serve different purposes in different situations. In some cases, it is only a temporary situation. This is meant to serve as assistance until the spouse receiving it is able to increase their earning capacity to the point where they can sustain themselves. In other cases, though, usually in longer marriages or those where age or health may be a factor, the spousal support may continue for the rest of a person’s life, and there is no expectation of becoming self-sufficient.

Property Division

A family lawyer can be crucial to helping with the property division that happens during a divorce. It’s a complex process that involves first dividing the property into community property and separate property. This is a point that could turn contentious if a spouse believes that something should be considered community property that the other spouse believes is their separate property.

The community property must then be divided in an “equitable” manner. However, this does not mean an equal manner, so it is not a requirement that the division be an even 50-50 split. This could also lead to disagreements regarding what should be considered a fair and equitable division.

Modifications

There are times when someone may seek to have a court order modified. In particular, this often involves child custody, child support, or spousal support. However, these modifications will only happen in the case of a substantial change in circumstances, often involving one of the spouses’ incomes or something involving the child. Those who are seeking modifications to court orders, or hoping to defend against changes, can often benefit from allowing a family lawyer to make their strongest case before the court.

Get Compassionate Family Law Help

Family law issues are often incredibly complex. In part, that’s the case because the law itself can sometimes be difficult to understand. These laws are often guidelines, and there can be some difficulty in understanding how they should apply to a given situation. However, the emotions involved can also add to the complexity. These issues are some of the most important aspects of a person’s life, and having the law mandate how they will be handled can be challenging.

You need a Rancho Santa Fe family attorney who understands the process from both ends. You want a lawyer who can address the legal complexity of the situation while also understanding the emotions that are wrapped up in the issue.

At The Law Firm, we have experience in handling these challenges. Our clients can feel confident in knowing that they can get the legal prowess needed to advocate for their interests, paired with the sensitivity that the issues require. Contact us today if you have a family law concern.

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