When you find yourself involved in a family law dispute, not only do you have to deal with the emotional toll, but you also have to navigate a complex set of laws. This is why you need a compassionate Woodland, California, family lawyer to advocate for you and take the time to understand your specific needs. At Pakpour Banks LLP, we believe you can achieve both a positive outcome and healing during a family law matter. Whether it be divorce, child custody, or court order modification, we fight for our client’s rights so they can move on and recover.
Our Woodland Family Law Attorneys Provide Individualized Service
At Pakpour Banks LLP, we understand that no two family law matters are identical. At our firm, you’ll find attorneys who take pride in providing compassionate, individualized services. We take care to understand our client’s concerns so we can tailor our legal strategy to meet their needs.
Our attorneys have experience with many Woodland family law issues. Our practice areas include:
- Parentage issues,
- Child custody and visitation,
- Grandparent visitation,
- Domestic violence issues,
- Domestic partnership dissolution,
- Collaborative divorce,
- Property division,
- Spousal support,
- Child support, and
- Modifications of family law court orders.
We will provide you with a competent and compassionate Woodland, California, family lawyer to assist you in making the best decisions about your and your family’s future.
Divorce in California
Deciding to end a marriage is difficult, although it may be the right decision for you and your family. Along with the emotional and mental stress, California divorces can be complicated. You must follow the laws closely to make sure that you get a positive outcome. We recommend any spouse considering divorce consult with a Woodland, California, family lawyer to help them understand these complex issues.
Grounds for Divorce
Under the law, you must have a legal reason or “grounds” for divorce. Quite often, California residents seeking divorce use the legal grounds of “irreconcilable differences.” This is essentially a no-fault divorce. When you file a divorce based on irreconcilable differences, you aren’t blaming either of the spouses for the end of the marriage. Instead, you claim that there is a breakdown in the marriage that the spouses cannot reconcile.
Another ground for divorce in California is mental incapacity. You must prove that your spouse is permanently mentally incapacitated when alleging this legal basis for a divorce. In this case, a court may appoint a relative or guardian to assist your spouse in the divorce proceedings.
Contested or Uncontested Divorce
One of the most common questions is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree on all of the significant issues in the divorce, such as the division of marital property, child custody, and different types of support. In a contested divorce, the parties disagree on one or more key issues.
When the couple cannot agree, the court may refer the spouses to mediation to help settle the divorce. In mediation, a neutral third party, called a mediator, tries to help the parties reach a compromise to settle the divorce without the stress and expense of taking the case to court. Both parties can be represented by counsel in a mediation. If a case still doesn’t settle, it may need to go to trial. At trial, a judge will decide the significant issues of the divorce.
Sometimes spouses want to get the divorce over quickly, or they might be afraid of taking the case to trial. Therefore, they might agree to terms that are not necessarily in their best interests. Other times, spouses agree to terms they don’t fully understand. We recommend consulting with a Woodland family attorney even if you think your divorce will be simple. That is the only way to know if you fully understand the implications of what you are agreeing to—and the best way to fully protect your legal rights.
The division of marital property is one of the most conflict-prone divorce issues. Nearly all property that either spouse gained during the marriage is considered community property in California. Certain types of property that a spouse acquires during the marriage are considered separate property—such as individual inheritances or property held individually before the marriage.
During a divorce, a court determines which property is community property and which is separate property. This includes marital debt. Then, the court splits all community property and debt equally between the spouses. Regardless of the extent or nature of your marital property, you should consult with a Woodland, California, family lawyer during any divorce proceeding to ensure you receive what you’re entitled to under the law.
A divorce may involve child custody and child support issues, or a parent may bring these issues to court separately. Regardless of whether the parents were married or how the cases are brought, the court examines child custody issues through the same standard: the child’s best interests. The court weighs several factors when deciding the best interest of the child, including:
- The child’s health, welfare, and safety;
- Whether either parent has a history of violence or abuse;
- Either parent’s history with substance abuse;
- The child’s existing contact and relationship with each parent;
- The child’s wishes, particularly if they’re 14 or older; and
- Other factors the court deems relevant.
Parents can agree to joint or shared custody. Or one parent may become the custodial parent, and the other may have visitation rights. Other interested parties, like grandparents, may also gain visitation rights.
Parents have both rights and obligations when it comes to their children. One obligation is the duty to support your children. Child support calculations depend on which parent has primary custody of the child and each parent’s income. You can estimate potential child support payments with California’s Child Support Services calculator.
Contact Our Compassionate and Skilled Woodland Family Practice
Legal issues affecting the family are some of the most critical legal issues you’ll have to face. That’s why you need a Woodland, California, family lawyer with compassion and skill to help you navigate the legal system and protect your interests. At Pakpour Banks LLP, we pride ourselves on keeping our clients’ individual needs and goals central to our legal strategy. Plus, we don’t just litigate a case for the sake of litigation. Instead, we try to help you find the most appropriate strategy for you and your family, whether through negotiation, mediation, or litigation. Contact us today. Se habla Español.