Family Law Attorneys in Los Angeles, California
Families are dynamic. They grow, change, and shift as we move through life. What our family looks like one year won’t necessarily be the way it looks five years down the line. Sometimes these changes are joyous, such as welcoming a new child into your home. Others might be more painful, like divorce.
No matter what your family is going through, you’ll likely need the help of a family law attorney at some point in your life. When that time comes, the attorneys at Gomez Law, APC are here for you. They’re committed to listening with a compassionate ear and providing you with the best legal counsel possible.
From their office in Los Angeles, California, the team at Gomez Law, APC is proud to serve everyone throughout the county, including Pasadena, Glendale, and West Covina. Call today to set up a consultation.
Divorce in California
As most people know, nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. As common as it is, many couples who go through a divorce need legal help. Each spouse may want to retain a lawyer to negotiate on their behalf. Whatever your situation, Gomez Law, APC can help you navigate this complicated time and help you understand the basics of divorce in California.
One major point to understand is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce. If your spouse serves you divorce papers and you agree to the terms they’ve laid out, this is called an uncontested divorce. This can also happen if you both have already decided on the details of your divorce and only need to draw up the paperwork.
In a contested divorce, one spouse disagrees with the other over one or more details of the divorce and you then must negotiate an agreement. With a contested divorce, it’s much more likely that you’ll need a family law attorney to assist you.
Many people are also concerned about their finances during a divorce, specifically regarding alimony and the division of assets. Alimony (called spousal support in California) is never automatically awarded, but may be awarded if it’s determined one spouse needs extra financial assistance following a divorce. This is often the case if one spouse was the breadwinner of the family while the other spouse stayed home to raise a family.
You’ll also need to address asset division, and California follows a community property model (as opposed to equitable distribution). This states that any assets acquired during the marriage must be split 50/50, and any deviation from this must be approved by both spouses or a judge.
Children and Divorce
When divorcing with children, you’ll need to come to an agreement on child custody and child support. Like most aspects of divorce, if a couple jointly agrees on terms for custody and support, a judge will typically approve it if it serves the best interests of the child. However, if there’s disagreement, then a judge will determine a plan.
Custody is never automatically awarded to one parent over the other, and it’s always assumed that it’s in the best interests of the child to see both parents regularly (except in cases of abuse or neglect). Custody could be awarded to one parent or jointly between both parents. In the former case, the non-custodial parent will have visitation rights that must be followed.
You may also have to agree on child support payments from one parent to the other. These payments are usually made until the child turns 18 and are intended to supplement the income of one parent so they can meet the needs of their child. Child support can be modified if you can show a significant change of circumstances such as remarriage, gaining or losing a job, or having another child.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Many couples choose to write up a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Contrary to popular belief, having a marital agreement like this doesn't mean that you don’t trust your spouse or don’t love them enough. There are a number of legitimate reasons you may want one.
For example, one spouse may have children from a previous marriage and wants to preserve their inheritance, or perhaps they have shares in a family business and need to ensure their stake doesn’t automatically get transferred to their spouse if they get divorced.
You may need a family law attorney to assist with the adoption process. While this is a time filled with joy, it can also be a time filled with many legal hurdles. An experienced attorney can assist you to ensure you and your new child are united as soon as possible. This could include terminating the parental rights of the biological parents, assisting with court proceedings, or filing adoption petitions.
Family Law Attorneys Serving Los Angeles, California
Gomez Law, APC is committed to providing a full service of resources and representation for any family law concern you have. If you’re looking for an experienced attorney in Los Angeles, California, call today to set up an appointment.