Family law cases have a significant effect on families and cover several types of legal disputes. These cases involve legal issues such as divorce, marital agreements, child custody, property division, and other potentially contentious issues. Even when family law cases are amicable, they may still be very emotionally difficult for everyone involved. Family law also includes other serious matters, such as protective orders and domestic violence cases. The outcomes of these cases can impact a family’s entire life. This is why it’s essential that families considering or entering into a family law case have exceptional legal support by their side.
At Najera Law Group, P.C., we have worked for 19 years to help families in disputes and legal cases. We are dedicated to the community in Corona and the surrounding area. Our firm wants to provide you with the representation you need in mediation, negotiation, or court. Family law cases often have significant emotions involved that can make it hard to focus on their complexities and deadlines. Our attorneys can walk you through the process and protect your wishes and interests. By lessening your stress, you can focus on your family and your future.
Family law covers several legal disputes revolving around divorce, separation, child custody, and other matters. These cases are overseen by the California Superior Court. At Najera Law Group, P.C., we handle several types of family law cases, including:
A divorce is never an easy decision, but it can often be necessary. For couples looking to obtain a divorce, they may file for a contested or an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces may be possible when both spouses can agree or compromise on the major issues in a divorce, such as property division and child custody. This process of divorce is often faster, more private, and less expensive.
However, if couples are unable to agree on divorce terms, they file for a contested divorce. The divorce then goes through litigation. The judge presiding over the case will decide the outcome of a divorce after hearing the wishes and arguments of each party. Whether you are in an uncontested or contested divorce, a Corona family lawyer is important to protect your interests in the divorce outcome, custody, alimony, and property.
Property division most often occurs in a divorce or separation case. California is a community property state, which means that all marital assets are split equally between spouses during separation. Marital property is any property gained by the spouses during the marriage, with some exceptions. To make this split, marital property has to be properly valued, and the correct property must be labeled as marital or separate. An attorney has the resources to provide accurate valuation and determine if property is incorrectly categorized.
Mediation is a useful way to resolve many issues in family law cases, including:
It can be either court-mandated or voluntary, but it is an alternate way to resolve disputes outside of court. Mediation has both parties discuss aspects of the case with a third party as a mediator. A mediation attorney is adept at these proceedings, and they can help keep negotiations on track and reach a favorable conclusion for both parties.
Child custody is often a very emotional determination for parents. In an uncontested separation, parents can work together to determine custody and a parental timeshare plan. The court will approve this plan if it is in the child’s interests. In a contested separation, the court will determine the child’s interests based on several factors and assign custody after the determination. The court looks at the child’s needs, wishes, and standard of living. It also examines the financial ability of each parent and their ability to care for the child’s needs. An attorney can help parents work toward a mutual agreement or create a compelling argument for a parent’s custody rights in court.
The purpose of child support is to provide the same financial support for a child from each parent to maintain the same standard of living in each household. Child support is often necessary if one parent has a significantly higher income. It could also be necessary when one parent has primary custody and therefore must provide for more of a child’s financial needs. Child support is essential to support a child’s needs, but the order needs to be fair to both parents. An attorney can help argue for a reasonable child support agreement that provides for a child’s interests.
Child support disputes can also include contested support obligations, enforcing support payments, or modifying the order. These are all complex legal issues.
Alimony, or spousal support, is money paid from one party to the other after a divorce or separation. These payments may be temporary or long-term, and they are meant to provide each party with the same standard of living that they enjoyed during marriage. Whether the court awards alimony depends on several factors, including the income and financial ability of each party, the financial needs of each party, or whether there was domestic violence.
When couples can’t reach an agreement through mediation, a Request for Order (RFO) must be filed with the court. This is also necessary if an order needs to be modified. An RFO asks a judge in family court to hear both sides of the dispute and make a court order.
Family law orders are important to follow, but the court knows that circumstances change. If a court order involving a family law matter, such as child custody or alimony, no longer fits the needs and abilities of a family, they can request a post-judgment order modification. Significant changes that may allow an order modification include changes in income, increased child expenses, or relocation. A modification may also be allowed if there was a legal error during the first court order that would have changed the court’s decision.
Paternity determinations are necessary when two parents are not married and the other biological parent needs to be proven. This provides this parent with parental rights and responsibilities. This includes the right to make important decisions for their child and the right to child custody. It also includes the right to give or receive child support payments. Paternity actions also include disproving paternity.
Family law court orders are legally binding. If one party fails in their court-ordered responsibilities, an attorney can help enforce the agreement. This may include filing for a Motion of Contempt with the family court.
A protective order, or a restraining order, protects victims of stalking or domestic violence from the people committing those acts. If a protective order is violated, criminal charges can be pressed against the other party. It’s important to understand the abilities and limitations of a protective order if you are requesting one or have been severed one.
Domestic violence accusations are very serious. Victims of domestic violence deserve safety and protection from those who have harmed them. An attorney can provide legal support and compassion. Respondents to domestic violence accusations may be facing baseless accusations, and their rights should also be protected.
The cost of a family lawyer depends on several factors. Family attorneys often charge on an hourly basis. The hourly rate relies on:
For family law cases, it’s important that you feel comfortable with your attorney. Before you begin a working relationship with an attorney, always be sure to ask them about how they charge for cases like yours. Be aware of additional court filing fees, and be sure you can afford a family law attorney for the entirety of your case.
The average hourly rate for California family law attorneys is $363 an hour. The exact amount an attorney charges will vary. A more experienced attorney will have a higher rate, but a more experienced attorney is more likely to resolve a case in fewer hours. This may end up costing less.
An attorney is not required for a family law case, but it can save you stress, time, and even money. Although attorneys cost you, their legal experience can prevent costly mistakes. An attorney can provide guidance and counsel during an overwhelming situation and protect your family’s interests.
A judge determines custody based primarily on the child’s interests. They determine what a child’s interests are based on factors such as:
At Najera Law Group, P.C., we are dedicated to reliable and caring representation during your family law case. Contact our team today to see how we can help.