California Attorney Site Map
California Attorney Site Map (or sitemap) is a list of websites that users may find helpful should they be contemplating filing for divorce, child custody, spousal support, child support, division of community property, or domestic violence. Included in California Attorney Site Map are articles and forms pertaining to family law matters.
California Attorney Site Map Areas of Practice
The Law Offices of Edward Misleh, APC is a Sacramento Family Law Attorney law firm that practices family law. We have been representing clients who live or work in Sacramento, California, Northern California, and throughout the United States in the following areas of law.
You start your Divorce by filing a petition stating certain facts about your marriage. The Divorce petition will contain the following information: your date of marriage, date of separation, the number of years married, the number of children you have, and the age and birth date of each child.
Your Divorce petition includes five parts which are can be addressing: child custody, child support, spousal support (alimony), community property, separate property, and attorney’s fees.
The Divorce Process begins when you file the petition of dissolution and summons at the courthouse. You must serve these papers on your spouse so that they have notice of the action.
Divorce Residency Requirements
Residency Requirements for divorce in the State of California requires that at least one spouse have resided in the state for at least six months prior to the date of filing, and that the filing spouse have resided in the county where they are filing for at least three months prior to the date of filing. In short, you must have been a resident of the county in which you are filing for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing and a California resident for at least 6 months prior to the date of filing. You can file for a legal separate and convert your case to a divorce proceeding if you do not meet residency requirements.
In California, Child Custody is defined as the legal relationship that parents have with their child. This legal relationship can be established by a court during a divorce proceeding or agreed to by the parents.
Legal custody is your right to make decisions regarding your child’s care and development. Parents can reach an agreement regarding custody without court intervention. Once you have an agreement, you can have it entered as a court order. Otherwise, parents will attend mediation and receive recommendations about custody and parenting time. Joint Legal Child Custody will meant that each parent shares all responsibilities and duties.
Physical custody is the time you or the other parent spends with your children. Physical custody is one parte of Child Custody. Parents can reach an agreement regarding custody without court intervention. Once you have this agreement, you can have it entered as a court order. Otherwise, parents will attend mediation and receive recommendations about custody and parenting time.
Joint Child Custody
You have joint custody if you share or have 50-50 custody of your child. Joint child custody can be either joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both. A court can address child custody should the parents be unable to do so. A judge, who has wide discretion in drafting a parenting plan, will order one that is in a the “best interests of the child.”
Sole Physical Custody
You have Sole Child Custody if the other parent has no custody or limited visitation of your child. Your sole custody rights include the exclusive right to physically care for your child. The non-custodial parent has visitation. The court must consider the best interests of the child before it awards sole physical custody to one parent. Once the court awards sole physical custody to one parent, that parent has the right to control the physical care of the child without the need to consult the other parent.
Sole Legal Child Custody
You have Sole Legal Custody of a child if the other parent has no legal custody. Your rights with sole legal custody include the exclusive rights to make critical decisions that affect your child’s safety, health and welfare. The court must consider the best interests of the child before it awards sole legal custody to one parent. You have the right to make all other decisions about your child’s life, without the other parent’s approval.
Child Custody Modification
You modify child support by filing a request for order. Child Custody Modification can only occur once you have received a custody and visitation order. Parenting plans change as children get older and their needs, interests, and activities change. You make a request to modify a custody order when a parents moves, advances in their career, or remarries. Your request must outline a “change in circumstances,” that there has been a significant change that requires a new order for the best interests of the children.
Child Support is the financial support parents owe to their children; the amount of money that a court orders a parent to pay for the support of their child. Child Support is the ongoing and periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following a divorce. Each parent is equally responsible for providing for the financial needs of their child. You, the other parent, or the State of California can request Child Support at any time while the child is a minor.
Requesting Child Support
The amount of child support you receive is based on parenting time and the parents’ income. The State of California can request that you or the other parent pay child support if the child is receiving financial aid.
Support payments usually continue until the child turn 18. Support payments can continue until the age of 19 if the child is still in high school full time, living at home, and cannot support themselves. You cannot waive your child’s right to receive child support.
Modifying Child Support
You can Modify Child Support modify an order for child support by filing a request for order. The request for order must state the change in parenting time or the income of either parent. You should file for a modification to avoid overcharges and Excess Support Payments.
Spousal Support, also known as alimony in other states, is a legal obligation for one spouse to provide financial support to the other spouse during separation and after divorce. You can agree to spousal support or seek a court order. You receive Spousal Support to help you attain the marital standard of living. Contact Sacramento Attorney to discuss obtaining, modifying or terminating Spousal Support.
Temporary Spousal Support
Temporary Spousal Support is the money you receive during your divorce proceeding. A court will use a computer program, called Dissomaster or X-spouse, to determine temporary support. The only factors a court considers for Temporary Spousal Support is the supported party’s needs and the supporting party’s ability to pay.
Permanent Spousal Support
Permanent Spousal Support is the money you receive when divorced. A court will address a number of factors which includes; the extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage. The court must consider the “4320 factors” when entering an order for Permanent Spousal Support.
Spousal Support Duration
The duration that you will pay spousal support is at the court’s discretion within certain general equitable principals and guidelines. A general rule is that spousal support will last for half the length of a marriage that was less than 10 years long. However, in longer marriages, the court will not set a duration. The burden will be on the party who pays to prove that spousal support is not necessary at some future point in time.
Modifying Spousal Support
To Modify Support Payments, you must file a request showing a “change in circumstances” since the last order was made. The supported party no longer needs support or the supporting party can no longer afford to paid support.
Terminating Spousal Support
You can have your spousal support payments terminated when your spouse dies, remarries, or by seeking a court order.
Your spouse receives support for a reasonable amount of time to become self-supporting. A reasonable amount of time is half the length of the marriage if your marriage was less than 10 years. If your marriage was more than 10 years, a court will require the supported spouse to become self-supporting as soon as reasonably possible. California law does not require lifetime support and Spousal Support can be terminated at any time.
The property you and your spouse own is marital property. Marital property includes all of the assets and debts owned by you and your spouse; either jointly or separately. Your marital property is characterized and divided during a divorce proceeding. Your claims for reimbursements and credits must be considered when dividing marital property. During your divorce, you can agree on a division of the marital property. A court will order an equitable division if you and your spouse do not agree on a division. Determining and dividing marital property can have a significant effect on your current lifestyle and future retirement. Take time to carefully determine the value of all marital property and your interests.
Property you receive during marriage is Community Property. Community Property includes all assets and debts. During your divorce, your property is characterized as either community property or separate property. Any property traced to a separate property source is characterized as your separate property.
Property you received before the marriage, that you were given to you as a gift, that you inherited, or that you received after separation is your Separate Property. Your Separate Property is not divided during a Divorce.
In California, couples can enter into prenuptial agreements (prenups) and postnuptial agreements (postnups). Your prenup or postnup are both contracts that characterize the assets you own and possible payments of support. You enter into a prenup before marriage and a postnup during marriage. Both documents require specific language and “disclaimers” to be enforceable. In either document you can characterize community property and separate property.
Domestic Violence occurs when an abuser perpetrates an act of violence on a victim. The abuser and victim must be in a close relationship. Domestic Violence can happen to anyone; men and women alike. If you, or someone you know, has being a victim of domestic violence, you should contact law enforcement for help and seek medical attention for any injury.
A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is a court order that protects a victim from an abuser who perpetrates domestic violence; physical or sexual abuse, threats, stalking, and harassment. The person requesting a Restraining Order is the “protected person” or “victim.” The person the restraining order is against is the “restrained person” or “abuser.” These orders can include requests to protect others, protect pets, and to have the abuser move-out of the residence.
Civil Harassment Restraining Order
A civil harassment Restraining Order is an order to protect you from someone with whom you do not share a domestic relationship. If you do not qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, you can file for a civil harassment restraining order. You need a restraining order if you need protection from neighbors, roommates, coworkers, or more distant family members.
Individuals often hire family law attorneys to apply for Guardianship. A court grants a guardianship when it finds the need for one individual to care for another individual’s well-being or property. The ward is the individual in your care. Guardianship is the legal relationship you have with the ward. Once done, the guardian will have the authority, and corresponding duty, to care for a person and their property interests.
Grandparents’ Rights are the rights that grandparents have a right to reasonable visitation with their grandchildren. The legal right that grandparents have to see and interact with their grandchildren will most likely require the assistance of a family law attorney. Should a grandparent be denied contact with their grandchild, they will have to obtain a court order granting them the right to visitation.
Attorneys practicing family law can be very helpful to those who wish to assume the parenting role of another, usually a child, from that person’s biological or legal parent(s). Adoption not only creates a new legal relationship but also severs a prior legal relationship. When you adopt a child, the court terminates the parental rights of the child’s parents. The legal relationship you have with the adoptive child is permanent. Your adopted child inherits from you just as a natural-born child would.