Looking for Family Law Help in California?
Our San Jose Family Law Attorney Can Answer Your Questions
According to the state of California, “family law” refers to any terms, rules and/or relevant court proceedings that concern one or more members of a family. It is highly recommended that you seek out a family lawyer if you are looking to get married (especially if prenuptial agreements are involved), divorced or seeking custody of child(ren). Emotions tend to run high in these types of situations; therefore, it is best to have someone who is not personally involved and is only there to look out for you and your loved ones’ best interests.
At The Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich, our San Jose family law attorney is prepared to work with you in order to help secure your future. For more than a decade, we have been dedicated to representing our clients with unparalleled passion. It is our promise to bring this energy, passion and experience to the table for each and every case.
What Are Common Family Law Issues?
There are several different areas of family law – the most common being marriage, child support and/or custody, and divorce. Each pertain to delicate complicated matters that tend to be emotional affairs. Consider having a local family lawyer at your side to help walk you through the process.
If you are looking to get married in the state of California, both you and your fiancé must comply with the following requirements:
- You must be 18 or older (or have parental consent).
- You must be of sound mind. In other words, you are both consenting to the marriage willingly and knowingly.
- You must obtain a marriage license from the county clerk prior to the ceremony. Please note that this license is only good for 90 days, so once you file you must get married within this time frame. After the license is signed, you must take or send it to the county clerk’s office within 10 days of being married.
- You may opt to sign a prenuptial agreement with your spouse prior to marriage. This is optional, however. If you go down this route, we highly recommend having a family lawyer present as the proceedings can become rather complicated. The only requirements for a prenup to be valid is that it must be in writing and signed by both parties, so keep that in mind when making this decision. It is very hard, if not impossible, to contest a prenup in divorce court.
If you are considering putting an end to an irreconcilable marriage, know that California only allows “no fault” divorce. Simply put, this means that either spouse can petition for divorce even if the other spouse contests it for any reason. It is absolutely recommended that you seek out a divorce lawyer in these matters. Not only are the divorce proceedings complicated, they are emotional — you need someone with experience in the field present to rationally represent you and your best interests.
In order to file for divorce in the state of California, you must have been a resident of the state for at least 6 months and a resident of the county where your marriage is registered for 3 months.
Child Support and Custody
California legislation is very protective of children — with the health and wellbeing of every child on the forefront of every lawmaker and judge’s mind during child support and custody hearings.
The court will take the following into account when deciding child support amounts and payee:
- Both parents’ “net disposable income”. This means that the judge will take into account how much money each parent makes after taxes and other costs (such as union dues, retirement, and health insurance) are deducted.
- Amount of time each parent spends with the child(ren).
Once an amount has been determined by the court, the chosen parent must pay child support until the child(ren):
- Turns 18 and graduates high school
- Turns 19
- Gets married
- Joins the military
In the case of custody, California state judges are required to do what they feel is in the best interest of the child(ren). He or she will make an informed decision upon hearing testimony and reviewing presented evidence. If the child is old enough, then their choice of parent may also be considered by the judge. Typically, when possible, the court prefers to grant joint custody to both parents unless there are extenuating circumstances. In cases where neither parent is equipped or fit to take custody of the child, then a family member – such as a grandparent or aunt – can take over custody.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Family Law Matter?
While few people require a lawyer to be present when they get married, couples absolutely need impartial legal representation when signing prenuptial agreements; when you are in the “honeymoon phase” of your relationship, it is probably far from your mind that the other person could be trying to take advantage of you. It is best to be safe and have a family lawyer present who can verify that your best interests are being met.
Further, trying to represent yourself in such a personal and emotional situation as child custody or divorce is not in your best interest. You need an impartial party who has extensive experience in exactly what you’re going through (most likely for the first time) as well as your best interests at heart. A family lawyer can help guide you through the tumultuous and confusing court proceedings, explaining things along the way.
Need Help? Contact Our San Jose Family Law Firm Today
If you are still unsure of whether or not you want to employ the services of a family lawyer, never fear — you do not have to make the decision just yet.
At the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich, we offer free consultations. During this consult, our local family lawyers will sit down with you to discuss all of your concerns and questions and give you our advice on how to proceed, hopefully leaving you with a sense of certainty and preparedness to take on your case with confidence. Together we can help you build a strong case. Call today.