Today, most San Benito County households feature a single parent, a previously-married couple, a grandparent, or another non-traditional head of household. Likewise, many children are either step-children or adopted children. For these families, life can be a delicate balancing act, from both a financial and emotional standpoint. These households also have unique and ongoing legal needs that only an experienced Hollister family law attorney can provide.
At Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP, we are dedicated to the Hollister community because we live here and work here, too. We provide compassionate and aggressive legal services to area families. We understand the issues you face because most of us are from blended families, too. More importantly, our professional team is a strong voice for you, both in trial and during pretrial settlement negotiations. In both of these venues, we are committed to your legal and financial rights.
Types of California Family Law Cases
Almost every family in the area needs a Hollister family law attorney from time to time. This umbrella term covers a wide variety of services, such as:
- Divorce: In California, where the no-fault divorce revolution began, the marriage dissolution rate has declined since 1990, but it is still about twice as high as it was in the 1970s. Like most other family law matters, a California divorce is a complex affair that involves a variety of emotional and financial issues.
- Modification: A divorce decree is basically a long-term interim order. Most people move a lot and change jobs a lot. So, orders regarding parenting time divisions and family support obligations must be frequently modified. Only a Hollister family law attorney can engineer these changes well. Informal side agreements, even if they are in writing, are unenforceable in family court.
Other types of California family law cases include paternity and adoption. Legal paternity is important because, even if your name is on the child’s birth certificate, you may not have enforceable rights. A mother with sole legal custody can make unilateral decisions.
What to Expect in a San Benito County Family Law Matter
If there is an emergency that begins a divorce, about two weeks after a petitioner initiates a divorce or other family law case, a judge may hold a temporary hearing. Aggressive representation from a skilled Hollister family law attorney is important at this hearing. Without such an advocate, a judge often makes unfavorable decisions that are difficult to undo.
Next, since these cases involve both emotional and financial issues, the discovery process is often extensive. In contested child custody cases, most judges order court/social services investigations. A social worker evaluates the facts and makes a conclusion. Most judges abide by the social worker’s recommendations, at least in large part. Financial discovery often includes much more than tax returns and pay stubs. To fairly divide property and assess family support obligations, both spouses must put all their financial cards on the table. This process is often, but not always, rather tedious.
Out-of-court settlements resolve most family law cases. Mediation is a useful tool, and many judges order contested cases to mediation. This litigation alternative saves money, helps set the stage for effective co-parenting, and gives the parties more control over the outcome.
Contact a Dedicated Lawyer
Even if everyone agrees on major issues, family law cases are almost never simple and straightforward. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Hollister family law attorney, contact Miranda, Magden & Miranda LLP. We routinely handle matters in San Benito County and nearby jurisdictions.