Family law is probably the one area of law in which most Americans first encounter a lawyer. In fact, for most people, a divorce or child custody dispute may be the one and only time they are ever involved in the legal system. So, it can be scary, frustrating, and emotionally exhausting to go through it alone and without all the information you need.
For California couples, the family court system has become increasingly complex in recent years, but the good news is that most problems can indeed be resolved. With the help of a skilled family law attorney, you might be surprised how straightforward it can be to get the relief you need.
What is Family Court?
California courts are divided up into divisions. Depending on the size of your county, your local courthouse will have different types of cases and different judges handling them. Family court cases include anything that has to do with domestic relations. These can include:
- Child support enforcement and modification
- Child custody disputes
- Enforcement of alimony/maintenance
- Paternity lawsuits
- Cohabitation agreements
The Divorce Process in California
First, someone must file a petition seeking divorce. This person is the petitioner. The other party is the respondent. Once the petition is filed, the parties must decide whether they can reach an agreement on all the various terms of the divorce or whether they will require the court’s assistance through litigation. In many cases, parties can work closely with their attorneys to negotiate a workable solution without the need for lengthy litigation or a trial.
Once a settlement agreement has been drafted and agreed upon by the parties, it will be presented to a judge for approval.
Common Concerns About Divorce
Among the many fears and concerns that people have going into a divorce, perhaps the biggest is the children. Divorces involving minor children, custody, visitation, and support are often difficult. Even in the most liberal and flexible joint-parenting arrangement, the reality is that the schedule will change. It can be tough to deal with a completely new schedule. It may mean seeing children less than before or giving up some of the control that a person had before the divorce.
Another big concern is property division. For those with significant assets, it can be hard to make good choices about how to divide property. Fortunately, the attorneys of Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP are here to help. With years of experience, our attorneys are skilled advocates and devoted counselors who can help couples mediate and resolve their differences in the most efficient and amicable way possible. Give us a call today to see if we can help.