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Riverside County Divorce Lawyer
Riverside Attorney Helping People Navigate Family Law Issues
Most people do not anticipate having to deal with family law issues and are unprepared for the challenges that can arise in divorce, child and spousal support, and child custody proceedings. While some family law issues can be resolved in an amicable manner, others turn into contentious disputes. As such, it is essential for anyone dealing with a family law matter to retain a seasoned attorney who will advocate on their behalf. For over a decade, Riverside family law attorney Tashfeen Haq of Haq Law Firm, PC, has provided Riverside and San Bernadino residents with effective and assertive representation in family law matters. Mr. Haq is mindful of the sensitive nature of family law issues, and if you hire him, he will help you seek a resolution that suits your needs.
Under California law, there are two grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences that lead to a breakdown of the marriage that cannot be repaired and the enduring legal incapacity to make decisions. Parties seeking a divorce in California must meet the residency requirement, which means that either the person filing for divorce or the responding spouse must live in the state for six months and in the county for three months before the action is filed. California also imposes a waiting period; in other words, the courts will not issue a final divorce decree until a minimum of six months have passed from either the service of the divorce complaint on the responding spouse or the responding spouse’s first appearance in court, whichever occurs first. If you intend to seek a divorce, it is in your best interest to speak to a trusted Riverside family law attorney about your options.
In a California divorce, all community property is subject to division by the courts. California law defines community property as any income, assets, or property that either party acquires during the marriage, with some exceptions. California is one of the few states that divide community property equally rather than equitably. In other words, all community property will be distributed 50/50 in a divorce action. Notably, however, the courts will not necessarily divide debts equally; instead, debts are divided in an equitable manner. Thus, it is within the judge’s discretion to dictate how debts should be divided. Relevant factors in determining what constitutes a fair distribution include the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, and the length of the marriage.
In any California custody case, the court must determine an arrangement that is in the child’s best interests. The court will weigh several factors in deciding what is in a child’s best interests, including the child’s age, their emotional, educational, and material needs, and the age and health of the person seeking custody. The court will also assess the living environment each parent offers and the ability of each parent to provide for the child. If the child is 14 or older, the court may consider their preference as well. In most cases, if the courts determine that both parents will act in the child’s best interest, the preference is to grant joint custody. Joint custody allows both parents to have continuing and frequent contact with the child and exercise their parental rights. If you are interested in learning more about how you can protect your parental rights, it is prudent to contact a capable Riverside family law attorney as soon as possible.
In cases in which a party fears for their safety due to their family member’s or intimate partner’s violent acts or threats of harm, they can seek a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO). The courts will only issue DVROs in cases in which the petitioner can demonstrate that they were physically abused, harassed, or received credible threats of harm from a former or current domestic partner, romantic partner, co-parent, spouse, or a close relative. Typically, after a court issues a DVRO, the alleged perpetrator will be barred from contacting the victim. People that fail to comply with the terms of DVROs may be subject to criminal and civil penalties.
California law clearly defines the obligations and rights of parties engaged in family law disputes, including the right to notice before a hearing and the opportunity to present their position before the court. In some cases, though, the courts will deem it necessary to set aside the rules of procedure that protect such rights in order to hold an emergency hearing. Emergency hearings are a critical tool that permits courts to act promptly to ensure the safety of children or protect parties engaged in family law cases from losing their homes, but they can significantly impair people’s rights. If you are involved in a family law dispute, and you or your opponent wish to seek an emergency hearing, it is critical to retain the assistance of a skilled Riverside family law attorney to help you protect your interests.
Under California law, parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children, regardless of whether they were married when the child was born. Thus, in some cases where the parents of a child are not married or cohabitating, one parent will have to pay child support. In determining what support obligation to impose, a court must follow California’s child support guidelines. Pursuant to the guidelines, the amount owed is calculated by determining each party’s net disposable income, which is their income after paying state and federal taxes, and the amount of time each parent has physical custody of the child. Typically, support obligations will continue until a child reaches the age of 18 or if they are still in school until they reach the age of 19 or graduate.
In California divorce cases, the courts can award spousal support while a divorce is pending or after the divorce is final if it finds that such support is warranted. Spousal support will be terminated if the party receiving support remarries or dies. Factors the courts consider in determining whether support is appropriate include the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, each party’s earning capacity and ability to support themselves, the parties’ health and ages, and the marriage’s length. However, the California courts generally cannot consider marital misconduct when determining whether to grant spousal support.
Many couples seeking a divorce want to end their marriage harmoniously. Thus, many couples turn to mediation. Mediation is a process during which a couple and a mediator discuss and negotiate issues such as child and spousal support, child custody, and the division of assets. The mediator acts as a neutral third party who assesses the strengths and detriments of each party’s position and assists them in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. It is prudent for each spouse to be represented by counsel during mediation, to explain any legal questions, and to protect their interests. If the mediation is successful, the mediator will draft an agreement that will be submitted to the court, allowing the parties to avoid the stress and expense of litigation.
Speak with an Experienced Riverside Family Law Attorney Regarding Your Case
Family law matters are not only emotionally complex, but they can be legally complex as well. If you need legal assistance with a family law matter, it is crucial to retain an attorney who will aggressively pursue your desired result. Tashfeen Haq of Haq Law Firm, PC, is an experienced Riverside family law attorney devoted to helping his clients protect their rights, and if you hire him, he will work tirelessly to assist you in seeking a fair and just result in your case. We have an office conveniently located in Riverside, and we regularly assist parties in family law cases in Riverside, San Bernadino, Corona, and cities throughout Southern California. You can contact our firm by calling us at (909) 234-9789 or using our online form to schedule a confidential and complimentary consultation to discuss your family law needs.
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Family Law Blog
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