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Los Gatos, CA divorce lawyer for mediationWhen you make the difficult decision to end your marriage, the coming months can be stressful and tumultuous as you work out the details of your divorce. However, the divorce process does not have to be a heated and contentious battle. While you and your spouse are likely to disagree on at least some of the issues that you will need to resolve, you may be able to complete your divorce amicably. If you believe that the two of you can work together to compromise and reach agreements, it may be wise to consider divorce mediation

The Benefits of Divorce Mediation 

During mediation, you and your spouse will work with a professional mediator to negotiate an agreement on all of the outstanding issues in your divorce, including spousal support, child support, child custody, and the allocation of marital assets. While divorce mediation may not be an option in situations in which one spouse has committed abuse or domestic violence, in the vast majority of divorces, mediation can be an effective dispute resolution method, and it can provide the following benefits:

  • A faster and more efficient divorce process: It is no secret that litigation in court can prolong a divorce. Resolving matters in the courtroom may be necessary in highly contested divorces, but in many cases, it adds a great deal of time and expense to the divorce process. If you are able to work together with your spouse to reach mutually agreeable decisions, divorce mediation can save you time and money. The mediator will walk you through each area of your divorce and help you negotiate a resolution to these matters. If you cannot reach an agreement on certain issues, litigation is still an option. 

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Los Gatos divorce attorney for child abuse and restraining ordersThere are a wide variety of reasons why couples choose to obtain a  divorce. In some cases, divorce is the result of the breakdown of a marriage, which allows spouses to end a relationship that is no longer working. However, there are also situations in which a person pursues divorce to protect the safety of family members. In cases involving child abuse, separating from your spouse and ending your marriage may be necessary to protect your child from further abuse. If you believe that your spouse has committed abuse against your child, you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney to determine your legal options. Some steps you can take to protect your family’s safety include:

Get a Restraining Order 

If you are afraid for the safety and well-being of your child, you can receive a protective order prohibiting your spouse from committing any further acts of abuse. Under California law, a Domestic Violence Restraining Order may place a number of requirements on your spouse, including ordering that they cannot contact you or your children and that they must stay away from your home, your workplace, and your children’s schools. 

If you do not feel safe in your home, you may want to remove yourself from the situation, and this may mean staying temporarily with a friend or family member or in a domestic violence shelter. Whether you will be staying in your home or moving to a new location, a Domestic Violence Restraining Order can help provide for your needs by requiring your spouse to pay child support and/or spousal support, pay for certain expenses, or turn over certain property to you. If you need to obtain a restraining order, a family law attorney can help you understand your rights and complete the necessary steps.

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Los Gatos child support lawyerThe divorce process can be incredibly stressful for parents. Even after your divorce is finalized, you may have questions about your ability to provide for your children, and ongoing financial concerns can cause a great deal of anxiety. If you are named as the custodial parent in your divorce case, you will want to plan for how you will be able to provide for your children’s needs. Fortunately, with the help of a knowledgeable family law professional, you can ensure that you will receive child support payments from your former spouse. 

How Is Child Support Established in California? 

In the state of California, child support agreements can be established through mediation or a court order. Child support payments are meant to cover various living expenses that the custodial parent will provide for their child. These expenses may include the costs of food, living arrangements, and clothing, and a non-custodial parent may also be required to provide additional child support to address expenses such as child care, health care, or other special needs for children. If you are the custodial parent, you will typically receive payments from the non-custodial parent, and the amount of these payments is calculated using a formula defined in California law. This formula will take into account each parent’s disposable income, the percentage of time the children spend with the non-custodial parent, and the number of children.

Why You Should Work With a Child Support Lawyer

To ensure that child support payments are calculated correctly, it is important to work with a knowledgeable family law attorney. If you are looking to establish an agreement through mediation, your attorney can assist you in preparing for the mediation process and educate you on your rights as a custodial parent. If your case needs to be resolved in court, your attorney can provide you with representation and ensure that all relevant factors are taken into account when establishing child support payments.

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Los Gatos child custody attorney for divorced fathersChoosing to end a marriage or long-term relationship is never easy, and the divorce process can become much more complicated when parents need to determine how to handle custody of their children. Throughout the United States, there is a widely held misconception that single fathers are at a disadvantage in these cases and that they will only be able to secure custody rights if there is egregious behavior from the mother of the child. However, this is simply not true, especially here in the state of California. The state’s laws have recognized that fathers play an important role in children’s lives, and fathers and mothers should be treated equally in child custody cases. If you are a father who needs to address custody issues, you will want to work with an experienced attorney who can help protect your parental rights and your children’s best interests. 

Child Custody Laws in California

In the state of California, a father has the same rights as a mother when it comes to custody of children following a divorce or separation. In fact, a provision added in section 3020 of the California Family Code explicitly states that a parent’s sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation should not be considered when determining how to reach a decision about child custody that will meet children’s needs. 

Under California law, child custody comes in two forms: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody will determine where the child will primarily reside, whereas legal custody will define parents’ rights to make significant decisions for the child involving topics ranging from academics to religious beliefs. According to section 3080 of the California Family Code, it is presumed that it is in children’s best interests for parents to have joint custody. In some cases, legal custody may be shared equally, while one parent may have primary physical custody, and in other cases, children may spend equal or near-equal amounts of time with each parent.

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Los Gatos, CA divorce lawyer grounds for dissolution of marriageChoosing to end your marriage is never an emotionally easy process. Unfortunately, if you are unaware of the divorce laws in your state, the logistical process of dissolving your marriage can be difficult as well. Here in the state of California, you will want to understand the requirements that must be met and the process you will need to follow. If you are considering filing for divorce, you will want to seek out the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. 

Filing For Divorce 

In order to file for divorce in California, you must first make sure that you are eligible to do so. One of the simplest issues that can arise in California divorces is the requirement that one of the parties must be a California resident for a minimum of six months, and one party must have lived in the county where the divorce will be filed for at least three months. Once those residency requirements have been met, either spouse can file a petition for divorce at their local court. 

In many states, a person who files for divorce must cite certain “grounds,” or reasons that they wish to dissolve their marriage. Depending on state laws, these may include infidelity, drug or alcohol abuse, a felony conviction, or one spouse infecting the other with a sexually transmitted disease. The state of California, however, recognizes what is called “no fault” divorce. This means that spouses may file for divorce on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” and they simply need to state that these differences have caused an irremediable breakdown of the marriage. The only other grounds for divorce recognized in California are a permanent legal incapacity by one spouse to make decisions. In these cases, a spouse must provide proof of permanent physical or mental impairment or disability, including testimony from a medical or psychiatric professional.

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