Family Law

Family & Matrimonial Law Concerns for Los Angeles County Residents

The family law and matrimonial law firm of Shaghzo & Shaghzo Law Firm, APC, protect and advance their clients' rights and interests in divorce proceedings throughout the Los Angeles and certain surrounding counties, whether at the bargaining table in a mediation or collaborative law process, or in the courtroom in a traditional trial setting.

Litigation, Mediation, Collaborative Law

Different couples take different paths to arrive at a divorce. A divorce is a legal process which begins with the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage in court and becomes final when the court enters a decree granting the divorce. Depending upon the complexity of issues at trial, the hostility of the parties toward one other, and the valuation of property and its characterization as community property or separate property, this process can be costly, time-consuming, and emotionally devastating. Read more about what to expect during a family law dispute.

There are alternatives to litigation, however. Mediation is a process where the parties work out their differences between themselves with the assistance of a trained mediator who facilitates communication. Collaborative law is an option wherein the parties and their attorneys agree in writing that they will resolve the divorce in the best interests of all concerned without resorting to the courts or other legal processes.

Each process has its own unique benefits. A Los Angeles county family law attorneys experienced in all approaches can help you determine which method is best for you.

Divorce

A divorce may be based on the "no-fault" ground of irreconcilable differences between the parties, which does not require one party to prove fault or misconduct on the part of the other spouse. Parties may file for legal separation if they have not met the six-month residency requirement for a divorce; in a separation, a judge can grant temporary orders regarding custody and support matters.

Read more about grounds for divorce in California.

Property Division

Classification of property is an important step in the division process. The court has jurisdiction only over the community property of the marital estate, defined as any asset acquired or income earned by a spouse during the marriage. A spouse's separate property is property acquired before marriage, as well as gifts or inheritances acquired during marriage by one spouse alone.

The job of the court is to divide all of the marital property equally. Obviously, some assets cannot be divided equally unless they are sold and the proceeds split between the parties. As best it can, the court may award different assets of equal value to the parties. For these reasons, valuation questions can often become quite complex and contentious. Our firm's family law lawyers are positioned to help clients with the complex financial cases that often arise within the process of divorce.

Child Custody

In a divorce, the court will make decisions as to both legal and physical custody of minor children. Legal custody is the right to make decisions about the child, while physical custody is having actual custodial care. Custody can be joint or sole, depending upon many factors affecting the best interest of the child. Whether there is any history of domestic abuse in the family will be considered. In the case of sole custody, a visitation plan will detail when and how long the child will reside with each parent. If necessary, the court will order visitation to be supervised either by a professional agency, another adult, or the custodial parent. In rare instances, the court may deny visitation rights altogether.

Read more about how our family lawyers can help with challenging custody disputes.

Child Support

Typically the court will order the higher earning parent to pay a monthly support amount to the parent with less income. In most cases the parent with primary physical custody will be the recipient of child support. This obligation will continue until the child reaches adulthood, although it may be extended in certain circumstances. The amount of support is calculated according to a statutory guideline that takes into account a number of factors.

Spousal Support

While spouses have an obligation to support each other financially during a marriage, the goal with any order of spousal support (also known as alimony or maintenance) is that the party receiving support will become self-supporting within a given period of time. Support will terminate earlier if the receiving party remarries, or possibly if the party cohabits with another. Whether spousal support is granted and how much will be ordered is based upon a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage, the age and health of the spouses, the needs of each spouse, and expenses related to the custody of the children.

Paternity

A lawsuit to establish or challenge paternity under the Uniform Parentage Act can occur at any time, although it has particular import in a child support proceeding when issues of custody and visitation are being decided. Only a legal parent has a legal obligation to support the child financially, and only a legal parent has a legal right to custody and visitation. If paternity is challenged, the court may order genetic testing to determine the issue.

Premarital Agreements

Premarital or prenuptial agreements allow the spouses to set out before marriage how issues of property division and support will be handled in the event of divorce. A premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties in order to be valid. Furthermore, it must be agreed to voluntarily after a full and fair disclosure of the assets and liabilities of both spouses. Each party must be represented by an attorney in the transaction or at least have the opportunity to have the agreement reviewed by independent legal counsel before signing.

Matrimonial Law in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles County law firm of Shaghzo & Shaghzo Law Firm, APC has over 25 years of combined experience dealing with matrimonial law in Los Angeles County.

When entering into a marriage in California, you are entitled to certain rights such as:

When a divorce is filed through a matrimonial lawyer in San Fransisco, all of these rights are in question. The prospect of an unclear future is a challenging situation for anyone to deal with alone. At Shaghzo & Shaghzo Law Firm, APC, we are experienced in all areas of Los Angeles matrimonial law and can provide you with the best representation possible. We are happy to support you in circumstances such as:

Contact Us Today

To find out how our experienced family and matrimonial law attorneys can assist you and your family, Contact Shaghzo & Shaghzo, APC today or call us at 818-241-8887.

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