We understand the unique and sensitive nature of family law.
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Encino Family Law Attorney

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Family law is a unique practice area that requires compassion and understanding for each and every client. Dealing with family matters can be tough, and we understand the emotional toll that divorce or other family issues can bring. 

At Diarian & Bociaga, you are never just a case number. Our team will spend time with you to understand your unique situation and your needs because we know that no two family law cases are ever the same. Whether you are going through a child custody issue or need to settle a property division dispute, our team is here to help. We approach each case with a mindset that allows us to develop creative solutions that work for you and your family. Contact a family law attorney in Encino today by calling (818) 205-9090

California Divorce Basics

Going through a divorce is never easy, but understanding the process can help take away some of the stress of the unknown. First, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of California for at least six months prior to filing a divorce action in the state. This initial filing starts the divorce process. California follows the “no fault” rule for divorces. This means that no wrongdoing must be proved on the part of either spouse. Additionally, a divorce can be granted even if one spouse does not wish to proceed with a divorce.

After both parties have received a copy of divorce paperwork, settlement negotiations usually begin. The parties attempt to come to an agreement on issues like child custody, property division, and alimony payments. Agreements are reached in most divorce proceedings, and reaching an agreement with the other party can save you both time and money. The judge assigned to your case will need to approve the agreement, but approval will almost always be granted as long as the agreement is reasonable. In rare cases where the parties cannot reach an agreement on their own, the judge will hear evidence from both sides at either a hearing or trial and make a ruling that spells out the details of the divorce agreement. An experienced divorce attorney in Encino can help you navigate any complications.

Understanding Child Custody

Child custody arrangements can sometimes be a major sticking point when couples separate or go through a divorce. Both parents usually want to be involved in the child’s life, and that is almost always a great thing. In fact, California law recognizes that the best interest of the child is supported when both parents share the responsibility of raising the child. For that reason, joint custody is presumed in child custody cases unless there is evidence to the contrary (California Code, Family Code – FAM § 3080).

Child custody agreements need to have details for both physical custody and legal custody of the child. Legal custody refers to the ability of a parent to have decision making authority for the child. As mentioned above, many parents share joint legal custody and have 50/50 decision making authority for the child. Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to the details of where the child will spend most of his or her time. In some instances, splitting time equally between the parents works just fine. However, many cases require that the child spend the majority of time with one parent and have regular visits with the other parent. These visits may be supervised or unsupervised, depending on the specific details of the situation and custody agreement. If you are having problems regarding custody, make sure to speak with an experienced Encino child custody attorney.

How Child Support Payments Work

Custody is not the only issue that arises when minor children are involved. Child support is another issue that comes up frequently in family law cases. California law states that parents should mutually share the responsibility of raising children, and this includes the financial responsibility as well (California Code, Family Code – FAM § 4053). However, that does not always mean that expenses will be split 50/50.

When determining the amount of child support due, the California guidelines consider many factors. These factors include the income of each parent, the tax filing status of each parent, the number of children in the household, the amount of time spent with each parent, health insurance costs, daycare costs, and several others. Parents can negotiate and come to an agreement on their own regarding child support. However, the agreement must be reasonable and in the child’s best interest for the judge to approve it.

In situations where the parents cannot reach an agreement, a judge will calculate the amount of child support due by using the California guidelines. After performing the calculation, the judge is rarely allowed to deviate from the result, and an order will be issued detailing the amount due. Speak with a child support attorney in Encino for help with child support payments.

Handling Property Division Issues

Dividing property and assets after a marriage or domestic partnership ends can be a complex task. First, which property and assets are eligible to be divided? California is a community property state which means that all assets acquired during a marriage are considered to be jointly owned by the spouses (California Code, Family Code – § 760). This means that all marital assets would be split evenly upon a divorce, regardless of how long the marriage was. Any assets owned individually by either spouse before the marriage began may still be considered separate property and would not be split.

Marital assets can include a number of different items. Physical assets, like homes, automobiles, boats, and other real estate, are considered property. Additionally, financial assets, like savings accounts, 401(k)’s, and other retirement accounts are all classified as property. Finally, assets like businesses and even patents can be considered part of the marital property.

Couples are encouraged to work with each other to develop their own property division agreements. As long as the agreement they create is reasonable, the judge will typically approve it. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the judge will make a decision on how the property should be divided. An experienced Encino property division attorney can help you reach this agreement.

Contact An Encino Family Law Lawyer Now

If you are going through a difficult family law issue, contact the office of Diarian & Bociaga today. We help clients in the Encino area navigate complex family law cases and develop solutions to help protect you and your family. Our team will be there with you every step of the way, and we are never afraid to litigate when necessary. Contact us today to put our team to work for you.