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Van Nuys Family Law Attorney

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Family law is a rewarding, yet challenging, area of practice. Clients in need of a family attorney are often experiencing some of the most stressful days of their lives. We know that divorces are extremely difficult, and emotions run high when children are involved. Property division can also be a point of contention, so you need a family attorney who can help protect you and your family. The compassionate team of Van Nuys family law lawyers at Diarian & Bociaga offers you a warm and friendly environment where you can feel safe sharing personal details of your situation. Our boutique sized firm allows us to give you the personal attention your case deserves and to help you achieve the outcome you desire. Contact us today by calling (818) 205-9090

California Divorce Law Basics

Divorce is the legal process by which a marriage or domestic partnership is ended. California is considered a “no fault divorce” state. This means that one spouse does not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong for a divorce to be granted. There is also no requirement that both spouses agree to the divorce. One spouse may file for a divorce, and the divorce can be granted even if the other party does not want to get a divorce.

To obtain a legal divorce in California, one of the spouses must have resided in the state for at least the previous six months (California Code, Family Code – FAM § 2320). The process of getting a divorce starts with one spouse filing a divorce action with the court. The other spouse is then served a copy of the divorce papers. At that point, the parties usually attempt to reach a divorce agreement, including agreements on items like division of assets, child custody, and future financial obligations. Once an agreement is reached, documents are filed with the court to make the divorce final. If an agreement cannot be reached, a judge will make the final decision. In California, there is a mandatory 6-month waiting period before a divorce can be finalized. This means that a divorce cannot be finalized until at least 6 months after the filing of the initial action. A Van Nuys divorce attorney can help you navigate the complexities of filing a divorce claim.

Overview Of Child Custody

All parents want what is best for their children, and that fact does not change just because the parents get divorced. When making child custody decisions, the courts in California always consider the best interest of the child as the top priority. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, joint custody is always presumed to be in the child’s best interest under California law (California Code, Family Code – FAM § 3080). It should be noted, however, that legal custody and physical custody are two separate things.

Legal custody refers to a parent or guardian’s authority to make decisions concerning the child. For example, these decisions could include healthcare decisions, decisions about a child’s education, or decisions about whether to allow a child to play sports. When the parents have joint custody, they typically share this decision-making authority and come to an agreement on any major decisions affecting the child.

Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to where the child spends the majority of their time. In some cases of joint custody, the child may split time between the parents. In many cases, the child spends the majority of their time with one parent and has visitation with the other parent, perhaps every other weekend. With today’s technology, virtual visitation via video can also be an option in some situations. An experienced child custody lawyer in Van Nuys can help you figure out what is best for your family

Child Support & Alimony Payments

Raising a child is expensive, and doing so as a single parent can put a financial strain on the household. California law recognizes that both parents should share the financial responsibility of raising children. That responsibility does not end after a divorce. If the parties can agree on a reasonable child support arrangement, the judge will usually approve the agreement. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the judge will follow the California child support guidelines to calculate the amount of child support. The judge is not allowed to deviate from this calculation except in very limited circumstances. The calculation considers many factors, including the income of each parent, the tax filing status of each parent, the amount of time the child spends with each parent, health insurance costs, daycare costs, and a few other items.

In addition to child support, spousal support payments could also be required after a divorce. The calculation of spousal support, or alimony, amounts can get somewhat complicated. If spousal support is deemed necessary, the amount is generally calculated by considering the income of both parties and the length of the marriage or domestic partnership, among a few other items. If you believe you might be owed spousal support payments, contact a Van Nuys child support lawyer today to let us help you.

How Property Division Works

Property division issues often arise during a divorce, but they can also come up during a legal separation, annulment, or death. California is a community property state which means that all property and assets acquired during the marriage are considered to be jointly owned by the spouses. One of the only exceptions to this rule is when one spouse receives a gift or inheritance. Upon the end of the marriage, the property must be divided between the spouses.

Property can take many forms, and some examples of items that are considered property include real estate, automobiles, retirement accounts, savings accounts, businesses, patents, and many others. Ideally, the spouses can come to a mutual agreement about how the property should be divided. Otherwise, the division of property will be left to a judge to decide. The team of Van Nuys property division lawyers at Diarian & Bociaga is experienced at handling complex property division issues and working with experts, like forensic accountants or probate attorneys, to help get you the outcome you desire.

Contact A Family Law Lawyer In Van Nuys Today

Whether you are contemplating divorce or you have a complicated property division issue, you need a family attorney in Van Nuys who has deep expertise in this area of law. At Diarian & Bociaga, we understand that family law presents unique challenges, and we approach each and every case with the goal of finding the best solution. Although we often reach settlement agreements in family law cases, we are fully prepared to litigate when necessary. If you need a family law attorney in Van Nuys, contact Diarian & Bociaga today to put our team to work for you.