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Chula Vista Family Law Attorney

Family law is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of issues belonging to the family. Some of the topics covered in family courts include issues pertaining to adoption, alimony, annulments, child custody, child visitation, child support, divorce, emancipation, division of property and debts, paternity rights, and prenuptial agreements.

If you are facing one or more of the issues mentioned above, you may contact a local family law professional to discuss your case. A family law professional has the capacity to apply the local California family laws to your situation and can provide representation in a courtroom. Before you enter a family courtroom you are advised to speak with an attorney today.

Individuals who reside in Chula Vista, California are welcomed to speak with San Diego Family Law Attorney. We understand that family issues can be emotional affairs which is why we make the best attempt to take care of such issues outside of a courtroom. To contact our office, you may reach us at 619-610-7425.

The following sections will discuss different topics in family law. However, to learn more about the details of your circumstances, you are encouraged to seek consultation from a local family law expert.

Adoption

An adoption is a great option for individuals that cannot have children or who choose to care for a child that is not naturally theirs. Adoption is a big step in the formation of families which often brings happiness to those involved in the process. While adoption is a process that you may consider on your own, you are encouraged to speak with a lawyer about the laws of adoption that guide your state. In the state of California, the adoption laws address who may adopt a child, who can be adopted, and the specific procedure for adoption. Some of the factors that may affect adoption is whether the child is married, the child’s age (consent for adoption is 12 years of age), and the adoptee must be at least ten years older than the child unless the adoptee is a close family member such as a stepparent, grandparent, or uncle. Furthermore, if the child that is adopted is currently under the jurisdiction of their natural parent, the parent must sign away their rights in order to proceed with an adoption. For example, if a stepparent wants to adopt the child of their spouse, he or she will need to have written consent from the natural parent. When children are adopted without the consent of the natural parent, the court proceeding will usually favor the natural parent which may cause emotional pain to the adoptive parent. Adoption documents must be thoroughly analyzed to make sure that the documents are legitimate so that they may be upheld in a court of law. Furthermore, when a spouse wants to adopt a child that was conceived through surrogacy procedures, the surrogacy contract should also be reviewed by a law professional. Some cases involve a surrogate mother that denied giving up the rights to the child after conception causing troubles for parents that thought they would have full rights over the child. To make sure that your adoption documents are legitimate, you may consult with a local family law professional.

Alimony

Alimony may be a dreadful word for many divorced providers, but as you will see it is not as bad as you may think. First and foremost, alimony is used to help a spouse maintain the living conditions while you were married. Why is this beneficial? Well if you had children, you need to acknowledge that he or she may have sacrificed their earning capabilities in order to maintain the household and care for the children. Additionally, alimony may help you save some money during tax season. Unlike child support, alimony is tax deductible in the state of California. If you’re required to pay alimony, you may want to speak with an attorney to learn about the ways you can save at the end of tax season. Furthermore, the amount that you pay in alimony will heavily rely on the number of years you have spent together and the earning potentials of both parties. The good news is that if you spent less than five years in a relationship alimony may only be awarded for a short amount of time. Alimony also cuts off as soon as the receiving spouse is able to provide for him or herself or if he or she remarries. To make a sound decision on the amount of alimony you should pay, you may want to speak with a family law attorney who can help you and your spouse clarify the situation in consideration of both parties earning potentials and other factors of the case.

Annulment

Married individuals that want to end their marriage may consider an annulment which means the marriage was never legitimate. This may free an individual from having to give up his or her property and may protect each other from debts incurred by each party. An annulment is a process that requires one of the following to be proved in a courtroom: 1) either party entered a marriage while under the age of 18 and without the consent of a parent, 2) either individual was fooled into marriage, 3) either party is unable to provide a child and did not notify the other of their infertility, 4) either party has a mental or emotional illness, 4) the individuals in the marriage are close relatives, 5) either party was married to another person, 6) either party was forced or coerced into marriage. Individuals that wish to annul their marriage should speak to a family law attorney that can help determine whether it is possible to annul the marriage. In other cases, you may consider a legal separation or divorce.

Child Custody

When discussing child custody and visitation it is crucial to understand the following terms: Legal Custody vs Physical Custody and Sole Custody vs Joint Custody.  

First and foremost, there is a difference between legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the parent that is allowed to make legal decisions on behalf of the child. Parents with legal custody have the option of choosing where the child will go to school, the child’s religious association, the child’s health care provider, and other aspects of the child’s life that requires consent. On the other hand, physical custody refers to the parent that will live with the child. Additionally, a judge may grant sole or joint physical/legal custody.

Sole custody is when one parent can make decisions for the child (legal) or when only one parent can live with the child (physical). On the contrary, joint custody is when both parents have a choice over the legal affairs of the child and may choose to have 50/50 physical custody. More often than not, a judge will grant joint custody on the child’s legal matters while providing one parent with sole physical custody and the other with visitation rights. To be granted sole custody, the parent must provide proof that the other parent is unable to either provide a safe environment or is too unstable to make decisions on behalf of the child. The court will also consider any history of domestic abuse.

Child Visitation

Visitation rights are provided to the parent that does not have physical custody of the child. The parent with custody of the child will usually give the other the right to visit the child whenever he or she pleases also known as reasonable visitation. However, if the parent with physical custody is not okay with reasonable visitation, then they may come to a conclusion on a visitation schedule. For instance, a parent may choose to have the child live with them 5 days out of the week while allowing the other parent to take the children on the weekend. If parents are unable to come to a conclusion on custody and visitation, the dispute will enter a courtroom where a judge will decide on these issues based on the information presented and based on the best interests of the child. To make sure you retain your rights as a parent, you will want to discuss your situation with a family law attorney who may represent your case in a courtroom.

Child Support

Like alimony, child support is something that parents do not want to think about after a divorce. However, if you are a parent, the state mandates that the higher earning parent provides for their children in the same way that they would if they were living in the same home before a divorce. Children are usually the most affected after a divorce and it is crucial to provide the means necessary to allow the child to develop without enduring financial hardships. In most cases, a parent is must pay for child support until the child has either graduated from college or after the child has acquired a stable job. If you live in Chula Vista, CA, there are a number of factors that contribute to the amount of money you will be required to pay. For instance, the state takes into consideration the number of children, the time spent with the child (the more time you spend with your children, the less you may be required to pay your spouse for child support), tax information, unemployment or disability income, child support paid to another spouse, property tax, mortgage interest, health insurance tax, job related expenses, and low income adjustments. When deciding how much you are required to pay in child support, there are a number of factors that can affect the outcome. To have a clear understanding of your situation you may contact a family law attorney that can help represent your financial capabilities with respects to providing child support.

Divorce

Unfortunately, marriages do not always last as long as we had hoped for. A divorce procedure is often emotionally draining and time-consuming considering the variety of factors that come into play such as calculating alimony and child support or dealing with child custody issues or issues pertaining to the division of property. When you engage with a divorce proceeding, you will want to work with a lawyer that understands the complex laws that guide divorce. To learn about the best way to engage with your divorce, you are encouraged to speak with a local attorney who can help guide your case through mediation or provide representation in a courtroom.

Division of Property

When a couple proceeds with a divorce, one of the factors that he or she must consider are the number of properties and the number of debts incurred during the marriage. If you are located in Chula Vista, California, you will have to abide by the community property state laws. Community property is any property that was incurred during the marriage which should be divided in a 50/50 manner at the end of the marriage. At the end of the process of dividing debt and assets, each partner should have an equal net share of property and debts. To help determine how to split the debt and properties, you may want to work with a law professional that can assist with the evaluation of the property so that you have a clear understanding of the situation at hand.

Emancipation

A person under the age of 18 can seek emancipation to formally end the relationship with his or her legal guardians. An emancipated child has the ability to file for taxes, live on their own, enter legally binding contracts, enroll in school, and make decisions on their medical care. Emancipation is an attractive idea for children that want to choose to live on their own, however, there are a number of things that should be considered before engaging with the paperwork. First and foremost, you need to have a legitimate reason for emancipation. Some reasons can include being kicked out of your home, you are a high earning individual such as a child star that wishes to file for taxes independently, you want to end your ties with your abusive family, or if you have been married. Another aspect of emancipation that you must consider is whether you are ready to financially provide for yourself (meaning you have enough money to feed yourself and pay to have a roof over your head), you will need to pay for your own health care insurance, you will be held responsible for contracts you sign, and you may also be sued in a courtroom. Additionally, emancipation does not mean you can buy alcohol or vote. The reasons for emancipation must be legitimate, if you are seriously considering emancipation, you may want to speak with an attorney from your state so that you fully understand the process and to learn whether you can emancipate yourself. In most cases, emancipation requires the consent of your parents unless you can prove that they are unfit to care for you.

Legal Separation

Couples that want to separate may choose to remain legally married for financial or religious reasons. Couples that want to separate, but do not want to go through a divorce process may choose to work with a lawyer that can process a legal separation. A legal separation is much like a divorce, the couple will need to conclude on child custody matters, on child support, on matters pertaining to spousal support, and on matters pertaining to the division of assets and debts.

Paternity

Establishing paternity rights is only meant for individuals that have not signed the birth certificate of their child or who are unmarried. Individuals that fail to sign the birth certificate do not have legal rights over the child until it is established in a courtroom. More often than not, unmarried fathers fail to sign the birth certificate of their child which means they have not legal rights over the child. A father that has not signed a birth certificate is legally unable to make claim custody and will not be required to pay child support. In order to establish parental rights over the child, it will usually enter a courtroom where he will present a DNA test that proves the child is his own. If you are unable to prove your connection with the child in a courtroom, you will not have rights over the child.

Contacting a Chula Vista Family Law Attorney Near Me

Family law covers a variety of issues as you have seen above. In fact, there are more family law issues that have not been covered in this section. If you are facing a family related problem, anything from domestic violence to surrogacy, you can consider consulting with a family law professional. A family law attorney is capable of mediating a problem before a courtroom hearing is necessitated. An attorney that can mediate a family issue will save you lots of time and money. When a family issue reaches the courtroom, the process becomes more time consuming which means it also becomes costlier. To work with one of our Family Law Lawyer, you may reach us at 619-610-7425.

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