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El Cajon Family Law Attorney

A family law attorney can help you with a variety of issues pertaining to domestic relationships. When issues arise in the household, they are usually handled by a family law court. We believe that every family issue should be handled outside of a courtroom. When a case enters a courtroom, the tensions become high, it becomes more costly and time-consuming. Our family law attorney will use every effort and tool to come to an agreement with the other party outside of a courtroom. However, if litigation in a courtroom is our only option, our attorney is ready to provide legal representation.

A family law attorney may assist you with the following:

  • Divorce: the process of legally ending a marriage
  • Domestic Violence: repetitive patterns of physical, mental, or other forms of abuse
  • Emancipation of Minors: the process to grant a person under the age of 18 certain rights granted to independent adults
  • Surrogacy: the process of conceiving a child through non-traditional means - the process usually involves a contract that may be challenged in a courtroom.
  • Adoption: the process of establishing legal rights over another person under the age of 18
  • Child Abuse: can include physical, mental, or sexual abuse
  • Foster Care: foster parents may require the assistance of an attorney if they wish to adopt a foster child
  • LGBTQ Parents: the law establishes that anyone despite their sexual orientation can establish parental rights over a child. LGBTQ parents have the same rights and troubles as biological heterosexual parents.

Family law can become complicated when the case enters a courtroom. If your family law case is headed towards a courtroom, then you are advised to seek the attention of a local family law attorney. To speak with a local El Cajon Family Law Attorney, you may contact our office at 619-610-7425.

Divorce

When divorce is on the plate, it may be time to discuss the situation with an attorney. A divorce can be a timely and costly process when either spouse refuses to work with the other. In cases where a spouse is not there or does not cooperate with the other party, the case may be brought into a courtroom. Once in a courtroom, a judge will take over all the aspects of a divorce including child support, child custody and visitation, alimony, and the division of assets and debts. We believe that all of these issues are personal and they are best handled by the individuals filing a divorce. To avoid having a judge make decisions on some of the most important aspects of your life, you may want to work with the other spouse outside of a courtroom. If you wish to keep the issues outside of a courtroom, you may want to speak to your attorney about mediation.

Domestic Violence

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a serious public health concern in the United States. According to their study, about 24 individuals are victims of sexual abuse, rape and physical abuse every minute. Domestic violence is a pattern of both emotional and/or physical abuse over a period of time. Furthermore, domestic abuse may come in the form of economic, sexual, or psychological abuse. Individuals of all creeds, colors, and backgrounds can be both victims and culprits of domestic violence. Domestic violence can occur between individuals that are married, not married, between roommates, or between domestic partners.

Individuals that are victims of domestic violence may want to speak with an attorney about pressing charges or filing a divorce. Individuals in a marriage who are victims of domestic violence may want to speak with an attorney about filing a fault-based divorce. A fault-based divorce allows individuals who have been victims of domestic violence to terminate their divorce and claim rights over alimony or property. In addition,  individuals may want to press charges whenever there is a violation of a restraining order. If you are a victim of domestic violence and you want to press charges you may want to speak with a local El Cajon attorney. Domestic violence is not black and white, there are many factors in every case. Speaking with a professional will ensure that you handle your case appropriately.

Emancipation of Minors

Minors are individuals who are under the age of consent usually below 18 years of age. A minor who is emancipated is allowed to file their own taxes, apply for a work permit, may keep all of their earnings, may enroll in the school of their choosing, may enter a contract on their own, and may choose their healthcare provider. Amongst other things, a child who is emancipated is allowed to make decisions about him or herself without the consent of a parent. Minors under the age of 18 may emancipate themselves through a court order, marriage, or by joining the military. There are many reasons why minors seek emancipation. For instance, minors who are wealthy may seek emancipation from their legal guardian for tax reasons. In addition, a child may seek emancipation if they do not get along with their legal guardian or if they are experiencing some form of domestic abuse. If you are a victim of abuse you are encouraged to email or contact our attorney today for help. In addition, you may contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-787-3224.

A minor who wants to declare responsibility for their own affairs may seek emancipation from their parents, however, every state has different procedures for emancipation so you may want to speak with an attorney about the local procedures. In most states, minors are required to show proof of financial stability before they are emancipated. In addition, they may need to show proof of completing high school and may be required to show proof of their ability to make mature decisions. Emancipation is not the solution for every case so you are encouraged to a professional opinion on your case.

Surrogacy

Surrogacy allows single or married individuals the ability to have a child that is biologically related to one or both individuals in a relationship without having to go through natural conception. Individuals that cannot conceive a child may choose to work with a surrogate mother who is capable of conceiving the child on their behalf. A surrogacy can occur in two forms. The traditional surrogacy procedure involves a surrogate mother that is inseminated with the semen of the prospective parent. This is procedure is usually sought after by married individuals that cannot conceive a child on their own due to medical conditions. The other process is known as in vitro fertilization otherwise known as gestational surrogacy. In vitro fertilization may be pursued by women that cannot carry a child in their womb, but who are capable of producing eggs. Through this procedure, a surrogate mother is implanted with a fertilized egg. In the standard procedure, the surrogate mother is biologically related to the offspring and therefore must give up her parental rights so that the adoptive mother can claim parenthood over the child. These cases can quickly become sour when surrogate mothers refuse to give up their child. In most courts, surrogate mothers have the right to claim parenthood over their child and may establish visitation rights. However, if the surrogate mother signs her parenthood rights away, the child can be claimed by the other person in the relationship. On the other hand, surrogate mothers that have undergone an in vitro fertilization procedure, may not be able to claim rights over the child. Children that are conceived through in vitro fertilization are biologically related to both parents in the relationship and therefore, cannot be claimed by surrogate mothers.

If you are a couple that is considering surrogacy, you are encouraged to seek all the information you can about both surrogacy procedures. In addition, you will want to inform yourself about the local state laws. In some states, it is illegal to receive payment for surrogacy. California is one of the few states that honors surrogacies contracts so make sure that you learn about your local laws. Furthermore, you may want to speak with an attorney about your surrogacy agreement to avoid future complications.

Adoption

Adoption allows individuals that cannot conceive a child to become parents of a child that is not biologically theirs. A person may choose to adopt a child independently or may work with an adoption agency or foster care program. Adoption allows the individual to claim rights over a child that they want to raise as their own. However, there are certain issues that may arise from an adoption. Today more than ever, adoptions are open meaning that the biological parents may choose to remain part of the child's life. In these open adoption relationships, you may find that the biological parent is abusing their visitation rights and is keeping the child longer than agreed upon. In addition, a biological parent may take the case to court to re-establish their rights over their child which can create a nightmare. In most cases, if you work with an adoption agency it is very difficult to challenge the adoptive parent's rights. However, if you have adopted independently and find that both parents did not consent to the adoption, you may face complications if a parent seeks to reclaim their parental rights. For instance, if a father did not consent to the adoption of their child, he may have the right to claim rights over the adopted child. You may want to speak with an attorney to ensure that your adoption contract is lawful and can be upheld in a courtroom should there be any complications with the birth parents.

The adoption process involves consent from both biological parents, a home study process, an adoption petition, and a court order. First and foremost, you want to make sure that you have written consent from both biological parents to adopt the child. Then, you want to contact a child welfare social worker that can help administer the home study. During the home study, you will be evaluated. The social worker will take into account your ability to take on the responsibility of a parent and your ability to provide a suitable home. Furthermore, the adoptive parent(s) will be required to file an adoption petition to the court where they will provide information about themselves, the child, the relationship between the blood parents if any, the reasons why the biological parent relinquish their parental rights, and you must be able to explain why the adoption is in the best interest of the child. The petition, the home study, and court process are all very important procedures that occur before a child is adopted. If you want guidance or representation during or after an adoption, you are encouraged to speak to a local El Cajon family law attorney.

Child Abuse

Child abuse can come in the form of neglect, exploitation, sexual, mental, physical and verbal abuse. When a parent abuses a child a family court will investigate the case and may result in the loss of custody of the children. Social workers may report on the living conditions and of any physical abuse apparent at the time of the report. When a report is filed and there is a reason to believe the child may be harmed or has shown signs of being harmed, a peace officer may place the child under custody for up to 72 hours. The child will be relocated to foster care, a close family member, or to a close friend or relative. The child may remain in Child Protective Services (CPS) until a court finds a suitable placement. In a court, a mother or close family member must be able to prove that they can care for the child. The court will determine the best option for the child after considering the CPS and police report findings. When children cannot be unified with their family they will be sent to foster care until a suitable adult can claim guardianship or custody of the children.

Child abuse cases can range on varying degrees, some resulting in felonies and others in misdemeanors. In some cases, if parents can prove that the circumstances have changed or that an abusive parent has been removed from the household, the parent(s) may be able to keep the child. If you need representation or guidance on your child abuse case, you are encouraged to speak to a local attorney who is capable of applying the right laws to your case. Child abuse cases that involve serious injuries may result in termination of parental rights. If parents wish to fight their child abuse case, you are encouraged to speak with a local attorney.

Foster Care

If you want to become a foster care parent you do not need to work with an attorney. Individuals that want to become foster parents will be required to work with a social worker and pass certain legal requirements. Foster parents must be able to provide a safe environment free from abuse or danger. If you wish to learn more about becoming a foster parent, you are encouraged to speak with a welfare representative. The California Department of Social Services may provide further assistance if you wish to learn more about the foster parent process.

Foster care parents may need the help of an attorney if they wish to discuss legal ways to adopt a child. Foster parents have a very good chance of adopting a child and may not need the help of an attorney. However, if you wish to review the paperwork to ensure that the document can be upheld in a court of law, you are encouraged to speak with a local El Cajon family law expert. Furthermore, foster care parents may require the attention of an attorney if they are charged with child abuse. Individuals who are wrongly convicted should speak with an attorney before entering a courtroom. Child abuse cases are very serious and can result in fines and prison time.

LGBTQ Parents

LGBTQ parent rights differ from state to state and are handled differently in every court. Same-sex parent laws are new to family law with the introduction of same-sex marriages in 2004. For this reason, you want to work with an attorney who is capable of applying the most up to date court cases and laws to your case. LGBTQ parents have as many rights as other parents and can claim custody in a divorce or legal separation. As mentioned before, the laws regarding same-sex parents are different in every state so it is crucial to speak with a local family law attorney.

If you are having domestic problems, you may need the attention of a family law attorney. Family law covers so much more than described above. If you wish to consulate with an attorney about your specific case, you may contact an our Family Law Attorney at 619-610-7425.

Contact us today by calling 619-610-7425

We will give you a free, no-obligation consultation and can give immediate attention to your family law legal needs.

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