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La Mesa Family Law Attorney

Family law acts as the legal framework that governs how legal issues associated with domestic and family relationships are handled. While it is certainly true that all legal areas come with distinct challenges, lawyers often describe family law as the most difficult part of the law to deal with. This is not only because the laws surrounding familial issues are complex, but also because family law issues generally involve issues and problems between families and domestic relationships that create a great deal of tension. For instance, the most commonly encountered family law issues are associated with the termination of marriages or with the custody of children, topics which clearly can create a lot of friction.

Stemming from the fact that family disputes are so stress-inducing, it is common for people to seek out the assistance of a family law expert. This lawyer can help put your mind at ease by handling the difficult paperwork, and by guaranteeing that you achieve the best result possible through any legal proceedings. Call 619-610-7425 to reach a La Mesa attorney, who can help you through this challenging time in your life.

While you should engage in dialogue with a family law attorney in order to fully understand the issue you are facing, it’s a good idea to enter these discussions with some background information. Below are rundowns of some of the more common family law problems:

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is generally defined as an act of violence, or a threat of an act of violence, against a person with whom the defendant has or had an intimate relationship. A person with whom the defendant has/had an intimate relationship is a former or current cohabitant, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, fiancée, or fellow parent. Domestic violence is not prosecuted under a single crime, in fact 3 main forms can be charged. Simple domestic battery, which is elaborated under Section 243(e)(1), is charged for less serious forms of domestic violence, when the victim doesn’t sustain a serious injury. Domestic battery that involves the infliction of a traumatic condition, defined via Section 273.5, is more serious and carries harsher penalties.

Domestic violence requires two primary elements of proof in order to be prosecuted. Firstly, it has to be proven that the defendant and the alleged victim are currently or were formerly engaged in an intimate relationship. Second, it has to be proven that the domestic violence was carried out in a willful manner. If domestic violence only occurred as the result of a complete accident, then the defendant can’t be found guilty. If the defendant is being charged for domestic violence through Section 273.5, it has to be shown that the violence caused the alleged victim to suffer a traumatic condition, which is typically done through emergency room medical records.

 If you are under the impression that you have been falsely accused of committing domestic violence, or are looking to bring a domestic violence charge against a current/former intimate partner, make sure to reach a La Mesa family law attorney.

Child Emancipation

Child emancipation is a legal resource that allows people who are under 18 years old to gain the legal rights that are normally only granted to adults in California. If a child is emancipated, the parent of that emancipated child loses many of the legal rights parents normally have over their children. Once a minor has been emancipated, they are able to choose their place of residence, their choice in medical provider, and much more. Yet, it should be noted that emancipated minors don’t gain all of the legal privileges reserved for adults, and are still viewed as minors by the legal system in certain matters. Emancipated minors are still legally required to attend school, they will be charged in juvenile court for any crimes they commit, and can’t marry without written permission from their parents.

There exist a couple of main ways via which children can become legally emancipated. If a minor joins the military, or gets married with parental permission, then they will almost certainly become emancipated. Also, a judge can grant a minor a declaration of emancipation, if that minor is able to show the courts that he/she is fully able to support himself/herself, if he/she can show that the parent is on board with the decision, and that the minor is more likely to achieve a state of wellbeing as a result of the emancipation. Most typically, a judge will grant a child emancipation privileges if the child demonstrates a need to escape an abusive household. Also, in California, child stars often pursue emancipation to stop their parents from stealing their earnings.

Family Law-Stalking

In California, stalking is understood in legal terms as the willful repeated harassment of an individual that makes that individual feel credibly threatened. Also, the stalking must have been malicious, meaning that the perpetrator of the stalking must have been intending to cause the alleged victim to feel harassed as a result of the stalking behavior.

For the act of stalking to be willful, it has to be shown that the defendant was intentionally stalking the alleged victim, and wasn’t just accidentally running into them. Stalking counts as willful even if the defendant didn’t understand that their behavior was in violation of the law. To qualify as stalking, the behavior also must have been repeated. This doesn’t mean that the stalking occurred a great number of times, only that it took place on a minimum of two occasions. Under stalking law, harassment is understood as behavior that torments, alarms, seriously annoys, or terrorizes the victim. This means that if the alleged victim wasn’t particularly bothered by the behavior, it doesn’t count as stalking. Also, to count as harassment, the behavior must exhibit a course of conduct, meaning that the behavior was part of a continued purpose of harassment. Lastly, to count as stalking, the behavior must have made the victim feel a credible threat. For a threat to be considered credible, the defendant must have actually possessed the ability to carry out the threat.

If you are under the impression that you are currently the victim of stalking behavior, or feel as if you are being untruthfully accused of engaging in stalking behavior, don’t waver and contact a La Mesa Attorney, who can represent you in court and make sure your rights are appreciated.

Property and Asset Division

A central topic in family law is divorce, and a central topic in any divorce is the question of how property will be distributed between divorcing parties. An agreement regarding the issue of property division can be settled out of court, and submitted to a judge to make sure it meets the necessities outlined in California law. However, due to the fact that the division of property and assets is often a contentious issue, it is often settled in a legal setting, such as arbitration, mediation, or trial.

California operates through a communal property law, which means that all property and assets acquired when the marriage was still intact must be given in equal parts to both parties, or in other words, it must be split 50/50 between them. The most common reason for a judge denying a property agreement determined outside of court is that it violates California’s communal property law. Also, for the division to comply with California law, the monetary value of the communal property must be equal, each piece of property does not need to be divided 50/50. Any property or assets that were acquired before the marriage took place, or after the date when the spouses separated is viewed as separate property. Separate property belongs in full to the spouse who originally acquired/purchased it, and does not need to be divided in any way.

Before negotiations surround property and asset division are initiated, both parities must complete a Schedule of Assets and Debts. Each spouse must list what property they view as separate property belonging exclusively to them, and what property they view as communal property, as well as the monetary value of those assets. If the two schedules are similar to one another, then a consensual agreement can usually be reached. If not, the two will have to settle the issue using a legal procedure, such as arbitration or mediation.

Domestic Partnerships

A domestic partnership is a relationship recognized by California law that is different from a standard marriage. In the past, domestic partnerships were mostly pursued by gay couples who may have preferred to get married, but weren’t able to due to legislation prevent same-sex marriage. Domestic partnerships today are still available to same-sex couples, as well as heterosexual couples as long as one of the members of the heterosexual relationship is a minimum of 62 years old. According to A.B. 205, a domestic partnership supplies couples with the exact same privileges and benefits that are given to married persons, as well as the same responsibilities and obligations. Examples of these privileges include rights associated with family leave, the right to visit someone in the hospital as a spouse, and certain healthcare packages.

Domestic partnerships can be terminated in two main ways. Most commonly, a domestic partnership is terminated through a process that is highly similar to the process applied to divorces. The separating domestic partners must decide how to divide property and assets, how to share custody of their children, spousal payments, all other issues that would be settled in a typical divorce. Alternatively, domestic partners can end their relationship via a summary dissolution. However, not every domestic partnership is eligible to go through a summary dissolution, as only domestic partnerships that lasted a short amount of time and involve a small amount of property and assets can qualify for summary dissolution.

If you and your domestic partners and looking to end your legally recognized relationship, call a La Mesa attorney, who has handled the termination of domestic partnerships on many occasions and can guide you through the legal process.

Prenuptials and Post-Nuptials

A prenuptial is a contract signed before a marriage takes place that determines how specific issues might be settled in the case that the people getting married ever choose to separate from one another and obtain a divorce. Not all prenuptials that are signed by both parties are necessarily valid, in fact prenuptials must meet all the requirements listed in the Uniform Pre-Marital Agreement Act. Both parties must have had 7 days to review the prenuptial with an attorney, and both must have signed the document with full consent. Also, both must have been given the chance to look over the other’s financial records. Prenuptials are not allowed to contain measures that eliminate the legal requirement of child support payments, provisions that determine anything related to child custody, or create penalties for either party engaging in unfaithful behavior.

Prenuptials are in most ways alike to post-nuptials, but while prenuptials are signed before the marriage takes place, post-nuptials are signed after the marriage has already taken place. Post-nuptials are generally put into effect if some major change occurs that changes the nature of the relationship. A common reason for a post-nuptial contract is that one party starts to earn a lot more money than he/she earned when first married. He/she may want a post-nuptial and this point in order to protect themselves financially. As with a prenuptial, a post-nuptial cannot contain any provisions that touch on the issues of child support or child custody.

Find a La Mesa Family Law Attorney Near Me

As mentioned earlier, while reading this page has given you a little bit of insight into some common family law topics, you really need to coordinate with an attorney who understands family law issues. Call 619-610-7425 to participate in an informative dialogue with a La Mesa attorney, who works for the prestigious San Diego Family Law Attorney group. This attorney, who’s specialty is handling family law cases in the San Diego area, will pursue a legal strategy that ensures you will exit your family law process with an optimal result. 

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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