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San Marcos Family Law Attorney

While court cases involving family law only represent around 2% of all trial court filings in California, they are often among the most antagonistic. Family law disputes usually deal with difficult issues related to divorce and custody over children, which are topics that are typically fraught with tension and tough to resolve without emotional flare-ups. So while your family law situation is unlikely to be resolved without at least a minimum level of unease, there are steps you can take to make this process as palatable as possible. The first step you should take is to become informed on the topic you are coping with, by reading up on the family law issue you are facing. However, while this research is important as it helps give you a basic level of comprehension, you will probably soon notice that family law issues are complicated, and cannot be fully understood in their entirety through quick research.

This is why it’s important to take the second step, which is to reach out to a San Marcos family law attorney at 619-610-7425, who can guide you through the entire process from beginning to end. This lawyer can take care of all the difficult paperwork and legal intricacies that are almost impossible to figure out on your own. A competent family law lawyer can turn an unbearable situation into a tolerable situation, and ensure the family law issue you are coping with doesn’t take up all of your time and energy.

As mentioned, while an attorney is essentially necessary to deal with the complexities of family law in California, it is important to be generally aware of your family law issue. Below are synopses of family law issues encountered by individuals in California.

Stalking Cases

In family legal quarrels, the issue of stalking can unfortunately become a problem. While anti-stalking laws were first passed in 1990 in response to the slaying of actress Rebecca Schaeffer by a fanatical admirer, and intended to protect famous people in California from neurotic fans, anti-stalking laws are now most commonly applied in family disputes. Most of all, this is seen between divorcing spouses or other types of romantic partners who have become alienated, when one former partner stalks the other. California’s anti-stalking laws are considered the toughest such legislation in the country, with the maximum penalty for stalking involving a felony sentence of up to 5 years in state prison.

Stalking doesn’t apply if it only involves a single incident, stalking under California law is defined as the repeated willful harassment of a person that makes them feel fear for their safety and/or the safety of their immediate family. There are a few conditions that must be met for harassing action to qualify as stalking. First, the stalking must be intentionally malicious, meaning the person doing the stalking must have wanted to inflict fear upon the person being stalked. If the harassment was repeated, but made the victim feel fear without intention, then it does not qualify as stalking according to California law. Also, the harassment must have made the victim feel fear as the result of a viable threat, which can be transmitted verbally, in written form, through electronic communication, or via threatening action.

Examples of stalking behavior include repeatedly damaging a person’s property, regularly driving by a person’s residence, repeatedly leaving a person written messages, or following the person around without the person’s knowledge or consent.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is defined as abuse that is committed between intimate partners or family members. Abuse is when a person commits harm, or threatens to commit harm, against another person. An intimate partner is someone to whom you are married or were formerly married, a person with whom you are engaged in domestic partnership or formerly engaged in a domestic partnership, a former or current fiancé, a person with whom you have a child, or someone you used to romantically date. Family members can include any close family members connected through marriage or blood relations, which include siblings, stepsiblings, grandparents, aunts or uncles, children, or grandchildren. If you are looking to press domestic violence charges against an intimate partner or family member, or believe you are being falsely accused of domestic violence, don’t hesitate to reach out to a San Marcos attorney.

There are a couple different forms of domestic violence for which a person can be charged in California. The most common is domestic battery, which makes it a misdemeanor to commit harm against an intimate partner. This type of domestic violence does not require a visible injury to be charged, but does require some sort of evidence that the domestic battery occurred, such as a witness statement or a video recording. For more serious domestic violence, such as violence that causes a visible bodily injury, there are more serious forms of domestic battery that can be charged as felonies, and are associated with more severe penalties. A third form of domestic violence that a person can be found guilty of in California is abuse of children, which involves inflicting harm upon a minor. Parents are allowed to use minimal physical force to discipline their children, but if the physical force causes bodily injury or is deemed cruel, then that parent may be found guilty of child abuse.

Restraining Orders

A restraining order is a protective measure provided by the legal system to defend individuals from threatening people who are a danger to their physical safety. Judges in superior court can grant different kinds of restraining orders, depending on the situation and the relationship between the person requesting the restraining order and the threatening person. A restraining order is intended to dissuade the threatening person from continuing to threaten the victim by informing them that the legal system will enforce serious penalties for persisting with the menacing behavior. Restraining orders cannot be requested by just anybody, restraining orders are only considered by the court system in conjunction with other charges, meaning the victim can only request a restraining order against an alleged perpetrator if the victim is already charging the perpetrator with another crime, say stalking.

In California, there are three main categories of restraining order which can be granted by judges in superior court: domestic violence restraining orders, civil harassment restraining orders, and elder abuse restraining orders. Restraining orders involving families tend to involve domestic violence restraining orders. This type of order is designed to protect victims of domestic abuse from further acts of violence or harm from their abusers. A domestic violence restraining order may include measures aimed to prevent the abuser from engaging in certain behaviors, the elimination of rights to child custody or child visitation, removal of the abuser from a joint household, or a rule that the abuser must stay a set number of feet away from the victim. Elder abuse restraining orders can also be applied in a family law context if the elderly person being abused is a family member of the abuser.

Premarital and Post-Marital Agreements

A premarital agreement is a pact made between two people who are about to get married, regarding how they will settle a potential divorce or legal separation in the case that the two people decide to split up. A premarital agreement can make the divorce process much easier to complete, by deciding divorce settlement issues in advance so they don’t have to be negotiated after the marriage ends. This can save both people a great deal of money, as lawyers don’t have to be hired for long divorce negotiations if most of the issues are already decided in a premarital agreement. If you are about to get married and think you might be interested in a premarital agreement, call 619-610-7425 to connect with a San Marcos attorney who can help you draft up a valid premarital agreement

A premarital agreement can include agreements regarding spousal support payments, the division of marital property, and inheritance rights. It cannot include any measures that touch upon child support payments, child custody, or child visitation. It also cannot include measures that penalize either party for certain faults. For a premarital agreement to be considered valid, both people must have been given 7 days to review the agreement with a legal professional, both people must have signed the premarital agreement voluntarily, and each person must have been granted access to the other’s financial records.

A post-marital agreement is nearly identical to a premarital agreement, except it is signed during the course of a marriage instead of beforehand. One difference is that a premarital agreement is assumed to be valid and must be proven illegitimate to be deemed invalid, whereas a post-marital agreement is only considered valid after being approved as valid by the courts.   

Reproductive Rights

California has relatively liberal laws governing reproductive rights, when compared to other states in the US. Reproductive rights are generally understood as the rights a person maintains to make decisions over the ability to reproduce and access reproductive health services. According to California law, you possess the right to use birth control, pregnancy tests, emergency contraception measures, testing/treatment for STDs, and pursue abortion services. Also, it is your right to access all of these services with full confidentiality, meaning the medical professional and institution that performed the service are not allowed to share the fact that you received the service with anyone.

In California, birth control is available to everyone, and no one is allowed to force you to take birth control. Birth control can either be prescribed by your doctor, or can be directly prescribed by a licensed pharmacist. Anyone can purchase condoms or emergency contraception, also called the morning-after pill, without a prescription and regardless of age.

Abortion is available to women who want to end their pregnancies, but the operation must be completed roughly within 6 months after becoming pregnant. Unlike with other states, people under the age of 18 in California do not need to seek parental consent before pursuing an abortion, and are able to keep the abortion procedure completely private.

California’s public schools are required to teach sex education to students between the 7th and 12th grades. The topics covered in these sex education courses must meet the standards laid out in the California Healthy Youth Act. This includes information about family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, and contraception.

Adoption

Adoption is a process by which an adult takes on the responsibilities and rights that would under normal circumstances be granted to the birth parents of the child. Via this process, the rights of the birth parents are permanently concluded, and the adoptive parents are granted full sole custody of the child. If you are considering adopting a child, it is a good idea to talk about the process with a San Marcos attorney, who understands what is legally required to adopt a child in San Diego County.

There are a few forms of adoption available to prospective adoptive parents in California. One option is what is referred to as an agency adoption. Through this form of adoption, birth parents surrender their parental rights to an adoption agency, who then in turn transfers these rights to adoptive parents that the agency has reviewed. Another form of adoption is called independent adoption, which is when a pregnant mother and adoptive parents come to an agreement that the adoptive parents will take the baby after the birth of the child. For an independent adoption to be considered legal, the adoptive parents must share specific pieces of information about themselves with the birth mother, and undergo a court investigation to ensure their viability as good parents. A third form of adoption available to adults in California is stepparent adoption, through which the husband/wife or domestic partner of the birth parent adopts a child. This is the most commonly seen form of adoption in California.

Reach Out to a San Marcos Attorney with Family Law Expertise Near Me

No matter which family law issue you are dealing with, the support of a trained attorney can help you steer through the family law process. Even if you just have a few initial questions about your family law case, call 619-610-7425 to go over your case with a competent San Marcos attorney employed by San Diego Family Law Attorney, who has handled all different kinds of family law cases in the locality. 

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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