What Matters Are Covered Under Family Law?
Family law is a branch of law that concerns relationships among family members. One of the largest practice areas within family law is divorce and all of the issues that go along with it — the division of assets, alimony, child support, child custody and visitation, etc. But family law also encompasses other issues, such as adoption, paternity, prenuptial agreements, and much more. Our Stockton family lawyer will discuss some of the issues below.
California Divorces – Let a Stockton Family Lawyer Help With Your Case
Divorce is a type of family law with which most people are very familiar. With a divorce rate of 7.7% in 2019, California is below the national average, but that still equates to many, many divorces. A defining feature of divorce in California is that it was the first state to implement “no-fault” divorces, which do not require either party to show wrongdoing by the other party. California is also a community property state, meaning that, absent an agreement to the contrary, married couples must divide their marital assets 50/50 upon divorce.
Spousal Support (Also Known as Alimony)
Spousal support is money that one spouse pays to the other spouse after a divorce. It is generally awarded in cases where one spouse’s earning potential has been diminished due to homemaking and childcare during the marriage or where one spouse suffers a disability and cannot earn income.
Child Support Issues Between Parents
Child support is money the non-custodial parent must pay to the custodial parent to help cover childcare costs. It is based on the notion that both parents are responsible for their children’s care and well-being, whether the children live with a parent or not. Child support orders are strictly enforced, and non-payment can subject a parent to serious consequences. If you have questions or concerns about your situation, speak to a Stockton family lawyer as soon as possible.
Child Custody and Visitation in California
Child custody refers to the right of parents to make long-term decisions for their children (legal custody) and to have control over the child’s person (physical custody). While both parents typically enjoy legal custody, physical custody can be granted to either one parent or both parents. Visitation is the right of the non-custodial parent to spend time with their children.
California Adoption Issues
There are several different types of adoption, including agency adoptions, stepparent adoptions, kinship adoptions, and second-parent adoptions. Each type involves its own lengthy legal process for establishing parental rights in the adopting parent or parents and terminating the parental rights of the birth parents.
Paternity issues come into play when a mother wishes to establish the paternity of her child, as establishing paternity is a prerequisite to seeking child support payments from the child’s father. Paternity determinations are also frequently sought by fathers who wish to seek custody and visitation orders from the court.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people before marriage that establishes each party’s financial rights and responsibilities in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements can be particularly useful in community property states like California to bypass the automatic 50/50 property division scheme.
Contact a Stockton Family Lawyer to Get Help with Your Family Law Issue
Hiring an experienced family law attorney is the best way to protect your rights in a family dispute. To get started, please contact a Stockton family lawyer at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau by using our online form or calling us at 209-477-8171.