Family Law Center

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FAQ

 

General

Divorce

Child Custody & Support

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  • How much will it cost?

    A natural and very common question we hear is "How much is this going to cost?" We can't say for certain, especially at the outset of a case. Factors that influence the cost of a case involve the level of cooperation, or conflict and any unforeseen issues that may arise during a case.

    Cooperative alternatives to traditional methods of divorce such as Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Family Law result in a lowered level of conflict, which translate to a reduced cost to the parties.

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  • What is "Divorce Done Differently"?

    "Divorce Done Differently" is when you and your Family Law Center attorney-mediator or representative work together to establish an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation for all concerned in your family law matter.

    In this environment, we usually find that we can arrive at cooperative solutions, preserving the spouses dignity and assets so that both can enjoy successful lives after divorce.

    Family Law Center services are client-centered and our attorneys serve in a compassionate and professional manner. Our goal is to change the way people obtain a divorce or co-parent plan. We help people resolve conflict in a meaningful and satisfying way.

    Family Law Center strives to provide service tailored to the needs of each individual and family circumstance. Contact Family Law Center for more information about our firm philosophy "Divorce Done Differently".

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  • What services does Family Law Center provide?

    Family Law Center offers several client-centered options in the dissolution process, including Divorce Mediation, Collaborative Practice, Limited Legal Services, and Individual Attorney Representation. Contact Family Law Center to learn more about the various options available in the dissolution process.

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  • Where is Family Law Center located?

    Family Law Center is centrally located in Sacramento on Professional Drive off Arden Way near Watt Avenue. Family Law Center is located at 1722 Professional Drive, Sacramento, California 95825 in our own specially designed facilities.

    Contact our office to schedule a consultation with a Family Law Center attorney.

    Family Law Center strives to provide service tailored to the needs of each individual and family circumstance. Contact Family Law Center for more information about our firm philosophy "Divorce Done Differently".

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  • How is property divided?

    California law relating to property division in a divorce is constantly changing. Your Family Law Center Attorney-Mediator will advise you of the relevant laws. The major point to keep in mind in discussing division of community property is that the general rule is that all community assets and all community obligations of the parties, as of the date of separation, are to be divided equally between the parties in as practical a manner as possible. Property will be labeled either community property or separate property.

    Family Law Center attorneys work towards win-win agreements and creating an atmosphere of give and take, utilizing their strengths in negotiating toward settlement.

    Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation with a Family Law Center attorney for more information on property division.

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  • How long does the divorce process take?

    Each case is different and has different factors and circumstances which call for and receive individual attention. A separate analysis of individual issues is made and they are handled accordingly. Complex cases involving custody, property, support, pension, and difficult parties, generally take more time. With cooperation of both parties, the Family Law matter can move forward to a reasonable and pompt resolution.

    The spouse initiating the proceedings is the Petitioner, and the other spouse is the "Respondent." It makes no difference under California law which party initiates the proceedings. The Petitioner will file a Petition and the Respondent will file a Response.

    Once the Petition is served on the Respondent, the six (6) month clock commences to run for the obtaining of a final decree of dissolution. While many dissolutions take longer than six months to resolve, no final decree of dissolution can be entered sooner than the six month period, and will only be entered with a full settlement agreement or agreement to bifurcate the marriage status.

    The time and effort involved in a dissolution varies greatly. It depends primarily upon the circumstances of the parties, the nature and extent of the issues involved, amount and duration of child and spousal support, complexity of property issues, property characterization and valuation, property division and the level of conflict. Both parties cooperation is a very important factor.

    Contact Family Law Center to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Family Law attorneys.

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  • Is the dissolution process the same for registered domestic partners?

    Yes, for the most part, as long as your domestic partnership has been registered with the State of California. You should be aware that federal law does not recognize registered domestic partnerships, which means that federal tax law does not apply to domestic partners and married couples in the same way. If partner support is an issue or you own property, you may also want to consult a tax specialist.

    Contact Family Law Center for more information on the dissolution process for registered domestic partners.

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  • What grounds are required for divorce?

    The term "divorce" has been known to the general public for many years and is well-recognized. The name of this procedure has been officially changed in California to "dissolution" of marriage. California law dissolves marriages based on irreconcilable differences and does not determine fault. A no-fault marriage dissolution means that the court will not want to know which party was right or which was wrong, except where it bears directly on the issue of child custody or parental access.

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  • What happens when I file for divorce?

    Your FLC attorney or mediator will prepare a Petition and a Summons. These documents are filed with the superior court in the county where you or your spouse lives. You will have to pay a fee to the Court to file these papers.

    There are several steps that may occur after you file, including but not limited to: temporary orders (for cases requiring immediate action after the petition or response is filed), disclosure, agreement (resolving dissolution without having to appear in court), settlement conference and trial.

    Not all of the steps are a necessity in every case. For example, you may simply reach an agreement and obtain a judgment without the need for appearing in court for temporary orders, settlement conference, or trial.

    Contact Family Law Center to schedule a consultation to learn more about the steps involved in the dissolution process.

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  • What is a legal separation?

    You may have religious, insurance, tax or other reasons for wanting a legal separation instead of a dissolution. If you obtain a legal separation, you and your spouse will remain married, but the court can divide the property and issue orders relating to child custody, visitation, child support and spousal support, and, if necessary, a restraining order. A legal separation requires a mutual agreement.

    Contact Family Law Center to learn more about legal separation from our experienced Family Law attorneys.

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  • What happens if we cannot agree on custody?

    If you and the other parent are unable to agree on custody or visitation, a judge will make the decision for you. There are several steps to finalizing a custody plan. However, custody and visitation can be decided on a temporary basis if there are immediate problems.

    It is important too, to remember that your custody plan can be changed if it doesn't work. If your circumstances change, you can return to court and request a change in parenting plan even if a temporary or permanent order has already been established.

    To learn more about child custody, contact the attorneys at Family Law Center.

    Contact Family Law Center to learn more about our various client-centered divorce options.

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  • What happens to our children when we separate?

    You can determine what happens. The best solution for children is for the parents to reach an agreement on how they will share their children's time. Your parenting plan can become a court order; a judge will approve a custody plan agreed upon by both parents.

    Divorce is a time of great stress for the entire family. Children often become the innocent victims of this stressful experience. Children need nurturing and understanding during this time of emotional upheaval. Instead, because of their own fears and anxieties, divorcing parents usually have less emotional support available to give to their children. As a result, while struggling through this chaotic time, parents who divorce make unintentional mistakes that can be very damaging to their children.

    Family Law Center attorneys are compassionate and conscientious, yet tough when a situation demands it. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation with a Family Law Center attorney.

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  • What is child support?

    Since July 1, 1992, California has implemented statewide guidelines for child support. The law does allow parents to make agreements that are different from the Child Support Guideline, provided that there are reasonable assurances that the children's needs will be met. Child Support can always be modified to Guideline.

    Guideline support takes into account the incomes of each parent and the percentage of time that the parents spend with the children. Guideline Support does not take into account your budget. Parents generally follow the Guideline, but can also work together to find a different resolution.

    Attorneys at Family Law Center have the knowledge and resources, including the latest software programs, to determine the amount of Guideline Child Support the law requires.

    To learn more about child support, contact the attorneys at Family Law Center.

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  • What is spousal support?

    Spousal support is the term for alimony in California. Spousal support is money that one spouse pays to help support the other after the filing of a dissolution.

    To determine the amount of spousal support, there are many factors to consider. They include but are not limited to: the standard of living during the marriage, the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, earning capacity and job histories of both individuals, and any other relevant factors.

    The amount and duration of spousal support can be a complex matter. Attorneys at Family Law Center work diligently to help resolve the issue of spousal support.

    Contact our office to schedule a consultation for more information on spousal support.

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