Families provide us with love, acceptance, and understanding. They lift us when we are down and stand behind us when we need support. When families face severe disagreements and break down, it can be a traumatic experience that leaves more questions than answers. No matter the challenge, the first answer is easy; seek the legal help you need to protect yourself and your children.
At the Law Offices of Michelanne Hrubic, we are a highly experienced family law firm that prides itself on knowledge to help answer your difficult questions. Whether you are facing a divorce or need help with post-divorce legal issues, our family lawyers will handle your case delicately and deliberately to ensure that your rights are upheld and that you receive a just outcome.
Family Law is a legal term that covers a variety of matters that families could face including:
When families face difficulties in these areas, the processes can be long, difficult, and emotionally charged. It is for these reasons that when it comes to family law, you get the help you need to resolve the conflict. Working with a highly skilled attorney will help protect you and avoid potentially costly mistakes or judgments along the twists and turns of the legal system.
With many different areas of family law, the specific type of case you may need an attorney for could vary. This could impact the eventual outcome of the costs involved. On average, keeping a family law attorney on retainer could cost between $3,000 and $5,000, with actual services ranging between $300 and $500 per hour. The experience of your attorney and the circumstances of the case will determine the final costs. The more complex your family law case, the more it will likely cost in attorney fees.
Lawyers may commonly be referred to as a solicitor, and, yes, you can attempt to solve matters in family court without an attorney. However, because of the complicated process of most family law cases, it is a disadvantage to attempt this simply for the purpose of saving money. The cost of a highly skilled attorney will far outweigh the potential costs of missing an important detail, improperly filing paperwork, or negotiating unfair terms.
The two most common types of divorce in California are contested and uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree to all the terms of the dissolution of marriage including, division of assets and property, child custody, support, and spousal support. These are often settled more quickly and are less costly if the spouses can remain amicable enough to work through the details.
While many couples choose an uncontested route initially, they may discover that what they thought would be an easy process can turn into an embittered battle where each feels they deserve something more and the other deserves much less. This creates a stalemate in which the couple is unable to resolve the necessary elements of the divorce. This then becomes a contested divorce. This process is much lengthier and often involves more costs because of the extended resources of attorneys and the legal system.
An uncontested divorce can also be petitioned from the onset if one spouse disagrees that the divorce should even occur and is potentially hoping for reconciliation.
A less common form of divorce is a collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorces occur when the parties involved are unable to come to an agreement but are willing to involve others in the process to help. This often includes the addition of divorce attorneys, accountants, child care specialists, and on occasion, real estate agents. This process may take a significant amount of time.
For couples who have been married for less than five years, share no real property ownership, have no shared debt, and do not have children, they may file for a summary dissolution. This is the quickest way to divorce for short-term marriages.
On average, a divorce in California will cost between $5,500 and could rise upwards of $40,000. When initially speaking with your divorce attorney, inquire about potential fees and varying costs. They will ask for general details of your case and provide you with an estimate. However, your case could change, and so too could your costs. The surest way to save money in a divorce is to try and remain amicable with your soon-to-be ex and attempt to work out as many details as possible. Even if you are able to come to terms, you should seek the help of an attorney to make sure those terms are equitable for you.
Each circumstance involving child custody is different and depends on what type of child custody case it is. On average, a family law attorney will cost between $3,000 and $20,000 for child custody cases. Factors that may contribute to the cost are the experience of the attorney, other matters involved, such as a divorce, the complexities of the case, and how willing the couple is to work through the process quickly.
There are several issues of child custody that can arise in family law. The most obvious of which is the initial onset of determining custody during a divorce or separation. This process is based on the best interests of the child but often finds both parents attempting to discredit the other for a number of reasons. If parents are unable to agree to terms of custody and visitation on their own, courts will use determining factors such as the child’s school involvement, community involvement, and home life to help place the child in the best home for them.
Coupled with child custody is the decision on child support. Unlike spousal support, child custody is not based on the income of the parent but on the needs of the child. Parents are responsible for providing the child with the necessary funds for education, medical expenses, community involvement, and day-to-day needs like food and clothing. When determining child support, the determination is made based on who has custody, the percentage of time the custody is in place, and what the potential costs are for supporting the child. Support is generally granted until the child is 18 unless there are other circumstances in place.
Those who have a child custody agreement in place but wish to modify it may not simply do so with an agreement by the other parent, as it could lead to further legal problems. Parents must petition the court for any modifications they wish to make to standing agreements, including change of custody, change in visitation, or change in support payments.
In addition to modifying standing agreements, a family law attorney in San Bernardino, CA will help with any recovery of owed child support payments. If your ex is required to pay child support and does not fulfill their obligation, a lawyer will help recover the restitution owed through the court system.
California is one of the few states where attorney fees can be awarded in custody cases. Family Code section 3121 provides authorization to judges to include attorney fees in child custody awards independent of previous marital status or any pending litigation for dissolution of marriage or separation. However, under Family Code 2030, it states that in order to award assistance with legal fees, there should be a consideration of both need and ability.
The need is established by examining all financial aspects of a litigant, including their assets, income, investments, and any properties that produce income. Ability is determining that the party you are seeking assistance from has the assets to actually do so. This can be considered through income that includes wages, property, investments, and the addition of any new partner they have
Like criminal court, the civil codes for family law states legal rights for each party must be upheld and that they have access to legal representation. While this is unknown to many, family law attorneys are aware of this and can help argue its merits on your behalf in your case.
Awards are limited to the amount needed and within reason. If you are seeking attorney fees as part of a settlement, but your attorney is attempting to prolong the case unnecessarily, you may not be awarded any assistance.
With the help of the Law Offices of Michelanne Hrubic, your family law questions will get the answers you need. Our highly experienced and knowledgeable team takes time to understand you, your case, and the outcome you hope to achieve. Any time there is a mixture of law and family, it can be extremely delicate and difficult. With our family law attorneys, you will get the support you and your children deserve. Contact our offices today, and let us fight for you.
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