Family Law Litigation
Family Law Litigation
Where parties can’t come to an agreement as to how they should resolve their issues in their divorce, paternity action or custody dispute the courts will make a determination in their divorce. The process is known as litigation. In a litigated family law matter, one or both of the parties may hire an attorney. Each person will be given the opportunity to present evidence which the court will use in making orders.
We believe that the most high conflict cases can be settled outside of court. However if your case is not able to be resolved, we are able to refer you to a skilled colleague to handle your litigation matter. We also work as a limited scope consulting attorney for parties who represent themselves in the family law court system.
WHAT CAN BE LITIGATED?
In many cases a couple cannot agree on a visitation or custody plan for the children. In those cases the court will decide on a custody plan which is in the best interest of the children. There are several ways in which the court may determine which parent should have custody. In highly litigated cases, the court may have an attorney appointed for the children or they may have an evaluator meet with the parents and children. The attorney or evaluator will make recommendations to the judge as to what parenting plan is in the best interests of the children. In some cases, we have been appointed to act as minor’s counsel or as a parenting plan coordinator to assist high conflict families.
The best parenting plan is one that you and the other parent can agree on. Therefore we work to assist families through collaborative divorce or mediation prior to referring them to litigation counsel.
There are some cases where one of the parents may dispute who the father of a child is. In those cases, the court may order that the parents take a DNA case to determine who the father is. There are other matters where because of various factors someone who is not the biological parent will assert paternity rights over the child, if the court deems it to be appropriate they will litigate matters of “presumptive paternity.”
Many times we are able to avoid litigation and can work to establish Agreements pertaining to Three parent actions as well as other issues surrounding paternity.
Although California is a community property state, there are sometimes disputes between the parties as to who the property belongs to. There may be a house that was owned before the marriage or an inheritance received during the marriage. Often a couple needs the court to determine whether the community has interest in that property. There are also times where there is a business which was created during the marriage but only one spouse is employed at the business. The court will determine what the community owns and what part should go to the employee/spouse.
I am able to review various financial documents and can assist my client in receiving their share of community property as well as any separate property they are entitled to and can keep them out of court by working with collaborative counsel.
Courts use child support calculator software. Child support is based on a guideline formula. Spousal support has other factors that a court will consider. When choosing an alternative to litigation, we are able to come up with solutions for support that will provide both parties with more flexibility than a litigation matter.