A California family law attorney is an important professional who should be consulted in the event of a legal dispute involving the family. If that sounds somewhat ambiguous, that is only by nature of the job which a California family law attorney has.
The skill-sets required by a California family law attorney are very broad, and a California family law attorney could practice in a number of different types of court, from a criminal court to a civil court to a juvenile court to, of course, a family court.
Given such diversity in legal skills required by a California family law attorney, it can be difficult to pick out anything unifying all of the California family law attorneys.
Of course, one could point out that an individual must have graduated from a three-year post-graduate law program and then passed the California Bar Examination in order to become a California family law attorney, but beyond this, these professionals are a diverse group with little in common. This means finding the right California family law attorney for your needs is an especially difficult and important concern.
What types of cases do California family law attorneys handle?
In order to find the best California family law attorney for your case, you need to know about the different types of cases that a California family law attorney can handle. Make sure that the California family law attorney that you find is experienced with cases similar to your own, since not all California family law attorneys handle all the same cases.
These are some of the most common legal procedures for California family law attorneys to be expert in performing:
- Divorce: When most people think of hiring a California family law attorney, they are contemplating a divorce, which, despite its ubiquity, can be one of the most difficult legal actions a California family law attorney can undertake. Just how trying yours will depend on a number of factors unique to your case, such as whether there are children involved and how much property is owned by both parties.
However, the biggest question for California family law attorneys is whether the divorce is uncontested. If so, then the California family law attorney serves mainly to fill out paperwork, but in the event of a contested divorce, a California family law attorney will need to investigate the finances of both spouses and their behavior during their marriage, and then they’ll negotiate with the other spouse’s California family law attorney, possibly drafting dozens of settlement proposals in the process.
- Child Custody: Child custody actions are often the most important element of a divorce case. However, sometimes a California family law attorney will be hired to solve a child custody dispute separate from a divorce. This usually occurs several years after a divorce, when changes in circumstance have rendered the original custody order inappropriate. Common reasons to hire a California family law attorney to petition for a change of custody are if one parent moves out of state or if one parent gets remarried.
- Child and Spousal Support: A CA family law attorney is likely to take a child or spousal support case under similar circumstances to when they’d take a child custody case. That is to say that usually, a CA family law attorney will work on a child or spousal support agreement during divorce negotiations, but sometimes, California family law attorneys are hired for support cases alone. The most notable reason to hire a CA family law attorney for the child or spousal support change is if one parent’s pay drastically increases or decreases.
- Juvenile Delinquency: California family law attorneys handle juvenile delinquency cases since juvenile defendants require different handling than adult defendants, and there are different concerns at heart. A CA family law attorney knows that a juvenile case handled incorrectly can have consequences that will echo for the rest of a person’s life, and they value above all else a child’s right to a normal life, away from misguided punishments that will result in little good.
- Adoption and Guardianship: The road to legally adopting a child or establishing guardianship over an adult is a difficult one, something that no one knows better than a CA family law attorney. However, if anyone can do it, it’s a legal professional with years of experience in making sure that responsible individuals are allowed to take care of their loved ones.
Are there specialized California family law attorneys?
Yes, the State Bar of California has established a certification program that acknowledges the accomplishments of those California family law attorneys who’ve gained exceptional knowledge and experience within the field.