If you live in South OC and are looking at a upcoming divorce, custody battle, or other family issue, consider contacting Foothill Ranch family attorney Jason Smith for a consultation. Mr. Smith is a family attorney who serves clients in Foothill Ranch and surrounding communities.
A married father of two, Mr. Smith understands the psychological toll family issues have on people. He knows that just because two people call it quits it doesn’t mean they aren’t invested in their family. As a result, he always strives to obtain the fairest arrangements for his clients.
Continue reading the sections on this page to learn a little about choosing the right family lawyer, as well as the types of cases Mr. Smith handles. If you have questions about a specific family legal issue, contact our office to set up a consultation.
Choosing the Right Family Attorney
One of the most important skills an attorney can have is the ability to communicate complicated information persuasively. Your attorney should be able to communicate effectively. Its not just his ability in the courtroom, his ability to work with opposing counsel is even more important (as most family matters are settled).
Before signing an agreement with a Foothill Ranch family lawyer, you’ll want to carefully consider your own financial situation. Different lawyers charge different rate structures. Some charge a flat fee, others charge by the hour. Some lawyers charge a retainer fee. It’s important that your attorney clearly explain the way you’ll be charged so there are no surprises after the finalization of the divorce or separation.
What Kinds of Cases Do Family Attorneys Handle?
Divorce, Annulment, Legal Separation
Different marriages can be dissolved with different legal mechanisms. In the case of a marriage entered into by fraud or force, or where the marriage is extremely short, an annulment might be the best option. However, most folks who seek to end a marriage in which there is a large accumulation of property, finances and debt, must dissolve the union with a divorce.
California is a community property state, which means that property and wealth accumulated during the marriage must be divided equally. This is much easier said than done. When it comes to the process of dividing community property during a divorce, Mr. Smith can help you sort through financial and property records to seek the fairest division of property possible.
Spousal Support or Alimony
When considering a spousal support (also known as alimony) arrangement, courts in California are guided by Family Code §4320. The law states that the court must consider the earning capacity of each person and whether that amount is enough to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage. In addition, the court must consider the job market, the skills of the supported party, as well as the ability of the supporting party to pay. Other factors are also considered, all of which your lawyer can explain in more detail. It’s important to keep in mind that as the court considers a spousal support arrangement, your lawyer will be vital to helping you present your case, and achieve the best agreement possible.
Whenever children are involved in a divorce, the situation takes on an additional level of stress. In cases involving children, it’s always recommended that you consult a qualified Foothill Ranch family attorney. Under state law, the courts are guided by California Family Code §3900. The law applies equal responsibility to the mother and father of a minor child when it comes to providing support.
The court will also consider the financial situation of each parent when determining a child support plan. With the help of a good attorney, you are more likely to achieve the ideal child support arrangement.
Mr. Smith can also help parents who have been paying child support for a prolonged period of time, but have since encountered financial trouble. Such trouble might occur following the loss of a job, or the sickness of a close relative that requires extra care. In such cases, Mr. Smith can help take the steps necessary to modify an existing child support order.
Hammering out a child visitation schedule between two former spouses who have difficulty communicating can be an extreme challenge. In worst-case scenarios one parent might falsely accuse the other parent of abuse in an effort to limit that parent’s visitation with the child. Mr. Smith can help parents who are caught in such an unfortunate situation to get the quality time with their children they are legally entitled to.
In other cases, a parent might have legitimate concerns about the safety of their child when with the other parent. If you are experiencing similar concerns, contact Mr. Smith to schedule a consultation.
Consulting a Foothill Ranch Family Attorney
Whether you live in Foothill Ranch or some other OC city, Mr. Smith can help you with your legal situation. It’s important to remember that no website can thoroughly discuss the nuances of family law. If you have a specific legal question, contact Mr. Smith to see how he can help you.