Mission Viejo Family Lawyer

Family legal issues are hard, emotional, and devastating. If you hire the wrong lawyer, those difficult issues can compound and multiply exponentially. If you want to file for divorce or protect your children by filing for custody, consider calling Mission Viejo family lawyer Jason Smith.

Known as one of the largest master planned communities in the U.S., Mission Viejo has a population of 97,156 according the most recent Census Bureau statistics. Though exact numbers on how many residents of the town seek a divorce or separation each year are difficult to pin down, Orange County is believed to be a leader when it comes to the national divorce rate.

Married, with two children of his own, Mr. Smith knows the emotional investment people have in their marriages, and has witnessed first hand the stress they experience when things fall apart. Continue reading for more information on the how to choose a family law attorney as well as the type of services a Mission Viejo family lawyer offers.


Choosing the Right Lawyer 

While there is no guarantee that a judge will rule in your favor on any matter, you should still have confidence in your attorney. Some divorce cases involve a difficult spouse. This type of situation requires a sharp and objective legal mind. Such an attorney needs to be aggressive enough to litigate if necessary, and perform well in a courtroom setting. In addition, a good Mission Viejo family lawyer will communicate effectively and honestly with you about your case.

When choosing a lawyer, it’s important that you carefully consider your own financial situation and the fee structure your family attorney charges. Some lawyers charge an hourly rate, while others charge flat fees or retainer fees. It’s important to be clear on these charges before hiring an attorney so there are no surprises. If you have questions about Mr. Smith’s price structure, contact his office to set up a consultation.

What Does a Mission Viejo Family Lawyer Do?

It doesn’t matter where in California you live, whether amidst the beautiful tree-lined streets of Mission Viejo, or anywhere else in the Golden State. California lawyers like Mr. Smith, have to be experts in the state’s family code.

Mr. Smith handles cases involving the following practice areas:

Divorce, Legal Separation and Annulment

Depending on the duration of a couple’s marriage, there are a couple different options available when it comes to separating. Some are less formal (annulments), while others can be incredibly complex affairs (high net worth divorces). For the couple who has accrued property and money together during their marriage, the issue of how to divide the wealth can be a complicated issue. If you are seeking a divorce or other separation and are struggling with questions related to the division of property, contact Mr. Smith to see how he can help.

Along with separation, unfortunately, even Mission Viejo has its share of domestic violence. To learn more, visit our detailed page on domestic violence.

Mission Viejo Family Lawyer

Alimony or Spousal Support

The issue of spousal support in California is guided by the state’s Family Code § 4320. Under the law, the court must consider the earning capacity of each party and whether this is financially sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage. It’s important that anyone who is seeking spousal support, or who is likely to pay spousal support, hire a good lawyer to help strike a fair deal. The way in which a person presents their case before a judge or during negotiations can make a significant difference in the amount of spousal support ordered.

Child Support Issues

Under California law, both parents are responsible for the well being of their children. Family Code § 3900 states the following:

“The father and mother of a minor child have an equal responsibility to support their child in the manner suitable to the child’s circumstances.”

How the court determines the responsibility for child support will depend on several factors. However, having the right lawyer to help you present your case will make a significant difference in how an order for child support is issued.

Child Custody

This is often one of the most stressful aspects of a divorce or separation, particularly if the relationship between the two spouses is acrimonious. Don’t gamble with your children’s future. If you face a custody hearing, don’t go it alone. Hire a good Mission Viejo family lawyer to help you get through it.

When it comes to the issue of child custody, California Family Code § 3020(b) states the following:

“The legislature finds and declares it is the public policy of this state to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated of dissolved their marriage.”

While this section of law provides powerful rights for both parents seeking custody or visitation with their children, there may be many issues that need to be sorted out. These can range from past abuse by one spouse, a spouse who suffers from addiction or mental health issues, or perhaps one spouse is falsely accusing the other of abusive behavior in an effort to limit the other spouse’s access to custody.

Consulting an Attorney

Whether you are involved in a separation and live in Mission Viejo, or somewhere else South OC, Jason Smith is a great option to help you get through this tough time. If you have questions about the above listed areas of family law, or some other issue, contact JS Family Law Attorney to set up a consultation.