Family Law Focus
If you are in the midst of a divorce or a difficult family situation, hiring an attorney can be a difficult decision. You need an attorney who will take the time to get to know you. Most importantly, you need a lawyer who will treat you as a person, not a file or number.
At the Law Office of Richard M. Abdallah, personal service is at the core of our practice. We understand that at the heart of every family law case is an individual with needs, goals, and desires.
Whether you are facing a divorce, custody issues or child support issues, you don’t need to struggle through the process on your own. Meeting with an attorney is well worth the cost to avoid entangling yourself in pitfalls down the road.
Our Practice Areas
- Grandparent Rights
- Premarital/Prenuptial Agreements
- Postmarital/Postnuptial Agreements
To speak with Richard M Abdallah, Esq. about your situation, call us at 916-226-4480, or click here to contact us online.
The path necessary to obtain a divorce can be intimidating and confusing without the right guidance. It is important to learn your legal rights once you or your spouse has decided to file for divorce as the process can be challenging with its many requirements.
When seeking the legal dissolution of a marriage, the party initiating the divorce is called the Petitioner. After the opening documents are filed with the Court they must then be personally served on the other party of the marriage, called the Respondent. Upon completion of the personal service, the Respondent has 30 days to file and serve a Response to the request for dissolution of marriage. Additionally, once the initial documents are successfully served, temporary restraining orders are automatically activated which apply to both the Petitioner and Respondent. These temporary restraining orders are established to prevent issues which include, but are not limited to, removal of a child from the state, the cancellation of insurance policies, transfer of money, and transfer of real property. If the Respondent fails to respond within the 30-day time-frame, the case may proceed by “Default”. The main objective in a divorce is to obtain a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage; however, this is only attainable after 6 months have passed from the date that the Respondent was personally served with the initial documents.
At the Law Office of Richard M. Abdallah, we take each case seriously and make every effort to resolve your issues in a cost-effective, timely manner. We understand that divorce is a difficult time in an individual’s life and we strive to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
Child Custody & Visitation
When contested, custody of the minor children is perhaps the most critical issue that parties face in a divorce proceeding. There are two separate forms of custody which must be decided: legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody of a minor child involves the power to make significant life decisions regarding medical and educational needs of the child. Physical custody of a minor child indicates which party the child physically resides with. The legal and physical custody can either be sole (fully awarded to only one party) or joint (shared between both parties). Once physical custody of the minor child has been decided, it’s necessary to determine a schedule of visitation for the non-custodial parent.
The Court cannot make orders for legal and physical custody until a written agreement of the parties is filed, or a Request for Order regarding custody and visitation has been filed. The parties will always be required to attend mediation (which can be provided through the Court or private) before the Court makes any custody or visitation orders. The goal of mediation is to reduce the animosity and assist the parents in reaching agreements. If the parents are unable to reach an agreement during mediation, the mediating counselor will submit a report to the Court that outlines their recommendations based on the specific situation.
The Court’s responsibility is to ensure that all child custody and visitation orders serve the best interest of the child. We recognize that these decisions are often highly emotional for both the parents and child, so we encourage you to contact our office for assistance with these types of matters.
One of the primary objectives in a divorce proceeding is diving property. Property includes assets as well as debts which all need to be divided equitably. There are two forms of property that must be listed and divided – community property and separate property.
Under California law, assets and debts accrued during the marriage are typically considered as belonging to the marital community, while assets and debts acquired pre-marriage or post-separation are considered separate property and usually remain with the respective spouse. However, a court may sometimes choose to award one spouse’s separate property to the other spouse in order to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of property.
We understand that dividing assets and debts can be a difficult issue in divorce. Let the Law Office of Richard M. Abdallah help guide you through this process to secure a fair division of property.
Child & Spousal Support
Child and spousal support are usually major, immediate concerns when proceeding with divorce. California law utilizes a precise formula which calculates support based on factors such as gross income and amount of parenting time. The purpose of this specialized formula is to guarantee that an appropriate child support arrangement is calculated to ensure that parents adequately support their own children. The same formula is used for spousal support as it guarantees an appropriate calculation to maintain the marital standard of living.
Cases involving child and/or spousal support are often complex and require representation from a knowledgeable attorney to arrive at a fair solution. We are experienced in requesting, modifying, and enforcing these types of orders, so do not hesitate to contact us for your support needs.
Domestic Violence/Restraining Orders
Sadly, many family law disputes involve domestic violence or threats of domestic violence and these acts may necessitate an order of protection. When a child or adult is in imminent danger of domestic violence, the Court can enter a protection order to secure the individual’s safekeeping. Such protection orders may prohibit the perpetrator from initiating contact with the threatened individual(s), and/or the perpetrator may not be allowed to come within a specific distance of the protected person(s). However, the terms of your protection order can vary depending on the unique circumstances surrounding your case.
If you are afraid for your safety or the safety of your children because of a domestic violence situation, we encourage you to contact the Law Office of Richard M. Abdallah to take a positive step to ensure your family’s safety through legal action.