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Helping Protect the Wellbeing of Your Family
Family disputes can be some of the most unpleasant problems to face. No one wants to become embroiled in a legal battle with someone so close to them, and many families endeavor to resolve their situations out of court whenever possible. Unfortunately, some issues become too great to be solved without litigation. In these situations, a family law attorney can help advocate for the wellbeing of your interests and those of your family.
The consequences of losing a family law dispute can be earthshattering. In child custody cases, for example, you could lose the right to freely see your children. In a divorce case, a loss could lead to you not receiving sufficient alimony and other funds to which you are entitled. No matter your situation, retaining the services of an experienced family lawyer can help strengthen your case and increase the likelihood of litigation ending in your favor. We at The Law Offices of Shamieh, Shamieh & Ternieden have more than 45 years of legal experience, equipping our family law attorney to champion your case and fight for the results you deserve.
Divorce in California
Disputes involving divorce can quickly turn into arguments about how joint property and assets are divided or what type of support a spouse owes. In these disagreements, California courts take a hard look at the grounds for divorce, taking into account any malicious or reckless behavior that led to the divorce proceeding. Spending funds on affairs, losing money from gambling, or acting violently toward your partner or child can all result in a court granting more favorable support to the spouse.
Otherwise, California uses what is called a community property system. This means, barring extraordinary grounds for divorce or legal action, any assets and debt you acquired as a married couple will be equitably split down the middle between spouses. Individual, separately acquired property, including those possessed prior to marriage, gifts, and inheritances, are excluded from this measure.
We can help make sure you receive what you are entitled to in a divorce proceeding. We can fight for or against grounds for divorce allegations that could impact the distribution of your assets.
Child Support in California
Parents are obligated to support their children, even after a divorce proceeding and even if custody is not awarded. The amount you will be obligated to pay is generally calculated by your present income level, the amount of parenting time you are awarded, the number of minor children involved, and the level of custody you receive.
Once a child support order has been issued by a judge, the affected spouse must pay the full amount on the specified schedule. Not doing so opens you up to wage garnishments and fines.
In some circumstances, a judge can even impute your wage if you are intentionally not earning the income you should be. Intention can be somewhat challenging to prove, but consider a scenario where a parent refuses to look for a new job after being laid off from a well-paying position or is concealing funds from the court. If sufficient evidence is produced, a judge can compel you to pay the full, original amount.
Our lawyers can help navigate issues of child support, whether that means arguing for relief or ensuring your children receive what is fair. A favorable court decision can have a huge impact on your income and your children’s futures.
Alimony in California
California courts hold a great deal of influence in determining the specifics of alimony. Judges consult numerous factors pertaining to both spouses, including:
- Marketable skills
- Debts and assets of each party
- Age and health of each party
- How any unemployment as a result of child rearing affects future earning capacity
- Standard of living established by the marriage
- Duration of marriage
They also consider any hardship resulting from domestic violence or emotional abuse. Any criminal convictions, especially crimes, can also factor into a decision.
Once they have reviewed the details of the marriage, judges have substantial leeway in setting alimony terms. For length, a good rule of thumb is to expect alimony support to last for half the duration of a marriage that lasted ten years or less. For example, in a marriage that lasted 8 years, a court may award alimony for 4 years.
If a marriage lasts longer than 10 years, courts will often order alimony support to be indefinite. At some point in the future, the partner who pays will then have to petition and prove that their support is no longer necessary.
The outcome of an alimony decision can impact your financial situation for many years. Given the amount of discretion afforded to the courts, hiring a capable family law lawyer can be essential to effectively advocating your position.
Fight for Your Family
Family law extends beyond these three common issues, and though we focus in these areas, we still may be able to help you find a solution to your family dispute. Our family law attorneys in San Francisco are multilingual, offering our services in Arabic, English, Cantonese, Spanish, and Portuguese, and we are happy to serve clients across all 50 states.
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