While our focus at the Oakley Law Group is on estate planning and closely related practice areas, we are frequently asked about legal issues involving family law. As an additional resource for our clients, we maintain a list of practitioners who we feel confident will provide sound counsel and legal representation in family law matters. Should you need a referral, please feel free to call our office and we will be happy to provide a few recommendations.
Family law involves the myriad legal relationships between family members, including husbands, wives, parents, children, and domestic partners. The issues family lawyers focus on include adoption, child custody, visitation rights, domestic violence, divorce, juvenile dependency and delinquency, marital property rights, support obligations, and paternity. However, marriage, divorce, child custody and support are generally the most common issues family lawyers address.
A premarital agreement is a contract between people who are about to marry that provides protection from the creation of community property during marriage. It identifies all assets and liabilities, together with their value, that exist at the time of the marriage (separate property). The parties can then contract that such property remains separate, and that the growth of, or interest earned upon such separate property (which would otherwise be community property), also remains separate property. The crucial point to remember is this: a court cannot divest a person of his or her separate property once that property is found to be a person’s separate asset.
While the majority of premarital agreements are written in cases where at least one of the parties has a significant separate estate, any couple who wants to decide in advance how property is divided in the event of a divorce or death—rather than leave this decision to a judge—is a candidate for a premarital agreement.
Divorce is often one of the most difficult experiences of a person’s life, both emotionally and financially. A good advocate understands what you are going through during divorce and is committed to aggressively protecting the best interests of you and your family, while at the same time never losing sight of the strong emotions involved in your situation. Whether your case is a simple dissolution or a fight over property and child custody, we will recommend an attorney who will be your advocate in the courtroom and your trusted friend and counselor outside of it.
Child Custody And Support
The process of getting divorced is made all the more difficult when children are involved. A qualified family lawyer knows how to minimize the impact on children during a divorce. Such an attorney will have the experience and compassion to look out for their emotional well-being, while still aggressively pursuing your interests and goals—whether in the courtroom or through negotiation.