Modification of Custody & Support Orders

Modification of Custody & Support Orders

ORANGE COUNTY FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS

One thing you can definitely count on is change. After a Dissolution of Marriage is complete and the final Judgment is entered, you may find that the current orders are no longer suiting your needs, lifestyle or the needs and desires of your children. Orders relating to child custody, child support, and spousal support may need to be modified in order to more accurately reflect your current situation, which may have changed significantly since the original Judgment or subsequent orders were made. Seeking to modify these orders can be difficult. However, if you find yourself needing to seek a modification, the experienced Orange County family law lawyers at the Law Offices of Brown & Dahan can most certainly help you navigate these sometimes very complex areas. We focus our practice exclusively on family law. We can make changing prior orders as straightforward as possible, and give you an honest assessment of whether asking the court for a change would be worthwhile.

To contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

MODIFICATION OF CHILD CUSTODY

In order to request a modification of child custody, you must show there has been a change in circumstances since the existing child support order was put in place. The court prefers children to have a stable, consistent routine with their parents. Therefore, the change must require that a new custody and visitation arrangement be made in the best interests of the child or children.

Reasons that demonstrate a change is in a child’s best interest may not be dramatic reasons like illness or unemployment. They can include changes that relate to things like the child’s age. As children grow, they may have different interests or activities that make it crucial to have more time with a particular parent, or to live in a specific neighborhood. Similarly, it may be appropriate to make a change when a parent remarries or needs to move to another residence. These changes can occur every few years.

MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT

Similarly, a change of circumstances is required for a modification of child support, except where a judge ordered a child support amount below the amount required under the guidelines. For example, if you stipulated to receive child support at the time of divorce, but find over time that this was not a good decision, you can petition the court for a change.

Some other reasons that may require you to petition the court for a change in child support would be an income change, job loss, incarceration of a parent, when a parent has a new child in his or her new relationship, when the child spends different amounts of time with each parent now than he or she did at the time of divorce, or when the child is diagnosed with a disability that requires a special tutor or help.

If parents agree to the need for a modification, they can both stipulate to the modification and ask the judge to sign off on it. Even if there is a verbal agreement with the other parent to modify child support, it is important to put the agreement in writing and bring it to a judge. A child support obligation is taken very seriously by the legal system and requires a formal modification.

MODIFICATION OF SPOUSAL SUPPORT

Spousal support modifications are likely to occur less frequently than custody or child support modifications. The changes in circumstances required are usually more significant in spousal support cases, and require things like a drop in income for the party paying support, or the spouse who was getting the support getting a good job that requires less support. Or it may be the case that child support has ended because a minor has come of age and you believe the issue of spousal support should also be revisited.

If you have had a significant change in your life that warrants a modification to a spousal support order, it is important to contact your attorney as soon as possible. Spousal support cannot be retroactively changed. It can only be modified going forward.

Revisiting custody and support issues can be a challenge in the aftermath of a divorce or separation. But sometimes it is what you have to do for yourself or your family. The knowledgeable Orange County family law attorneys at Brown & Dahan can help you seek the modification you need. Contact us at (949) 724-8857 or via our online form.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a Brown|Dahan attorney. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact Brown|Dahan.

Paternity

Paternity

ORANGE COUNTY FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS

A paternity case is a legal action in which the judge hears evidence and issues an order establishing who a child’s legal parents are. If you are seeking to establish paternity, or contest another party’s attempts to question paternity, the experienced Orange County paternity lawyers at Brown & Dahan can help. We focus our practice exclusively on family law, and will help you fight to protect your rights and those of your child.

To contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

ESTABLISHING PATERNITY UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW

When two people are the possible biological parents of a child, California law presumes that when those people are married or domestic partners, the husband is the father and the wife is the mother. In fact, even if a marriage is not valid, a man will be presumed to be the father of a child if he attempted to marry the mother. He will also be presumed to be the father if he married the child’s mother after the baby was born and agreed to have his name on the birth certificate. If someone welcomes a child into his home and acts as if the child is his own, the court can find the man a legal father even if he is later found not to be the biological father in a process called “parentage by estoppel.”

Paternity can be established two ways when parents of a child are not married. The first way is for both parents to sign a voluntary Declaration of Paternity. The second way is to ask the court for an order. Although the latter are commonly called “paternity” cases, there are instances in which a mother may need to establish parentage as well. At Brown & Dahan, we can help you bring a Complaint to Establish Parental Relations, which can initiate a court case to establish parentage for either parent.

WHY IS ESTABLISHING PATERNITY IMPORTANT?

Establishing legal paternity or parentage can be critical to a child’s well being over time. A court will only order child custody, child visitation, or child support if parentage is established. When one parent does not admit parentage, the court can order the person to submit to genetic testing to make a determination. If the father of a child has not been married to the mother, but knows he is the biological father, he doesn’t have rights (or responsibilities) vis-à-vis the child until he has his paternity established by law.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER PATERNITY IS LEGALLY ESTABLISHED?

A parent who has legally established parentage can request custody or visitation from the court. He or she also becomes responsible for supporting the child or children financially and emotionally. For example, if the custodial parent must get a job or go to school, both parents will be responsible in equal part for the childcare costs that result. Conversely, unless a will or trust is written that specifies otherwise, a child will inherit from a parent only if the parentage is legally recognized.

Once paternity is established, a child is also entitled to legal documentation identifying his or her parents, access to family medical records and history, health and life insurance from either parent, and the right to receive social security benefits if they are available. The court may also make orders for child support, reimbursement of pregnancy and labor expenses, and health insurance.

The experienced and knowledgeable Orange County family law attorneys at Brown & Dahan can help you bring or contest a paternity suit, or otherwise negotiate on your behalf with the other party in a parentage dispute. We are dedicated solely to family law, and know how to seek the best possible legal outcome for you and your loved ones. Contact us at (949) 724-8857 or via our online form.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a Brown|Dahan attorney. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact Brown|Dahan.

Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders

Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders

ORANGE COUNTY FAMILY LAW LAWYERS

Domestic violence can devastate a family, impacting the victim of the violence as well as those close to him or her. California law imposes both criminal and civil liability for domestic violence, and its domestic violence statutes protect both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Allegations of domestic violence are taken very seriously.

If you are married, divorced, separated, cohabitating, dating, or have a child with someone who has abused you or threatened to abuse you, you may apply for a protection order against that person. A person who experiences domestic violence or abuse and is related within a second degree of affinity (a mother or mother-in-law, grandchild or grandchild-in-law, etc.) to the person abusing him or her may also apply for a protection order. Protection orders can be issued in family law, civil, or criminal court.

At Brown & Dahan, our Orange County domestic violence attorneys have more than 40 years of combined practice experience, and have helped countless people obtain protection orders against family members who have committed acts of violence against them. We will protect your rights during your time of need, and advocate tirelessly for your safety.

To contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

WHAT ARE PROTECTION ORDERS?

Protection orders are often called restraining orders and serve as a legal injunction requiring someone to do or refrain from doing certain acts. They can protect a person from being abused, stalked, harassed, or threatened by a family member. The protective order can protect not only a primary person who is being abused, but also family and household members of the protected person. The person against whom protection is sought is known as the “restrained person.”

Protection orders also include stay away orders and residence exclusion orders. The former include orders to keep the restrained person a specified distance from you as well as your place of work, your child’s school or daycare, and other places you routinely go. In addition, the court can order the restrained person to stop having contact with you, your children or other people in your household; to stop sexually assaulting you; to move out of your house, or to obey orders related to property.

Protection orders for domestic violence can be issued on an ex parte basis—where only the victim, not the person to be restrained, appears before the judge. In order to obtain the protection order, the victim must file a declaration under oath regarding an act of abuse. A hearing will take place, after which the court will consider issuing a protection order. The protection order may also be sought on an emergency basis from a law enforcement officer when the court is not open. The order will remain in effect for a temporary period, giving a victim the chance to file with the court.

CONSEQUENCES OF PROTECTION ORDERS

It is a crime to violate a protection order. Someone who does break a restraining order may have to go to jail, pay a fine or both.

A restrained person not only deals with the direct instructions in the protection order, but may also face collateral consequences related to the order, such as: not being able to go to certain places or act in particular ways, not being able to see his or her children, not being able to buy or own a gun, or dealing with immigration consequences.

We understand how painful and difficult the process of obtaining a protection order against a family member can be, from the starting point of making the accusation to any return visits to court to ensure that the restrained person follows the court’s protection order. Our Orange County family law lawyers are champions for your rights and your safety. Contact us at (949) 724-8857 or via our online form.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a Brown|Dahan attorney. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact Brown|Dahan.

Alimony/Spousal Support

Alimony/Spousal Support

ORANGE COUNTY ALIMONY ATTORNEYS

Spousal support, also commonly known as alimony, may be requested as part of a divorce, legal separation, annulment, or protection order. At Brown & Dahan, we focus exclusively on family law issues such as spousal support, so that you can focus on the challenging personal aspects of restructuring your family. Our assertive and experienced Orange County spousal support lawyers have over 40 years of collective experience. We can help you negotiate a support amount with your current or former partner, and if needed, bring your spousal support request to the court.

To contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

HOW IS SPOUSAL SUPPORT DETERMINED?

As is true with respect to child support, California judges use a formula to calculate an appropriate amount of spousal support. The judge will also consider factors enumerated in California Family Code section 4320. These include:

  • How long the marriage was;
  • Each person’s needs based on their standard of living during the marriage;
  • What each person can afford to pay;
  • Effect of a job on the children, age, and health of each person;
  • Debts;
  • Whether one partner helped the other advance his or her education or career;
  • Existence or nonexistence of domestic violence; and
  • Tax impacts of spousal support.

With respect to domestic violence by the spouse who is to pay the support, the judge will take into account whether the person who is to be supported experienced emotional distress.

In determining spousal support, the goal of the judge is to keep each partner close to the standard of living he or she had during the marriage, while putting him or her closer to being self-supporting within a reasonable time period. In determining how long spousal support is appropriate, a judge may look not only at the length of the marriage, but also at the situation of the spouse who is getting support. The court will look at his or her professional skills, the current job market, need for further education, and whether that spouse devoted him or herself to taking care of the household during the marriage and is therefore impaired for purposes of job-seeking now.

WHEN DOES SPOUSAL SUPPORT END?

A reasonable period of time for spousal support to be paid can be half the length of the marriage if the marriage was less than 10 years long, but variations are left to the judge’s discretion. Long-term marriages may not have an end date to spousal support. Like a child support order, a spousal support order stays in place until the court changes the terms of it, ends it, or when the terms of the order dictate the end. Spousal support can also be terminated if one of the former spouses dies, or the person who was getting the support remarries or enters a domestic partnership.

ENFORCING SPOUSAL SUPPORT ORDERS

If you fall behind in your spousal support payments, interest charges are added at the rate of 10% per year. This is not a matter of judicial discretion. Further, if a court believes you are able to pay, but not paying, you may be found in “contempt of court,” which can sometimes lead to a stint in jail. Moreover, if you fail to make a significant number of payments, your wages can be garnished to cover the arrearage. Spousal support debts cannot be erased by bankruptcy.

Under California law, spousal support is a serious obligation. Therefore, it is important to persuade the court of your position from the outset. The guidance of an experienced Orange County family law attorney can make a big difference with regard to what you must ultimately pay or be paid under the terms of a court order.

To contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a Brown|Dahan attorney. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact Brown|Dahan.

Family Law

Family Law

Brown & Dahan is a family law firm based in Irvine, California. Founded by Orange County family law attorneys Kathleen Brown and Nancy Dahan, they aggressively represent clients with integrity, advocacy, and understanding. With over 40 years of combined experience, the attorneys of Brown & Dahan have the knowledge and skills to develop effective resolutions to the most challenging family law issues. 

To schedule a confidential consultation contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

Domestic Violence
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & PROTECTION ORDERS

Domestic violence can have lasting and devastating effects on the parties and children involved in a dissolution of marriage. Courts presume that any person who commits domestic violence may be an unfit parent, which may limit that parent’s custody rights. If you are the victim of domestic violence, call the police to report your spouse or partner. Then, speak to the attorneys at Brown & Dahan who can help you get a court order to protect you and your family from further abuse.

To schedule a confidential consultation  call (949) 724-8857 or complete our “Contact Us” form.

DIVORCE

At Brown & Dahan, we have helped many Californians through difficult divorce proceedings. This is a stressful process for anyone experiencing it, and we draw upon our years of experience to advocate for a solution that is in your best interest. We are well versed in the legal requirements for California and especially Orange County residents seeking a marriage dissolution, and are prepared to advise you as to the most beneficial approach to this sensitive and trying situation. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, Brown & Dahan can help you navigate the difficult legal issues associated with property division, child custody, and other matters relating to divorce. To schedule a confidential consultation call (949) 724-8857 or complete our “Contact Us” form.

CHILD CUSTODY & SUPPORT

In a divorce involving children, the court will determine custody of the children, of which there are two types. Legal custody allows parents to make decisions with regard to the child’s welfare, including health care and education. Physical custody refers to the rights of the parents to have physical custody of the child or children. Child support in California is determined by a mathematical formula that takes into consideration the income of the parents and the time each parent spends with the child. The attorneys at Brown & Dahan are equipped to help explain the complicated nature of child support and custody and advocate to protect your rights as a parent facing divorce as well as your financial well-being. To schedule a confidential consultation call (949) 724-8857 or complete our “Contact Us” form.

SPOUSAL SUPPORT

California courts have the power to order one spouse to pay spousal support, also known as alimony, to the other. This kind of support is not always ordered, but when it is, the amount depends on many factors such as the income of the parties and the length of the marriage. The experienced attorneys at Brown & Dahan have helped guide many Californians through the process of making, as well as defending, claims for spousal support. To schedule a confidential consultation call (949) 724-8857 or complete our “Contact Us” form.

MODIFICATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF ORDERS

Once a divorce is finalized, the court will issue a final judgment that contains all of the terms of the divorce. This order is enforceable by either party if the terms are breached; however, it is possible to modify these orders if the circumstances of either party have changed. For example, an increase in the income of the party who pays child support could lead to a modified order that increases the support payment. Contact the experienced attorneys at Brown & Dahan to discuss the possibility of enforcing or modifying your existing divorce or other family orders. To schedule a confidential consultation call (949) 724-8857 or complete our “Contact Us” form.

COMPLEX FAMILY LAW ISSUES In addition to the areas listed above, at Brown & Dahan we have extensive experience helping people with complex family law issues including: Complex business entanglements; Paternity; Enforcement of Current Orders; and Same Sex Dissolutions. If you have questions about any of these topics, please contact our office to schedule a time to speak speak with one of our lawyers either telephonically or in person.

To schedule a confidential consultation call (949) 724-8857 or complete our “Contact Us” form

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a Brown|Dahan attorney. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact Brown|Dahan.

Pre-Nuptial/Post-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-nuptial agreements or post-nuptial agreements may have drafting validity issues. There are certain evidentiary presumptions that apply to these agreements. Pre-Nuptial and/or Post-Nuptial agreements have presumptions that are rebuttable and may be ruled invalid or partially invalid. Divorce court judges are often called to rule on the validity of these agreements. There are several elements that may lead to these type of agreements being stricken by the court.

Brown|Dahan has extensive expertise in preparing pre-nuptial/post-nuptial agreements to ensure their validity in California court, as well as litigating poorly drafted or fraudulently signed agreements.

These matters are highly complex, so couples seeking divorce should seek experienced legal counsel right away. Because divorce courts can determine how assets are divided, an experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand the process and ensure that your rights and finances are duly safeguarded during the process. We invite you to contact the divorce lawyers at Brown|Dahan to discuss your situation.

To schedule a confidential consultation contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

 

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a Brown|Dahan attorney. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact Brown|Dahan.

Child Custody

Child Custody

ORANGE COUNTY CHILD CUSTODY
When a couple divorces in Orange County, they will need to prepare a plan for where their children will live, and how they will divide their time between their parents. Unfortunately, divorcing couples do not always agree on what is best for their children in this regard. Among the many matters a court can address for a divorcing couple, child custody is often one of the most emotionally fraught issues.

The results-oriented Orange County child custody attorneys at Brown|Dahan will work to obtain the child custody arrangement that is in your child’s best interest. We understand the difficulties that child custody decisions can involve for all parties, and we also have extensive knowledge of this complex area of the law. At Brown|Dahan, we are dedicated to helping you assert your legal rights, and achieving the most positive outcome possible for you and your family.

To schedule a confidential consultation contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

OPTIONS FOR CHILD CUSTODY
Physical custody of children can be either sole or joint. Usually courts presume that joint custody (where the children have frequent contact with both parents) is in the child’s best interest. Joint custody can encompass agreements where a child alternates one-week periods between spouses, or where a child spends three days of the week with one parent and four days of the week with the other. However, there are also situations where sole physical custody is in a child’s best interest. “Sole physical custody” can comprise a variety of living arrangements. For example, it may mean one parent does not have any visitation, or it may mean that a parent with visitation has contact every weekend or something in between.

It is important to keep in mind that legal custody is different from physical custody. A parent with legal custody has the ability to make decisions related to a child’s welfare, education, and health. Rarely does a court award one parent sole legal custody.

FACTORS CONSIDERED BY THE COURT IN DETERMINING CUSTODY
A court in Orange County will consider all factors in a child and parent’s history in determining a child custody arrangement. If the child is over the age of 12 and mature, the court will consider where the child wants to live.

Other factors the court will consider include stability, health, parental lifestyle, second-hand smoke, domestic violence, drug use, emotional bonds, established living pattern (e.g. where the child’s school or community is), alcohol abuse, impact on the child of changing the existing arrangements, and which parent is likely to encourage visits with the other parent. If one parent has been the child’s primary caregiver and there are no negative factors related to that parent’s caretaking, this fact can be very influential in the court’s decision.

If you are a parent seeking sole custody, you should be aware that a family court may consider prior drug or DUI convictions or order drug testing before making a decision about custody. While a positive result or prior conviction does not necessarily mean the other parent will be granted custody, it can be a factor in the judge’s decision. Similarly, domestic violence can be a big factor in a judge’s decision. Mitigating factors if a parent has been accused of domestic violence include: completing a treatment program, completing a parenting class, or demonstrating how much time has passed since the accusations of domestic violence.

These matters are highly complex, so couples seeking divorce should seek experienced legal counsel right away. Because divorce courts can determine how assets are divided, an experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand the process and ensure that your rights and finances are duly safeguarded during the process. We invite you to contact the divorce lawyers at Brown|Dahan to discuss your situation.

HELPING YOU ADVOCATE FOR YOUR FAMILY
The knowledgeable Orange County family law attorneys at Brown|Dahan can evaluate your case, and develop a strategy for presenting your child custody argument either in court, or in an out-of-court dispute resolution setting. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, we can help you advocate for the arrangement that is in your children’s best interests, using our substantial background as negotiators as well as trial attorneys.

To schedule a confidential consultation contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.today.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a Brown|Dahan attorney. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact Brown|Dahan.

Divorce

ORANGE COUNTY DIVORCE ATTORNEYS

Divorce is an unfortunate and, sadly, common occurrence in today’s society. It can be one of the most stressful time periods in one’s life. At Brown|Dahan, we are experienced Orange County divorce lawyers dedicated to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients while focusing on minimizing the stress our clients face when dealing with divorce. We approach the complex issues faced in each dissolution case strategically yet compassionately. We understand the weight of the life changing decisions you must face during this time and put our advocacy skills to work to ease the burden on our clients and work toward resolving your case as quickly, as cost effectively, and as favorably as possible.

To schedule a confidential consultation contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

FILING FOR DIVORCE IN ORANGE COUNTY

Once the reality of a divorce becomes clear to either you or your spouse, the first step after talking with a qualified divorce lawyer is filing a petition for dissolution of marriage with the Superior Court. The spouse who is filing must have been a resident of California for six months and a resident of Orange County for three months prior to the filing of the Petition. Under California law, there is a six month mandatory waiting period after the Petition is served on your spouse before you are able to return to the status of being single. This means that you cannot remarry or file taxes separately during this time and until the Courts have granted a Dissolution of Marriage. After this period has passed, you will be eligible to request that your marital status legally be changed to an unmarried person.

CALIFORNIA’S NO-FAULT DIVORCE LAWS

The initial petition for dissolution must specify reasons for the divorce, but California is a no-fault divorce state. This means that the court may grant a divorce for any reason whatsoever. There does not need to be a reason stated to the Court as to why the parties are divorcing. No party gains any advantage over the other even if, for example, one party was unfaithful during the marriage.

UNCONTESTED V. CONTESTED DIVORCE

In some cases, the parties are in agreement with all issues pertaining to their Dissolution of Marriage. This is what is considered an uncontested divorce. On the other hand, if the either party is not in agreement with such issues as child custody, spousal support, and/or division of assets, it is considered a contested matter. Typically, in any contested divorce situation, it is best to seek legal counsel in order to assist in navigating the often complex nuances that must be considered when dealing with all issues relevant to a divorce. This is where the Law Offices of Brown and Dahan can greatly assist you.

THE PROCESS OF DIVORCE

Once the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage has been served on the other spouse, that spouse has thirty days to file a Response. If one is not filed and served within thirty days, the party who filed or the Petitioner may file a Request for Default whereby the Petitioner may file a Judgment based on their preferences alone as to how they wish all issues to be resolved.

If the Respondent files a Response, then the parties exchange Declarations of Disclosure which list all property they currently own as well as any debt that is in existence. These disclosures are mandated by law. Should any party fail to disclose property which they are aware of, they could be susceptible to sanctions as well as having to give the other party the full value of the asset when and if it is discovered at a later time. Any orders that may have been entered regarding the property division may be vacated as well if it is later determined that there were undisclosed assets.

If necessary, the parties will engage in a process known as Discovery. This is where demands are made on either party to produce any and all documents pertaining to any property that is subject to the divorce case.

After all discovery has been exchanged between the parties, settlement negotiations typically begin.

If a resolution is able to be reached as to all issues, a Judgment is prepared and filed with the Court. Often, the parties never have to see the inside of a courtroom during a Dissolution of Marriage.

If a resolution is unable to be reached, then the attorneys will then prepare necessary documents to request orders from the Court. Before trial, temporary orders for child custody, child visitation, child support, and spousal support are among the orders that are typically requested in order to sustain the parties and the status quo until the case can go to trial. The vehicle by which these orders are obtained is known as a Request For Order or a RFO.

As the parties are preparing for trial, the Court will set the case for a Mandatory Settlement Conference or otherwise referred to as a MSC. At this hearing all parties will report to Court with their attorneys and attempt to settle all issues before the case is set for trial. If necessary, the judicial officer will attempt to assist the parties in coming to a full resolution of all issues. A full Judgment or partial Judgment can be entered at that time. Any and all remaining issues will be set to be heard at trial.

These matters are highly complex, so couples seeking divorce should seek experienced legal counsel right away. Because divorce courts can determine how assets are divided, an experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand the process and ensure that your rights and finances are duly safeguarded during the process. We invite you to contact the divorce lawyers at Brown|Dahan to discuss your situation.

To contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a Brown|Dahan attorney. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact Brown|Dahan.

Child Visitation

ORANGE COUNTY CHILD CUSTODY LAWYERS

A key issue in many divorces in Orange County and elsewhere is child visitation. The results-driven Orange County child custody attorneys at Brown|Dahan employ both compassion and experience to help you figure out the best custody and visitation agreement for your children. If no resolution can be reached with the other parent, we will be prepared to advocate for you before a judge.

To schedule a confidential consultation contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

What Do Judges Look For When Granting Visitation Rights?

There was a time when a judge’s default decision was to give mothers custody of their children and permit a father only visitation rights. This is no longer the case. You can now ask for custody or visitation even if you were never married to the other parent, regardless of your gender. While parents may enter into custody and visitation agreements on their own, judges and mediators are often needed.

Judges and mediators try to find a plan that is best for the children, irrespective of what each parent might prefer. When trying to figure out what’s best for the children, judges look at how flexible each parent is and how willing each parent is to put the children’s interests above their own preferences.

The prevailing view is that children need both parents, and the parent most likely to get custody or generous visitation in many cases is the one who is able to encourage the children in their relationship with the other parent. Accordingly, it is important to encourage your children to visit their other parent, barring a serious issue like domestic violence or abuse. Ideally, neither you nor your former partner badmouths the other, or his or her partner.

Among other things, a judge will also consider the health, safety and welfare of the child, any history of abuse against a parent or child, and the nature and amount of contact with both parents.

HOW BEST TO APPROACH VISITATION WITH YOUR CHILDREN
If your spouse or ex-spouse has physical custody of the children, you should be sure to be on time picking your child up and keep every one of your scheduled visits. If you use corporal punishment on your child, or if you have in the past, it may be best to stop using this form of discipline.

Sometimes judges order “supervised visitation.” This means children may visit with a parent only if there is a neutral third party present. Some reasons for supervised visitation include these situations:

A parent and child learning about each other after there has been an absence or no previous relationship;
Allegations of substance abuse, child abuse, or domestic violence;
A parent who has a mental illness; or One parent has threatened to abduct the child.

HOW IS VISITATION ENFORCED?
The police and other law enforcement officers can help enforce your visitation rights, so long as you have a certified copy of the judge’s order. The person violating a visitation order can be found in contempt of court. If a custody or visitation agreement is not working, a family law attorney can help you ask the court for a modification. For example, if circumstances warrant increased visitation, which your former spouse does not want, you may be able to return to the judge and request a change.

These matters are highly complex, so couples seeking divorce should seek experienced legal counsel right away. Because divorce courts can determine how assets are divided, an experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand the process and ensure that your rights and finances are duly safeguarded during the process. We invite you to contact the divorce lawyers at Brown|Dahan to discuss your situation.

The knowledgeable Orange County family law lawyers at Brown|Dahan possess more than 40 years of collective experience successfully representing clients dealing with the difficulties of divorce and child visitation. We exclusively handle family law issues, and are dedicated to helping our clients advocate for the best interests of their children.

To schedule a confidential consultation contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a Brown|Dahan attorney. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact Brown|Dahan.

Business Valuation

As Orange County is a start-up hub and entrepreneurial center Brown|Dahan has represented clients in family law matters with complex valuation of business interests. These complex business matters require an experienced knowledge of accounting principles, family law valuation, and the complex and conflicting family law valuation rules and regulations particular to Orange County.

To schedule a confidential consultation contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

Business Valuation Experts
Valuation experts are invaluable in the divorce process as they provide a court recognized basis for your claim to the rightful share of the business. In some cases the family law judge orders the forensic accountants and expert business valuators to meet and confer to attempt to resolve any differences that may arise in their separate valuations.

Brown|Dahan has worked with and agains several forensic accountants and expert  business valuators in Orange County and will hire the best expert to represent your rights in your complex divorce case.

These matters are highly complex, so couples seeking divorce should seek experienced legal counsel right away. Because divorce courts can determine how assets are divided, an experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand the process and ensure that your rights and finances are duly safeguarded during the process. We invite you to contact the divorce lawyers at Brown|Dahan to discuss your situation.

To schedule a confidential consultation contact BROWN | DAHAN to discuss your matter further, please complete the “Contact Us” form or call  (949) 724-8857.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a Brown|Dahan attorney. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact Brown|Dahan.