Helping You Navigate Through California Family Law
Partnering with The Law Office of Jeffery L. Heath will give you family law representation that is aggressive, thorough, and efficient. Jeffery is dedicated to providing clients with long-term solutions and effective legal representation, as well as, peace of mind.
You can call or email us any time. Jeffery and the rest of the staff here at The Law Office of Jeffery L. Heath are happy to answer all your questions. Additionally, we can clearly explain your options, and collaborate with you on a legal strategy that meets your needs.
Contested & Uncontested Divorce
There are two kinds of divorces – contested and uncontested. A contested divorce is one in which the parties cannot come to an agreement about getting the divorce or the terms of the divorce. The most common disagreements in a contested divorce pertain to things such as: Division of Assets, Alimony, Child Support, and /or Child Custody. Unlike a contested divorce, an uncontested divorce (or amicable divorce) occurs when both spouses agree on all terms and issues pertaining to the divorce. Unfortunately, most divorces fall under the contested umbrella. Whether you are going through a contested or uncontested divorce, always make sure you consult with a Family Law Attorney. My team and I are here for you. Depending on your case, we are fully capable to you decide whether negotiation, mediation, or litigation is the correct step for you. Click here for more information on Child Custody and Visitation Rights.
Child Custody & Visitation
Going through a divorce can be stressful enough, but when kids are involved, the stress of getting through the divorce process climbs to a whole new level. The most important thing is to figure out who gets primary custody of the child or children, as well as, establish the visitation rights of the noncustodial parents. When dealing with child custody and visitation rights, there are a lot of questions and factors to consider. For example, what is in the best interest of the child/children; was there abuse or issues with domestic violence; are the visitations ordered to be supervised? Like with most family law matters, we recommended that you consult an attorney that emphasizes in Family Law Practice areas, especially if you are involved in a child custody battle or dispute.
If you have children and are divorced, or going through a divorce, then you probably are well aware that dealing with child support is a pertinent issue. The State of California defines child support as: “the amount of money that a court orders a parent or parents to pay every month to help pay for the support of the child (or children) and the child’s living expenses.”
There are a lot of factors that go into which parent pays child support, why a parent has to pay child support, and how much has to be paid. Therefore, If you are going through a divorce or would simply like more help with how child support works, please reach out to set up a free consultation.
We can help with:
- How child support starts.
- Agreements on child support.
- Calculating child support.
- What happens if you fall behind on child support payments?
- Explain how Family Law Courts make their decisions
- Medical support.
- Help you prepare the necessary forms
- Explain procedures for getting and changing child support orders.
Domestic violence is serious issue and should never be tolerated. The U.S Department of Justice categorizes domestic violence as abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, psychological, economic, and sexual. Furthermore, domestic violence is not limited to abuse between intimate partners, but can also happen between any family members in which one individual is assaulting, manipulating, or terrorizing another. If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic violence then please do not hesitate to call The Law Office of Jeffery L. Heath at (949) 650-8124. We have a tremendous amount of experience handling domestic violence cases. And we are here to offer you support and legal counsel no matter how complicated the situation. For more help and information regarding domestic violence visit www.thehotline.org.
Equitable Property Division
California’s community property laws state that assets and debts spouses acquire during marriage belong to both of them equally. In the event of divorce, the accumulated assets and debts must divided evenly. In some instances, spouses work together to divide up their property and debts. However, most divorces are not easy, and the process of equitable property division can be complicated. Consequently, divorcing parties that cannot manage an even distribution of property and assets will have to have a judge decide who gets what.
Whether you handle your own property division or a court handles it for you, there are a few things to consider.
- What is community property?
- What is separate property?
- Determining property value?
- Dividing the property?
Alimony / Spousal Support
In California, The Family Court has the power to order either spouse to pay support to the other. The support amount should be adequate to support the other spouse. Generally, the alimony duration is tied to the length of the marriage, and can be considered permanent or temporary. When calculating alimony, the court will take into account many factors, including things such as length of marriage, age, and the health of each spouse. Child custody and support are also factors that play into alimony calculations. Moreover, alimony cannot be used to punish a spouse for infidelity. Alimony can only be awarded for financial purposes, not because one spouse committed adultery.
Father’s you have rights too. In Family Law, father’s rights includes issues pertaining to:
- Greater parenting time for the father.
- Parenting time interference.
- Paternity Leave.
- Family planning decisions. Fathers seeking to protect their rights as parents don’t need to go it alone. The Law Office of Jeffery L. Heath has over 25 years of experience helping fathers in Orange County. If you have questions about divorce, parenting time, or child custody, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be glad to review your case, or investigate your circumstances.
A prenuptial or premarital agreement is good to obtain before marriage – especially if you have significant property or savings built up. Whatever your circumstance, a prenuptial agreement can provide you and your spouse direction and clarity regarding property, assets , and finances in the event that there is a separation or divorce in the future.
Every state has different rules and regulations when it comes to divorce and prenuptial agreements. To find out more about how prenuptial agreements in Orange County California work, feel to contact us at (949) 650 – 8124.
An annulment is when a court declares that a marriage or domestic partnership in not legally valid. Getting an annulment can be a complicated endeavor. Unlike divorce (which you can file for anytime) an annulment has a statute of limitations. This means you have a deadline to file for an annulment.
Factors that influence annulment statute of limitations include:
- A partners age at the time of marriage.
- Prior existing marriage.
- Was a partner of unsound mind at the time of the marriage?
- Grounds of fraud.
- Was a partner forced to give consent?
- Is a partner physically incapacitated?
In addition statute of limitations factors, other issues are often present when it comes to getting an annulment. For example, situations concerning rights and obligations relating to property, debt, and children. Remember, an annulment is different than a divorce or legal separation – therefore, you have different rights. If you are looking to get an annulment you must convince the California State Court that your marriage is not valid. To do this we recommend consulting a Family Law attorney to help you – The Law Office of Jeffery L. Heath is a great place to start.
Guardianship is when a court orders someone other than the child’s parent to have custody of the child, or manage the child’s property. To become a guardian, you must file paperwork and continue through several steps which will result in a hearing. Although it is not required to have a lawyer to apply for guardianship, we strongly recommend that you consult with one.
The process of becoming a guardian can be stressful and complex. Factors that affect guardianship include things like:
- Does the child’s natural parents object to the guardianship?
- Does the child have special needs?
- Do you live outside of California?
- Are there other legal cases involving the child like juvenile charges, adoption, or other custody issues.
We will help you if you are looking to obtain guardianship over a minor. The Law Office of Jeffery L. Heath has extensive knowledge and expertise dealing with guardianship cases. We will lead you through the guardianship process. Additionally, we can help you fill out and file all the necessary forms and paperwork.
To legally change your name or that of a minor, you must first obtain a court order. Once you have a court order, you can change your legal name on government issued identification documents. Examples include changes to a diver’s license, social security card, or passport. Reasons to get a name change may include, getting married, divorced, or changing gender.
Taking Care of Your Family Law Needs
“Family Law has many facets and nuances. As a result, my law office is committed to representing you no matter your needs. I have been helping people reach their legal goals in Orange County California for almost three decades. I have been an advocate for all different types of individuals, and I have seen countless success stories. No matter you family law issue, you can trust your case will be handled correctly.”
~ J.L. Heath