Palo Alto Family Law Attorney
Allow The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., to take the weight of a family law matter off of your shoulders with compassionate and confidential legal services you can trust. Our experienced Palo Alto family law attorneys specialize in professional-level, client-focused legal practice. We understand the difficulties surrounding family law issues and will guide you through family law procedures as efficiently and prudently as possible.
Our attorneys will provide the answers and support you need to focus on making logical, objective decisions during emotional turmoil. Let us ease your emotional strain and reduce the difficulty of decision-making that comes with any area of family law, including but not limited to, the following:
- Child support
- Child support modification
- Child custody
- Child custody modification
Child Support & Family Law Cases in Palo Alto
Parents are legally responsible for the support of their child(ren). Child support is a court-ordered monthly amount to account for the expense of raising a child. Judges determine child support based on state guidelines and mathematical formulas.
Typically, courts calculate child support using both parent’s net income and the amount of time each parent is physically with the child. Child support expenses include such needs as:
- Monetary support for food, clothing, and shelter;
- Health insurance;
- Travel costs for visitation; and
- Extracurricular activities like sports, lessons, and field trips.
A parent must support their child until:
- The child reaches 18 years old and is a high school graduate (any child who is a full-time high school student or attends part-time due to a medical condition, will continue to receive support); or
- The child reaches 19 years old; or
- The child marries, dies, or emancipates.
The court may order both parents to continue to support a disabled adult child if that child cannot support him or herself.
Child Custody & Family Law Cases in Palo Alto
California requires parents to have a parenting plan. Parents may create and agree on a parenting plan themselves, or the court will put one in place for them. Parenting plans detail child custody arrangements and any child visitation and must be in the best interest of the child.
In California, the first factor considered by the court in determining child custody is the child’s best interests. Next, the court examines the child’s age, health, emotional ties, ties to their school and their community, as well as any history of family abuse or neglect.
If the court awards one parent custody, the other parent generally has visitation rights. Visitation orders also depend on the child’s best interests. Child custody and visitation orders are modifiable as a child’s needs or a parent’s circumstances change.
California is a “no-fault” divorce state. In other words, neither spouse is at fault for the divorce. Instead, parties file for divorce due to irreconcilable differences or an irreparable breakdown of the marriage.
To divorce in Palo Alto, California, one spouse must live in California for six months before filing the divorce action. That spouse must live in the county they file for at least three months. There is an exception for same-sex couples married in California but living in a state that does not recognize same-sex divorce.
There is a mandatory six-month waiting period before a judge grants a divorce.
Mediation is a casual, non-adversarial means to solve divorce issues such as property division, spousal support, child support, child custody, and visitation. Spouses meet together with a mediator in the hopes of creating a fair and agreeable settlement to all of their marital issues. The intention is an open and honest dialogue between spouses.
Mediation for divorce is not mandatory, and either party may leave at any time. However, California requires divorcing parents to attend custody and visitation mediation. A qualified family mediator helps parents create a custody and visitation plan that is in the best interests of the child.
No agreement in mediation is an official until approved by the court. If mediation produces no agreement, the case moves to the courtroom for litigation.
California courts do not presume unwed fathers are the biological parents of their child even if they are on the birth certificate. A mother cannot receive child support without establishing paternity, or the parentage, of her child. A father cannot seek child custody or visitation without doing the same.
When a couple is married, a child is naturally assumed to be a product of the marriage. When parents are unmarried, no such presumption exists. Parentage is established by a person voluntarily signing a declaration stating he is the biological parent or the court determining parentage through a court case.
Once the court grants parentage, a parent’s obligations and rights to a child start, that parent may seek custody or visitation. They are now also legally obligated for the financial support of their child.
Schedule Your Confidential Case Review with The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C.
The Palo Alto Family attorneys at The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., are experienced family law attorneys in Palo Alto, California. This allows us to offer you comprehensive advice in any area of family law, including creative and thoughtful resolutions to your legal concerns. We emphasize quality and integrity in representation.
Our attorneys are accessible to you and conduct consultations in a comfortable, confidential environment. To find out more about the many ways we can help you, call our office today.