Westminster Family Law Attorney

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Westminster Family Law Attorney

Westminster Family Law Attorney

It can be scary to start the process of a divorce or any other family law proceedings, which are often some of the most stressful and time-consuming events in a person’s life. It’s normal to feel confused, overwhelmed, and anxious at the thought of your family law case, which is why it’s important to contact a Westminster family law attorney to understand your next steps.

While it’s tempting to rush through a difficult divorce to end the relationship sooner, hastening the process often leads to critical mistakes that affect important decisions like child support, custody, and visitation. A family lawyer can help streamline the process to make it easier for everyone involved.

Westminster Family Law Attorney

Compassionate Attention From the Moranda Law Firm, APC

Beverly Moranda, the President and CEO of the Moranda Law Firm, APC, is a California Certified Specialist in Family Law by the California Bar. This means that she has additional credentials for cases regarding family law and has a unique advantage in advocating for the rights of her clients. Her firm exclusively works in family law, giving her the time and attention needed to properly support families struggling through things like divorce and child custody.

The Moranda Law Firm, APC, is dedicated to helping you find solutions to your family law issues. Beverly Moranda approaches each case she receives with empathy, sensitivity, and attention to detail. She prides herself on informing her clients every step of the way so that they are well-educated about the process. Schedule a consultation with Moranda Law Firm, APC, to learn how you might benefit from a family law attorney.

What Is Family Law?

Family law is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of different legal issues, including:

  • Divorce: Each divorce case is different and requires certain types of attention. An attorney can help divide financial assets and debts so that each spouse feels fairly compensated.
  • Child Custody & Visitation: One of the most difficult aspects of any divorce or separation is determining each parent’s rights and responsibilities for their children. It’s important to have legal counsel to help you make decisions based on reason rather than emotion. A family law attorney can also help you modify orders after a change in circumstances.
  • Child Support: Determining how much money each parent owes to support their children can be difficult, especially if a parent is self-employed or makes substantially more than the other. An attorney can help create or modify child support orders to provide a better quality of life for children of divorce.
  • Domestic Violence: Accusations of domestic violence are extremely serious and can affect both the victim and the aggressor. While it’s important in some cases for the aggressor to be separated from the victimized family, in other cases, examples of abuse are completely fabricated. Working with a family lawyer can help keep your family safe while defending innocent people against false accusations.
  • Establishing Paternity: In some situations, it’s required to prove the identity of a child’s parents to legitimize child support or visitation orders. The specifics around this issue vary between cases, so it’s crucial to contact an attorney to understand your specific rights regarding paternity issues.

Why Do I Need a Westminster Family Law Attorney?

While it is not legally required to hire an attorney for a family law issue in Westminster, it is highly encouraged for multiple reasons. Divorces and other family law proceedings are complicated processes that require mediation and compromise between both parties. Oftentimes, difficult divorces might need third-party support to divide assets, property, and debts effectively.

Divorce can also be more difficult if there are children involved. Working with a Westminster divorce lawyer can help you have more time to spend with your children and effectively petition for child custody or child support. Getting a divorce is never easy, but it can be made much easier by hiring legal representation.

Whether you’re seeking a child custody modification or a defense against accusations of domestic violence, the legal system is incredibly difficult for a layperson to navigate. A lawyer is a crucial factor in obtaining a favorable outcome.

The Divorce Process

Each divorce case is different, but most cases follow a similar order of events. Here are the most common steps taken in Westminster divorces:

  1. Check Residency Requirements: In California, at least one person needs to have lived in the state for six months or longer before the divorce is filed. Additionally, to file in Westminster, at least one person needs to have lived in Orange County for three months or longer.
  2. File Initial Paperwork: The first concrete action you take in a divorce is filing the initial divorce petition. This initial paperwork includes a financial disclosure in which you must state all the assets you own. Due to the lengthy and complicated nature of this paperwork, it is often completed with the help of an attorney.
  3. Serving the Papers: Since you are unable to directly serve papers to your spouse, you must either hire a server or mail the papers to your spouse. They have 30 days from the day they receive the papers to respond by filing their own forms. If they do not meet this time limit, then they are unable to influence the judge’s decisions on things like property division and child support. This is called a default judgment.
  4. Negotiations: At this point of the process, you must work with your spouse to split property and review the details of child custody and support. This can be done through mediation, collaborative divorce, litigation, or on your own. It’s important to review these options with an attorney to determine an appropriate course of action for your situation.
  5. Going to Trial (Optional): If you and your spouse are able to successfully compromise on the financial and legal aspects of your divorce, then you might be able to avoid trial. If you are unable to do this, you and your spouse’s legal team must settle your differences in court.
  6. Final Judgment: Regardless of whether you go to trial or not, a judge will still review your case to make sure it is complete. If they deem your case satisfactory, you will then receive a final divorce judgment.

How Long Could My Divorce Take?

The length of time for a divorce depends on many factors, including:

  • Whether or not the two parties are on good terms
  • The amount of financial assets, property, and debts
  • Whether or not the two parties have children
  • Whether or not a divorce case goes to trial

Every divorce in Westminster takes at least six months. This is because the state of California has a mandatory six-month waiting period before the divorce is finalized. Most divorces in California take a bit longer than a year to finalize, but the process could take several years, depending on the circumstances.

Do I Need to Pay Child Support?

Child support is not legally required in every case. Here are some things a judge can take into consideration when determining child support for your case:

  • Income of Both Parents: If there is a large disparity between what each parent makes, then it is possible for a judge to see this as a reason to require child support payments. They can also consider how much each parent needs to maintain their quality of life.
  • Custodial Parent: Whichever parent spends the most time with their children could also spend more money to take care of them. This fact is considered when calculating child support payments.
  • Children With Disabilities: If a child needs certain accommodations to maintain their quality of life, they can often require more money in child support than a child who doesn’t need accommodations. These details regarding children of divorce are taken into account for child support as well.

The specific amount a parent is required to pay varies based on their situation. On average, California child support payments range from $400-$800 a month, with $500 being a typical monthly rate. It is important to talk to a family law attorney to determine what your specific child support situation might look like.

Westminster Family Law FAQs

Q: What Are the Roles of Family Lawyers in California?

A: Family lawyers can help with a wide variety of things related to marriage, children, and divorce. This includes things like helping serve divorce paperwork, organizing child custody, and helping people file claims for child and/or spousal support. They can work directly with the other partner’s legal team so you can avoid additional stress and conflict. If you’re able to come to an agreement through mediation, you might be able to avoid going to court entirely.

Q: Why Do I Need a Family Lawyer in California?

A: Divorce can be a difficult process with many time-sensitive actions and paperwork. Working with a Westminster family lawyer can help you make informed decisions during an emotionally vulnerable time. It’s important to make well-educated decisions for things like child custody and child support, which are some of the most crucial choices you make in life.

Q: What Is California Family Law?

A: In Westminster, family law is the practice area specifically for legal cases involving spouses and children. Family law covers things like divorce, legal separation, child custody and visitation, child and/or spousal support, determining parentage, and cases of domestic abuse. Cases like these often benefit from the help of a third-party mediator like a family law attorney.

Q: How Much Does a Family Lawyer Cost in California?

A: The cost of a lawyer for your specific needs greatly depends on the type of case you’re involved in, how long the case takes, and the lawyer’s level of experience. California residents typically pay around $200-$900 per hour for a family law attorney. Make sure to discuss specific fees with your attorney during your consultation.

Discuss Your Case With the Moranda Law Firm, APC

Don’t let a difficult family law issue ruin your life. We focus on creating a personalized strategy for every client that works for your specific situation. Contact the Moranda Law Firm, APC, to see how hiring a family law attorney could help your case.

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