Orange County Family Law Firms for Divorce, OC Family Law

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Contact Divorce Lawyers in Orange County for a Free consultation

Hiring one of the Best Orange County Divorce Lawyers for your family law case can be beneficial to the final outcome!

When hiring one of the best Orange County divorce lawyers you should conduct an extensive background check on the divorce attorney. Do not just rely on the fact that he or she labels themselves as a “ divorce lawyer”, “divorce attorney”, “divorce counsel” and so on.

Do your family and yourself a favor an research the attorney. Today thanks to the internet you can find reviews on just about any family law attorney.  Good starting points are Google’s reviews on the attorney or law firm you are thinking of hiring. Moreover, Yelp reviews do a somewhat decent job with their reviews. I describe them as “somewhat decent”, because they have a tendency of filtering legitimate reviews and placing them in the non-recommended review batch, even though the reviews are good.  They blame it on their algorithm.  Avvo is another great source for attorney reviews . Not only does Avvo provide reviews, but they also compile a plethora of legal advise. I also have a few reviews posted on cafamilydivorcelawyer.com, but some viewers discount them since my webmaster has access to the reviews.

Enough about reviews, let me introduce my Divorce & Family Law Offices of Yanez & Associates located in the heart of Orange County, CA.

We are a full-service family law firm handling all aspects of family law in California. This link is to our directory of  the most common areas of family law we practice in order to best help our clients. If you are not sure if your case falls under family law, do not hesitate to contact us. If we do not handle your particular area of law, we will be happy to refer your case to an attorney that can help you.

We pride ourselves in not just helping clients facing non-contested divorces, but we also undertake complex divorce cases dealing with highly disputed child custody cases, division of estates and domestic abuse charges. So in other words, no case is too small or too big for our family law firm to handle.

I am not just a divorce lawyer in Orange County, but I am a certified specialist, certified by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. The rule of professional conduct states that an attorney cannot proclaim to be a specialist unless certified by an accredited body. The State Bar of California profile for Bettina Yanez clearly states that my “Certified Legal Specialty” is “Family Law” .

I surround myself with gifted attorneys; for instance, Attorney Thomas Connor (independent contractor) whom has been my mentor since day one. Mr. Connor has been practicing criminal law and family law in the State of California since 1971 (as of this article 42 years plus).

Hiring one of the Best Orange County Divorce Lawyers

Hiring one of the Best Orange County Divorce Lawyers

Contact us for a FREE divorce case review or any family law issue

Clients are free to contact us for a free case review via our online form or call us 24/7 at 714-971-8000. During non business hours I will receive the message within minutes and promptly return your call if you request an immediate return call. Other wise, I will return calls from 8am to 8pm in order to respect your privacy. If it is an emergency please state so and I will return your call regardless of what time it is.

I believe that customer service must be the corner stone of every business. For instance, in the late 80’s my husband was a franchisee with Domino’s Pizza. During the 8 years we owned the franchise, we lived by two rules.

Rule #1: The customer is always right! Rule #2: If the customer is wrong, see rule #1!

Rule #1: The customer is always right!
Rule #2: If the customer is wrong, see rule #1!

Rule #1: The customer is always right! Rule #2: If the customer is wrong, see rule #1!

The two rules listed above are how I try to run my practice. However, it is obvious that the rules may not always apply. For instance, if my client wishes to disobey a court order, my job as their legal counsel is to advise them of the law and what the ramifications may be if the letter of the law is not followed.

When retaining our law firm, you are instructed on how billable hours work. Our firm will only bill for attorney hours when the attorney is actually performing work related to your case. For instance, if a law clerk or paralegal is working on the case, you will be billed based on that team member’s hourly. We try to help our clients stretch their dollar for we understand that our clients work hard for their money; therefore, we must make every effort to help keep the cost down for our clients.

We keep the client in the loop since they are the boss and will always make the final decision. We as your counsel will advise on how a we should strategize but you as the client can always override the plan. Working together as a team will allow us to accomplish our goals in order to get favorable rulings that are in the best interest of our clients.

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Start Your Adoption with Our OC Family Law Firm

Our planet is bursting with children who desperately crave for loving homes and with extraordinary parents waiting to adopt. At Yanez & Associates we are ready to help you realize your dreams. We dedicate our time to making our clients happy; what can be more rewarding than uniting families. Inspired to providing our empathy and steadfast pledge, our family law firm is truly a law firm like no other.

We are ready to helping parents in any of the following adoption scenarios:

• Married couples, singles and same-sex couples considering adoption

• Stepparent adoptions, where one spouse seeks to adopt their spouse’s child

• Mothers or Fathers wanting to offer their child for adoption

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I need help with an Annulment In OC California

Today in California an annulment is called a “nullity of marriage”. However, most people will still refer to it as an “annulment”.

Can any married person get an annulment?

In California an annulment may be granted for any of the following reasons:

• Incestuous: persons are close blood relatives

• Bigamous: they are already married to someone else

• Age of the parties: (one or both of the parties were under the age of 18 – In California the age of consent is 18)

• Prior existing marriage: When the former spouse was thought to be dead

• Unsound mind: The parties did not understand the nature of marriage nor the responsibilities that come with it

• Forced: one or both of the parties were pushed into the marriage

• Fraud: Misleading someone into getting married. For instance, someone will marry in order to obtain a green card or lying about being pregnant just to get married

• Physical inability: The parties are unable to consummate

To obtain an annulment, you must attest to the judge that one of the above stated reasons is factual in your situation.

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Is arbitration a divorce option for me in OC California?

Is arbitration a divorce option for me in Orange Country CA?

Is arbitration a divorce option for me?

What exactly is Arbitration when it comes to family law and how can arbitration assist me in a divorce?

In a nutshell, arbitration is like divorce mediation, where it takes place away from the courts.

It is basically an “ADR” (alternative dispute resolution). The aim is to resolve the party’s legal issues by staying clear of the courts, mediation and collaborative dissolution options.

The arbitrator behaves like a judge; in fact many ex-judges are now arbitrators. The arbitration process is geared to allow parties to settle their disagreements faster by evading litigation in court; hence, saving money.

The arbitrator will determine what is reasonable and legal and how to equitably settle the disputes. Arbitration presents an unbiased, third person to overhear and come to a decision regarding your legal disagreement. The arbitrator is either appointed by a court or the parties select the arbitrator.

The out come of the arbitration determination may or not be binding. This will be contingent on the initial arrangement between the parties.

Binding arbitration is preferred over non-binding in order to avoid additional litigation if one of the parties disagrees with the arbitrator’s final decision.

An arbitrator can be hired on a limited-scope in order to iron out a particular pending issue or the arbitrator can deal with the entire case.

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How Can I best understand Custody & Visitation?

When parents terminate their marriage “divorce” or separate, they must determine who will have the “custody” of their children. In addition they must figure out HOW the children will be raised and cared for. Moreover, the parents will also need to adopt a visitation schedule that works for all parties involved. The main party that should not be overlooked is the child(ren). Many times parents fail to acknowledge what is in the best interest of their child. At times parents are too embedded in the everyday disputes with their ex over custody and visitation issues that they fail to stop and realize if their actions will really benefit their child. In most cases, a child needs the bonding of both parents.

How to best understand “custody” orders:

  1. Legal custody: which means which parent will make the essential decisions for their child’s education, healthcare, and welfare
  1. Physical custody: will determine where the child will reside.

Next we have “Visitation” orders:

This is a parenting guideline plan that should outline how parents will or should share time with their children.

In the State of California both parents can share custody, Judges try not to favor one parent over the other. Today many still think that fathers have less parents rights to their child, but in California Judges strive to give equal rights to fathers when it comes to custody. However, it is important that parents put their best foot forward. In other words, there should not be anything that can paint one in a negative view before the judge. Here are some examples that can hurt one during a custody hearing, domestic violence issues, DUI convictions, drug issues and the list goes on.

Parents need to understand, the judge is just a person in a robe that does his or her best to follow the letter of the law, but they will rule based on their beliefs and past experiences, while keeping the law in mind. Do they always get it right? Of course not, but they try their best while trying to keep the child’s best interest in mind.

Therefore, I always tell my clients that it is best if the parents can workout an amicable custody and visitation agreement among themselves; otherwise, the judge will make that final decision for them. The decision the judge makes may not be something either parent likes.

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How to obtain a child support Order and estimate payments with the guideline calculator

How do I obtain child support orders in Orange County? This is a common question child support attorneys frequently get. This is how I normally answer the question; “the parent needs to have an existing case with the Family Law Court. If the parent does not have an existing case, he or she will need to submit documents in order to open a case”.

A paternity action will be filed if the parents are not married. This is done in order to have the family law court determine who the father is.

If married a petition for support is filed.

What is a Request for Child Support Orders?

A “Request for Order” document is can be filed when one files for a paternity, legal separation or divorce case. By the “request for Order”, you are asking the family law court to order the other party to appear in court in order to obtain the support for your child.

How is my child’s support calculated in OC California?

To approximate the total child support that can be required in your child support case, the State of California utilizes a guideline for support, which is estimated by the Child Support Calculator. Please note that is only an estimation, the family law judge or commissioner can adjust those support calculations as he or she see fit.

To download the User Guide for the California Guideline Child Support Calculator click on the Download button.

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I cannot see my child and I need help with visitation rights?

This is a very common state of affairs when parents divorce, separate or were never married.  Yes, this can be very frustrating for many parents when they are denied their visitation rights with their child, but the good news is that as a parent, you have rights when it comes to seeing your child. Moreover, your child also has rights to see their parents. Some parents feel that if they keep their child away from the other parent they are protecting their child. In some cases this is true. However in the majority of the cases it is not just the parent that is being hurt, it is also the child that is being harmed by depriving the child of a human need to bond with it’s mother and or father.

As a parent and a person that grew up with out a father for many years was painful. Yes, it used to upset me as a child when friends would ask about my father.  But I knew my mother had her reasons.

Today, as a family law attorney that spends countless hours helping parents with their visitation rights, I at times wished my biological father would have sought out his visitation rights and made an effort to bond with me.

Further, I now use my past experience to comprehend both the child and parent’s point of view.  So before I take on a case for a parent that wishes to establish visitation rights I must first hear the facts in their child visitation case.

How can a child visitation attorney help me?

Child visitation is a very sensitive matter that entails a wise approach by the attorney that seeks to obtain visitation rights for their client. It can easily turn into a highly contested and expensive case. The attorney must first make an attempt to reach an amicable resolution.

Bear in mind that the custodial parent may refuse to lose time with their child now that the other parent is requesting shared time with their child. The custodial parent must understand that the courts believe that it is in the best interest of the child to spend time with both parents; therefore, the courts will strive to give the non-custodial parent a meaningful existence in a child’s life.

A good family law visitation attorney can help the parents reach an amicable agreement and work on a detailed parenting plan that can work for all parties involved.

Whether Mom or Dad are the custodial or non-custodial parents, they both have visitation rights to their child. The courts strive to grant visitation 50/50 if feasible.

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Avoid divorce court in CA, by using an alternative dispute resolution known as collaborative divorce

If you and your spouse are committed to dissolving your marriage and wish to avoid divorce court and need help resolving a few issues such as child custody, alimony and asset division then a collaborative divorce may be the answer. In other words if the divorcing parties are not too far apart on the issues then this form of ADR “alternative dispute resolution” may just work. This form of ADR is somewhat new to family law. All parties are committed to helping the clients settle their disagreements by using collective methods. The term “collaborative” meaning basically says it all, “when two or more individuals work together”. In this case the parties will work together to resolve any issues that are unresolved by attempting to negotiate.

What happens if negotiations do not work during the collaborative divorce process?

Like in most things in life, collaborative divorce also has pros and cons. For instance, if your attorneys were unable to resolve the differences during the negotiations, then both clients’ attorneys must typically withdraw from the collaborative divorce process and not be able to further represent the their client in the succeeding process. Therefore, if you and your spouse will not compromise on the issues, then collaborative divorce may not work. One must remember that a collaborative divorce goal is to negotiate a settlement agreement.

So now, instead of being a money saver, it can end up costing you more because now you and your spouse will need to seek out other attorneys for representation. In some cases this means hiring a confrontational family law attorney that may translate to, an expensive divorce due to litigation. When the collaborative divorce attorneys are retained for this process they agree only to limited settlement talks; therefore, if negotiations break down because the spouses cannot agree, then it is time to end the process and proceed with a regular dissolution of marriage, “Divorce”.

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Before I file for a divorce I need to learn about Community Property and Separate Property

What Is The Difference Between Community Property And Separate Property In California?

What Is The Difference Between Community Property And Separate Property In California?

When you file for divorce in California, the property that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage will be divided between the two of you. Because California is a community property state, it’s important to understand the difference between community property and separate property. At Yanez & Associates, our attorneys have the experience to ensure that your property is correctly classified so that your community property is divided according to the law, and your separate property is protected.

Division of Community and Separate Property in a California Divorce

California is a community property state, which can make division of property in a divorce complicated, especially in a long marriage or in a marriage with a high number of assets. All property that belongs to both spouses will be classified as either community property or separate property. Community property is divided between the spouses equally in a divorce, and separate property is protected from division because it only belongs to one spouse.

According to California law, community property is divided equally in a divorce. However, determining what property is community property and what is separate property can complicate a divorce. If both parties can agree on the classification or division of their property before the divorce is finalized, they have the option of submitting a property division agreement to the court on their own terms. A skilled community property division attorney is necessary to ensure that each party discloses all assets, and that assets are property classified.

In the case that the parties cannot agree on the classification and division of property, the court will make the decision for them. Legal counsel is necessary in this case to ensure that all assets are discovered and classified correctly.

What is the Difference between Community Property and Separate Property in California?

Knowing the difference between community property and separate property in California is a key part of dividing property in a divorce in the OC. Community property usually includes both debts and assets that were acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Community property is divided equally during the property division portion of a divorce.

Property and debts that are eligible for division in a divorce can include the following:

• Investment assets • Family owned businesses • The family home and other owned properties • Pensions and retirement accounts • IRS tax and credit card debt

Property characterization can be difficult to decipher as property can have aspects of separate and community. Reimbursement credits may need to be determined. It is for this reason that an experienced attorney should be consulted to assist with the characterization of your property in a dissolution of marriage.

For instance, what may seem to be separate property may in fact not be, separate.

Such as, a business or retirement fund that was started prior to the date of the marriage or real estate that was acquired before the marriage, will no longer be considered separate if the parties commingled.

Some debts and assets that are acquired during a marriage may also be considered separate property, and may be exempt from property division in a divorce. This can include student loan debts, inheritances, and property that was purchased with an inheritance. Again an experienced attorney would need to review the particulars to determine if in fact the “separate property” is truly separate under California law.

Many individuals do not understand that once the assets are commingled, they may become community property. For instance, if you add your spouse’s name to the grant deed, refinance the property together or used community funds towards the separate property it may now be viewed as community property.

Contact an OC Divorce Lawyer to Discuss Asset Division in Your California Divorce

At Yanez & Associates, we understand the complications that can arise from community property division during a divorce in the OC. Our attorneys have the knowledge to negotiate on your behalf and the experience to be aggressive when necessary during litigation. If you have acquired any assets during your marriage, contact us today for assistance dividing your property during a divorce in the OC.

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Contempt of Court & Child Support Enforcement in the OC

In most cases, parents want to support their children, not only financially, but emotionally as well. However, some parents do not pay child support, even when they have been legally ordered to do so. Whether you are required to pay child support and have failed to do so, or are owed child support by a parent who is not paying, it is important to understand the legalities of child support enforcement in California.

How Do I Know If Child Support Can Be Enforced In My Situation?

In order to be held in contempt of court regarding a child support order, there must be a willful violation of court ordered child support.

In order to enforce child support, a valid, legal child support order must be in place. During a divorce proceeding or a child support hearing, you can have a child support order issued. An oral agreement between two parents is not enforceable under the law.

If the parent who owes child support is financially unable to do so, it is important to have the child support order modified. It is unlikely that a parent will be held in contempt due to inability to pay.

How Can a California Child Support Order be Enforced?

If a child support order has been issued and payments are not being made, there are several ways the order can be enforced.

To initiate the process, the parent seeking support, or the plaintiff, should file a written legal request, called a motion, for contempt. Due to the statute of limitations in California, this must be done within three years of the date the payment was due, but not paid.

Once filed, a hearing will be held. If a judge believes that the order has been willfully disobeyed, the delinquent parent is held in contempt of court. When held in contempt, the judge has several options when determining consequences for the delinquent parent:

• Issuing fines,

• Sentencing the parent to jail time or community service, • Ordering payment of the plaintiff’s attorney and legal fees, • Place a lien on the delinquent’s property, or sell property in order to make payments, • Garnish wages for payment of child support, • Order that child support be paid from benefits or other income.

What if I Am Financially Unable to Pay Court Ordered Child Support in California?

Financial inability to pay child support is not a reason to be held in contempt of court in California. However, if your financial situation has changed, for example, if you lost your job, or went to jail, it is imperative that you ask the court to change your child support order.

Contact an Irvine Child Support Attorney, to Discuss Enforcing Your Child Support Order

At Yanez& Associates, we will take the time to understand your situation, and walk you through the process of child support enforcement in California. Your child’s best interests are the most important part of a child support case. Contact us today to discuss the best options for your support case.

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If you’re Facing Criminal Charges in Los Angeles or Orange County, Hire a Top Criminal Defense Lawyer

Whether you are facing charges for juvenile crime, a traffic violation, theft or a DUI, it is important to prepare the best defense possible. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys can help build your case and minimize your charges and the legal consequences you could face.

Attorney Thomas Conner, an exceptional criminal defense attorney in Southern California, with over 40 years of trial experience can help you with all types of misdemeanor and felony criminal charges.

For Which Types of Charges Can a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney be of Assistance?

Attorney Thomas Conner can assist you with any felony or misdemeanor criminal charges in California, including the following:

• DUI or DWI, • DMV hearings, • Narcotic charges, • Domestic violence charges, • Firearm charges, • Fraud and other white collar crimes, • False imprisonment, • Grand theft, • Juvenile defense • Kidnapping charges, • Murder charges, • Rape charges, • Robbery charges, • Burglary charges, • Restraining orders, • Protective orders, • Deadly weapon assault charges, • Resisting arrest, • Battery charges, • Embezzlement charges, • Extortion charges, • Various other felony or misdemeanor criminal charges you may face in California.

You should never ignore criminal law charges. Due to the potential consequences of a conviction and those of having a criminal record, it is always in your best interests to hire the best southern California criminal attorney.

Why Do I Need To Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer If I’m Facing Criminal Charges?

If you’re facing criminal charges, it means that you have been formally accused of a crime. Not only can a criminal defense lawyer help you understand your rights, but he can help protect them.

If you do not hire a criminal defense lawyer, you have a much greater chance of being convicted of a crime. A conviction brings legal consequences like fines and jail time, as well as a criminal record. Having a criminal record may cause problems when you apply to rent housing, apply for a job, or travel internationally in the future.

However, with the help of a southern California criminal attorney, your charges may be lowered or dropped, or you could be found not guilty of the crime.

Who is Attorney Thomas Conner?

A top criminal defense lawyer in Southern California, Attorney Thomas Conner has been a practicing member of the State Bar of California since 1971. He offers professional legal assistance for all Southern California State and Federal Courts, including Family Law and Juvenile Courts and DMV hearings.

At our firm, you’ll find seasoned attorneys and professional team who always puts our clients first. We offer every client a free initial consultation to discuss the situation and determine the best course of action. If finances are an issue, payment plans are available.

If you’re facing criminal charges, contact the top criminal defense lawyer in Southern California today. We can schedule your free initial consultation and get started building your defense right away.

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Finding the Right Divorce Attorney for Your Divorce in the OC

Divorce does not have to be stressful or traumatizing if you have the right divorce attorney on your side. At Yanez & Associates, we understand that each divorce is unique, and every family deserves a dedicated attorney who will keep the family’s best interests in mind and offer the best legal advice in the OC.

How can an OC Divorce Lawyer Help My Family in a Divorce?

When you’re considering a divorce, for any reason, it is your attorney’s job to consider all of your legal options – even the ones you may not have thought of. For example, if you and your spouse are on good terms, you may be able to settle out of court and have more control over the outcome of your divorce through a type of alternative dispute resolution. A skilled divorce attorney in the OC can help you determine the best course of action for you and your family.

You have many options when it comes to filing for a divorce in the OC. California is a no fault state, meaning that either party can file for divorce on the grounds of ‘irreconcilable differences’. Depending on how well you and your spouse get along, you might consider a legal separation or collaborative divorce, or you may be forced to go to trial. Assets must be divided, any children will have a custody arrangement, and spousal and child support will need to be determined.

At Yanez & Associates, we offer assistance in all aspects of your divorce. This can include the following:

• Legal Separation

• Divorce • Annulment • Child Custody • Child Support • Division of Assets • Spousal Support (Alimony) • Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection • Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as Collaborative Law and Divorce Mediation

Once you have decided to file for divorce, it is time to discuss it with a divorce attorney. To schedule a free consultation with our experienced divorce lawyers in the OC, call or contact us through our online form to the right.

The Specifics of Filing for Divorce in Southern California

In order to file for divorce in California, one of the spouses must have been a resident of California for six months, and in the county where the divorce is filed for at least three months. The divorce cannot be final for six months and one day from the date of filing.

If both parties can agree on the terms of the divorce, perhaps through divorce mediation, a stipulation agreement can be filed with the court, and may be approved without a court appearance, depending on the specifics of the divorce. The terms of the divorce cover things like division of assets, child custody and support, and spousal support.

If not the divorce will go to trial and a judge will determine the terms of the divorce. In the case that circumstances change, child custody, child support and spousal support orders may be modified in the future.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Highly Qualified Divorce Lawyer in the OC

If you’re contemplating a divorce, schedule a free consultation with Yanez & Associates to discuss your case. We understand that divorces can be stressful, and we are here to help you through yours. Our firm serves clients across the OC and Los Angeles County in Southern California.

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Divorce Mediation with a Top OC & Los Angeles Mediation Lawyer

Divorce can be stressful on all involved parties, as well as friends and family. In some cases, a form of alternative dispute resolution may be a better option than a traditional litigated divorce. Mediation allows the parties involved to work through each part of the divorce together with the help of a qualified mediator. At Yanez & Associates, our successful Los Angeles divorce mediation lawyers understand the need to act compassionately towards you and your family throughout the divorce process.

When you Divorce in Los Angeles or in OC, You May Wonder, “What Is Divorce Mediation?”

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is often used to negotiate a divorce settlement. It allows the two spouses, and in some cases, their attorneys, to work with a neutral third party divorce mediator and negotiate each issue in the divorce.

The mediation process may begin with each spouse meeting with the mediator separately, and he or she may have you sign paperwork stating that what is said during mediation is to be kept confidential. In some cases, the parties may be allowed to have an attorney present during mediation, and in some cases, they may not.

Once you and your spouse determine which issues you agree on and which issues need to be worked through, the negotiations begin. Your mediator will encourage you both to be open to compromise and to understand each other’s points of view.

The divorce agreement and parenting plan created at the end of mediation will be come part of your divorce judgment, and can be legally enforced.

What Benefit Do I Get From Divorce Mediation in a Los Angeles Divorce?

Mediation works best for couples that are on good terms with each other, and those who are willing to work with one another to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. However, for those couples that have a history of domestic violence or abuse, mediation may not be the best option. Couples who do decide to try mediation can benefit in numerous ways.

• Mediation is usually less expensive that a litigated divorce, • Mediation is confidential, so there is no public record of the mediation sessions, • In some cases, the parties can have a lawyer, • The spouses have control over the process and the outcome of the divorce, rather than leaving it up to the court, • Because the spouses decide on the terms of the divorce, they are more likely to follow through with support and custody arrangements.

Experienced Mediator Divorce Attorney helping clients in Los Angeles and Orange County

If you’re considering a divorce, your first step should be to consult with an OC/Los Angeles Divorce Attorney to discuss your options. Consider mediation as an option, especially if you have children. At Yanez& Associates, our skilled divorce mediation lawyers can help you understand how mediation could work for your family, and guide you through from the start of your divorce to the end. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.

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Dissolution of a Registered Domestic Partnership in OC Southern California

Seek the help of a skilled Domestic Partnership Dissolution Attorney

Seek the help of a skilled Domestic Partnership Dissolution Attorney

Domestic partnership dissolution does not have to be a stressful ordeal. There are two options for ending a registered domestic partnership in California: a summary dissolution or a divorce. It is in your best interest to seek the assistance of a qualified OC Southern California divorce lawyer in both cases.

Summary Dissolution for Registered Domestic Partners in Southern California

Q: What is a summary dissolution? A: Is a quicker and simpler method than an ordinary divorce.

However, determining whether you qualify for a summary dissolution can be tricky. The domestic partnership must meet all of the following requirements in order to file a summary dissolution in California.

1. Both partners want to terminate the domestic partnership; 2. The parties have not been registered as a domestic partnership for more than five years on the date of filing; 3. The parties do not have children, including biological or adopted children from before or during the partnership, and neither party is pregnant at the time of filing; 4. Neither party owns land or buildings; 5. Neither party rents land or buildings except for their current home, and there is no option to purchase the rented home; 6. Neither party owes more than $6,000 in debts that have accumulated since the date the domestic partnership began, excluding car loans; 7. The parties have less than $40,000 in property acquired during the domestic partnership; 8. Neither party has more than $40,000 in separate property, excluding vehicles; 9. Neither partner requires financial support from the other; and 10. Both parties have signed a property and debt division agreement (excluding vehicles), or agree that there is no community property or debt to divide.

Help in filing a summary dissolution in California

In the case that you qualify for a summary dissolution in California, you will need to fill out a Notice of Termination and create a property agreement before your dissolution can be processed. There is a six-month waiting period from the date of file before your domestic partnership will legally terminate. It is always in your best interest to consult with a qualified divorce attorney before filing for a summary dissolution.

What If I Don’t Qualify for a Summary Dissolution of a Registered Domestic Partnership in California?

If you do not qualify for a summary dissolution, you and your partner will need to file for divorce. Your Orange County or Los Angeles divorce lawyer will help you consider your options when it comes to a divorce, and you can decide the best course of action for your case.

At Yanez & Associates, our highly skilled divorce attorneys can help you in all aspects of your divorce, from the decision to file to the division of property and setting up child custody or spousal support agreements.

In order to file for divorce in California, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for at least six months. To learn more about California residency requirements visit our section on “What are the Residency Requirements for Divorce in California?” If you are filing for divorce because you did not qualify for a summary dissolution, you must file in your state of residence or wait until you meet California’s residency requirements.

To Download the PDF brochure on Terminating a California Registered Domestic Partnership click on the button below or visit the self-help ca.gov site on domestic Partners.

An Experienced Los Angeles Divorce Attorney is Your Best Resource for a Domestic Partnership Dissolution

The compassionate legal team at Yanez & Associates is here to help you throughout the dissolution of your domestic partnership, whether you’re a California native or not. Call us today or contact us through our contact form to set up your FREE initial consultation.

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Protect Yourself and Loved Ones from Domestic Violence Immediately With the Help of a California Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic violence is not to be taken lightly in any case. It is important that you take legal action as soon as possible to protect yourself or loved ones if you or a loved one is facing domestic violence.

Domestic violence occurs when abuse takes place and there is a relationship between the abuser and the victim. Abuse does not always mean physical violence; it can also include emotional abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, economic abuse, and mental abuse. The relationship between the abuser and victim can be through marriage, friendship or family, for example people who are dating or have previously dated, parents and children, spouses, stepchildren, or parents.

How Can I Protect Myself and Loved Ones From Domestic Abuse in OC California?

Although it may seem like you have no choice when you’re facing abuse, it is important to remember that you always have options. A great option if you have a relationship with a person who has abused or threatened to abuse you is to obtain a domestic violence restraining order with the help of a skilled domestic abuse lawyer in OC California.

Restraining orders are available on short notice to protect you immediately.

• An Emergency Protective Order, valid for 5-7 days, can be obtained at the request of law enforcement officers 24 hours a day, and requires the restrained person to stay away from the protected party and their home and family. • A Temporary Restraining Order is valid for 20-25 days, and is used to protect you, your family and your property until a hearing can be held. • A Restraining Order After a Hearing is valid for 3-5 years, and can be renewed. • A Criminal Protective Order may last for up to 3 years, and is used to protect you during and after a criminal case if the defendant is found guilty.

A restraining order may require the person to:

• Refrain from contacting you, your children, and other people who live with you, • Stay a specific distance away of your home, work, and children’s schools or daycare centers, • Leave your home if you live together, even if you have joint ownership or a joint lease, • Follow child custody and visitation agreements, • Pay child support and spousal support, • Pay bills and debts, • Return and stay away from your pets,

Once the hearing takes place, a Restraining Order After a Hearing can place further obligations on the restrained person, by ordering them to:

• Pay you for losses due to their abuse or violence, • Attend batterer’s counseling, • Pay your attorney’s fees • Other orders as the judge sees fit.

Contact a Southern California Family Lawyer to Obtain A Domestic Violence Restraining Order and Protect Yourself From Domestic Abuse

The legal team at Yanez & Associates is ready to help protect you and your loved ones from abuse. Contact our compassionate domestic abuse lawyers for OC & Los Angeles through our contact form or call 714-971-8000.

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Fight Your DUI Charges with a Premier DUI Defense Lawyer in OC California

In California, it almost always makes more sense to fight a DUI charge than it does to plead guilty. Police officers make mistakes in the testing and arresting procedures, equipment malfunctions, and other circumstances surrounding the arrest can make a sober person appear to be under the influence.

Premier OC Southern California Criminal Defense Attorney, Thomas Connor, has over 40 years of litigation experience in California. Our DUI defense team can help you understand your rights and build your defense.

How Can an OC Southern California DUI Defense Attorney Help With My DUI Case?

When you’re arrested for a DUI, your first step should be to contact a DUI defense attorney. In your case, the prosecution has to prove two things:

1. That the defendant, or the person facing DUI charges, drove a vehicle, and 2. That the defendant was under the influence while they were driving the vehicle. Under the influence means that the person’s ability to drive safely was affected due to drinking alcohol, consuming drugs, or both.

In many cases, your defense attorney will be able to prove that you were wrongly charged with a DUI or lower the charges against you. However, it is critical that you contact an attorney as soon as possible in order to meet deadlines and to initiate the process and get ahead of your prosecutors, especially in a case where your license has been suspended.

We handle a variety of misdemeanor and felony charges related to driving under the influence, whether it’s your first offense or you’ve been charged before.

What You Should Know About DUI Arrests in California

If you are 21 years old or older, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher can result in a DUI charge. If you are under 21 years, the maximum BAC is 0.01%.

In California, if you are driving a vehicle, you give your consent for breath, blood or urine tests to determine your blood alcohol concentration. Refusal results in a license suspension of one year on your first offense, and two years on your second or third offense. A DUI defense attorney can help you obtain an ignition interlock device or a driving permit in the case that your license has been suspended.

A DUI conviction will stay on your record for up to 10 years in California.

Contact a Premier DUI Defense Lawyer in Southern California Today

If you’re facing criminal charges of any kind, it is critical that you contact a lawyer. Top Southern California DUI defense lawyer Thomas Conner can help you fight your DUI charges, and avoid potential jail time, fines and license loss or suspension. Contact us today on our online contact form.

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Our Compassionate Orange County Elder Law Attorneys Are Here to Help You

As we get older, we may need more care and assistance with movement, health, finances, personal property, and real estate. It is important to plan for the future, whether you are aging or planning to care for your aging parents or other loved ones. The team at Yanez & Associates is experienced in elder law, and we are here to help you protect your rights and your future.

Plan for Your Future and Protect Your Rights with the Help of a Skilled OC Elder Law Attorney

Elder law is a broad area of law that covers all types of law relating to those 65 and older. It also includes any issues that may arise regarding aging, illness, and incapacity, such as:

• Health and personal care planning, such as power of attorney, family issues, and living wills; • Financial representation, planning, housing options, income planning, and estate planning; • Planning for a spouse that is currently healthy but may one day require long term care; • Asset protection and insurance or government benefits; • Guardianship; • Employment and retirement issues; • Resident rights in nursing homes and other licensed care facilities; and • Wills and trusts for the elderly and adults with special needs.

Like most areas of law, it is best to have an experienced Orange County elder law attorney who understands your rights and obligations to guide you through the process.

Put a Stop to Elder Abuse with Help from an Orange County Elder Law Attorney

It is expected that as we get older, we need to rely on others for assistance with our health, finances, and property. But what happens when those we thought were helping us try to take advantage of our inability to care for ourselves?

Elder abuse can happen to you or your loved ones. Abuse can be mental, physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, or financial. In some cases, abuse is an intentional negative act, such as hitting or neglect. In other cases, we may not be aware that it has taken place (for example, if the person in charge of your finances is stealing from you).

Any abuse towards a person who is 65 years or older, or abuse towards a dependent person who is 18-64, can be considered elder abuse. In some cases, the abused person may not be able to request assistance for themselves; they depend on their loved ones to contact an attorney on their behalf. It may be necessary to obtain a protective order and to remove the abused person from the care of the abuser.

If the abuse or neglect takes place at a nursing home or other licensed care facility, it needs to be reported to the California Attorney General.

Contact a Top Elder Law Attorney in the OC for Assistance with Your Elder Law Abuse Case or Elder Law Planning

If you or a loved one is facing physical abuse, the most important step is to seek medical attention. Abuse needs to be reported, and the abused should be separated from their abuser. Our experienced Orange County elder law attorneys are here to help! Contact us today for a consultation.

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Division of Debt in a California Divorce

Understanding Equitable Division of Debt and Community Property Law in California

Understanding Equitable Division of Debt and Community Property Law in California

When a couple divorces in California, their divorce settlement includes a division of assets and debts. California is a community property state, which means that both property and debts are divided based on whether they are considered community property and debts, or separate property and debts. At Yanez & Associates, you can count on our team of experienced divorce attorneys to ensure that your debts are equitably divided according to the law during your divorce.

Understanding Equitable Division of Debt and Community Property Law in California

When a couple divorces, their assets and debts are divided into two categories: community and separate. Community debts and assets are divided equitably between the spouses, and separate debts and assets belong only to one spouse.

Generally, both assets and debts acquired by either spouse during the course of their marriage are categorized as community debts and community assets. Community debts and assets belong to both spouses equally, and during a divorce, these debts and assets are equitably divided. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it is divided in half. Every divorce is unique, and every divorce settlement is determined individually. Our skilled California divorce attorneys can help ensure that your debt is correctly categorized as either community debt or separate debt and divided equitably.

When dividing debts in a divorce, it is important to work with an attorney who has experience, especially if you and your spouse have a lot of debt or assets, or if you have children. There are exceptions to the way that debts and assets can be distributed in a divorce.

If you have one, a prenuptial agreement can change the way that debts are divided in your divorce. Your attorney can also help you understand how your prenup will come into play and how it could affect the division of debts in your divorce.

Because community debts and assets are acquired during the course of the marriage, it is important to establish the start and end dates to a marriage. The start date is the date the marriage was legalized. In many divorces, the date of separation is considered the end of the marriage. Determining the date of separation can be tricky, and according to California law, occurs when the following two criteria are met:

• There is a physical separation between the two parties (for example, one spouse moves out, or in some cases, when the spouses begin sleeping in separate rooms). • One or both spouses intend to end the marriage.

This means that a legal separation or a trial separation do not qualify, because neither spouse has a set intention to divorce.

A Southern California Equitable Division of Debt Attorney Can Help with Your Divorce

If you’re looking for more information on how debts are divided in a California divorce, our experienced and knowledgeable Southern California divorce attorneys are here to help! Schedule a free consultation with us through the online contact form or over the phone.

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Experienced Los Angeles Equitable Property Attorney

Equitable Division of Community Property in a California Divorce

Equitable Division of Community Property in a California Divorce

Part of divorcing in California is dividing a couple’s debts and property. California is a community property state, meaning that property is categorized as either community or separate property. Community property is then equitably divided between the spouses. The knowledgeable Los Angeles property division attorneys at Yanez & Associates have the experience to ensure that your property is appropriately categorized and equitably divided.

Equitable Division of Community Property in a California Divorce

In order to divide property in a divorce according to California law, a couple’s property must first be categorized as either community property or separate property. Once divided, the community property must be valued and then divided.

Community property includes assets and debts that accumulated between the date of marriage and the date of separation. The date of separation may be determined by a court and is defined as the date where there was physical separation between the spouses and intent to divorce on the part of either spouse.

Property that is usually considered community property includes investment assets, family businesses, the family home and other real estate, pensions, retirement accounts, and some personal property.

Separate property was owned by one spouse before the date of marriage or acquired after the date of separation. It also includes inheritances and property purchased with an inheritance during the marriage.

A couple can determine on their own, either before or during a marriage, that an asset that was originally community property is now separate, or that separate property is now community. Separate property can also become community property by the way it is used (for example, if one spouse owns a home prior to the marriage and both spouses make payments during the marriage).

If a couple cannot agree on the value of property, the court can decide for them. Retirement savings can be tricky to value and in some cases may require the assistance of a financial specialist.

Property division is unique in every divorce. Both property and debts should be equitably divided according to value. In some cases, the couple controls the distribution of their own property. In highly contested divorces, it may be left up to the court.

Contact an Orange County Divorce Attorney to Discuss Equitable Division of Property in Your Divorce

In order to understand how community property and equitable division of property will play a role in your California divorce, contact a Los Angeles property division attorney. At Yanez & Associates, our attorneys are experienced in the area of property division and family law. Contact us today through our online form, or give us a call to schedule your free consultation.

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Superb Southern California Estate Planning and Probate Lawyers

Contact a Skilled California Estate Planning and Probate Attorney for Assistance Today

Contact a Skilled California Estate Planning and Probate Attorney for Assistance Today

Estate planning is the creation of a plan for the disposal of a person’s estate. A good estate plan is meant to ease the financial burden on your family after death by creating a financial plan to cover your debts and ongoing expenses. If successful, your estate plan will maximize your assets by minimizing taxes and fees.

An estate plan also includes a will, which states to whom each of your assets will belong when you pass away. Probate is a process that takes place after your death and includes the validation of the will; the identification, care, and distribution of your property; and the payment of your debts and taxes.

Estate Planning in California is Best Done with the Help of an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer

Regardless of how old you are, it is important to think about the future and to have an estate plan in place. Your California estate planning attorney can make sure that all documents are valid and that you have all of the correct and required documents:

• A Health Care Directive – This document lets your friends, family, and healthcare professionals know your health care preferences if you are unable to make a decision. It’s an important document for anyone over 18. • A Power of Attorney – This document names the person in charge of your finances in the case of your death or incapacitation. • A Will – Your will lists to whom all of your assets will belong after your death. It is always advised that a will is created with the help of an attorney. • A Living Trust – A trust is another way to transfer your assets to another person, but it may offer you more privacy and flexibility and lower costs with a lower chance of probate.

Make sure that your family isn’t facing stress in the future by planning properly now. The exceptional California estate planning lawyers at Yanez & Associates are here to help create your estate plan and protect your family’s future.

Creating an Exemplary Estate Plan Can Minimize Probate and Stress for Your Family

After a person dies, probate is the legal process that evaluates the person’s estate plan and distributes their assets accordingly. In the case of a poorly formed estate plan, the probate process can be time-consuming and costly. Fees associated with probate are taken from the deceased person’s assets before they are distributed, so a poorly-designed will can be costly to those who are supposed to inherit.

If you have recently lost a loved one who had not updated their estate plan, or had a poorly designed estate plan, you may need the help of an experienced California probate attorney.

Contact a Skilled California Estate Planning and Probate Attorney for Assistance Today

Whether you’re ready to plan your estate and protect your family in the future, or you have recently lost a loved one and you are facing probate, contact Yanez & Associates. Schedule a free initial consultation with our skilled Southern California estate planning lawyers through our online contact form or over the phone.

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A Skilled Los Angeles County High Asset Divorce Attorney Can Make a Difference in Your Executive Divorce

Los Angeles & Orange County High Asset Divorce Attorneys Can Make a Difference in Your Executive Divorce

Los Angeles & Orange County High Asset Divorce Attorneys Can Make a Difference in Your Executive Divorce

An executive divorce, or a high asset divorce, can be one of the most complex family law issues in California. When both parties in a couple have accumulated wealth and assets throughout the course of their marriage, division of assets can be a major issue in the divorce.

Because of the complications involved in an executive divorce, the attorney you choose to represent you throughout the divorce process can make all the difference in your divorce settlement.

What Makes an Executive Divorce Different from Most Other California Divorces?

Executive divorces are unique, and those involved have numerous decisions to make in addition to property division, child support, and spousal support.

• Privacy in your divorce – In an executive divorce, you have the option of a public or a private judge. A private judge may be a good option if you’d like to keep your income private. • Child custody – Child custody can be a highly contested issue in any divorce, but it is important to remember that the best decision is the one in the best interests of the child. • Division of Assets – Asset and Debt division can be complicated in a divorce, and they should not be attempted without the assistance of a knowledgeable high asset divorce attorney in California. Attorneys can help in the discovery process to ensure that both spouses must disclose all assets, and in the division process, to ensure that both assets and debts are divided equitably. • Child and Spousal Support – In any divorce, child support, like child custody, is determined based on the best interest of the child. Spousal support may or may not be necessary, based on the financial situations of each individual spouse. Your attorney can help ensure that the child and spousal support orders in your divorce allow you and your children to maintain the same standard of living.

High asset divorces are different from most divorces, and they require a strong high asset divorce attorney with litigation experience. Assets may include large corporations and family businesses, and losing a business can mean a drastic lifestyle change. You haven’t worked hard during your marriage to lose everything you’ve earned in a divorce. It is critical to hire a qualified Los Angeles County divorce attorney to protect you during your high asset divorce.

An Outstanding Los Angeles High Asset Divorce Attorney Can Help You throughout Your Divorce

If you’re considering a high asset divorce, the divorce attorney you choose to work with can determine the outcome of your case. At Yanez & Associates, we have successfully handled numerous high asset divorces, and we are ready to help you work through yours. To schedule your initial consultation, give us a call or contact us through our online form.

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First-Rate Domestic Violence Attorney in the OC

Assault and battery are both illegal, and when committed against a family member or another person with whom you have a relationship, domestic violence laws in California make the crime even more serious.

If you or a loved one is facing domestic abuse, it is important to get away from the abuser and to obtain a restraining order. However, if you have been falsely accused of domestic abuse or family violence, a conviction could cost you. In order to protect your relationships with your family, including your children, it is imperative that you work with a skilled family violence attorney in the OC.

A First-Rate Family Violence Attorney Can Protect You and Your Loved Ones

Facing violence in your own home at the hands of loved ones can be terrifying, and in many cases, the victim may feel that they need to hide the abuse, or that they cannot escape. When children are facing abuse, they depend on their guardians and loved ones to protect them from their abusers. Failing to report abuse that your children witness can be considered child neglect and may affect your custody rights.

Family violence does not always mean physical violence; it can also include mental, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse.

It is important to remember that you always have options, for yourself and your loved ones. Our compassionate Orange County family violence lawyers are available 24 hours a day to help you obtain a restraining order and get to safety.

Restraining orders can require your abuser to stay away from the victim, any children or housemates, and the abused person’s home, school, or workplace. It can disallow them from contacting the abused, and it can require them to continue paying bills and debts, child and spousal support, and to follow all child custody and visitation agreements.

Protect Your Rights with the Help of a California Family Violence Attorney

Facing abuse at the hands of a loved one can make it that much more difficult to get away from the abuse, especially if the victim depends on the abuser financially, or if they have children together. The law allows for restraining orders of various lengths to be issued, before and after a court hearing.

However, even a wrongful accusation or conviction can leave the accused abuser facing fines, jail time, and support costs, while being forced to leave their home and their children. These heavy consequences may be appropriate and help protect a victim if the accusations are valid, but if you’re facing false accusations, it is imperative that you consult with a first-rate criminal defense attorney in the OC who can help protect your rights.

Contact a Skilled Family Violence Attorney in the OC to Protect Your Family Today

If you are facing family violence, it is important to get yourself and your loved ones to a safe place. Domestic violence hotlines, police, and attorneys are here to help protect you. Contact our family violence lawyers in the OC today to obtain a restraining order or schedule a consultation.

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Our Exceptional Orange County Fathers’ Rights Attorneys Will Protect Your Rights

The stereotype for divorcing parents is that the man pays child and spousal support and sees the kids on the weekend, while the woman remains in the family home with the children. However, child custody, as well as support and division of property, are determined on a case-by-case basis. Custody in California is determined based on the best interest of the children.

There are several times when a father’s rights can be questioned. In some cases, paternity may need to be established. In other cases, the father is known, but a custody dispute may threaten the father’s legal rights to the child. Whether there is abuse involved, one parent is looking to financially extort the other, the child’s safety is in question, or the parents just cannot get along, a skilled fathers’ rights attorney in the OC can help protect your rights as a father.

Establishing Paternity with the Help of a Paternity Lawyer in the OC

In most states, when a child is born in a medical facility to married parents, the husband is assumed to be the father, and the father has the opportunity to sign the birth certificate and establish paternity. Most children are given their father’s last name. In California, the only way that a father can sign the birth certificate if he is not married to the mother is if they sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity. The mother cannot sign this for the father, but it can be done at any time after the birth.

Once paternity has been established, the father has parental rights that can be legally enforced.

Fathers in California May Need a Fathers’ Rights Attorney in a California Child Custody Case

Establishing paternity brings both rights and responsibilities to the father. As long as it is in the best interest of the child, parents (whether biological or adopted) have the right to a fair custody and visitation agreement, and to fair child support obligations and payments, regardless of gender.

California law considers both parents to be equals. In all cases except those where it is not considered in the child’s best interests, under California family law both parents not only have the right to be in their child’s life, but it is believed to be essential to their growth and development.

As a father, you have rights regarding your children, and an OC fathers’ rights attorney can help you protect them.

• You have the right to spend time with your child. This may mean joint custody, sole custody, or visitation rights, with or without supervision. Your child’s other parent is obligated to abide by the terms of the custody order, and you have the right to enforce them. • You have the right to make decisions about the health, religion, safety, and welfare of your child. If you and the mother are divorced, these rights may be given to the parent who has sole physical custody of the child, so it is important to have a skilled fathers’ rights attorney on your side throughout your custody case. • You have the right to access your child’s medical and school records. • You have the right to decide parenting and discipline methods for your child.

If your child support agreement requires you to pay child support to the child’s other parent and your circumstances change so that you are no longer able to pay, it is important that you request a modification to the child support order. Failure to pay your child support obligations can land you in jail, jeopardizing your rights.

Discuss Your Rights with a Fathers’ Rights Attorney in the OC

If your rights as a father are in question, or not being upheld, it is time to discuss your situation with an exceptional fathers’ rights attorney in the OC who can protect your rights. Schedule a consultation with us by phone or through our online contact form today.

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The Role of Guardianship in California Family Law

What are the Rights and Responsibilities of a Legal Guardian in California?

What are the Rights and Responsibilities of a Legal Guardian in California?

In the case that a child’s parents have died or they are unable to adequately care for the child, a guardian can be appointed to have legal custody of the child. A legal guardian is usually a relative or close friend and can be chosen by the parent, and the guardian has specific rights and responsibilities in their role.

Legal guardianship is not the same as adoption. In an adoption, the adoptive parent is permanently granted all of the rights that come with being a biological parent to a child. In a legal guardianship, the guardian’s rights may not be permanent, and it does not necessarily relinquish the rights of the birth parent. In some cases, the parent is still involved in the child’s life.

What are the Rights and Responsibilities of a Legal Guardian in California?

Legal guardianship allows the guardian to have the following rights and responsibilities regarding the child:

• The guardian is granted legal custody of the child, • The guardian can manage the child’s property and medical records, • The guardian is responsible for enrolling the child in school, • The child can be on the guardian’s health insurance plan, • The guardian can make decisions regarding the child’s well being, and • The guardian could become eligible for financial assistance from the state.

How is a Legal Guardian Determined in California?

As a parent, you can name a guardian for your children in your will. It is best to discuss this with the person before you name them, so that they are prepared in the case that they are suddenly guardians to your child or children.

When choosing a guardian or guardians, it is best to choose someone who has a relationship with your child and someone you trust to make decisions regarding your child’s life. Consider your chosen guardian’s financial situation; their location; their religion, values, and morals; their physical ability to raise children; their age; their children and family life; and whether or not the person wants to be a guardian to your children.

Guardianship will be determined during the probate process and can be transferred to family court if there are objections to the guardianship. In the case that no guardian has been named, friends or family members can petition the court for guardianship, and the judge will determine whether the guardianship would be in the best interest of the child.

Consult an Orange County Guardianship Attorney to Determine Guardianship in Your Child’s Best Interest

If you have questions regarding choosing a guardian for your children, or petitioning the court for guardianship of a child you know, it is important to discuss your options with an OC family lawyer who is skilled in the area of Legal Guardianship. Call our office today to set up a consultation, or contact us through the contact form to the right.

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International Child Custody Cases Require Experienced Child Custody Attorneys

In today’s global society, it is not uncommon for people to marry a citizen of another country, or for two parents to live in separate countries after a divorce. However, when it comes to international child custody, the laws of two countries are involved, which makes the case all that much more complex. It is critical that you have a skilled Los Angeles child custody lawyer on your side who has the knowledge and the ability to fight for you and your family.

How International Child Custody, Child Abduction, and the Hague Convention Could Apply to Your Family

When parents separate or divorce, and one parent takes the child to another country without the consent of the other parent, thereby violating a custody order, a child custody case can turn into a child abduction case. In this case, the parent in the home country may be able to use the Hague Convention to protect their parental rights and bring their child home.

The Hague Convention is a treaty between several countries that is meant to provide a legal remedy for the swift return of abducted children to their home countries in order to allow the Court to resolve custody disputes between their parents. It does not guarantee that the child will remain in the home country, but it allows for a fair legal process to take place.

If a child was rightfully removed from the country, and the parent in the home country attempts to use the Hague Convention to bring the child back to the original country, there are stipulations that would prevent the child from being returned, especially if the child could be in danger.

The Best Interests of the Child Determine the Custody Order that is Approved by the Court

When deciding whether to allow an international relocation in a custody agreement, the Court should always determine whether the relocation is in the best interest of the child. The following may be taking into consideration:

• The conditions and cultural practices of the country in question; • The ease or difficulty of the parent remaining in the home country to see the child, according to the visitation agreement; • Issues that may arise in trying to enforce the visitation agreement in the future; and • Whether or not the country in question is a part of the Hague Convention.

Contact a Knowledgeable Los Angeles & Orange County International Child Custody Lawyer to Protect Your Family

Whether you are trying to relocate your child to another country, or you are in a custody battle and your child has been wrongfully removed and retained in a foreign country, the knowledgeable attorneys at Yanez & Associates are skilled in the area of child custody and are ready to help you protect the rights of your child and your family. Contact us through our online contact form, or give us a call to schedule a consultation today.

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Outstanding Juvenile Defense Attorney in Southern California OC

Learn how an attorney in Orange County California can Help in a Juvenile defense Case

Learn how an attorney in Orange County California can Help in a Juvenile defense Case

Because juveniles are held to different standards than adults, they also require attorneys who understand juvenile law in addition to adult laws. When a juvenile is charged with a crime, there are various differences in the law, legal procedure, consequences, privacy restrictions, their criminal records, and more.

How is a Juvenile Lawyer Different from a Criminal Defense Attorney in Southern California?

A juvenile lawyer provides legal advice for juveniles and their families according to juvenile law in a juvenile court. In juvenile court, proceedings are considered civil rather than criminal, which means that juveniles are accused of a delinquent act instead of a crime.

In juvenile court, instead of accusing and convicting a juvenile of a crime, he or she is charged with violating a criminal statute, and if convicted, is considered a delinquent. Because a juvenile is still a child under the law, it is the Court’s responsibility to act in the best interest of the juvenile. In some cases, your attorney can advocate that counseling or rehabilitation is a better option than paying fines or serving jail time.

In order to be eligible for juvenile court, a minor usually must be 18 or younger. Children who are seven or under are usually excused from any crimes, and instead, their parents are charged. However, in some cases, juveniles as young as 14 can be tried as adults in adult courts and face adult consequences.

What Types of Cases are Heard in Juvenile Court?

When a juvenile commits a crime, a juvenile delinquency case can be heard in court. When a juvenile faces neglect or abuse at home, a judge determines whether to remove the juvenile from their home in a juvenile dependency case.

Some crimes can only be committed by a juvenile (for example, drinking before the age of 21, running away from home, violating curfew, or truancy). These are called status offenses and are handled in a juvenile court.

How Can a Southern California Juvenile Attorney Help in a Juvenile Case?

Even though juvenile cases are not criminal, juveniles can face serious consequences. In some cases, in order to instate adult consequences, juveniles can be charged as adults in criminal courts. Your juvenile defense attorney can help advocate that you or your juvenile child should be tried in juvenile court and not criminal court, thereby minimizing the consequences.

Juveniles can face time in a juvenile detention facility, adult jail, juvenile jail, or house arrest. They can also face counseling, curfews, probation, warnings, fines, electronic monitors, and more.

A knowledgeable juvenile defense attorney in Southern California can advocate for your child, protect his or her rights, and get your child on the right track. With the right attorney, there is the possibility of having your child’s record sealed, which can help as your child looks for jobs, applies to college, or in the case that your child is charged with another crime as an adult.

A Skilled Juvenile Defense Attorney in Southern California Can Help Protect Your Child’s Rights

If your child is facing juvenile charges, it is critical that you seek legal advice from a skilled attorney with experience in juvenile law. Attorney Thomas Connor has over 40 years of litigation experience, including working in juvenile law. Contact us today through our online form, or call us to schedule your consultation.

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The Role of a Los Angeles Attorney in a California Juvenile Dependency Case

You need a skilled attorney who can provide you with the best legal service for reuniting you with your child

You need a skilled attorney who can provide you with the best legal service for reuniting you with your child

When reports of child abuse or neglect surface, either law enforcement officials or Child Protective Services can place your child in protective care until the matter is sorted out. Without a skilled juvenile dependency attorney in Southern California to help you through the case, you could lose your parental rights, and your child, to the foster care system.

What is a Juvenile Dependency Case?

Before a child turns 18, he or she is dependent on parents or guardians for everything regarding health, well-being, finances, and protection. When a parent or guardian is accused of neglect or abuse, the Court steps in and takes responsibility for the child temporarily. The Court can:

• Place the child in the care of a relative, a foster family, or a group home;
• Remove parental rights or create new ones; or
• Work with the parents to create a safe environment for the child.

Juvenile dependency is one type of case that is heard in a juvenile court. Usually, the parents want to keep the child in their home, so they work with social workers, a judge, or a government agency to make their home safe for the child to live in. A social worker cannot provide legal advice, so it is important to have an experienced attorney throughout this process.

How a Juvenile Dependency Lawyer Can Help You Retain Your Parental Rights

If you’re a parent and your children have been removed from your home, you may need an attorney to help fight on your behalf to get them back. You have a right to a trial, where the social worker will provide a report to the judge, recommending where your child should live.

When a child is allowed back in the home, it’s called reunification. If your reunification effort fails, you could lose your child permanently, so it is critical that you have a skilled Los Angeles attorney who can provide you with the best legal advice for reuniting your family.

At your final trial, the judge will decide whether your child will be allowed back in your home, or if your child should be adopted or have a legal guardian. A parent has a say in this decision; if you do not want to be reunited with your child, discuss options such as choosing to give up your parental rights with your lawyer.

Your attorney can help you argue that certain services may be beneficial if your child is allowed back in your home. Agreeing to the following may encourage a judge to allow reunification:

• Parenting classes,
• Counseling for the parent or the entire family,
• Drug or alcohol treatment, or
• Visitation with the child.

How a Juvenile Dependency Lawyer can Help Foster Parents and Relatives

If you are a foster parent or a relative who is responsible for a child after a report of child abuse or neglect, it may be in the child’s best interest to remain with you after the juvenile dependency case. A Los Angeles attorney can help you retain custody of a child. If you’re considering adoption, it is always better to work with a skilled Los Angeles adoption lawyer.

If you’re a part of a juvenile dependency case in Southern California, contact a skilled attorney today.

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An Experienced Southern California Paternity Lawyer Can Help in Your Paternity Case

You may need an experienced OC California Paternity Attorney Can Help in Your Paternity Case

You may need an experienced OC California Paternity Attorney Can Help in Your Paternity Case

When a child is born to an unmarried couple, the father’s paternity should be established as soon as possible. The easiest way to do this in California is to sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity and to add the father to the child’s birth certificate. However, establishing paternity can be complicated if the father is not known, does not want to acknowledge paternity, or is not local. This is where a paternity attorney can help. It is always best to seek quality legal advice from a skilled paternity attorney in the OC, especially when your parental rights or your child’s rights are at stake.

Why is it Important to Establish Paternity?

Establishing paternity is important to both parents, as well as the child. It allows both parents and the child to exercise their rights and holds each parent responsible for their parental obligations.

• Establishing paternity allows the father to exercise his parental rights, including those to child custody and visitation. The Court considers it to be in the best interest of the child to have time with both parents, so unless one parent presents a danger to the child, the court will likely grant custody or visitation rights to both parents.
• Both parents are obligated to support their child financially. Establishing paternity in a situation where the parents are unmarried will likely also include a child support order. A parent can only be legally required to pay child support if there is a legal child support order, so it is important to establish paternity if you wish to enforce child support obligations. This also means that a mother can enforce a child support order even if the father does not wish to be a part of the child’s life, and vice versa.
• Establishing paternity makes a child eligible to receive benefits through the father, including health insurance, disability benefits, and life insurance benefits.

How Do I Establish Paternity in Southern California?

Naming the father on the birth certificate is the simplest way to establish paternity when the parents are unmarried. (If the child is born to a married couple, the father is assumed to be the husband.)

In California, the only way to have an unmarried father’s name on the child’s birth certificate and to establish the father’s rights is to have the father sign a voluntary declaration of paternity. If the father is not present at the birth, this can be done at a later time.

How Can a Southern California Paternity Attorney Help in My Case?

An attorney is usually involved in paternity cases when there is a dispute over the identity of the father, which may arise from child support concerns or from child custody concerns. Failing to consult with a knowledgeable paternity lawyer could result in failing to establish paternity and acquire either father’s rights or a valid child custody order.

Refusing to sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity does not get a father off the hook for paying child support; the mother or the state can take him to Court to establish paternity. Both parties in this case should have a paternity lawyer to guide them through the process as paternity is established.

A father can also fight to have paternity established in order to enforce his rights as a father, including child custody and visitation rights. In many cases, it is assumed that a mother is the primary caregiver, and a father may have to fight harder to establish his rights.

Contact a Top Paternity Lawyer in the OC for a Free Initial Consultation

If you’re in a paternity dispute, contact a paternity lawyer in Southern California to discuss the best options for your case. At Yanez & Associates, our experienced lawyers will keep your child’s best interests in mind throughout your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Minor’s Counsel in OC California Family Law Case

Orange County Minor's Counsel with experience to represent your child’s best interests in Court

OC Minor’s Counsel with experience to represent your child’s best interests in Court

In some family law cases, because a minor child can rarely testify in court or speak directly to a judge, minor’s counsel is appointed to represent the minor. Minor’s counsel is an attorney who has gone through specific training and earned court certifications allowing them to represent children in court. Many people involved in a case can request minor’s counsel, including either party, their attorneys, the child, a relative of the child, a mediator, or the Court.

What is the Role of a Minor’s Counsel, and Why do I Need Minor’s Counsel?

The duty of a minor’s counsel is to represent the wants, needs, and best interests of a child in court. A minor’s counsel may be requested in many situations, including when a couple is divorcing in a highly contested divorce, or when there is a child custody dispute. If a child is experiencing stress due to the disagreements of the parents, minor’s counsel steps in and represents the child.
• A minor’s counsel will interview the child and can tell the court what the child wants.
• A minor’s counsel can collect and present evidence to the court on behalf of the child’s best interests.
• If the child wants to address the court, the minor’s counsel informs the court.
• A minor’s counsel can call witnesses on behalf of the child but cannot be called as a witness.
• A minor’s witness has access to the child’s mental health, medical, and school records, and can interview professionals related to the child’s school, health care, and mental health care.

If there is more than one child in a case, each child may be represented by an individual attorney. Many people involved in a case can request a minor’s counsel, but usually each party pays for their own attorneys, including minor’s counsel. In the case that the Court requests the minor’s counsel and determines that the party cannot afford it, the Court may pay for some or all of the fees.

What Makes an Attorney Qualified to be a Minor’s Counsel?

Attorneys must be specifically trained to represent a minor in Court in order to be a minor’s counsel.
• A minor’s counsel has to be an active member of the State Bar of California, and in good standing;
• A minor’s counsel must have professional liability insurance, or be otherwise self-insured;
• Special training required includes a minimum of 12 hours on specific topics;
• Training also includes a minimum of eight hours each year.

Experienced Minor’s Counsel in Los Angeles County, California

At Yanez & Associates, we have the certifications and the experience to represent your child’s best interests in Court. Whether a minor’s counsel has been requested for your child, or you’re considering hiring one on your child’s behalf, it is important to meet with qualified attorneys and discuss your options. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

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• Post-Divorce Disputes
• Pre-nuptial or post-marital agreements
• Premarital Agreements
• Property Settlement Agreements
• Relocation Cases
• Restraining Orders – Protective Orders
• Same Sex Agreements
• Spousal Support “Alimony”
• Termination of Parental Rights
• Limited Scope Representation & Unbundled Services
• Visitation Disputes

Orange County family law firms

Our divorce & family law firm knowledge and fruitful case history speak volumes about our aptitude to circumnavigate the legal obstacles you face during your legal procedures in Los Angeles & Orange County, California.

The fact that our divorce & family law attorneys are personally devoted in achieving peace of mind for you and your family is a quality of our practice that has proven priceless to the families we represent.

If you would like to see how our law firm can assist you and your family in your legal journey with an skillful firm that sincerely cares about clients, contact Yanez & Associates today. Call us at 714 971-8000.

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