According to statistics from the American Community Survey, 90,565 men and 104,935 women divorced in California in 2019. For many individuals in California, family issues — including divorce, asset division, spousal support, child custody, support, and parenting time — are highly sensitive and often involve intense emotions. In many situations, resolving such family legal matters and relationship differences requires detailed guidance and experienced representation.
If you need proper guidance in family legal matters, consulting with an experienced California family law attorney is crucial. At my firm, I’m dedicated to offering experienced legal guidance and strong advocacy to individuals and couples in family law-related matters. I am available to discuss your situation and help you understand the legal options available to you. I will fight diligently to protect your legal rights, your future, and the best interest of your family.
My firm — Eugene F. Cristiano, Attorney at Law — proudly serves clients in Covina, California, and throughout Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.
California is a "no-fault" divorce state. This means that spouses seeking divorce do not need to prove that the other party's actions were responsible for the divorce.
Acceptable grounds for no-fault divorce in California include:
In California, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for a minimum of six months before filing. You must also have lived in the county in which you are filing for divorce for at least three months. Divorces in California are classified into two categories — contested or uncontested.
In an uncontested divorce, both spouses mutually agree on the key terms of their divorce. The couples will create a separation agreement that states the important terms of the divorce settlement, including asset division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. All terms agreed upon will be filed with the court for official approval. I provide mediation services to help couples seeking a divorce so they can resolve family legal issues and disagreements as amicably as possible.
In a contested divorce, the spouses are not able to agree on one or more important divorce settlement terms. Settling such issues may require the intervention of a California family court. During a hearing, a judge will issue the divorce order finalizing the marital dissolution. An experienced attorney can help present your case meticulously and increase your likelihood of reaching the best available outcome.
During a divorce or legal separation, a California family court may order the higher wage-earning spouse to make payments for financial assistance or support to the lower or non-wage-earning spouse every month. This is referred to as spousal support or alimony.
In California, spousal support may be temporary, permanent, rehabilitative, or reimbursement alimony. The following factors may be considered to determine the amount, type, and duration of alimony:
The duration of the marriage
The age, physical condition, and mental health of each spouse
The paying spouse's earning capacity, assets, property, and standard of living
The marketable skills of the supported spouse
The ability of the paying spouse to pay alimony
The obligations and assets available to each spouse, including separate property
The financial needs of each spouse based on their marital standard of living
The time and expense required for the supported spouse to complete their education, training, or acquire a skill
The amount contributed by the supported spouse to the previous education, career, or job training of the paying spouse
Before finalizing a divorce, issues of child custody and support must be addressed. A California family court will award custody while making the child's best interests and welfare a priority.
According to California Family Code Section 3085, in deciding the child's best interest, the court will consider the following factors to award custody:
The child's health, safety, and welfare
The child's reasonable preference
Any history of abuse or neglect by one parent against the child or the other parent
The nature and amount of contact with both parents
Any history of illegal use of controlled substances, alcohol, or prescribed medications by either parent
Any other factor deemed relevant by the court
In California, both parents are required to support their child until the child reaches 18 years of age. To determine a fair amount in child support payments, the judge will consider the following factors:
The parents' net disposable incomes
The number of children that require support
The child's needs
The custody (time-share) arrangement
The tax liabilities of each parent
Whether a parent supports children from another relationship
The child’s health insurance expenses
The mandatory retirement contributions and other job-related expenses of either parent
Any other relevant costs
A paternity action is a legal process that aims to establish whether a particular male is the biological father of a child. Establishing paternity is important to determine the father's rights and his obligations to the child. In California, parentage may be established either voluntarily or involuntarily. Any of the following persons or entities may file a petition with the court to establish paternity:
The mother of the child
The alleged father
An adoption agency
The child support agency offering services to the mother
Settling legal issues with family members usually involves complicated procedures. Consulting with an experienced California family law attorney is important for detailed guidance and to help resolve such family issues peacefully and quickly.
For over 30 years, I have been providing knowledgeable and comprehensive guidance to clients in family law matters, including divorce, child support, domestic violence, child custody, and mediation. I can work with all parties involved in an attempt to resolve family issues and relationship differences amicably. As your legal counsel, I can offer you the experienced legal counsel and advocacy you need to move forward.
If you're concerned about your family's long-term wellbeing, contact me — Eugene F. Cristiano, Attorney at Law — to schedule a free consultation. I will evaluate your situation and offer you the detailed legal counsel and support you need. At my firm, I am proud to serve clients in Covina, California, and throughout Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.