As a family owned and operated law firm, we understand the importance of family. Whatever legal action you are trying to pursue, you can count on us to help you make it a smooth and stress free process, especially when there are children involved. Legal decisions can impact you and your family for the rest of your lives. Don’t leave those decisions to chance. Attorney Gregory Zumbrunn is not only an experienced family law attorney but is also a Certified Family Law Specialist* which reflects his specialized knowledge and efficiency gained from experience with unique family law matters and continuing education.
Divorce — Uncontested & Contested
A contested divorce is one involving a disagreement about one or more of the terms of the divorce, such as division of assets, responsibility for debts, spousal support (alimony), child support, or the custody of children.
In an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree on all divorce terms. In this case they do not need the court to divide assets or make determinations about spousal or child support or custody. An uncontested divorce will always go through the system more quickly, and be much less complicated.
While an amicable, out-of-court settlement is an important goal, protecting your rights and assets is the number one goal. Do not make the mistake of agreeing to a settlement without consulting your own attorney first. The attorneys at Zumbrunn Law Corporation represent individuals with family law cases that range from contested, high-stakes disputes involving complex property division and support arrangements, to amicable, inexpensive divorces.
A legal separation is a court order that maintains the marital relationship as if the couple is still married, but living apart. In this type of action, the issues of child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, and property may also be determined.
Legal separations are not too common, but are helpful in a situation where the spouses want to resolve child custody or financial issues but do not want to terminate their marital status. If you are unsure about whether a legal separation or divorce is appropriate for your situation, call the attorneys at Zumbrunn Law Corporation to get advice about what procedure would work best for you.
Child custody arrangements are divided into two categories—physical and legal. Physical custody refers to the responsibility to determine where the children live and are taken care of. Legal custody refers to decisions that are made involving the children’s health, education, and welfare. Physical and legal custody determinations are based on court assessments of the children’s needs and the parents’ capabilities to tend to the needs of their children.
A variety of arrangements can be made in order to accommodate your unique family dynamic. Some parents are able to work together to reach an agreement and have it submitted to the court for its approval, while others require the involvement of the court’s mediation services in order to decide how to share the children. At Zumbrunn Law Corporation, our attorneys take the time to understand your situation and develop a custody and visitation plan that allows each parent the best possible relationship with the child or children.
Child support is a system in place by the State of California in which an amount is paid by one parent to another parent to care for their children. This payment serves as a parental contribution for the children’s basic living expenses, such as food, clothing, shelter, health care, and education. Support payments are calculated using California’s Child Support Guidelines, which takes into account: custody arrangements, the financial position of the parents, and the needs of the child or children.
Child support is a very important aspect to family law that can also be very confusing because it is dependent upon many factors. Various qualifications, requirements, and exceptions are taken into account when creating a support plan for the children to be provided for, as well as for the person ordered to pay support. Whether your question revolves around how California guidelines will apply to you or you need guidance on how to acquire adequate child support or enforce a support order—Zumbrunn Law Corporation can help you.
Sometimes in a divorce, the court may grant “alimony”, or spousal support, to be paid to one of the former spouses by the other. The purpose of this form of payment is to help maintain a certain standard of living that the parties enjoyed during their marriage. This figure can be based on either an agreement between the couple or a decision made by the court itself after considering the incomes of the parties, individual needs, duration of the marriage, and several other factors. Spousal Support determinations can be temporary or permanent; be sure to contact an attorney in order to create a fair spousal support arrangement before entering into an agreement or appearing in court.
Since California is a community property state, generally, all property and money acquired during the marriage will need to be equally divided. This can also be referred to as, “marital assets”. The only items that could be considered separate property would be if a spouse were to receive something before marriage, by inheritance, as a gift, or by written agreement between the parties.
Property division can become very complex within a dissolution. It is critical that you see an experienced attorney so that you can accurately identify what you are entitled to receive and locate any missing or hidden assets. Sometimes a creative approach, suggested by your attorney, will allow the marital assets to be divided in a way that each spouse prefers.
Prior to a marriage, a contract can be signed which lays out the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups”, can include a wide variety of additional content depending on the couple’s situation. While no one thinks about a divorce when they are getting married, it is important to remember that about half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. It is prudent to at least consider a prenuptial agreement to alleviate the stress of a divorce, protect your assets, and allow you to part as friends. Whether you are the individual protecting your assets or the person being asked to sign a prenuptial agreement, the attorneys at Zumbrunn Law Corporation have plenty of experience drafting and reviewing such contracts and would be more than happy to meet with you in order to protect your rights.
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
Domestic Violence is a form abuse used against the spouse and/or children. A domestic violence restraining order is a court document used to protect the abused individual(s) from the abusive person that they have a relationship with. Unfortunately, within the family law field, requests for domestic violence restraining orders are not uncommon. These orders can ask for an individual to be restrained in several different manners, depending on the circumstances. Once an order is granted, it is entered into a statewide computer database that allows law enforcement personnel to access the information at all times. Whether you have been accused of abuse while going through a family law proceeding or are seeking to attain a protective order, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Families often splinter for many reasons: divorce, the death of a parent, drug or alcohol abuse, incarceration. In certain situations, grandparents have legal rights, and can seek visitation with their grandchildren. These rights help ensure that the grandparents’ relationship with the grandchildren doesn’t end even if their relationship with the parent does.
Paternity is the legal process of determining and establishing the parentage of a child. These cases usually result from a mother who needs to collect child support or a father who wants to assert his parental rights to get custody or visitation.
A move-away order is an order that is obtained from the court giving permission to a parent to move a significant distance with the children. Circumstances of the move that would be considered by the court include if a parent has a change of job, gets remarried, or to accommodate other familial or financial changes.
The primary goal of the California courts is to protect the relationship between the parents and children. Generally, move-away orders are only granted based on the situation that facilitates the children’s best interest. At Zumbrunn Law Corporation, we know what the courts are looking for when evaluating a proposed move with the children.
Modification of an existing support, custody, and/or visitation order may be necessary due to a change in circumstances or change in the needs of the child or children. Zumbrunn Law Corporation understands that an agreement made at the beginning of a divorce may not be appropriate several years later. Consult with one of our attorneys in order to bring your case back to court, explain the circumstances, and change a custody, visitation, or support order to fit your current situation.