A common law marriage is a marriage by agreement of two persons without any formal ceremony or license. Most states, including California, do not recognize common law marriages. In these states, since a common law marriage is not recognized, then it is as if that marriage never occurred, and there is no married couple to…

If you find yourself in a divorce situation and you cannot afford an attorney but your spouse can, is it possible to ask the court’s help to “level the playing field”? Generally speaking, under California family law, you may be entitled to attorney’s fees based on your need and on your spouse’s ability to pay….

Legal separation is a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a separation while remaining legally married. The parties make an agreement, or the court makes an order, that specifies the rights and responsibilities of each spouse. It is not the same as nor will it automatically lead to a divorce. It is…

In California, the Department of Child Support Services is the official agency responsible for administering and overseeing the enforcement of the legal provisions on child support throughout the state. In addition, each county has its own local child support agency which handles the actual tracking and enforcing of child support court orders. All courts in…

In a divorce case, engaging in settlement discussions is a major part of the process. In fact, there are court rules which require divorcing spouses to try and settle first among themselves before contesting matters further before the judge. These settlement discussions are particularly crucial when it comes to agreeing on child custody and visitation…

Under California Family Code Section 3040, the court may award custody to either parent and “there is neither a preference nor a presumption for or against joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or sole custody, allowing the court and the family the widest discretion to choose a parenting plan that is in the best interest…

If you need a divorce but can’t afford the full legal costs that this will typically entail, one possible option for you is to get yourself an attorney who offers limited scope representation. Also known as “unbundled legal services,” limited scope representation is an arrangement authorized by the courts where you can receive a lawyer’s…

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