Vista Family Lawyer

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Family law is a popular branch of legal practice that deals with common issues in family relationships. These include marriages, divorce, child custody, and even adoption. The primary objective of this legal discipline is to protect the rights and interests of each family member, including children who may be caught in the middle of a contentious divorce or custody battle. To maximize the success of a family law case, many hire a Vista family lawyer.

At Erica Bloom Law, we are a distinguished law firm that embodies what it means to be a compassionate and dedicated family law ally. We understand the nuances of these complicated family matters and approach each new case through a client-centered lens. This helps ensure that we handle each case with the level of attention and care necessary to reach our client’s most favorable possible outcome.

What Types of Cases Fall Under Family Law?

Family law is debatably the broadest area of legal practice that one can cover. Some of the most common cases that are addressed through family law include:

Divorce and Legal Separation

When two individuals want to part ways from their marriage, they connect with a divorce lawyer to begin the process. Common areas that will need to be dealt with in a divorce include asset division, child custody arrangements, and, in some cases, an alimony payment schedule.

The divorce process differs from a request for a legal separation, which is when a married couple wants to live apart from one another but still remain legally married. Both are valid requests that can be openly discussed with an attorney, who can help decide which option would be right for each client’s unique circumstances.

Child Custody and Visitation

If a couple decides to divorce, they will need to determine where and when their children will live under the new family unit dynamic. Custody could be sole or joint, meaning that either one parent will receive full custody of the children or both will split the responsibility with each other.

If one spouse is awarded full custody, the other may earn visitation rights. This schedule is another decision that needs to be ironed out with a family lawyer. This can ensure that neither parent’s rights are violated while also minimizing any disruption to the children’s lives.

Child Support

A child support payment is a financial arrangement made where one parent is required by the court to pay the other parent a monthly stipend to help take care of the children’s living expenses. How much they will be required to pay monthly is determined by the court. To do this, they will take a deep look into the income of both parents and determine what standard of living existed when the family unit was together.

Typically, the more children that are involved, the higher the monthly payment will be. If there is ever any concern that the lower-income spouse is not receiving enough money to support the children when in their care, the court can reexamine their original decision and make adjustments if needed.

Spousal Support

Similar to child custody, spousal support is a monthly payment that is arranged when one of the parting spouses makes significantly less money than the other. The purpose is to help the lower-earning spouse maintain a similar lifestyle to what they have become accustomed to, at least until they find out how they will support themselves independently post-divorce.

The duration of spousal support depends on the circumstances of each unique case. Sometimes, these arrangements are only temporary, but they can also be a permanent fixture in the divorce agreement. The length of the marriage and each spouse’s financial contributions to the marriage are two major factors that affect this decision.

Property Division

Dividing acquired marital property can be one of the most contentious topics within a divorce. This is because both individuals have likely grown accustomed to owning each asset, and the thought of losing anything becomes uncomfortable.

California is a community property state. This means that everything acquired during the marriage must be split equally. To achieve this, an appraiser will take an inventory of everything that is considered community property and assess the value of each item. This helps the court decide how the property will be split.

Domestic Violence

It sometimes comes as a surprise to people that domestic violence falls under family law. This is due to the need for legal services within family dynamics. That extends to these types of violent circumstances, where one member of a relationship is harming the other.

Victims of domestic violence can seek legal protection under family law through the form of a restraining order or temporary child custody arrangement. These cases involve an immediate legal intervention to protect those in the family while a verdict is being reached. Then, long-term arrangements can be made if the individual is found to be guilty.

Military Divorce

There are unique challenges to address in a military divorce, compared to a traditional one. It requires a specific understanding of federal law and the military regulations that apply to service members and their spouses.

Unique factors, such as military pensions, benefits, and complicated custody arrangements, given one individual’s military schedule, all apply when the military couple decides to divorce. There can also be complications with both spouses living in different areas under different jurisdictions. This is why hiring a family lawyer who is trained to execute both family and military law is vital for reaching as amicable a resolution as possible.

What Questions Should I Ask My Family Law Attorney Before Hiring Them?

Before you commit to hiring an attorney, it is wise to ask them a few important questions in your initial consultation:

What Is Your Experience in Family Law?

Asking a question about their experience can provide one of the most important pieces of information to collect in your initial consultation. This can indicate to you how capable they are of handling your own case. The more experienced an attorney is, the more likely they are going to be able to deal with any unexpected scenarios to keep your case advancing smoothly.

Have You Handled Cases Similar to Mine?

Knowing that your attorney has already resolved comparable cases can help you feel more secure about your own situation. This means that they are already familiar with the traditional path your type of family law case takes, and they can leverage different lessons learned from other cases to apply them to your own. However, it is critical to make sure that they have also won the majority of those cases.

How Would You Approach a Case Like Mine?

Every attorney you come across will have a slightly different approach and strategy. Taking the opportunity to ask about their own legal philosophy and how it relates to your case can give you insight into their own methodologies.

While you’re not expected to be a legal professional, you still want to make sure that everything they are sharing makes sense to you and seems like a reasonable path to take. If you are struggling to understand their position or feel like there is even just a personality clash, it may be worth checking other attorneys in your area who you may work with better.

What Are Your Fees, and How Are They Structured?

The last thing anyone wants in the midst of a potentially stressful family law case is an unexpected bill. To avoid this, be sure to ask about how much the attorney charges for their services and in what format they prefer to receive payment. This could be an hourly rate, a flat fee per service, or a retainer fee.

If you foresee any financial difficulties in your future, be honest about that with your attorney upfront. They may be able to offer some flexibility in exchange for your business.

How Do You Prefer to Communicate with Clients?

Maintaining an open communication policy with your attorney can help keep processes smooth and ensure that you are aware of new developments in your case. To stay on top of this, your attorney will need to find a communication method that works for both you and them. Discuss how often and by what means they would update you on a daily or weekly basis. Whether it’s through email, phone calls, in-person meetings, or even texting, it’s important to know that your preferred style is aligned with that of your attorney.

How Long Do You Expect My Case to Take?

Getting a rough estimate of how long your case might take early on in the process can help you set your own expectations. However, it’s important to understand that while your attorney may have an opinion based on previous cases, legal proceedings can be unpredictable. Therefore, the acute process may not reflect your attorney’s original prediction.

It’s also helpful to ask what factors could influence how fast or slow a case ends up being, which allows you to have a better understanding of your own role in the case’s timeline.

Contact Erica Bloom Law Today

If you are in need of a family law attorney in Vista, California, contact Erica Bloom Law today. For years, we have been helping individuals have a stronger relationship with family law and how it relates to their own cases. We would be honored to meet you and show you how we can help resolve whatever issues have arisen in your own life.

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