introduction to family law
Family lawyers in California work on parentage, dissolution (divorce), nullity, separation, domestic violence, adoption, custody, visitation, child and spousal support cases.
Our family law firm accepts family law, guardianship, and dependecy actions in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Drafting of premarital agreements and others are accepted from clients statewide.
The Hall of Justice in Ventura has five family law departments, Departments 31, 32, 33, 35 and 36. The East County Courthouse in Simi Valley no longer provides court services and the former Department S-2 has relocated to Department 35. The Hall of Justice now serves the entire County. Adoptions, guardianships and juvenile cases are now heard by departments J1, J2 and J5 in the newer courthouse on Vineyard Avenue in Oxnard.
Completing a family law case is becoming increasingly more complex and expensive if the case is contested. This is particularly true of custody disputes and complex property issues. In contentious or indecisive custody battles the courts typically refer the case to an expert, a doctor in psychology, who has met other requirements, for a formal evaluation with psychological testing (MMPI and Rorschach tests are common). Attorneys also avidly seek assistance from forensic accountants, actuaries, appraisers and therapists for assistance in many areas. There are other ways: it is possible to use private mediation for custody cases, and to conduct trials out of the courtroom. This, too, comes at a cost, but ADR or alternative dispute resolution has a strong following, and many good retired judges make themselves available.
The truth is that many matters could be worked out with care and attention. Settlements may take as much work as preparing for a court hearing, but a party to a settlement is in more control of the outcome. This, philosophically, is a strong argument in favor of working out contentions. Another quantifier, that many overlook, is the emotional cost to a party. What value can be placed on swift resolution as opposed to being embroiled in a family law matter for a year, even two, or more?
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