introduction to family law
Our office works on divorce, domestic violence, adoption, surrogacy, custody, child and spousal support cases.
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 S2 has relocated to Department 35. The Hall of Justice hears all family law cases except for adoptions, guardianships (probate) and juvenile (dependency) cases which are heard in Departments J1, J2 and J5 in the Juvenile Courthouse on Vineyard Avenue in Oxnard.
We help clients in family law cases. Completing a family law case can be 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, if mediation alone is insufficient, the courts could refer the case to psychologists for a custody evaluation (MMPI and Rorschach tests are common). Attorneys also avidly seek help from forensic accountants, actuaries, appraisers and therapists. It is possible to use private mediation for custody cases, and to conduct trials out of the courtroom. 'ADR' or alternative dispute resolution has a strong following, and many good retired judges make themselves available.
Cases should be worked out with care and attention. Settlement discussions 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 disputes. 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? Feel free to ask any questions by email.
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