Long Beach Divorce Attorneys

Maria Vittoria appears in family law matters the following courts; Long Beach, Torrance,  Bellflower, Compton, Los Angeles, Whittier, and Orange.   As in all life-changing events, divorce affects finances, living conditions, household routines and relationships. During such stressful times it is important to have a divorce attorney you feel comfortable with and trust, one you are confident will provide the support and assistance you need. Long Beach divorce attorney Maria Vittoria invites you to get your questions answered and your concerns addressed in their initial half hour consultation.   

In the Judgment of Dissolution of marriage court orders  are made as to division of property, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support and attorney’s fees.                         

Community property state

California is a community property state. All property acquired during marriage and before separation is considered community property. Property acquired during marriage by gift or inheritance is the separate property of the recipient. 

Child Custody

Legal custody.

The court will usually award joint legal custody to the parties unless there is evidence of domestic violence or child abuse. Joint legal custody means that both parties are responsible for decisions regarding the minor child’s school, non emergency medical treatment, religion, and travel with the other parent.

Physical custody.

Physical custody involves the day to day care of the child while the child is with the parent. It can be shared 50/50 or one parent may take on a majority of the parenting responsibilities, while the child is with the other parent one or two days per week or less. It is always best that the parties agree to a physical custody arrangement and before there is a hearing the court will send the parties to a mediator to help them resolve the custody and visitation issues. It is only when the parties do not agree that the judge will make a custody order.  The judge will determine what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. There is a presumption that frequent and continuing contact with both parents is in the best interest of the child. If the child has already been residing with one of the parents for some time or the parties live in different school districts, a 50/50 arrangement may not be suitable.  Another factor that the court will consider is whether there is a history of domestic or sexual abuse of the child by a parent or the parent’s new partner.  Child custody issues can involve emotional turmoil for all involved. Having the benefit of a family lawyer that you trust to be an advocate for your rights and interests can go a long way in defusing a highly emotional situation. Allow The Vittoria Firm to assist you during this difficult time.

California Child Support

Both parents have the obligation to support their minor children in the manner suitable to the child’s circumstances. This obligation exists regardless of the parents’ marital status. The amount of child support is based on a calculator that considers the amount of physical custody time awarded to each party, the income of each party and the number of children involved.

Petitions to Establish Paternity. Search term?

If the parties are not married and have a child or children, a petition to establish paternity may be filed to determine the rights and obligations of each a parent to the child including custody, visitation and child support orders.

Temporary Orders – Request For Order

While the petition for dissolution of marriage or petition to establish paternity is pending, either party can file a petition to the court for temporary orders on custody, visitation, child  and spousal support and property issues. This is called a Request for Order. The court clerk will set a hearing date and if a custody order is requested the court sets a mandatory meeting with a custody evaluator before the hearing.

Once these orders have been issued by the judge, they are legally binding and not following them can put an individual in contempt of court. These temporary orders are either dissolved, modified, or incorporated into the final judgment of dissolution of marriage or judgment establishing parental relationships.

Emergency Orders – Ex Parte Orders

Ex parte orders are granted upon application by one of the parties and there is no need for a formal notice to the other party,  The party requesting the order must show in the petition that that lack of formal notice is needed or great or irreparable injury would result to the petitioner.

Restraining Orders/Domestic Violence

A party may file a petition with the court for a restraining order against the other party alleging domestic violence, sexual abuse or harassment. The petition is filed without notice to the other party and on the same date if the judge determines there is enough evidence of abuse, he will issue a temporary order and will set a date for a second hearing to give the other party the opportunity to respond. If after reviewing the documents form each party and hearing testimony, the court finds enough evidence of abuse, he will issue a permanent restraining order, usually for one, three or five years.

Sometimes a court will award attorney’s fees to the prevailing party on a restraining order.

Step Parent Adoptions

A step parent may file a petition to adopt the minor child of his/her spouse. The petitioning stepparent must prove that either the birthparent has signed a consent  to the adoption or the birthparent has left the child in the care and custody of the other parent for at least one year and has failed to provide child support for the child or has failed to communicate with the intent to abandon the child.

Summary Dissolution.

In some instances, married partners may be eligible for Summary Dissolution, which is a less costly and time-consuming process than regular divorce proceedings.

In the Judgment of Dissolution, court orders are made as to the division of property, child custody and visitation, child support , spousal support, and attorney fees.