Why do you need our advice and counsel in any family law matter? Why shouldn’t you just handle a divorce or any agreement with your former spouse during or after a divorce without an attorney?
Family law is powerful, durable and there are no excuses which will suffice for failing to take prudent legal action. Failing to seek our advice and counsel in any family law matter can literally cost you:
- Hundreds of thousands of dollars years down the road (and without warning)
- Your rights as a shared parent
- Your rights as a father
Consider the seemingly innocent request of a co-parent who says they’re going to take the kids for “an extended visit” to out-of-state family. Everything seems fine until the California parent receives notification from another state that the co-parent has requested emergency status for not only custody of the children but venue regarding control of the case. In a matter of weeks you’ve gone from “everything is ok” to “my children are permanently out of state and an expensive child custody Court battle is raging in a State which is on the other side of the country. Our advice and counsel in this case would have protected the existing orders regarding taking the child(ren) out of the area, state or country for any extended visit without the agreement of the court and an order reminding the co-parent the child could not be permanently moved while preserving our local Court’s jurisdiction over the matter. This prudent action would allow our Court to retain jurisdiction and order the immediate return of the child(ren) (not to mention establishing potential legal issues and/or charges against the co-parent).
Consider an unmarried or uncommitted couple who learn they are expecting. A “simply dating” relationship has resulted in the arrival of a child. The father agrees to or decides on his own not to share in the life of the child. Mother and child move on outside of the father’s life. 20 years later the father is served with orders from the Court seeking $220,000 in back child support. Our advice and counsel in this case could have memorialized the simple agreement between the parties and closed the door to any potential future legal or financial responsibility.
Another example is the “on again, off again” relationship. It is quite common for divorced parents and/or parties to reconcile and move back in together. These cases often involve cycles of reconciliations followed by a blow-up of some sort. Rinse, Repeat. What happens to child support and/or spousal support during these events? Imagine the shock of a father who hasn’t paid child support or spousal support for several months while a reconciliation was successfully taking place who receives a court order for thousands of dollars in back support payments for the six months the two had lived together after yet another break up. Support is a Court order. Yes, it should be legally paused or terminated during these types of reconciliation cases but the only one with the power to order and enforce a pause in support is the Court itself. Our advice and counsel in this case would have included hearty congratulations for the reconciliation and ensuring a legal pause or end in support obligations (read: orders) with the Court.
There are no statute of limitations in a California family law case which will delay the need for or enforcement of child support. There are many situations where the parties seem to have reached a reasonable agreement in the past only to be drawn into an expensive legal battle down the road.
Protect your own interests at all times. You need our advice and counsel in any family law matter to ensure any agreement you reach with another party is truly established and legally enforceable. If you don’t take a few simple steps to protect your interests today you can easily cost yourself a substantial sum of money and the permanent loss of parental rights, custody, and options down the road.