Divorce & Family Law
The Law Offices of Vincent Miller has acquired a reputation as outstanding attorneys in the area of divorce and family law. Filing for a divorce often requires extra care and consideration because of the emotions involved in dissolving marriages, and related issues especially child custody. We guide clients through this difficult process, and do our best to help them avoid costly legal consequences. Representation by an attorney who is both sensitive and very knowledgeable of the law is critically important in divorce cases.
We can represent rights and interests no matter what legal issues you face. In addition to other issues, you will also have to go through the processes that resolve community property division and spousal and child support matters. We handle divorces and family law issues with competence, compassion, and the personalized attention you deserve.
If you have made the decision to dissolve your marriage, it is in your best interests to understand your legal rights in the process. Some of the aspects of divorce that you will want to speak to your attorney about include: Alimony, child support, custody, property division, uncontested divorce, and collaborative divorce.
Ending a marriage is always a very stressful process. Not only are you severing emotional ties, but you are also splitting up your lives. Property that you both acquired over the length of your marriage will have to be divided and distributed according to plans that you and your ex-spouse either work out in a settlement, or with the help of a judge. California law allows for an ex-husband or ex-wife to continue to be supported by the other spouse after the marriage has been dissolved.
This is called alimony, spousal support, support or maintenance. Originally, alimony was only collected by the ex-wife. However, today, either husband or wife can be required to financially support the other, depending upon the financial circumstances surrounding the divorce. The amount of maintenance that one spouse has to pay to the other is based upon several different factors, some of which are:
- Duration of the marriage
- Contribution of each spouse to the marriage (homemaking and child care are included in this point)
- Financial resources of each person, including all marital and non-marital assets available to each spouse
- Physical and emotional condition of each party
- Age of each party
- Standard of living during the marriage
There are many various issues that require attention and decisions when you have decided to initiate divorce proceedings. One of the most important aspects of a divorce is often the children – where are they going to live? This is one of the hardest questions to answer, and the whole process can often be extremely emotional. We are aware of the hard decisions that you are going to face through this whole procedure, and we will stand by you and your family to support you and offer you the expert legal advice and guidance that you can expect from an outstanding family law firm.
Prior to giving us a call, you may want to discuss with your spouse the following preliminary issues:
- What visitation schedule or periods of time you want to spend with the children?
- What rights will each parent have to the children, including who will designate the child’s primary residence and make final decisions regarding the child’s welfare?
- How will health insurance be provided for the child?
- Who will pay child support?
- How will other childcare expenses be divided, including day care, athletic fees, school tuition, uninsured expenses and any costs for a child with special needs?
- How real and personal property will be divided and, if necessary, managed?
- How will debts be divided?
Te foregoing questions are very important, because at the initial consultation, and throughout the divorce process, the more information you can share and provide us the better able we are able to design a successful case strategy. Case strategy is dependent, in no small part, upon client communication with the attorneys.
Child Custody & Support
The Law Offices of Vincent Miller successfully represents numerous clients in divorces and other family law actions involving both contested and agreed child custody and parenting plan matters.
Our child custody attorneys understand these cases are often highly emotional and can be profoundly consequential to our clients and their children.
Even though your relationship with your spouse (or boyfriend/girlfriend) may be rocky, it should have no impact on the relationship you have with your children. If you are getting divorced or separated, you’ll want to ensure that you will continue to have quality time with your children and have a say in their upbringing. To ensure that your parental rights are secure, you’ll need a written child custody and visitation agreement that is legally binding.
Determining Child Custody
When a divorce or separation involves child custody, California courts always consider what is in the child’s best interests, first and foremost. This usually involves joint custody of both parents because the courts believe that an equal relationship with both parents is important in a child’s emotional and social development. However, if the courts feel that it is in the child’s best interests, they will grant primary custody to one of the parents. The criteria upon which this decision is made includes the following:
- The age of the child
- The health and safety of the child
- The willingness of the parent to be involved in the child’s life
- Existing emotional ties between each parent and the child
- Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs (economical, emotional, environmental)
- Each parent’s lifestyle
- The stability of environment each parent could provide
- What impact a change in status quo would have on the child
If the child is over the age of 12, California family court may take a child’s parental preference into account when awarding primary custody.
You want to ensure the best possible outcome regarding child custody as is possible under the circumstances. The obvious question is how to do this in the context of a broken marriage or relationship. Our law firm can assist you with this difficult process whether through mediation and informal resolution or, if necessary, contested litigation.
Our firm can help you make informed decisions about your child custody and visitation case, so you can achieve the outcome that promotes your children’s welfare. The Law Offices of Vincent Miller has a team of dedicated attorneys who can provide legal counsel and represent you in court or in negotiations.
Wills, Trusts and Estates
The Law Offices of Vincent Miller provides estate planning and administration services and drafting trusts and wills is one of our areas of specialty. We strive to be among the top experts in this field. We help clients develop family plans in the most tax-effective manner possible. You have worked hard to earn your money. We work hard to protect it.
We assist you in setting up your trusts and executing wills, and to guide you in avoiding probate wherever possible. If you pass away without a trust and will, your estate will go through the probate system in the courts, it will cost a lot of time and money, and your property may not be passed as you wish. Probate can almost always be avoided with proper planning.
We also assist you with protecting your life with carefully drafted advance health care directives and powers of attorney. Protecting your interests in the best ways possible is always our number one concern.