Family Law

Family Law

Family Law

Beyond the considerable emotional pain, issues arising out of marriages and families can be legally complex. Our attorney has experiences in many family law practice areas and can help protect your rights during tough times. In addition to the matters listed above, our firm also provides representation in protective and restraining orders, termination of parental rights and adoptions, and domestic partnerships.

Either spouse or partner can decide to end the marriage, and the other spouse/partner, even if he or she does not want to get a divorce, cannot stop the process by refusing to participate in the case. Divorces may be uncontested or contested.

  • Uncontested divorce: the parties agree on all issues such as child custody, child visitation, child support, and property division.
  • Contested divorce: the parties cannot agree to terms, resembles a standard lawsuit with a trial before a judge.

California is a “no fault” divorce state, which means that the spouse or domestic partner that is asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse or domestic partner did something wrong.

Other possible alternatives to divorce include legal separation. A legal separation does not dissolve or end your marriage. Instead, under a separation agreement, a court order outlines the rights and responsibilities each spouse owes to the other.

You or your spouse must have lived in California for six months and in your county for three months before filing a petition to dissolve your marriage. There is no residency requirement for filing for legal separation.

If divorce or separation is unavoidable, our lawyer pursues your interests to achieve results and ensure the process proceeds smoothly.

California is a Community Property state, meaning that “all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage” is the property of both spouses. Unless the parties have agreed in advance to the distribution of their property by valid written agreement, the court in an action for divorce must determine the rights of the parties to their separate and marital property and provide for the disposition of such property in the final judgment.

At Law Offices of Nan Shen, in San Jose, California, our attorney handles complex property distribution cases, no matter whether property holdings are in or out of California.

Nothing in a divorce is more difficult or complex than the issues of child custody and visitation. In California, there are two types of custody:

  • Legal custody (joint): both parents share the right to make long-range decisions about their children’s education, health care, religious training, and other important matters.
  • Physical Custody: where and with whom the child will primarily live.

The parent who does not retain physical custody may be granted visitation rights (also known as “time-share”), such as specified periods when he or she may spend time with the child, such as weekends, school vacations, holidays, and more.

Our attorney helps parents develop workable parenting plans and visitation schedules that fit the families’ unique goals and meet their children’s needs.

Spousal support, sometimes known as alimony, is a payment of financial support made by one spouse to the other. Spousal support can be temporary or indefinite, depending on the length of the marriage, among other factors. Though each individual case is different, general rules are:

  • Marriages lasting more than 10 years may result in support payments being paid until the supported party’s death or remarriage.
  • Marriages lasting less than 10 years often include support payments that are paid for one-half the length of the marriage.

Law Offices of Nan Shen has handled many cases of spousal support in the past and has a reputation for achieving the most beneficial results possible for our clients.

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements establish, before and after marriage, respectively, how property will be divided or treated at the time of a divorce or death. They also can limit the amount of spousal support that will be paid if the parties divorce.

We can help you negotiate, draft and finalize any type of premarital (prenup) or post marital (postnup) agreement that is acceptable in California courts.

Both parents are responsible for providing financial support for their children under California law, but the amount that each parent pays may be different. Child support guidelines take into account how much each parent earns, how many children are involved, and what percentage of time the children spend under the care and control of each parent. Courts may also consider extraordinary expenses, such childcare expenses for the custodial parent or additional educational or medical expenses as well.

Child support issues can directly affect your child’s current and future financial well-being. We will focus on the unique needs of your family as we work towards a fair resolution in your case.