Certified Family Law Specialist
Committed To Protecting Your Future
You do everything possible to ensure that your family has every opportunity for success. This is extremely hard work, but you know that the benefits are worth the effort. Unfortunately, there is no sure way to predict what is going to happen in the future. Things change, and sometimes things that seem perfect fall apart over time.
Dealing with a family law issue can seem like one of the most stressful experiences of your life. Everywhere you turn, you are faced with choices that put you in an impossible situation. You just want someone to make all of this easier for you so that you can continue to protect your family.
At Contreras Law Firm, in San Diego, we combine a supportive, client-focused approach with a tailored legal strategy designed to provide you with the best possible outcome. We go the extra mile in our efforts to find solutions to family-related legal matters that support your family and the well-being of your loved ones.
Types Of Family Law Cases We Can Help With
We understand that a family law attorney must not only have a detailed knowledge of California law but must also have a deep understanding of family dynamics and the long-term consequences of any legal action on individual family members. We have successfully represented clients in a wide array of family law matters, including cases in the following areas:
- All types of divorce, including high net worth divorce, military divorce, and same-sex divorce;
- Issues involving children and divorce, including child and spousal support, child custody and visitation, move-away requests, adult and stepparent adoptions, guardianships, post-divorce modifications, enforcement or modification of orders, paternity and Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) matters;
- Property division, including the valuation and division of businesses, division of retirement accounts and other complex assets;
- Additional family law matters, including legal separation, domestic violence, and restraining orders, as well as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Why Hire Contreras Law Firm
There are countless family law attorneys in San Diego, and you may wonder what we feel sets us apart from others.
We are experienced and knowledgeable
There are countless family law attorneys in San Diego, and you may wonder what we feel sets us apart from others. First and foremost, we are experienced and knowledgeable in the area of family law. Our law firm has a family law division with attorneys who strictly focus on family law cases. Our attorneys are experienced in the complexities of family law from simple divorces to extremely complex ones.
We value relationships
Another equally important reason to hire our firm is that we value the relationship we have with you. You will notice this from the very moment you pick up the phone to call our office, someone will always answer. We strive to not only get our clients the best possible result but to provide the best customer service. We ensure that someone will always answer the phone, respond to emails and be available for your needs.
We understand that family law matters can be life-altering and cause a lot of anxiety and distress. At Contreras Law Firm, we try to ease those concerns by explaining the process every step of the way so that our clients know what to expect. We listen to what you have to say and learn more about what you hope to accomplish. We involve you in this process to help you regain control over what is happening in your life by providing you with strategic guidance
We get results
At Contreras Law Firm, we tailor our strategy to our client’s case and needs, there are no “cookie cutter” cases. Every case has unique facts and that is why every strategy needs to be tailored. In some cases, couples have an amicable relationship, and we try to maintain that by creating a strategy that avoids contention. Other cases need a more aggressive approach for various reasons. If so, a more aggressive strategy is created to resolve the case, which may include going to trial and performing substantial discovery.
Finally, we do whatever is necessary to get results. We work very hard at the beginning of your case to try to finalize outstanding issues before things become much more contentious. If we can use negotiation or mediation to resolve things, we will make every effort to come to an agreement in this way. However, if a trial is the only possible way we will be able to accomplish your goals, we are experienced litigators. We will not shy away from a trial if it is what is best for you.
Experienced Family Law Attorneys Providing Honest Answers To Your Questions
Many of our clients have the same questions when they call us up or come and visit our office, so we wanted to take a few moments to address some of them here.
Q: How long will my case take?
A: There is no quick and easy answer that we can give you without knowing more about the specifics of your situation. The reason for this is that every case is different. If the parties are in agreement with most things, it may be sooner because we may avoid having to go to court. When parties are contentious, it can take longer and some factors include the court’s availability to hear the case. When you contact us, we can provide you with more in-depth information about what we think might happen in your case.
Q: What will it cost to hire you to handle my case?
A: We know that costs are a concern for many families. Once we know what is happening in your situation, we can give you a clearer picture of the services that will be required in your case. If you insist upon taking your case to trial, the costs can increase significantly, however, if the matter can be settled, you will save a lot of time and money.
Q: Do I really need to hire an attorney?
A: Absolutely. Almost every day, we have people coming to our office to fix mistakes that they made in their divorce or family law matter. And, unfortunately, many of these people are out of luck or it may cost more to fix it and redo it the right way. There is really only one opportunity to do things right.
Q: How does a court split up property in a divorce?
A: A court will look at separate and community property since California is a community property state. Anything owned equally by both parties is split equally. However, some assets that cannot be split equally may be sold or you may receive their relative net worth from your former spouse. Other times, one spouse may pay more for an uneven split of assets to pay less in child support or alimony.
Q: What are the grounds for divorce in California?
A: California is a “no-fault divorce” state, which means that there doesn’t need to be any showing of wrongdoing on the part of one spouse for the other to file for divorce. In general terms, there are two primary grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity. The vast majority of divorces in California are filed on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, which may be something as simple as the spouses being incompatible.
Q: How long do divorce proceedings take?
A: Under California law, there must be a six-month period from the time of serving process on one spouse until the date the divorce can be finalized. However, six months is the minimum period for an uncontested divorce where the spouses have agreed on all issues. Contested divorces can take longer when disputes arise or issues involving complex assets or children must be resolved. However, legal separation is one option that takes place immediately and works in much the same way as divorce.
Q: What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?
A: Legal separation is not legally a termination of a marriage. As a result, when a period of legal separation ends, you are still married to your spouse. Legal separation can be a good option if a couple is not sure they want a divorce or choose not to divorce for financial or religious reasons. Both legal separation and divorce still include court orders for child and spousal support, child custody and visitation, property division, and other issues.
Q: Do I have to go to court?
A: Divorce does not have to involve a courtroom unless you and your former spouse cannot agree on the basic provisions. A court will be involved only if collaborative law methods or mediation fails. Mediation and collaborative law are great options for parties that can work through their differences and reach an agreement on all aspects of the divorce.
Q: How does the court determine child custody?
A: If both parties cannot come to an agreement involving child custody, a court will look at the best interests of the child in determining child custody arrangements. Courts typically favor joint custody so that both parents continue to have access to the children as well as frequent visitation.
Q: How is child support determined?
A: If parties cannot come to an agreement on child support in mediation, the court will rely on statutory guidelines that consider each parent’s monthly income, the number of children needing support, and other factors to determine a fair child support order. A child support order can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances for either parent.
Still Have Other Family Law Questions? Call For A Free Consultation With A Lawyer.
If you are facing divorce or another family law issue, do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at Contreras Law Firm. Our attorneys are client-focused and work hard to make sure your rights are protected and you are kept informed during each step of the case. Contact our San Diego office today by calling 619-908-1495 or send us an email for your free initial consultation.