Our Areas of Practice
A Certified Family Law Specialist practicing Family Law in California since 1997
Going through a divorce is often a very emotional and demanding process. Assistance and representation by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can help expedite the process and make it easier for the clients.
Divorces often involve numerous issues; some can be simple while others can be much more complex based on the particulars of each individual case. Just a few of the issues in a divorce action are: child and spousal support; child custody and visitation; property division, and payment of attorney fees.
Separate Property or Community Property Litigation:
California’s marital/community property laws may seem simple and straightforward but that is not often the case. Pursuant to California law, property, assets, or debts acquired during marriage are presumed to be community property. It is the Court’s goal to ensure that there is an equal and equitable division of the community’s assets and debts.
However, it is often the case that parties may be entitled to reimbursement of separate property contributions to the acquisition of community property and assets and other reimbursement and separate property claims as permitted under the Family Code. In these types of situations, it may be necessary to employ the services of a forensic Certified Public Accountant to help prevail with these claims.
Child Custody and Visitation:
It is our goal to help our clients determine what they believe is in the best interests of their children. We help our client’s understand their options and how to best ease the stress and conflict upon their children as they go through the dissolution process. We assist our clients in understanding the custody process and will often ask them to work with a custody expert to better prepare them for whatever course of action is best for their situation.
Ms. Frye has substantial experience in representing children by Court appointment in high conflict custody cases and has experienced the effect that such conflict has on the children. We are dedicated to minimizing the conflict between the parents and avoiding litigation if possible. However, we recognize that there are situations where the conduct of the other parent creates a risk for the children and in that particular situation, conflict may be unavoidable. Our firm will provide the necessary support, experience and knowledge to help our clients through their custody situation.
Complex Relocation Issues:
Ms. Frye has substantial experience in cases involving complex relocation issues and has been lead counsel on some of the prevailing cases in this area of litigation. Ms. Frye has represented the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent in relocation cases and has a vast amount of knowledge and experience in litigating these issues. Our firm works diligently with our clients to inform them of their options and to defend their parental rights in this regard.
Relocation can be one of the most complex and difficult issues that arise in child custody cases. Relocation of the custodial parent has a direct impact on the children and both parents’ relationships with their children. These types of situations can involve a formal custody evaluation by a mental health professional which can cause a lengthy and time-consuming process. Due to the complexity of relocation issues, it is imperative that a parent in a relocation situation seek the advice of an experienced attorney.
In California, there are two types of spousal support: temporary and permanent. Temporary spousal support is largely determined by the incomes of the parties, while permanent spousal support is a subjective determination governed by the California Family Code.
It is our policy that both parents be employed at a level commensurate with their previous work experience and earning capacity. It is the policy of the state of California that parties’ make the appropriate effort to become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time.
However, we do recognize that there are factors that affect the employability of a spouse (physical/health factors, care of minor children, etc.) and we will work with our clients to assess their particular situation.
Determining the appropriate amount of temporary and/or permanent spousal support may require the assistance of a forensic Certified Public Accountant or other resources that we will make available to our clients if necessary.
In California, child support is primarily driven by the incomes of the parties and the percentage of parenting time that each parent has with the child or children. However, the “formula” used in California to determine child support takes other factors into consideration, including mortgage interest, mandatory contributions to retirement, health insurance premiums and property taxes. Only in limited situations will the Court deviate away from the guideline child support resulting from the above “formula”.
Relationships involving domestic violence are taken very seriously in the state of California. In an immediate emergency of domestic violence to a party or child, please call 911 and seek an Emergency Protective Order to protect you and your family.
In situations in which there is no immediate danger but there is a history of domestic violence against a party or child and there is a threat of imminent harm, it is possible to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) through the Family Court. The issue of domestic violence in Family Court is a complex matter and often requires the assistance and representation of an experienced Family Law attorney. Our firm and our resources are here to help our clients through the emotional process of protecting themselves and their family from domestic violence.
Other Family Law Issues:
In addition to the practice areas above, we are also experienced and knowledgeable with the enforcement of pre-marital and post-nuptial agreements; post-judgment issues; enforcement of Family Law orders; and attorney fees and costs.