Family Law

San Diego Divorce & Family Law Attorney

If you are contemplating divorce or legal separation, it is imperative that you seek skilled legal counsel in this trying time. You have substantial personal rights at stake, and your rights to child custody, child visitation and support are implicated as well. This is no time to rely on anyone but the best legal representation.

We at the Law Offices of Mark A. Reed have been there. We know what you will face, both now and in the future. Our passionate, aggressive and caring approach can successfully get you through this difficult process.

California Divorces Involve Many Issues

Divorce is also legally known as dissolution of marriage. Thousands of divorce proceedings are filed in California courts every day. We know California divorce law and are experienced at handling all types of divorce situations, from simple agreements to major court cases. Divorce involves issues such as:

  • Alimony or Spousal Support
  • Investigation and evaluation of assets
  • Business valuation
  • Debt apportionment
  • Community property

To ensure an equitable distribution of your marital assets, it is vital to determine what assets are available and what they are worth. We can help you gain a true picture of family assets with the investigative tools at our disposal. Our thorough approach will ensure an equitable distribution. If you are searching for a divorce attorney, you are at the right place.

Legal Separation Can Affect Your Rights

Short of divorce, you may be considering a legal separation. Legal separation has important consequences relating to property rights and debt liabilities. The purpose of a legal separation order is to ensure that you rights are protected while still maintaining the marriage relationship.

A legal separation order may divide property and debts. Child custody rights and/or child support may be awarded. Yet, spouses are still married, and may be covered as a dependent for health insurance purposes or may participate in filing joint tax returns. We can draft an appropriate legal separation order which meets your needs.

We Can Advise You on Annulment Issues

Annulment or nullity of marriage is based on mental illness, fraud, forced consent, physical incapacity to consummate the marriage, underage marriage, or bigamy. If children are born from an annulled marriage, custody issues and child support may be decided by a court. We can advise you if an annulment is appropriate to your circumstances.

Child Custody and Child Visitation are Our Specialty

When children are involved, the stakes go up in any divorce or separation situation. It is imperative that you protect your children and your parental rights. Determining how to share parental responsibilities can be done informally through agreement or in litigation by Court order. Issues to resolve include:

  • The primary residence of the child
  • Awarding legal custody and physical custody rights
  • Child visitation rights and arrangements

Parents often consider some type of joint custody. But, determining the type of joint custody is unique to every case. Where the child lives now, accessibility to family, friends and school, and appropriateness of a living situation are all important concerns. Child visitation involves similar consideration of the child´s schedule, location, and supervision.

We are able to effectively advocate your rights within the law in conjunction with the child’s best interests. Importantly, in this age of mobility, we are familiar with and can help formulate an interstate visitation agreement. Interstate visitation agreements require knowledge of uniform and conflicting state laws. Let us make sure your interstate visitation agreements are enforceable.

Read more about child custody.

We Can Help You Get Child and/or Spousal Support

Termination of a relationship can cause obvious financial hardships. To a custodial parent, child support is necessary to maintain the child´s standard of living after a separation or divorce. Child support is based on a formula which determines support based on the non-custodial parent´s income and the number of children. Child support can be part of a divorce or separation order, or it can be a separate action conducted through the State of California.

At the Law Offices of Mark A. Reed, we are very familiar with both processes, Spousal support, or alimony, is also based on a schedule. We can determine whether alimony should be paid, what it should be, whether it should be temporary or permanent, and the appropriate payment schedule.

We can also bring an enforcement action if you have an order but payment is not being made.

Modification of Custody, Child Support or Spousal Support Orders

Modification actions are filed after support and custody terms are entered into a final divorce judgment. In order for a child custody modification or modification of child support or spousal support action to be filed you must show that a material change in personal or financial circumstances has occurred since the initial judgment or last order.

Child support orders can be modified based upon a change of time that a parent spends with the children. Child support can also be modified if one or both party´s income has changed. You cannot agree to never ask for a modification of child support. Support is the right of the child, not the parent.

Unless the judgment states that spousal support is non-modifiable it can be modified after judgment. A material change of circumstances is required to obtain a spousal support modification order. Typically these circumstances are financial and involve reduction in income or loss of job of either spouse or increased income of the paying spouse.

Learn more about child support

Paternity & Establishing Fatherhood

As the term implies, paternity establishes rights and obligations for non-married fathers. Legally establishing paternity gives fathers the opportunity to establish visitation, contact and access to their child. Additionally, paternity actions can be instituted to obtain child support.

If paternity is an issue regarding your child, we can help.

Visit our Family Law FAQ’s