Petaluma Family Law Attorneys
Wine Country Family Law, P.C. offers our Petaluma family law clients skilled assistance with:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Custody and Support Modification
- Parenting Plan and Visitation
- Relocation (Move-Away)
- Spousal Support
- Paternity Establishment
- Business Valuations
Every family is unique. Above all, we understand the importance of catering our legal strategies to best fit your unique situation. No matter what those needs may be, we are here to help ensure your legal and financial rights remain protected, while also achieving the goals you have defined. Our legal team consists of a group of skilled, experienced legal professionals who take pride in our knowledge and practice of California family law. Reach out to us to set up a consultation with our Petaluma family law attorneys to see how we can help you.
Our Family Law Practice Areas in Petaluma, CA
Our team has experience handling many facets of family law, and we understand how each area connects with the others. Some of the most common practice areas our family law team handles include:
Divorce is one of the most common types of cases we handle, so it’s safe to say, we know our way around the legal landscape. We have represented a large range of clients under many different circumstances, varying from relatively amicable divorces to those that have been particularly contentious and difficult. We understand this is one of the most difficult times in your life, so our goal is to help provide the legal support you need so you can work through this time in the best way for you.
Many members of our team have personal experience with divorce. We are able to offer compassionate and empathetic service during your case as we’ve literally “been there.”. We also understand that the divorce itself is rarely our clients’ biggest priority. Our team thoroughly understands the California divorce laws, so we can work to achieve your objectives with the law on our side. We focus on fighting for our clients’ rights throughout the process by handling all of the issues that come with divorce, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division matters.
Divorce gets especially complex when there are minor children involved. As a child of divorce and having gone through a divorce herself, Attorney and firm owner, Lindsay Torgerson, understands first-hand the toll that divorce can take on a family structure. Our clients’ biggest concerns going into divorce (or custody matters where divorce is not involved) often have to do with their children, and rightfully so. Divorce can be very confusing for children, not only because of the trauma of the family splitting up, but also because other regular routines, such as school, friends, sports, and other activities are often disrupted.
Our legal team takes a compassionate approach to handling all forms of child custody matters, whether as a product of divorce or otherwise. We believe the right to raise your child is fundamental, which is why we fight for our clients’ ability to share custody and visitation of their children. We will also always keep in mind what is in the best interest of the child or children, as does the state of California, when making final child custody orders.
Both parents are responsible for supporting their minor children. While we know most parents want to do what is best for their child, child support issues often involve some negotiation. Under the Judicial Branch of California, child custody is determined according to a set formula, which our team knows inside and out. In fact, two of our attorneys previously worked for the California Department of Child Support Services, working with child support issues every day for years.
Our experienced team will use these guidelines to analyze your case and determine how much child support is likely owed to the custodial parent. Further, we review the applicable laws to determine whether any additional factors may impact this amount. The ability for the child to continue their standard of living is critical, which is why child support is such an important part of a family law case.
Spousal support is another issue that often arises during the divorce process. During a marriage, it is quite common that one spouse has a higher earning capacity than the other, whether because they have an advanced degree, more years of work experience, or a unique skill that allows them to earn the primary income.
Similarly, especially in families with minor children, one spouse may have left their job or begun to work part-time to focus on raising the children or to further their education. No matter your family’s situation, our Petaluma family law attorneys will work with you to identify a fair solution to spousal support so that everybody can maintain their quality of life amid the turmoil of divorce.
Our team has also handled issues related to paternity. For fathers, it can be especially difficult to assert your rights as a parent if you were not married to your child’s mother. Contact our firm for questions about California laws governing the establishment of paternity and all of the rights and privileges that come with it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from our clients.
Do I need a family law attorney?
Generally, we would advise you to hire a family law attorney for any legal issues that arise, especially issues about divorce, child custody, child support, or paternity. However, it is not strictly necessary.
While not hiring a family law attorney may be a less expensive way to handle your divorce, it can cost you dearly if it is done incorrectly. Not only is the family law system complex in California, but there are many rules to adhere to in court. For example, there are special rules of civil procedure pertaining to how to file and serve documents, how to collect and present evidence, and setting various deadlines. If your spouse hires an attorney, it may be in your best interest to consult with an attorney as well, as they may try to take advantage of your inexperience.
What questions should I ask my family law attorney?
During your case, you should be sure to ask your attorney any and all questions you have throughout the process, especially if you are unsure about your case’s status, the strategy your attorney is using, or the law as it applies to your case. However, be aware that at the initial consultation stage, the attorney will not be able to answer specific questions about your case until they know more about you, your spouse, your children, your financial arrangement, and anything else that could impact the result of your case. This means that if you ask questions about how long the divorce will take, whether you are going to lose your house, or who will get custody of children, the lawyer will probably not be able to give you an exact answer.
On the other hand, there are some questions you should ask the lawyer up-front. First, consider asking about their rates and fee arrangements. Though they usually cannot provide you the total bill, you can at least get a clear understanding of how fees will be arranged in your specific family law case. You should also ask the attorney about their experience, such as whether they have handled cases such as yours before. You should confirm the attorney understands your overall goals in your case and what “keeps you up at night” about your situation. Finally, you can ask about how often you can expect to hear from your attorney, when it is appropriate to contact them, and other administrative questions about your relationship with the law firm.
How should I talk to my kids about divorce?
The most important consideration for talking to your kids about your divorce is to make sure their lives feel stable and consistent. Try to explain the situation as calmly as possible, and when you are around your children, avoid arguing with your spouse or talking negatively about them. Children can sense when there are changes coming, and divorce often means moving houses and schools, leaving behind friends and extended family, and disrupting routines. Minimize these changes as much as possible, and when this is not possible, make sure to explain what will be changing as well as what they can expect to stay the same.
Contact a Petaluma Family Law Attorney
If you are facing a divorce or other family law matter in Petaluma, reach out to one of our family law attorneys today. Allow us to handle the legal aspects of your case while you focus on you and your family.
We offer an initial one-hour consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys in our Petaluma office, by phone, or video conference. During your consultation, our family lawyer will review the facts of your matter, provide you with information regarding the process and legal concepts, and provide various service options we may be able to offer you, along with a fee quote, if applicable.
Click here to contact a Petaluma family lawyer or call our office to discuss your case and set up your consultation. We look forward to working with you.