Family Law

Family Law in California

Family law consists of a variety of legal issues affecting how people live their day to day lives. It may be one of the most difficult areas of the law for a person to deal with as there is much emotion and risk involved. The process is difficult to follow, and the expectations for completion and service of documents can seem overwhelming. It is critical that you have an experienced family law attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. The family law attorneys at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin have knowledgeable and practical experience fighting for the rights of clients in family court.

Prenuptial Agreements in California

California is a community property state. If you intend to keep certain assets as separate property or would like to make other agreements with a person that you are marrying, a premarital agreement is an option. For a prenuptial agreement to be valid, in California, it must meet certain legal requirements. It is best to seek the advice and counsel of a Family Law attorney that has experience drafting premarital agreements.


Dissolution of a marriage in California requires that certain documents be filed with the court. An amicable divorce makes the process go a littler easier than a contested divorce. Either way, the assistance of experienced counsel is needed to ensure your rights are protected.

Spousal Support

Spousal support calculations can be difficult in California. There are many factors that are evaluated to determine if a spouse is entitled to spousal support. Such factors include: the length of the marriage, income, employment, and standard of living. Speaking with a family law attorney will give you an idea of what you or your spouse may be entitled to receive.

Child Custody

Child custody is often one of the most difficult and emotional family law issues faced by parents. It is also a process that is not over until the children involved reach the age of 18. The court will look to the best interests of the children when making custody determinations. If domestic violence is involved it can affect the custodial rights of the perpetrating parent.

Child Support

In California child support is calculated using the state’s Dissomaster calculation system. Taken into consideration are the parent’s incomes, number of children, and timeshare factors. Anytime there is a change in circumstances of the parties, the court will consider a modification in child support. Consulting with a family law attorney will give you an idea of what child support payments you or the other parent may be entitled to.

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

If you are trying to escape a violent environment and need assistance in preventing the other party from contacting you, a domestic violence restraining order may be in order. A DVRO is a court order that prevents the restrained from being able to contact you or come within a certain distance from you, your home, and your place of employment.


People choose to adopt a child for many reasons. There are millions of blended families in the United States. More and more stepparents are choosing to adopt their stepchildren. Other individuals may decide to adopt because they want a family and are not able to have children of their own. If you are interested in adopting a child, you probably have a lot of questions. The family law attorneys at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin can answer your questions and help navigate you through the process.

Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin is the firm to call when you need sound family law advice from a family law attorney. To talk to a lawyer about your specific family law matter, call our trial lawyers at (209) 522-2211 or contact us here.