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California Divorce Attorney

At the Law Offices of Eve Lopez, our firm handles all types of divorce/dissolution of marriage issues including:

We have unique experience in handling divorce cases involving children and/or adults with disabilities and special needs. While very few attorneys in the area understand the unique needs and complexities of these cases, our attorney Eve Lopez is the mother of a child with special needs who knows first hand the complications that can arise. Since she has faced many of the same challenges as our clients, she can help alleviate their concerns and answer their questions. Please contact our California divorce attorney.

Please note that in divorce cases involving children with special needs, California family law may be applied with more discretion. These cases can avail themselves to more flexible legal guidelines designed to accommodate for the unique circumstances of children with special needs and their families.

Dissolution of Marriage (also referred to as "divorce")

A divorce is the legal proceeding which terminates a marriage. Filing for a divorce can provide the court with jurisdiction to divide property, order child custody and visitation as well as make orders regarding child support, spousal support and attorneys fees and costs. At the end of a divorce proceeding, you are returned to the status of a single person and are able to remarry if you so choose.

Legal Separation

A legal separation is the legal proceeding which is the same in every respect as a divorce (dissolution action) except that at the end of a legal separation, the parties’ marital status is still in tact. In other words, the parties are still married and neither party has the ability to remarry.

Child Custody and Visitation involving Children With Special Needs

Children with special needs can complicate "typical" custody and visitation orders because of their unique needs. Each child's special needs deserve special consideration when developing a parenting plan that is in that child's best interests.

Legal custody means the ability of a parent to participate in important decisions in the child's life. Typically these decisions relate to education, healthcare, religion and travel. While joint legal custody is the presumptive legislative policy in California, the policy can often be rebutted. As it relates to children with special needs, often a more detailed order is appropriate to address special education and vocational services.

Physical Custody is often referred to as visitation. If a parent is granted primary physical custody, the child will live with that parent for the majority of the time, while the non-custodial parent will be granted regular visitation rights. The presumption in California is that frequent and continuous contact with both parents is in the child’s best interest. However, in the case of a child with special needs, regular transitions between environments and routines may not be in that child’s best interests. In these situations, a more practical, creative, and open-minded approach is necessary when addressing an appropriate parenting plan that is in the child's best interest.

Child Support

Similarly, California Child Support Guidelines may not apply in divorce cases where children with special needs or disabled or incapacitated adults are involved. In fact, since raising a child with special needs child generally involves more costs than raising a "typical" child, parents of children with special needs with primary physical custody often request above guideline child support.

Contact our Los Angeles divorce lawyer for a free telephone consultation with an attorney well-versed in dealing with special needs children and disabled or incapacitated adults.

The Law Offices of Eve Lopez serves family law clients throughout Los Angeles County, California, including those in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Glendale, Santa Clarita, Pomona, Torrance, Pasadena, Palmdale, Lancaster, El Monte, Inglewood, Downey, West Covina, Norwalk, Burbank, Culver City, and Beverly Hills.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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