Dissolution of Marriage

The divorce process.

The breakdown of a marriage is often overwhelming and emotionally draining for those involved. The divorce process itself is different for all parties.
 

Depending on the situation, some couples work together to settle the outstanding matters. They can do this through alternative dispute resolutions such as a settlement meeting, mediation, or private judicial assistance. Other parties can resolve matters by both using separate divorce lawyers and going through the Court process. The length of time and methods used for each resolution and ultimately finalize a divorce, vary based on the different issues and choices the parties make.

 

Our first priority is to understand your unique situation, including your goals for yourself and your family.  Once we know those things, we explore the possible legal strategies at our disposal, and how we can achieve an outcome that is workable, fair, and progressive.  At our firm, we not only believe in finding solutions to your family law problems, but also believe in a holistic approach, advocating reconciliation and family therapy whenever possible – we help our clients resume their lives upon resolving their family law disputes in a productive and positive fashion.

 

If you have questions about your particular situation, please contact us.

 
 

Paternity

We’re not married, but we have a child.

DNA testing is routinely used by the Court to establish paternity. However, advances in reproductive technology and the changing nature of families are creating new challenges in family law proceedings. Our office has handled several cases where parents have come forward several years after the birth of a child presenting unresolved paternity issues. We help our clients secure their parental rights and obtain appropriate child custody and child support orders and are often faced with a myriad of diverse issues such as:
 

  • Helping mothers and fathers establish paternity through DNA testing, and secure child support, child custody, and visitation orders, including the right to participate in decisions involving a child’s health, education, religious upbringing, and welfare.
     

  • Representing clients in cutting-edge legal cases involving in vitro fertilization and disputed custody of frozen embryos as part of divorce proceedings or after a donor’s death.
     

  • Assisting individuals in same-sex relationships secure their parental rights prior to or after the birth of their child.

Establishing Paternity

In California, a child born within a marriage is legally presumed to be the child of both spouses.  In the event that the parents are not married, the couples can look into filing an Acknowledgment of Paternity.  This is a special form provided by the State of California which can be filed to declare paternity. All parents should be aware that signing an acknowledgment of paternity waives your right to seek a DNA (blood genetic marker) test at a later time.  The acknowledgment will have the same force and effect as a court order of paternity.  If there is any doubt as the parentage of a child, you should seek the services of a skilled professional. We are here to help make this process as seamless and affordable as possible.
 

If you are seeking legal help to determine the parentage of your child or to protect your parental rights contact our offices today to discuss your matter.

 

Custody and Visitation

The custody determination process.

Custody refers to the decision-making powers and the percentage of time the children spend with what parent, often an issue of co-parenting. There are two types of child custody, sole custody and joint custody. These decisions can be the most challenging for families especially during the pendency of a divorce case.

 

Depending on the situation, some couples work together to settle the outstanding matters. They can do this through alternative dispute resolutions such as a settlement meeting, mediation, or private judicial assistance. Other parties can resolve matters by both using separate divorce lawyers and going through the Court process. The length of time and methods used for each resolution and ultimately finalize a divorce, vary based on the different issues and choices the parties make.

 

Children First

 

Our top priority is to understand your unique situation, including your goals for yourself and your family. However, our position is that the children’s well-being should be a priority to any divorce case involving children. Regardless of the type of custody that is in place if a parent believes a decision is being made that is contrary to a child’s best interest, one has the ability to make a motion before the Court to determine what, if anything, should change. Once we know those things, we explore the possible legal strategies at our disposal, and how we can achieve an outcome that is workable, fair, and progressive.  

 

At our firm, we not only believe in finding solutions to your family law problems, but also believe in a holistic approach, advocating reconciliation and family therapy whenever possible – we help our clients resume their lives upon resolving their family law disputes in a productive and positive fashion.

 

If you have questions about your particular situation, please contact us.

 

Modification of Orders

The request from court.

Qualifying for a Post-Judgment Modification:

Our office has helped ex-spouses and co-parents obtain or defend post-judgment modification requests to a wide variety of existing Family Law orders, including:

• Child Custody Modifications

• Child Support Modifications

• Child Visitation Modifications

• Property Division Modifications

• Set Aside Requests

• Spousal Support (Alimony) Modifications

Modifications to prior current orders may be granted by the Court when either party can successfully demonstrate that a change in circumstances has occurred that warrants the issuance of a new order.  The following are examples of a change in circumstances that will prompt the Court to grant the petitioner’s request for modification:

• Change in Child Custody to Modify Child Support and Visitation

• Change in Circumstances Warranting Modification of Custody in the Best Interests of the Children

• Disability or Illness to Modify Child Support or Spousal Support

• Increased or Decreased Income to Modify Child Support or Spousal Support

• Job Loss to Modify Child Support or Spousal Support

• Parental Relocation to Modify Child Support and Visitation

• Remarriage to Terminate Spousal Support

Sam has successfully helped numerous spouses and parents throughout Southern California to obtain modifications to existing family law orders, including child custody and support modifications, property division modifications and spousal support (alimony) modifications after divorce.  Our office understands situations change, and what might have once seemed like a fair marital settlement may not remain so after the passage of time.

 

​Mediation

Conscious uncoupling.

Mediation is a way to resolve a dispute that involves the assistance of a specifically trained third party. The independent party helps assist the parties through an interest-based conscientious process, manages effective communication, and helps the parties reach a mutually agreeable resolution in a timely manner. Sometimes this can be a difficult process, but having a skilled practitioner to assist can make the experience.

In the event mediation is a success, the parties will enter into a legal contract outlining the terms of their settlement. If mediation does not result in an complete agreement, either party is free to pursue other action, including litigation or another form of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation can either be lawyer-assisted or attended only by the parties in the dispute. Conscious uncoupling can be a hybrid process that involves parties first attempting to resolve all issues in the case by agreement in mediation and then receive assistance through an arbitration hearing for final binding decisions.

Sam has extensive experience representing clients in mediations and private judicial adjudications as well as conducting mediations and acting as the independent third party mediation for both parties.

Schedule a Consultation

If you would like to schedule a 60-monute consultation with Sam, please contact us.

 

Email

sam@scalawoffice.com

 

Phone

(714) 832-1166

 

Fax

(714) 832-2647

 

Sam C. Allevato, Attorney at Law has been successfully serving clients in Orange, San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties, including the cities in and around surrounding areas since 2000.

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