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San Diego Divorce Attorney Practice Areas

Certified family law specialist addresses your needs

The Law Office of Steven M. Bishop, CFLS is dedicated to providing professional legal services in matters related to divorce and family law.

As a certified legal specialist, Mr. Bishop has a deep understanding of the divorce process in California. He can help you obtain an uncontested divorce or litigate a complex divorce with multiple contentious issues. If you have questions about the grounds for divorce in California, property distribution or if you are wondering how much a divorce costs, Mr. Bishop patiently answers your questions and provides the reliable advice your need.

Legal separation occurs when a married couple formalizes a de facto separation while remaining legally married. Unlike divorce, a legal separation does not put an end to the marriage. During a legal separation, a court order outlines the rights and responsibilities of each spouse while they are living apart.

Child custody and visitation pertains to the care for a child on a day-to-day basis and the making of major decisions about the child, along with visitation rights. In sole custody arrangements, one parent takes care of the child most of the time and makes major decisions about the child. The other parent usually has a right of visitation. In joint custody arrangements, both parents share in making major decisions, and they have the right to spend substantial amounts of time with the child.

Changes in custody or child visitation rights may be sought where the custodial spouse develops physical, mental or behavioral impairments that affect the ability to be a responsible parent, or when a parent desires to move away with the children.

Child support and alimony are one of the few debts that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, and are nearly impossible to adjust without a court appearance. You can negotiate with your spouse if you are in a financial bind, however. Otherwise, you must go to court to request a child support modification. Until the court determines that the modification is appropriate, you are responsible for the monthly payments as ordered, and your spouse can take you to court to enforce child support payments.

Paternity matters typically arise when the parents of a child are not married. Paternity is the legal and social acknowledgment of the paternal relationship between a father and his child. When paternity becomes an issue, the mother, father, child or state can ask the court for a determination of paternity.

Issues facing unmarried parents, for the most part, are the same as those facing divorced parents. A father’s rights to visitation, a mother’s access to child support, joint custody of children and power struggles are all issues that present challenges. In addition, unmarried parents face the challenges of establishing paternity, along with the absence of a legal court to turn to in order to settle all outstanding issues between them such as division of property and debt.

Non-parent custody and visitation is not easy to obtain and the rights of non-parents, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, are limited. The process for asserting non-parent custody is quite complex. To determine whether to grant non-parent physical custody, the court determines what is in the best interest of the child. To do that, the court must conduct a thorough analysis of the facts of your unique situation.

Mediation, or alternative dispute resolution, is a method of resolving disputes between two or more parties. Typically, a mediator assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. He or she does not decide who is right or wrong, or issue a decision. Instead, the mediator helps the parties work out their own solutions to problems.

Collaborative divorce is a method of law in which the lawyers for both parties agree to assist their clients to resolve conflicts by employing cooperative, rather than adversarial, techniques and litigation. All the people involved are committed to achieving a negotiated outcome. Moreover, all parties agree not to litigate until negotiations break down.

Contact a family law specialist in San Diego for your divorce issues

Divorce is hard on everyone, but it does not have to be harder than necessary. The Law Office of Steven M. Bishop, CFLS protects your property, your family and your rights as we work toward the best possible outcome. Call us at 619-299-9780 or contact our San Diego office online to schedule a consultation.

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