Family Law

Family Law Attorneys Based in Colusa and Lake Counties

At Hinely Law, our Colusa and Lake County family law attorneys assist Northern California residents with handling the dissolution of a marriage and its aftermath. Based on our experience, we understand how stressful and complicated going through this type of situation can be for your children and you. We can ensure that people throughout Colusa, Lake, Yuba, and Sutter Counties receive the compassionate and dedicated legal counsel that they deserve. If you need a divorce attorney or guidance in a wide variety of family law matters, including child custody, child support, adoption, spousal support, restraining orders, or guardianships, you should reach out to our attorneys to explore how we can help you. We also can assist people who need a criminal defense lawyer, a DUI lawyer, or a marijuana lawyer.

Understanding California Divorce Proceedings

In California, married parties have the option of seeking a separation or a divorce. Either spouse can decide to end the marriage relationship. The other spouse does not need to provide consent in order for the divorce or separation proceeding to go forward. The state has adopted a “no fault” approach to divorce, which means that the spouse seeking a divorce is not required to show that the other spouse committed any wrongdoing. Instead, the spouse seeking a divorce only needs to show that the couple has encountered irreconcilable differences.

Once you have decided to seek a divorce or separation, there are a large number of forms and documents that you must complete and submit to the court. These forms can be complicated and require strict compliance with the statutes to be accepted by the court. In some cases, the parties may qualify for a summary dissolution, which is an expedited divorce proceeding. To have a summary dissolution, the couple must have been married for five years or less, have no mutual children together, and not share ownership of any property or buildings, among other requirements. Our family law lawyers in Colusa and Lake County can advise people on whether this process may be right for them.

One of the most common issues in a divorce or separation is spousal support. A spouse can ask the court to order the other spouse to provide them with a certain amount of money each month. There are many factors involved when it comes to calculating spousal support, including the length of the marriage, the needs of each party in terms of maintaining the same standard of living, the age of each party, and the capacity of each party to provide financial support. A court also considers each party’s job skills, training, career, and background.

Custody, Guardianship, and Adoption

Whether in the context of a divorce proceeding or a separate legal matter, there are a variety of legal actions that affect the custody and guardianship of children. California courts refer to custody as parenting time and will address this issue when a married couple with shared children seeks a divorce or separation. The court will encourage the parties to come to a mutual agreement about their parenting plan, but it will provide oversight and final determinations if the parties are unable to agree. First, the plan will include provisions regarding time-sharing, or the time that the child will spend with each parent. Second, it will include clear terms regarding decision-making power over the child in important matters such as health, education, and general welfare. Once the terms of the parenting plan are set, the judge issues a court order that gives the parenting plan legal weight and authority.

Other common legal proceedings involving minors in California include guardianship and adoption. In general, a guardianship involves situations in which someone other than the child’s biological parent has custody of the child, has permission to manage the child’s property, or both. An adoption, on the other hand, involves a court proceeding that provides the adopting parent or parents with the same legal rights and obligations as the child’s birth parents.

Retain a Dedicated Family Law Attorney

Regardless of the challenges that you are facing, the knowledgeable Colusa and Lake County family law lawyers at Hinely Law can help you navigate the process and protect your legal rights. Our lawyers also have counseled people in Sutter and Yuba Counties. We offer a free consultation so that you can learn more about the legal options in your situation. Contact us online or in Colusa at (530) 458-2950 or in Lakeport at (707) 995-7006. At Hinely Law, we also provide criminal defense attorneys, DUI attorneys, and marijuana attorneys.