When you’re dealing with a family law issue, it can feel like your whole life is falling apart. Ellen Weinfurtner understands what you’re going through and knows how to help. From my office in Riverside, I’ve guided Californians though divorce, custody, support and adoption cases for more than four decades, so you can be confident in my ability to advocate for your interests. Don’t let the stress of your family law matter upend your life. I can explain your options and help you chart a course to a successful resolution.
California follows a no-fault divorce standard, which means that when one spouse believes the marriage has broken down due to “irreconcilable differences” and wishes to divorce, there is no requirement to prove misconduct on the part of the other spouse. California also allows for a summary dissolution, a simplified divorce process for couples married for less than five years, with no children and no property, among other requirements. While the granting of a divorce cannot itself be contested, there are frequently disagreements about alimony, division of property and the treatment of any children of the marriage. Whether the ending of your marriage is fairly amicable or hotly contested, I can help you negotiate a resolution to these issues or assert your rights in court when necessary.
In California, spousal support, commonly called alimony, is designed to keep divorce from unfairly affecting one spouse financially. Courts award spousal support based on a variety of legal factors, but the length of the marriage and the relative earning capacity of the spouses are critical to arriving at a fair determination. Whether you’re in need of support to continue your life after divorce or concerned about being made to pay more than your fair share, I can help you arrive at a resolution you can live with. After reviewing your finances and conducting any necessary investigation, I will ensure the court has accurate financial information to make its determination.
Under California law, child custody is determined by what the courts believe to be in the best interests of the child. This means, in the absence of agreement, courts will decide who has decision-making authority and who your child should live with as well as what the visitation terms should be for the noncustodial parent, in what is known as a parenting plan. In the event that both parents are able to agree on this plan, courts will typically enforce the agreement. Similarly, child support can be negotiated between the parents or can be litigated using a complex financial formula supplied by the state. Whether you seek to resolve child support issues at the time of divorce or want to modify the support amount due to changed circumstances, I can help to ensure the child support award is fair and appropriate.
If you’re considering adoption, you want to focus on preparing a loving, supportive home for your new child and let an experienced attorney handle the legal requirements. Whether you are planning to go through an agency adoption, independent adoption or international adoption, each has different rules and varying levels of legal complexity. As your advocate, I can assist you with the timely filing of all needed paperwork and prepare you for assessments. While the process can sometimes be frustrating and time-consuming, I am committed to helping you achieve your goal of adding to your family without the legal headaches.
Ellen Weinfurtner represents Southern Californians in a full range of family law cases, from divorce to adoption. To schedule a consultation at my Riverside office, call 951-684-2130 or contact me online.