California Family Law – Frequently Asked Questions

For a family law lawyer, some of the most frequently asked questions center around issues related to child custody.  Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP represents clients faced with all types of divorce and custody issues. Your questions should be answered by an attorney who has evaluated your specific case.  Our attorneys are ready to provide you with the personalized one-on-one advice and information you need as you navigate a divorce or separation and protect your children and finances.  Give us a call when you are ready to get help with your divorce, or feel free to browse the questions below to learn more about your rights and options during dissolution or custody proceedings.

What happens to marital property in a divorce in California?

Marital property in California is considered community property. Each spouse is entitled to a 50-50 share of shared property acquired during the marriage. This means property and assets should be divided so each spouse gets assets worth an equal amount.  The couple or court can decide on the specifics of who gets which particular types of property and possessions.

What happens to separate property in a divorce?

Separate property is property owned by either spouse before the marriage as well as  some property acquired under limited circumstances during the marriage, like property inherited by only one spouse. Separate property continues to be owned by the person who it belongs to.

How is custody of children divided during a divorce in California?

A couple should try to negotiate on the issue of custody themselves. If they cannot agree, a court will apply the best interests of the child standard.  There are many factors considered including who has provided care over the child’s life and who can provide a stable house for the child in the future.

What are different kinds of custody arrangements or parenting plans available?

Parents can share custody on an equal basis or a child can spend close to the same amount of time with each parent. This is joint custody. One parent can have primary custody and the other visitation.  One parent can also have sole custody, with the other parent not seeing the children much or at all.

What is the difference between physical and legal custody?

Physical custody refers to having the child under your care. Legal custody refers to making decisions for the child, like what kinds of medical care the child should receive.

What factors affect child custody?

There are many things a court considers to determine custody. The court will look at whether one parent has provided more of the child’s care. The court will also consider which parent will provide more access to other family members, which parent can provide more nurturing and support, and where a child’s home life will be more stable.

Why should I have a family law attorney during divorce or a custody proceeding?

These frequently asked questions are just a few of many things you need to know when you divorce or when you separate and have a child. It is imperative you have a full understanding of what your rights and obligations are. You also need to know how to make compelling arguments to protect yourself and your children. At Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP, our family law attorneys can answer all of your questions and provide details tailored to your specific situation. We will advocate for your interests throughout divorce or custody proceedings. Call today if you have questions about divorce or custody in California.