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Family Law Attorneys

Family Law

Alameda County Lawyers Experienced in Divorce and Related Proceedings

Family law encompasses a wide variety of legal issues related to a divorce and its aftermath, potentially including child support, custody and visitation rights, property division, domestic violence, spousal support, guardianships, and paternity determinations. For most people, these matters arise at especially challenging or stressful times in their lives, and they may have a substantial impact on their future. At the Hayward firm of MacKenzie & Associates, our Alameda County family law attorneys have assisted many Bay Area residents with these sensitive matters. We take pride in providing each client with the compassionate and vigorous legal counsel that they deserve. If you need to speak with a divorce lawyer about your situation, contact our office today.

Seeking a Divorce in California

California has certain requirements when it comes to obtaining a divorce. First, at least one of the parties to the divorce proceeding must meet the state’s residency requirements. This requires that at least one party has been a resident of the state for at least six months and a resident of the county in which the divorce proceeding is filed for at least the three preceding months. Like many states, California has adopted a no-fault approach to divorce. This means that the party seeking a dissolution of the marriage is not required to show that the other spouse engaged in some type of wrongdoing. Instead, one or both parties simply needs to state that the couple is experiencing irreconcilable differences.

In the event that the divorce involves contested issues or a complicated distribution of assets, the court may take longer to issue the appropriate orders and to finalize the dissolution of the marriage.

Similar to a divorce but legally distinctive, a legal separation may be a more appealing option to some couples. In a legal separation, the parties live separately while the court issues orders regarding key matters like financial support, asset ownership, and child custody, but the marital status remains unchanged. A qualified family law lawyer can help Alameda County residents and other people in the East Bay determine which course of action may be appropriate for their situation.

Protecting Your Rights in Situations Involving Domestic Violence

Unfortunately, domestic violence is a pervasive issue in many divorce and family law matters. It involves abuse or threats of abuse between individuals who have been or are currently involved in an intimate relationship. These include married couples, domestic partners, or people who have a mutual child, among others. Abuse is defined broadly to include many different actions. Physical injuries, whether committed intentionally or recklessly, are the most commonly recognized example. Moreover, abuse may consist of any attempts to cause someone a reasonable fear that they or another person will suffer imminent physical harm. Domestic violence also may consist of behaviors like stalking, harassing, or disturbing someone’s peace or property.

Under California law, the soonest that judgment can be entered in a divorce case is six months after the Petition has been served on the Respondent.

A person experiencing abuse from someone with whom they have, or have had, a close relationship may seek a domestic violence restraining order, which is a court order that provides protections for the victim. Parents may also seek a domestic violence restraining order on behalf of a child. A restraining order may have a significant impact on custody or visitation arrangements if children are involved, so it is also important to consult an attorney if you are facing unwarranted allegations of abuse.

Consult a Dedicated Family Law Attorney in Alameda County

Family law matters often involve life-changing situations for many different people. This means that you should make sure to retain a lawyer who not only is familiar with the applicable procedures and rules but also takes the time to listen to your story and understand your personal needs and goals. At Mackenzie & Associates, our Alameda County family law lawyers provide services to people in many East Bay communities. We are prepared to help you navigate the judicial process and ensure that your rights are protected. To schedule a free telephone consultation, call us at 510-537-7200 or contact us online. We can assist people with matters related to divorce, child custody and visitation, support arrangements, and other family law issues, as well as Bay Area residents who need a domestic violence lawyer to protect their rights. We are located just two miles from the courthouse, allowing us to provide prompt and efficient assistance whenever you need us to go to court for you.