A Full Range of Help in Family Law Matters
Divorce, child support and child custody cases frequently involve stress and disagreements. I will work hard to protect your legal rights while focusing on avoiding unnecessary turmoil.
As a skilled Napa Family Attorney, my goal is to resolve matters quickly and to save clients the trauma of litigation. But I will vigorously defend your rights in court when needed. My Firm provides quality legal guidance to clients throughout California, in the following family law practice areas:
- Child Custody and Visitation
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- Property Division
- Parental Relationship (“paternity”) – establishing or objecting to biological parentage via DNA testing, establishing or objecting to presumed parentage based on a parenting relationship regardless of biological parentage, child custody and visitation, child support
- Interstate Custody, Jurisdiction and Venue – representing out-of-state parents in California proceedings, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement actions, civil child abduction cases, including international cases, change of venue and improper jurisdiction
- Domestic Violence and Civil Restraining Orders – both obtaining orders and defending against requested orders
- Guardianship – agreed upon, or contested; termination of guardianship
- Adoption – including step-parent, relative, or independent adoption
- Conservatorship – when the need to step in arises, or pre-need, by agreement
- Juvenile Detention Law: Representing parents whose children are removed from the home by Child Protective Services (CPS), representing grandparents or relatives with whom children are placed by CPS, establishing de facto parent status for non-parent child care-givers in CPS cases, experienced in preparing extraordinary writs
I am in my 14th year of practicing family law and 12th year of practicing juvenile detention law. I am a litigator, well-versed in the rules of evidence, and not intimidated by trial. I know when and how to settle cases without resorting to litigation, if settlement is possible.
My Firm is a solo practice, which includes my spouse and paralegal, Jane Martin. Jane assists me in adoption, guardianship, and some family law cases. Jane also provides paralegal help to self-represented persons, who cannot afford attorneys, with competent form preparation, while I am available to provide hourly consultations as well as limited representation, if necessary.
I am, and was for 30 years, a musician and performer, and I am comfortable and experienced on stage and in the courtroom. Law is my second career, and I bring life, as well as legal, experience to my cases. I speak plainly to my clients about the law and what it means, and I am there every step of the way to guide them. I answer my own telephone, and return messages promptly. As a trusted Napa Family Attorney, I do my own legal research, and know the law and rules of evidence well. If an issue arises that I am not versed in, I know how to find the answer.
I am compassionate and understanding. I am a part-time public defender under a sub-contract with the County of Napa, representing indigent parents whose children are removed by CPS. Part of my sub-contract involves being appointed by the court to represent children, under Family Code section 3150, in high-conflict family law cases. As a result, I am very child-oriented when approaching my private family law custody cases.
I have worked with, as well as cross-examined, psychological experts in family law and juvenile cases. I have a good working knowledge of the psychological development of children, psychological disorders in children and adults, psychiatric medications, drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation, domestic violence, and how any of these factors may affect a custody or juvenile case. I have worked with and opposed litigants who have psychological and/or drug and alcohol problems, always keeping in mind what is in the best interest of their children. That best interest includes keeping children safe from harm and making sure they have a healthy relationship with both parents, if possible.
If you need the assistance of an experienced Napa Family Attorney, call Christopher Loizeaux today at 707-200-1293, or complete the contact form provided on this site to schedule your free phone consultation.
Attorney Christopher Loizeaux
- U.C. Santa Barbara, 1968 – 1971
- California State University, Chico, 1989 – 1992, B.S. in Geology
- University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, 1992 – 1995, J.D.
- Federal Courts
Professional Memberships and Achivements:
- Dean’s List
- Moot Court Competition Best Written Brief
- Napa Family Bar Association
- California Public Defenders Association
I helped a father obtain primary custody of his daughter and prevent the mother from moving away to Texas with her new husband and the child. The father was African American, the mother Filipino, and the new husband Caucasian. Race was absolutely not a factor in the court’s decision, nor in my approach to the case, but they wanted to move with the child to a small town in Texas, where the new husband’s family lived. What was a factor in the case and the decision was the mother’s and new husband’s belittlement of the father’s relationship with the child, their passive-aggressive interference with that relationship and their flaunting of court ordered visitation details. My client won primary custody after a four-day trial. Rather than move without the child and limit her contact further, the mother and her new husband stayed in California, and remain here to this day.
I helped a mother obtain primary custody of her child, whom she had not seen for over one year. The mother and father lived in different counties, about an hour apart by car. The mother had left the relationship because of domestic violence. She later heard from her son that the father might be abusing him, at least psychologically, and attempted to protect him by leaving the jurisdiction with him, although she kept him in the same school, commuting three hours a day. As a result, the father obtained sole custody and supervised visitation for the mother, with the help of an attorney. The mother, at the time was self-represented, and did not know what to do. For the next year the mother concentrated on her older child by a different father, who was having teenage problems, and was diagnosed bi-polar. When her daughter was stabilized the mother retained me. By this time she was at risk of losing her parental rights to her son, not having had any contact with him for over one year and not paying any child support. We went to court and enforced the supervised visitation order, gradually moving to unsupervised visitation after about six months. After another six months, we obtained an order for a custody evaluation by a psychologist, and the court also appointed an attorney for the child, who informed the court that the child wanted to live with his mother. The psychological evaluation favored primary custody for the mother, and revealed some psychological problems with the father, including depression. With opposing counsel, we negotiated a settlement, giving my client primary custody during the school year
I helped a father obtain primary custody of his son and successfully fought false domestic violence allegations against him, including a referral to a criminal defense attorney who successfully fought the same allegations in criminal court. I also referred my client to a civil rights attorney who settled a lawsuit against the police department for injuring him during his arrest. I settled the divorce and property division aspects of his case, and continued on to fight for custody. The mother had undiagnosed psychological issues, from the father’s description of her behavior. We obtained orders for a psychological evaluation, which favored primary custody to my client. The mother’s attorney asked for appointment of an attorney for the child, as a last resort. The child’s attorney revealed even more disturbing behavior by the mother in her report, which resulted in an order for sole custody of the child to my client, and supervised visitation to the mother. The mother is finally getting psychological help, and after a year of no contact, the mother and child are having supervised visits.
I helped a couple negotiate a full settlement of their divorce, including joint custody of their son. The husband was a winery executive, who formerly worked in the dot com industry, as did his wife, a talented programmer. After moving to Napa and starting his new job in the wine industry, the wife stopped working, and lost interest in everything. I believe she was suffering from depression, though we never got a formal diagnosis. The husband believed that if the mother would simply go back to work – she could earn close to six figures working from home – she would regain interest in life. She kept refusing to work, so he asked her for a divorce. He was very generous in his settlement offer, giving her more than half their substantial assets, and allowing her to stay living in their home with him and their son, so long as the boy was school-aged. We finalized the marital settlement agreement and judgment documents, and filed everything. The husband came to see me six months later, and told me that they still lived together, his wife was back working and enjoying life again, and they had never been happier, continuing on in their full relationship and parenting their child together … just not married!
I helped obtain orders for the return of a child to her father in the U.S., after the child was abducted by her mother and taken to her native country, France, against court orders. I obtained a sole custody order in Napa County, and, with the assistance of the Napa County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit, was able to have the order enforced in France by French counsel through the Hague Convention, including two appeals the mother filed in France. While awaiting the results in France, I successfully fought an attempt by the mother’s pro bono international law attorney, whom she found in San Francisco, to have the Napa sole custody order rescinded. The attorney then had the case removed to federal court, but, with the help of a federal practitioner, whom I associated into the case, I prepared and filed a brief opposing the removal and got the case remanded back to Napa Superior Court. It took two and a half years, but the child is now in her father’s primary custody in the United States, and the mother’s contact is limited to school vacations. To assure the mother’s compliance with the visitation orders, I negotiated a bond which would forfeit her parents’ house in France should she reabduct the child.
If you or someone you know in Northern California needs the assistance of an experienced Napa Family Attorney, call Christopher Loizeaux today at 707-200-1293, or complete the contact form provided on this site to schedule your free phone consultation.