Top Watsonville, CA Family Law Lawyers Near You

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Watsonville Family Law Information

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Lead Counsel Verified Attorneys In Watsonville

Lead Counsel independently verifies Family Law attorneys in Watsonville by conferring with California bar associations and conducting annual reviews to confirm that an attorney practices in their advertised practice areas and possesses a valid bar license for the appropriate jurisdictions.

Find a Watsonville Family Law Attorney in your area

Are You Dealing with a Family Law Issue?

Family law matters can be overwhelming and incredibly sensitive. The longer the problem remains unresolved, the greater the toll it can have on the welfare and well-being of you and your family. An experienced Watsonville family law attorney will help protect your rights.

Family Law Issues

There are many legal issues that face families, such as child custody, child support, divorce, domestic violence, legal separation, annulment, paternity or spousal support. Of course, as diverse as families are, there are more Family Law issues that land under this broad category of law.

Remember dealing with a Family Law issue will not only have an impact in your life emotionally, but also legally and financially. It is very important to take the time to discover long-term solutions for your family’s needs and future.

What does family law mean?

Family law covers a broad spectrum of legal matters that have to do with families, and not all of them mean something terrible has happened. The term family law can refer to adoptions, divorce, child custody, paternity, child support, guardianships, prenuptial agreements, property division, and many other issues.

What does contempt of court mean in family law cases?

In family court, a judge can hold you in contempt of court if you fail to comply with any court orders. This could include refusing to follow your custody plan, failing to pay child support, or disparaging your ex when a judge orders you not to. Being in contempt of court could mean spending time behind bars or other penalties, such as garnishing your wages to pay back child support.

How do courts resolve family law disputes?

Courts generally like to resolve family law disputes by helping people like you and your ex find an amicable compromise. This allows people to continue to work together in the future, such as when it comes to making parenting decisions. If necessary, a judge may order you and your ex to meet with a mediator to find a solution. If you cannot agree, the judge may schedule a hearing to decide the matter, at which point you will have to comply with whatever the ruling is.

Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney

  • How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
  • How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
  • What is the likely outcome for my case?

In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.

The Importance of a Good Consultation

The goal of an initial consultation is to find an attorney you are comfortable working with and someone who can help you understand your options under the law. Seek to understand the relevant legal experience the attorney brings to your case. While it is not realistic to expect an attorney to resolve your legal issue during an initial consultation, you should gain a level of comfort with his/her ability to do so. A good consultation can clarify issues, raise pertinent questions and considerations for your case, and help you make an informed decision towards resolving your legal issue.

Types of legal fees:

Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney’s hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.

Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.

Flat fee: For “routine” legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.

Common legal terms explained

Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.

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