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Family, Child Custody, and Divorce Services of Family Law Lawyers and Attorneys, Long Beach, California (CA)

You may have heard the term Family Law used, but might not know exactly what it refers to.  The term refers to the California Family Code, which is a set of laws that address legal issues concerning marriage, legal separation, divorce (legally referred to as dissolution), child support, child custody, paternity, adoption, spousal support (previously known as alimony) and other related subjects.  If you are entangled in one of the above issues, you will need a good family law attorney to properly defend your rights.  The law firm of Riley Khorram, based in Long Beach, can assist you with your family law needs.

But what exact services can you expect from lawyers who specialize in family law? The following list should get you acquainted.

Marriage and Domestic Partnership – A family law attorney can help you address issues of marriage validity, rights and obligations during marriage, domestic partnerships, fiduciary duties and other similar problems. There may also be issues encountered in the enforcement of the relatively new laws on same sex marriages and domestic partnerships.

Divorce, Annulments, or Legal Separation – In most cases, addressing the legal issues surrounding a divorce requires a good lawyer.  The areas that need to be addressed here include the division of property, child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, etc.

Child Custody and Support – Traditionally, these issues had been related to divorce or legal separation. However, in our ever-changing society, that is becoming increasingly less common.  It is wise to have a lawyer assist you in the process of establishing custody and support to ensure legal custody and that adequate support is provided for the children.  Furthermore, the divorcing couple may agree upon child custody and support without undergoing litigation or having the courts decide for them through mediation or other collaborative processes.

Spousal or Domestic Partner Support – Spousal support is one of the most complicated areas of family law.  You may be entitled to receive spousal support from your ex and not even know it. If you are not receiving support and you think you are entitled to it, you should seek the help of a lawyer. The court can order support even while the case is ongoing.

Domestic Violence – Domestic violence issues can be complicated and are always an emotional powder keg.  Domestic violence can be physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, and even financial.  In addition to physical violence, there can be the withholding of finances to the spouse or the family in general, instilling fear, isolation, and forcing a spouse and children to be financially dependent.

Paternity – Paternity can be established in a variety of ways other than simply pushing for a DNA test.  Even so, there are times when there may be difficulties in getting a DNA test because the other party refuses to allow it. Such situations call for good legal counsel and a lawyer will be needed in the process.

Adoption and the Rights of an Adopted Child – The adoption process is usually just a series of legal hoops to jump through.  It is helpful to have a lawyer to make the process go smoother and faster.  However, there are times when issues can arise complicating the adoption.  This depends on the type of adoption and whether all parties are in agreement or not.

These are just some of the different legal problems a family law attorney can help you with.  Be sure that the attorney you are getting is an expert and is extensively experienced in handling cases like these.

Family Law Lawyers and Attorneys

Family law is the broad term that refers to the areas of child custody, child support, visitation, spousal support, alimony, division of assets, dissolution, legal separation, prenuptial agreement, domestic violence, restraining orders, paternity, domestic partners, etc.  The complexity of these issues almost necessitate that a lawyer be retained to protect your rights, your parental custody and your financial stake.  In today’s ever changing world, family law does not always include divorce.  Child custody, parentage, domestic partnerships, restraining orders and other legal concerns can be addressed as well.


Going through a divorce or dissolution may be the most difficult emotional time in one’s life.  Fighting over children, income and property is traumatic enough, but doing so with someone you used to love and share a life with can make it unbearable.  Every divorce is different and it affects each person differently.  At Riley Khorram, we strive to listen to your story, to find out what your needs are and to help you accomplish your goals.

Legal Separation

Situations may exist where spouses or domestic partners wish to carry on their lives separately, but remain legally married.  Possibly for religious reasons, medical coverage or other legal technicalities.  If you are seeking a legal separation a detailed analysis needs to be done to determine the benefits and drawbacks.  At Riley Khorram, we will assist you in considering all the legal, financial and emotional ramifications of legal separation.

Juvenile Dependency

Juvenile dependency is the legal term that refers to the foster care court system.  When a parent is accused of abusing or neglecting their child, the county child protective services agency will file a petition under California Welfare and Institutions Code section 300.  The petition begins a court action where the accused parent will have an opportunity to defend him or herself.  If the petition is found to be true, that will lead to a disposition hearing where the court will order a case plan that the parent must comply with to reunify with their child.  If the parent is unable to reunify, the court must order the children into a permanent plan.

Step Parent Adoption and Child Custody

In a stepparent adoption, the rights of the non-custodial biological parents are terminated while the stepparent is given the same rights and responsibilities as the custodial biological parent.  This legal procedure is becoming more and more common in our changing society.  Navigating through a step parent adoption can raise complex issues such as: locating the non custodial parent, obtaining that parent’s agreement, what happens if the custodial biological parent dies or becomes incapacitated, etc.  At Riley Khorram we can assist you in first deciding if step parent adoption is right for your family and if so, help you in completion of the process.

Prenuptial Agreements

Also referred to as Premarital Agreements, Prenuptial Agreements establish the property rights and financial obligations of each party to a marriage in the event of a divorce.  It can be a powerful tool because a “prenup” can override California’s community property presumption.  The prenup can include numerous subjects like homeownership, a family business, and future spousal support.  Some things cannot be affected by a prenup, such as child custody and child support.  Unfortunately, half of all marriages in America end in divorce. So, although it’s not right for everyone, a prenuptial agreement should be considered for some.

Spousal Support/Alimony

When a couple legally separates or divorces, the court may order one partner to pay the other a certain amount of financial support each month.  This is referred to as spousal support, “partner support” or “alimony.”

Often after a divorce, one spouse has been out of the workforce a long period of time supporting the home so that the other spouse can get a degree and earn money for the family.  One of the purposes of spousal support is to bridge the gap in time that it takes for the non-working spouse to obtain employment or resources to meet his or her standard of living.

It is a common misconception that spousal support is part of every divorce settlement.  That is incorrect, only about 15% of marital settlement agreements include a spousal support order.  Since spousal support order can last decades, and unlike child support, courts have wide discretion in the amount they can order.  At Riley Khorram, we are proactive on spousal support issues upfront, so you can have peace of mind at the conclusion of the case.

Restraining Orders

A restraining order (also called a “protective order”) is a court order that can protect someone from being physically or sexually abused, threatened, stalked, or harassed.  We often think of them in the context of an intimate relationship, in which case it is referred to as a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO).  Abuse in the home not only affects the victims but in 30-60% of the homes in which domestic violence occurs, the children are abused as well.  Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.  Needless to say, domestic violence is a serious issue and needs to be addressed immediately.  Even if you cannot afford an attorney, there are numerous organizations in the community who can assist you in representing yourself in a restraining order proceeding.

Child Custody

Determining who will have custody of the children, and for how long, is one of the most important orders that a family law court will make.  Ideally, parents will cooperate and come to a mutual agreement on this very important issue.  However, the reality is that custody issues are often very contentious and can lead to emotional battles between the parents, with the children being caught in the crossfire.

Custody determinations also play a large role in the temporary and final child support order that the court makes.  For that reason and others, it is important to have knowledgeable representation from the beginning to address the child custody issue. At Riley Khorram, we will discuss with you your custody needs and develop a plan that is in you and your children’s best interest.

Child Support Family Lawyers

Child support is an ongoing, periodic payment made by one parent to the other parent for the financial benefit of their child.  It is borne out of a parent’s legal obligation to support his or her minor child.  The duty to pay child support exists regardless of gender, so a mother is required to pay support to a father just as a father must pay a mother. Where there is joint custody, a parent with a higher income may be required to pay the other custodial parent.

A child support order is often made at the conclusion of a family law case.  However, if the proper motion is filed, a temporary child support order can be made in the beginning of a case.  At Riley Khorram, we will assist you in getting up front child support orders so that your child or children do not suffer financially.