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Frequently Asked Questions about Family Law

Q: What is the legal definition of marriage?

A: Most states define marriage as a civil contract between a man and a woman to become husband and wife. The standard way to marry is to get a marriage license from a state-authorized official and participate in a formal civil or religious wedding ceremony. While most states will not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the laws regarding same-sex marriage continue to evolve. Contact an attorney at our firm to learn more about the marriage laws in our state.

Q: What are the legal effects of marriage?

A: There are several federal and state laws that benefit married couples. Some examples include the right to file joint income tax returns, create a family limited partnership (FLP) under federal tax laws, create a marital life estate trust, receive survivor benefits, receive a share of your deceased spouse's estate under intestate succession laws, and claim the estate tax marital deduction.

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According to the Office Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), of the 9.66 million cases in FY 2006 with child support orders being processed, 7.04 million contained medical support orders and 1.9 million were cases in which medical support was ordered and provided.

Pasadena Family Law Attorney

The Law Offices of Jesse A. Verdin in South Pasadena, California, provides a personal level of service that will help put you back in control of your divorce or family law dispute. I offer a free initial consultation to discuss your legal options and give you an honest assessment of your case based on my 18 years of experience in Southern California courtrooms.

Family Law - An Overview

Family law is the term applied to the laws and rules developed regarding family relationships. Family law rules define not only the relationships between members of a family but also between a family and society as a whole. More than any other area of the law, family law reflects the values society shares regarding how people who are related should treat each other. When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, the advice and assistance of a family law attorney, like those at Verdin Family Law in South Pasadena, California, often proves crucial to your understanding of the issues involved and your satisfaction with the ultimate outcome of your family law matter.

Typically, family law attorneys assist people in making and breaking family relationships. Specific areas of representation include marriage and relationship planning, divorce, paternity, child custody, and child support. Some family law attorneys also provide assistance in the area of adoption.

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Child Support

There are millions of divorced parents who pay or receive child support. Federal legislation and uniform state laws exist to make enforcement and collection of child support easier for America's single parents. Because every state uses its own guidelines for establishing child support and each has various methods to set support amounts and recover support when it is overdue, it is often important to consult with a family law attorney who is familiar with the child support guidelines and child support enforcement laws in your state. If you have questions about the child support laws in your state, the rules for child support collection and enforcement that apply to your particular situation, or the process to establish paternity, contact a family law attorney at our firm to schedule a consultation.

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Divorce

Deciding to pursue divorce is one of the most difficult and emotional decisions you will ever make, particularly if you have children. Divorce also involves financial matters that must be resolved and legal issues that must be addressed. A family law attorney at our firm can help you to understand the basic issues involved in divorce and to use a rational approach to the divorce process.

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Custody and Visitation

When parents divorce, it is important to learn about the child custody and visitation options that are available and the legal standards that apply. In many cases, divorcing couples can ultimately agree on custody and visitation issues without the need for a court order. When an agreement cannot be reached, knowledgeable advice and representation from a family law attorney can often make the difference.

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Marriage

Marriage is a voluntary, private contract between two adults. While it is a personal and emotional commitment, it is also a legal relationship that changes the legal status of both parties. A family law attorney at our firm can help you to understand the legal technicalities of marriage.

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Family Law Resource Links

American Bar Association - Family Law Section
The ABA's Section of Family Law's Web site is designed for general use by the public. The Web site contains tables and summaries addressing differences in state laws and requirements for divorce, child support, and other important family law issues.

The Legal Information Institute - Family Law
The Legal Information Institute (LII) is known internationally as a leading provider of public legal information. The LII's Family Law section contains statutes, case law, and articles covering a variety of family law topics.

Office of Child Support Enforcement
The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) is the division of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) responsible for administering the Child Support Enforcement Program (CSE). The CSE is a federal/state/local partnership to help families by promoting family self-sufficiency and child well-being. The CSE offers services related to locating non-custodial parents, establishing paternity, establishing support orders, and collecting support payments. The CSE also offers services for non-custodial parents.

Child Welfare Information Gateway
Formerly the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (NAIC), the Child Welfare Information Gateway provides access to information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.

Children's Rights Council
A nonprofit devoted to helping kids experience the frequent, meaningful, and continuing contact with two parents and extended family that a child would normally have during a marriage.

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Family Law Info Center

Law Office of Jesse A. Verdin
1605 Hope Street
Suite 360
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Phone: 626-799-0104
Phone: 626-799-0104
Fax: 626-799-0449

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