Family Law
2024 What Does a Family Lawyer Do In California?

2024 What Does a Family Lawyer Do In California?

February 15, 2024

In California, a family lawyer practices family law, a broad field of law that encompasses many different family-related situations that could arise. Family lawyers tackle everything from divorce to child custody and domestic violence, as well as many other sources of familial legal strife that you may not be able to handle on your own. If you are dealing with this type of issue, a California family lawyer can provide you with invaluable legal assistance.


What Falls Under Family Law?

Family law refers to legal issues, rules, and regulations that are related to the family unit. Family legal matters tend to be emotional, painful, and, above all, stressful. It is important to have someone experienced with family law in your corner who can help you when times are especially tough. Some of these family situations may include:

  • Divorce: A divorce is a family law Ending a marriage is not easy, especially in California. You’ll have to deal with the mandatory six-month waiting period and, potentially, the difficulties of a contested divorce. A family lawyer can help facilitate the division of property, legal separation, and other factors that will impact your divorce.
  • Child Custody: Fighting a custody battle for your children can be a grueling experience. Having someone on your side who understands family law can be immeasurably helpful in the long run. You will need to address visitation rights and how to split custody. Those discussions can be emotionally tense. A family lawyer can be an unemotional mediator whose primary role is to protect your interests and those of your child.
  • Spousal Support: When filing for divorce in California, one spouse may request spousal support from the higher-earning spouse. A monthly alimony payment may be agreed upon by both parties as part of their settlement agreement or ordered by a judge. There is no set amount of alimony for every case. Many factors have to be considered before an alimony amount is decided upon for both temporary and long-term support.
  • Prenuptial Agreements: In order to protect your assets in the event of a possible divorce in the future, you may want to consider having your fiancé sign a prenuptial agreement before you are married. This document ensures that, in the event of a divorce, both parties receive what they have agreed to receive as per the agreement. This can be modified so both parties are satisfied. Prenups are useful when a divorce arises, especially if the divorce is contested.
  • Domestic Violence: Domestic violence cases fall under the domain of family law, and they are unfortunately common in California. Dealing with violence at the hands of someone you loved and trusted can be very difficult to accept. Having a family lawyer by your side can give you a much-needed confidant in times of trouble.

An experienced family lawyer is prepared to offer you guidance and counsel during your most daunting times. Family legal troubles are consuming and terrifying, and they often have life-altering implications. They can take a toll on your mental and emotional health, but a lawyer can handle your case and fight for your interests.


Q: How Much Does a Family Lawyer Cost in California?

A: The average cost of a family lawyer in California is around $300 per hour. That number is not a guarantee. Depending on the lawyer, it may be more or less. You must take into account the lawyer’s experience with family law cases, the specific details and complexities of your case, how long the court proceedings will last, and any expenses the lawyer may need to successfully argue your case.

Q: What Are the Advantages of a Prenuptial Agreement?

A: One of the advantages of a prenuptial agreement is that, in the event of a divorce, most of the assets are already divided as per the agreement signed by both parties. Prenups are a way to protect yourself in a worst-case scenario. They do not signify that you do not trust your fiancé or that you are not trusted by them if they initiate the prenup. If nothing else, a prenup can provide both spouses with peace of mind.

Q: Can You Represent Yourself in Family Court in California?

A: Yes, you can represent yourself in family court in California, as well as in all civil cases. You do not necessarily need to hire a lawyer in family court, but it can be immensely valuable to have someone in your corner who has a knowledge of family law and can guide you through the process. If you represent yourself, you are expected to have at least a basic knowledge of the law and the procedures that apply to your case.

Q: Can My Lawyer Represent Me in Court Without Me Being There in California?

A: It’s possible for your lawyer to represent you in court without you being there in California. If you file a “Request for Order” form or a “Notice of Trial” form in a timely manner, you do not have to attend a scheduled hearing or trial for certain types of trials. You can send your lawyer to represent you, and the same goes for the other party. If you or the other party is not in court, but your lawyers are, new decisions can be made in your absence. It is usually a wise idea to show up for yourself.

Reach Out to a Family Lawyer if You Need Help

Family law is a broad field of law. It includes everything that involves the family, from divorce proceedings to domestic violence disputes and everything in between. Family lawyers are empathetic, understanding individuals who devote their lives to helping families sort out their problems in their most vulnerable states.

At Edgar & Dow, we are prepared to help you deal with your family law case, whatever it may be. We can offer a sympathetic ear and sound legal advice for your situation. We understand how difficult it can be to fight against or for your family in court. Contact us to schedule a consultation as soon as you can.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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