Murrieta Family Lawyer


Navigate Sensitive Family Law Matters with Our Help

Family members are the ones that we expect to count on, to share love with, and to be there when we need them. While all families face disagreements, some obstacles can have far more devastating impacts than a couple of rough days. Whether your family is facing divorce, separation, or an instance of violence, knowing your legal rights and opportunities can help you and any children you may have through the legal process and on your way to a healthier, happier life.

At the Edgar & Dow, we are committed to helping you through your unique family situation by listening to your needs and working with you to reach your desired outcome. We are a part of your team and work with you by involving you in the decision-making process for your case.

When it comes to your family, there is no time to spare. Call our Temecula office at 888-251-9618 today to schedule a free consultation!

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Family Law

When people think of family law, they tend to focus on the dissolution of marriage, such as separation or divorce. However, family law is a broad area of practice that covers a multitude of situations that families could face. These include:

  • Divorce
  • Separation
  • Domestic Violence
  • Custody
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Domestic Partnerships

This list provides a sample of the types of cases that family law encompasses, none of which are easy on any family. With the knowledge and expertise of our attorneys, you will get the support you need no matter what situation you face.

Request for Order

Disagreements among couples in Murrieta, CA happen. Many of these situations do not end with an agreement from either spouse. Couples who face child custody discrepancies, are seeking spousal support, or are deciding how to appropriately divide property can get into intense arguments as both sides are seeking what is best for themselves. A request for order is a motion filed with a court that assists disagreeing couples in these important decisions. One party will file a request for order to ask a judge to issue an order on an area of disagreement, such as child support.

Contested, Uncontested, and Collaborative Divorces

California offers couples several types of marital dissolution that are either contested or uncontested. Uncontested divorces occur when the couple can agree to all the terms of the divorce without the need for litigation in front of a judge. Because these types of divorces are settled more quickly and are often less costly, they are the more favorable approach for all parties involved.

However, not all divorces filed as uncontested remain that way. Often, disagreements between the couple grow. Angry arguments can follow, leaving both parties stuck at an impasse. In this situation, an uncontested divorce can soon turn into a contested divorce that would require further legal avenues, including court involvement.

Contested divorces also occur when the couple is unable to reach an agreement from the onset or when one party does not agree to divorce and seeks to stay together.

A third type of divorce is known as a collaborative divorce. While there are greater levels of support to work through the details, collaborative divorces are often expensive. These types of divorces involve both parties, their attorneys, accountants, childcare specialists, and even real estate agents. Because there is so much involvement, these divorces can cost between $25,000 and $50,000.

If a couple seeks a summary dissolution, a form of uncontested divorce, there are minimum requirements that must be met. These include:

  • The couple has been married for less than five years.
  • There are no minor children involved.
  • There are limited assets and debts.
  • There must be mutual agreement and a signature on a spousal support waiver.

Child Custody

In any marriage dissolution that involves children, one of the priorities should be the welfare and best interests of the minors involved. Often, an agreement between parents on the living situation for the child is difficult to reach as both parents will want to have custody of the child. In any custody dispute, the parties involved and the court will want to ensure that the child is in a safe and stable situation. Whether you are facing a contested or uncontested divorce, child custody litigation can be cumbersome and difficult without the help of an attorney to guide you through the process.

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Child Support

In addition to determining the best living arrangements for the child, family law also involves deciding how the childcare expenses will be divided between the spouses in the form of child support. No matter the income of both parents, the cost of raising the child is considered along with which home is best for primary care. No matter if you are the “breadwinning” spouse or not, child support is something that both parties could face. Because support lasts until the child’s 18th birthday, it is important that both spouses understand the obligations and the agreements to protect the needs of the child until that time.

If you are already in a child custody agreement, modifications or challenges to that agreement would need to be petitioned through the legal system. This also includes bringing a spouse who fails to pay support to court for restitution payments.

Spousal Support and Alimony

When a couple marries, they agree to invest not only their emotional lives with each other but also their financial lives. This includes decisions on jobs and spending based on the income they agree to. In couples where one spouse has a higher source of income than the other, they may be obligated to pay spousal support to the other for a predetermined amount of time or in perpetuity. This could come as a lump sum or ongoing payments, as agreed upon by both parties or as directed by the court.

As with child support, once an agreement is reached, spouses will need the intervention of the legal system to modify, cancel, or challenge the already existing agreement.

Domestic Violence

Many assume that domestic violence is reserved for the criminal legal system, but it also is a part of family law. While charges can be filed for battery or assault in criminal court, domestic violence also plays a role in divorce, child custody, and spousal support decisions. However, navigating issues of domestic violence can be difficult because accusations could be falsified or difficult to prove.

Anytime an issue of domestic violence is raised, it is vital not to assume falsity or discredit the victim, as they may be experiencing something very real and terrifying.

Restraining Orders and Protective Orders

Often the result of physical or emotional domestic violence, restraining and protective orders can be filed against another family member when one feels fearful of another because of harassment or abuse. Filing the order does not guarantee that it will be imposed, but there is often a temporary order placed while working through the details for a more permanent solution.

Restraining and protective orders can play a role in the decisions surrounding couples that are separating as well. If you are filing for an order or have been served one, it could impact child custody and support or any potential spousal support that may be awarded.

Motions for Contempt

Family law matters are difficult from the onset because of the impact they have on the families involved. However, they can become more difficult when one spouse is trying to move the process forward and the other spouse fails to respond or intentionally tries to prolong the process. In these cases, motions of contempt can be filed to try and force the uncooperative spouse to work towards a resolution of the case.

Modifications of Orders

Anytime a spouse wishes to update an established court order that is centered on child support, child custody, or spousal support, a modification order must be granted from the court. Couples can collaborate with each other to make these modifications, but it still needs to be processed through the legal system to ensure the protections of the orders for either party. While modifications may be made under amicable terms, any further disagreements or issues that arise could see these modifications used in vindictive or retaliatory ways.


Knowing the father of a child may seem obvious, but establishing it legally is not always so simple. While there may be situations where a person feels that it is unnecessary to establish paternity, the benefits for the child are far more significant. When the father is legally identified, the child has access to not only vital family health history but also benefits from the father, including potential insurance, military benefits, and retirement and pension benefits, among others. In addition, the father may be required to pay child support where he otherwise would not.

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Anytime family law matters can be settled outside of court, all the parties involved will benefit from the savings of time and money. Often, this involves the process of mediation, in which both parties try to reach an agreement on the issues at hand. These can include division of property, child support, child custody, or spousal support. If both parties can reach an agreement, then litigation in front of a judge may not be necessary.

Parent Timesharing

Under parental timesharing agreements, parents will establish the percentage of custodial time each is entitled to with any minor children that they share. This agreement can include arrangements for sharing holiday visits as well as full, partial, or joint custody.


Q: What Does the Average Divorce Cost in California?

A: A divorce in California will cost a minimum of $435 for the filing fee. From there, costs can grow exponentially. Depending on the amount of time the divorce takes, the cost of an attorney, and any other fees that are associated with the process, it could total in the hundreds of thousands. However, the average cost is around $17,000.

Q: What Is the Average Retainer Fee for a Divorce Lawyer in California?

A: The average retainer for a divorce attorney is between $3000 and $5000. Generally charged against the retainer, services for divorce attorneys bill between $300 and $400 per hour depending on the type of divorce that is filed. If a divorce is contested, it will generally cost more, while an uncontested divorce moves more quickly and is closer to the lower end of the fees.

Q: How Much Is a Family Lawyer in California?

A: Because each situation is unique, and every case deserves customized attention, each case will cost something different. An attorney will base their rates on the amount of time they spend working on your case. Generally speaking, a family law attorney will bill around $350 per hour. The total cost of your family law case will include those fees as well as any filing or court fees that are associated with your case.

Q: What Does a Family Lawyer Do?

A: Family law attorneys work to protect your rights during cases of conflict between family members. They work in your best interests to reach the outcome that you desire. They help guide you through the complicated California family law system and the filings that you should make. A good family law attorney will work with you and make suggestions that are in your best interests.

Family Law Attorney

At the Edgar & Dow, our attorneys work for you. They understand the delicate nature of any litigation that involves family and work to protect you in the process. Litigation in any family can be emotional and difficult, but with a trusted family law attorney by your side, you can stay focused on the details that matter. Our attorneys are here to answer the questions that you have. We recognize that every case is unique, and so we treat your case independently of any others that we handle. We focus on the law, your rights, and the desired outcome that you seek. We support you through every step of the process and make sure that you know you are part of a team that faces all aspects of your case as such.

Whether you need advice on the process you should take, help with filing and navigating the legal process, or just need information, contact our offices today for a free consultation.

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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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