Specializing in Family (Divorce), Criminal and Immigration Law

MedinaLaw.org - Family Law (Divorce)

Family Law (Divorce)


When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, the advice and assistance of an experienced family law attorney often proves crucial to your understanding of the issues involved and your satisfaction with the ultimate outcome of the family-related concern you face. Attorney Jose Medina can help to guide you through the process of separation.

Divorce is a difficult process. In additional to the stress and emotional turmoil, the legal system can be forbidding and inaccessible. Attorney Jose Medina has worked out to put together the following online resources for your review. If you have questions about your legal situation, please contact our office.


To provide our clients thorough and effective representation to protect their rights and interest in negotiating and litigating family law and domestic law matters.

1. To resolve mattes in the least litigious and most cost effective manner when possible.

2. To take an aggressive yet professional stand as our client’s advocate when litigation becomes inevitable.


Attorney Jose Medina offers you the benefit of over 30 years of experience. As your personal legal counsel, we assure you we will never lose sight of your welfare and that of your children.

Contested divorce: California law

A contested divorce is one where a couple does not initially agree on the terms of the divorce. There may be complicating issues such as a custody dispute, domestic restraining orders, or a business valuation, that need to be resolved. Complex and aggressive negotiations may be required in order to reach a resolution, and in extreme cases a decision may only be reached through a divorce trial.

At Law Offices of Jose Medina, we will work closely with you to find the most appropriate solution for your unique situation. During the process, our attorneys will aggressively protect your financial interests and your child's right to an appropriate child custody and visitation arrangement.

Uncontested divorce: California law

In California divorce is considered "no fault," making it relatively easy to obtain a divorce from the court using the concept of "irreconcilable differences." In an uncontested divorce, the spouses have already agreed to split and have decided on the terms of their divorce, settling such matters as child custody, spousal support, how to divide assets and debts, and other issues related to their marriage.

In an uncontested divorce, an experienced divorce lawyer can provide a valuable service, reviewing your terms to ensure you have covered all the necessary points, then drafting the agreement and helping finalize the divorce on your behalf. It is important to speak with a lawyer as early as possible in the process.

Child Custody

Physical custody, legal custody — what do they involve?

The court is required to see that both parents have the opportunity to maintain a strong relationship with a child unless one parent is unfit.

Child Custody:

Joint legal custody: California law favors an arrangement where parents share legal custody of a child. Joint legal custody means that both parents cooperate in major parenting decisions, those that involve, for example, religion, major medical care, and education.

Sole legal custody: Our attorneys have seen cases where the court granted one parent sole decision-making authority in a custody decree, most often when the non-custodial parent is absent or unfit.

Joint physical custody: Joint physical custody describes a wide range of arrangements for residence and visitation and rarely means that a child spends exactly 50% of his or her time with each parent. Our lawyers will be happy to discuss benefits and options afforded by creative custody agreement.

Sole physical custody: If your ex is a danger to your child or in some other way unfit to have visitation privileges, Attorney Jose Medina will petition for full physical custody with limited visitation.

Parenting Plans: Custody and Visitation

Developing a parenting plan (custody and visitation) can be a stressful matter. Child custody and
property division are two issues which are often contested in a divorce or legal separation action.
Experience has shown that when couples work out a parenting plan by agreeing on what is best
for the children and takes into account everyone's scheduled activities, it will prove more
workable for both parents and children. Parenting plans generally have to be very detailed in
order to avoid later misunderstandings.

Children who enjoy a loving and constant relationship with their parents are more likely to
mature into stable, independent and loving adults. The family law court encourages custody and
visitation agreements which nurture a strong bond between the child and both parents and prefers
to see parents agree to share physical and legal custody where possible. Legal custody concerns
the making of the important decisions concerning health care, education and religious training.
Physical custody is concerned with the child's primary residence and primary care giver. Our firm
offers our clients guidance in developing a parenting plan which will meet the requirements of
the court as well as the needs of children and parents. A child custody lawyer at our firm is
prepared to work with you to help you protect the best interest of your child.

With the goal of keeping children as protected as possible from the emotional stresses of the
initial separation between the parents and in life after the final decree, for parents who cannot
reach an agreement on visitation, physical custody or legal custody on their own, mediation is
available. Where agreement on custody is not possible, a divorce lawyer at our firm is ready to
fight aggressively in court when this is the option that is determined to best serve your interests
and objectives.

Article of Helping Children Cope with Divorce

Spousal Support (Alimony)

Is the money that a court may order one spouse to pay to the other following a separation or divorce. California Family Law Code outlines numerous considerations to be weighed when determining spousal support. An experienced California divorce attorney can help to clarify these issues and review your options.

Spousal Support is designed to ensure that each person has adequate income to survive after the divorce and to acknowledge that the spouses have helped each other in their education and careers throughout the marriage. Spousal support in Los Angeles California is also designed to help both partners make a smooth transition from being married into the single life.

When ordering spousal support the court takes into consideration a number of factors including:

The duration of the marriage;

Age and health of both partners;

Whether there are minor children at home;

Their capacity to earn income or learn a new skill;

The expenses that will be required to maintain the same standard of living as when they were married.

California Family Law Code outlines numerous considerations to be weighed when determining spousal support in Los Angeles. An experienced California divorce attorney can help to clarify these issues and review your options.

You can ask for spousal or partner support to be paid while your case is going on. This is called a "temporary spousal support order" or a "temporary partner support order.

Spousal support is usually established for a fixed period of time because the courts and judges are reluctant to make life time rulings for the payment of spousal support because it is seen as a transitional allowance and not permanent support. One rule of thumb that is applied in many cases is to allow for the payment of spousal support for a period equal to about half of the time that a couple was married. Spousal support only ends after the period of time that has been determined by the court has elapsed or when one of the spouses dies. It can also end when the person receiving the support gets married again.

Either party can reapply to the court to have the terms of the spousal support order changed if their personal situation changes. If the paying spouse gets seriously ill or loses their job then they may make application to the court. If on the other hand the receiving spouse needs additional support for a variety of circumstances then they too can ask for a change in the spousal support order.

Spousal support payments are usually tax deductible for the person paying support, and are usually considered taxable income for the person receiving the support payments.

If there is any dispute or disagreement about support payments or if the person paying support payments fails to do so fully or within the time period specified, the court will assist the person entitled to receive the payments to collect any support owed. A judge will issue a court order demanding payment on their behalf and can order that the delinquent spouse’s assets be seized or their wages attached in order to satisfy these debts.
If you have any questions about spousal support in the state of California, please contact our office today.

Community Property

As to property and debt distribution each matter receives methodical attention to detail and a cost effective analysis with the goal of a fair and equitable judgment. With sensitivity to the emotions always present in domestic matters, each client is given individual attention and straight forward answers to their questions.