San Diego Family Law Attorneys
The Family Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider, APC Provide Experienced, Compassionate Representation
Our attorneys at BLSAPC are certified family law specialists. We’re here to help you through these most challenging times, empowering you to make the best possible decisions for you and your family, emotionally, financially and legally. Our attorneys have a combined expertise of over 200 years in family law.
We have experienced attorneys that have helped countless families in when it comes to family law-related issues such as annulments, cohabitation agreements, post-nuptial and prenuptial agreements, legal separation agreements, same-sex partnership, domestic violence, mediation, paternity, child custody and visitation, divorce lawyer, child support, property distribution, prenuptial agreements, high asset divorces, and spousal support. We can help you navigate even the most complex legal issues related to family law.
Not only are our attorneys very knowledgeable and experienced, but they are also very hardworking and approachable. In the San Diego area, we are known for our expertise and integrity. Here are some of the family law areas that our firm specializes in:
In California, divorces are always considered “no fault divorce.” That means that no reason has to be given for the dissolution of the marriage and fault is not considered when dividing assets or determining spousal support. To establish residence in California, one of the divorcing parties must have lived in California for at least 6 months prior to filing for divorce. The petitioner must have also lived in the specific county where the divorce is being filed for at least 3 months.
California is considered a “community property” state, which means that all assets acquired during the marriage are considered shared property between the two parties. This can make divorce exceptionally complex, especially in high net worth divorce cases. Our attorneys have special expertise in handling these types of financially complex divorces.
Child Custody & Child Visitation
Establishing child custody and visitation in a California divorce can be one of the most legally and emotionally challenging aspects of family law. When establishing child custody, there are two main components that have to be decided: 1.) Legal custody, which means who makes important decisions for your child, such as schooling, religious upbringing and health decisions; and 2.) Physical custody, which is where the child lives, how long and how often visitation may occur, etc.
Joint or sole legal or physical custody may be granted to both or either parents depending on the parents’ agreement or the input of a family court judge according to the “best interests of the child” if the parents are not able to agree. A detailed visitation schedule, supervised visitation or no visitation granted will also be determined during the divorce process. Having the best possible legal representation helps ensure the healthiest outcome for children of divorce.
Depending on the circumstances of a divorce in California, the court may award permanent or temporary spousal support or alimony. The judge will take many factors into consideration, including the earning potential of each spouse, contributions to the marriage, financial support for education or training, duration of the marriage, assets/income and any other contributing factors.
Establishing paternity is critical for determining financial responsibility for a child and also to establish parental rights. By having both parents on a child’s birth certificate, the child is able to inherit from either parent, receive social security or veteran’s benefits (if applicable), be provided health insurance and of course child support. Paternity is also important for documenting a child’s hereditary health history. If a child is not born into a marital relationship, genetic testing may be necessary to formally establish paternity. Our attorneys at BLSAPC have lengthy experience in paternity cases and can provide expert counsel in paternity cases.
Determining child support under California law involves a number of factors, including the income of each parent, the age of the children, whether physical custody is joint or solely granted to one parent, as well as health insurance and other expenses that are necessary for the care of the child.
Same-sex divorce can be complex in California, as some of the laws have not yet caught up to the realities of same-sex marriage. For example, in a same-sex marriage, the partner who bore the child is automatically considered a legal parent, yet the other spouse doesn’t have any formal parenting rights over a child unless the couple already went through the process of legally establishing parentage. If a parent is not legally recognized as a mother or father, this will be one of the many issues that will have to be determined in court.
Financial issues may also be more complex for same-sex couples, such a dividing retirement assets or obtaining access to account records or employment information. While legal protection exists under California law for same-sex couples, the practical aspects of ensuring a fair divorce requires experienced legal counsel, specfic the legalities of same-sex divorce.
High Net Worth
At BLSAPC, our attorneys have in-depth experience in helping high net worth clients navigate the complexities of divorce where there are significant assets to divide. The stakes for these types of divorce can be high and have far-reaching implications for each spouse as well as any children involved.
California is a community property state; however assets held by each party prior to the marriage are considered separate assets. It’s essential to have expert counsel in dividing separate and community assets, as well as getting accurate valuations of business, investments, real estate, intellectual property and other valuable resources.
Our litigators are expert in helping clients through the mediation process. Mediation can be one way to help both parties reach an acceptable agreement without the cost, complexity and time of a formal court hearing. The mediator is impartial and helps facilitate the negotiation process. Even if all issues are not resolved, meditation can help expedite the divorce process by expediting agreement on some of the key issues that need to be addressed.
Mediation can also be an effective way to handle post-divorce conflict as issues arise, without the expense and time needed to go to court. Mediation may help you save money in legal fees; however there’s no guarantee it will result in an agreement. A judge may also order parents to participate in mediation if they’ve not been able to reach a custody agreement for minors.
At BLSAPC, our attorneys are specially trained in collaborative divorce law. In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse hire collaborative divorce lawyers to help negotiate a formal divorce agreement to reach a legal settlement. Expert advisors may still be brought into the process, including finance specialists, accountants or child custody experts. Having a collaborative divorce allows a resolution without having to go to court. However, if an agreement isn’t reached, a formal court hearing would still be necessary.
We Place a High Priority On Accolades and Experience in San Diego Family Law and Divorce
Our roots can be traced back to the moment in which Beatrice Larsson Snider was proudly admitted to California’s State Bar. By 1980, Ms. Snider became a Certified Family Law Specialist and this was the first year in which the State Bar Of California made such certification available. At that time, Ms. Snider was one of the only twelve attorneys who earned such certification. In 1985, Christine Hayes Sickler joined the firm, and she also became a Certified Family Law specialist by 1991. Shortly thereafter, she became one of the shareholders of the firm.
By 2014, Ed Castro became a partner at the BLS, Family Law Firm. By 2016, Stephen R. Murphy joined the partnership. With so many high-profile and talented attorneys, we are among the largest firms in California that are exclusively dedicated to family law. Such an achievement could never have been possible without the help of our experienced attorneys, administrative staff and paralegal staff.
The firm embodies a team approach when it comes to providing the highest level of service for our clients. Also, we place a high priority on client communication and cost-efficiency. Our attorneys know very well that clients would resolve legal matters in a civil and friendly way. Our attorneys strive to negotiate a fair settlement whenever possible. In most cases, our cases are resolved without a costly trial. We always strive for a stress-free resolution not only for our clients but also for all parties involved. On the other hand, our attorneys know that there are certain cases that cannot be settled. In such instances, our attorneys are more than willing and fully able to litigate complex legal issues involving financial, property, support, and custody issues.
Contact Our San Diego Family Law Attorneys and Divorce Lawyers
Our office is located in a three-story brick building in a quiet location within Scripps Ranch, a few miles west of the Interstate 15. Our firm is strategically located to be near the San Diego court and away from the congestion of downtown San Diego. An ideal place especially for clients that are going through a challenging time. Aside from the legal help, our firm goes beyond the call of duty when it comes to providing a comfortable environment and the highest level of legal representation when it comes to one of the most important aspects of a person’s life, your family.
When it comes to your options, it’s in your best interest to review your choices and only put your trust in a firm that has your best interest at heart.
In addition to serving clients in San Diego, we proudly represent clients in the communities of Coronado, La Jolla, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, and Rancho Santa Fe.