Family Lawyer in Pasadena, CA

When conflict arises in a family, it can be a painful and stressful experience for everyone involved. At Chang Mattern, LLP.,
we understand how uncomfortable and difficult it can be to seek legal help for matters that are so intensely private and personal.
If you choose our firm to represent you, we promise to treat your case with the utmost compassion, respect, and sensitivity.Families in Pasadena trust us to help them navigate through the most difficult time in their lives. We get to know our clients
and listen to their worries, goals, and hopes for the future. Whether you are considering filing for divorce, have child custody
issues, or have questions regarding any other domestic matter, we can develop a customized solution that brings you peace
of mind and puts you on a positive path forward.

Call us at 626.792.5888 to schedule a free consultation.

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Comprehensive Family Law Services

The divorce and family law attorneys at Chang Mattern, LLP., have an in-depth understanding and familiarity with the Pasadena
family court system and will guide you through the process every step of the way.

By using negotiation, mediation and/or litigation, we can help you achieve resolution on any family matter you may be facing,
including:

  • Filing for divorce (contested & uncontested)
  • Dividing marital property (assets, debts, and liabilities)
  • Determining a custody arrangement for your children
  • Establishing fair and reasonable child support or spousal support amounts
  • Seeking a protective order/restraining order in a domestic violence situation
  • Filing for adoption

Getting Divorced in California

The divorce process begins by filing a petition with the court requesting that your marriage is dissolved. California is a no-fault state,
which means you do not need to establish any wrongdoing on the part of your spouse in order to get divorced. Rather, you can just state
“irreconcilable differences” as grounds for filing.

Six-Month Waiting Period: The earliest a divorce can be granted in California is six months from the date
the petition is filed.

Summary Dissolution: A summary dissolution is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to get a
divorce in California but you must meet certain qualifications to qualify, including:

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  • your marriage lasted less than five years
  • you have no children
  • neither you or your spouse are seeking spousal support
  • you have less than $40,000 worth of community property

Uncontested Divorce: If you are not eligible for a summary dissolution but you and your spouse agree on all the issues, an uncontested
divorce is the next best thing. An amicable negotiation process most likely means you won’t have to endure court hearings, which
saves you time, money, and stress.

Contested Divorce: If you and your spouse cannot reach compromise on the terms of your divorce and its
related issues, then you are facing a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, a judge will make decisions for you.

There will be opportunities, however, to resolve your case without a judge’s interference. You can engage in mediation which
involves you and your spouse sitting down with a neutral mediator to attempt to hammer out your differences and reach compromise.
If you’re not interested in mediation, you will at least be required to attend a settlement conference before trial.

Financial Issues in a Divorce

In a divorce, you and your spouse must try to agree on how to divide your property and debts or ask a judge to do it for you.
According to California’s community property laws, all assets and debts that were acquired during your marriage equally belong
to both of you and are therefore subject to a 50/50 division in a divorce.

Community property may include

  • Joint bank accounts
  • vehicles
  • family residence
  • home furnishings
  • IRA’s, 401k’s and/or pension accounts
  • jewelry, collectibles
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To formulate a property settlement agreement, the following steps must be taken:

  • complete and exchange full and complete declarations of disclosure of all income, assets, and debts
  • identify which items are community property or separate property
  • determine fair market value for each item
  • allocate and divide

Alimony/Spousal Support

The court will consider granting alimony or spousal support when there is a disparity of income between spouses.
A judge will take many factors into consideration when determining a spousal support amount, such as:

  • financial need of spouse seeking support; the ability of the other spouse to pay spousal support
  • the length of the marriage
  • whether the career of a spouse was affected by unemployment, or by taking care of the children or home
  • income and the earning potential of both spouses

If you are seeking spousal support, we will vigorously advocate on your behalf to ensure that you and your family
have the financial security you need. Conversely, if you are being asked to provide spousal support, we will safeguard
against payments that are unreasonable and unfair.

Child Custody

When there are children involved in a divorce, the parents must establish a custody arrangement, visitation schedule, and
parenting plan to be submitted to the court for approval. If an agreement cannot be reached with your spouse, then a family
law judge will intervene and make decisions they feel are in the best interests of your children.

There are two different types of custody arrangements in California:

  • Legal custody: Granted to the parent/s who makes important decisions regarding the child’s healthcare, welfare, and education.
  • Physical custody: Granted to the parent who will house, feed, and care for the daily needs of the child. Visitation of parenting time can be granted to the non-custodial parent
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Family courts in California favor joint legal and physical custody unless one parent is deemed unfit.