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Family Law FAQ

Family Law FAQ

Answers from Our Folsom Family Lawyers

Navigating a complex family matter is stressful enough – when you add in the legal components, it can be extremely overwhelming. If you are feeling in over your head, rest assured that the Law Office of Tiffany L. Andrews, P.C. is here to help. Below, we have answered some common questions about family law, divorce, child welfare law, and estate planning. We hope you will find this information useful as you progress through your case.

If you still have questions after reading our FAQ, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Reach out online or at (916) 794-4576.

Divorce

What is the difference between a divorce and a dissolution?

There is no difference, as these words are used interchangeably and mean the same thing.

What does the word equalization mean in the context of a divorce or legal separation?

It means to ensure each spouse is taking a similar amount of community property and debt, i.e. if Wife is getting $5000 in community property items and Husband is taking $0, then Wife would owe Husband an “equalizing” payment of $2500 to ensure each spouse takes the same value of the community at the end of the divorce or separation. The same is true for debt.

Is the law the same in cases in family law as it relates to children in the child welfare law system?

No, absolutely not. Cases that are brought within the context of a parentage case, legal separation, and/or dissolution are governed by the California Family Code. Cases in the child welfare law system, i.e. juvenile dependency cases, are governed by the California Welfare and Institutions Code.

What can I do if my judgment did not address a piece of community property in my divorce?

The law in California permits a party or parties to return to court to dispose of any property that is considered to be omitted from the prior division of assets. The omitted asset would be equally divided, if it is deemed community property, UNLESS the parties agree to otherwise.

Isn’t having a team of collaborative professionals going to be more expensive than just hiring an attorney for my divorce?

Typically no, as cases that are left unresolved and require a judge to make a decision have to go to an evidentiary hearing. Having an evidentiary hearing can be very expensive for a client far beyond any team of professionals depending on how complex the issues in dispute are.

Child Welfare Law

Can I change a court order I got relating to my children from juvenile dependency proceedings, i.e. cases involving Child Protective Services?

It depends. Orders from a child welfare law case where dependency has been terminated with specific court orders in place are considered final custody orders. To modify these types of orders, the person seeking the modification will need to establish that there has been a significant change in circumstance since the prior orders were made and that the newly requested orders would be in the child’s best interest.

Estate Planning

What’s in an estate plan?

An estate plan normally consists of four main documents: A trust, a will, a Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Management (DPA), and an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD). A will and trust plan are for after death, and the DPA and AHCD plan are for during life. Every person over the age of 18 should have most – if not all – of these documents in place to plan for the unexpected.

What is the difference between and will and a trust?

Both documents distribute property after a person’s death. However, a trust is considered a probate avoidance tool. A will by itself does not avoid probate.

Why should I get a trust?

The main purpose of a trust is to avoid probate. Probate is a very lengthy, very expensive court process where the courts will supervise the distribution of a person’s estate. This process can take anywhere from 9-18 months to complete, and costs thousands of dollars that are paid from the estate. In California, probate is triggered when a person has assets in their name that value over $150,000. This means that if you own your own home, this asset will likely trigger probate. Placing assets like your home, financial accounts, and other valuable personal property in a trust will prevent probate from occurring. This means your beneficiaries will receive their inheritances much faster, and it will not be diminished by the cost of probate

Meet The Team

We Understand the Importance of Trust in the Family Law Attorney-Client Relationship
  • “I feel blessed to have Ms. Andrews on my side, and I highly recommend her services!”

    After the initial shock of being served divorce papers, I began interviewing attorneys to help me with the legal proceedings. The first couple of attorneys focused on how to address the support and division of property issues included in the papers I was served, without really asking me about my interests in this matter.

    After meeting with Ms. Andrews, and ever since that initial interview and consultation, I always felt she had my best interests in mind. She immediately explained what I needed to file and when what to expect going forward and then asked me about my interests. Wow! She was exactly the kind of attorney I was looking for to represent me.

    She was always responsive to my questions and requests, no matter how basic, and got back to me in a timely manner… at times outside normal work hours. But, the biggest and most pleasant surprise to me was when she began educating and guiding me through every step in order to achieve my interests and goals -– mainly, my number one priority and “my everything” in this whole process: to retain shared custody and visitation rights with my children. Her guidance and recommendations put me at ease and really helped put my children first.

    Her knowledge, honesty, and dedication through numerous and unexpected court hearings involving custody and visitation issues not only resulted in the resolution of such issues in a competent and efficient manner but a resolution that Ms. Andrews knew I wanted.

    Not only is Ms. Andrews reliable, helpful and an overall amazing attorney, her office staff is also very courteous, professional and efficient in keeping me apprised of what was needed and the status of the case. Thank you so much, Ms. Andrews… and staff!!

    - Carlos
  • “Protected My Interests”
    Tiffany has been dealing with my divorce for going on 3 years. Just wrapped up last week. Unfortunately, that's how long my divorce took. But she stuck by and fought for me even though the divorce laws are skewed to basically screw me. In the end, we were able to get a final judgment that I was comfortable with. She was always reachable and responded timely. All in all, she is a great lawyer who will do what's in your best interest.
    - Rob
  • “Great Job!”
    Tiffany did a wonderful job of representing me during my divorce proceedings. She truly understood my circumstances and was highly encouraging.
    - Previous Client
  • “Kindness and Generosity”
    I can not thank me Andrews and her team enough for the kindness and generosity they showed me throughout one of the most difficult things I’ve had to deal with in my life. My head was spinning after months of googling and weighing my options while searching for a lawyer to handle my case. I imagine like most in the working class you may be afraid that you will make the mistake and hire the wrong lawyer. Wasting all your funds and end up no better off than you were. This was not the case with Tiffany and her team. I made the stupid mistake of going to the first part of my divorce custody case of going at it alone my case was very clear and I trusted the justice system to do what was right. This was not the scenario I faced. The opposition lawyer was able to manipulate everything and knew loopholes that the average person wouldn’t even believe was something that could happen in a court room. I can not stress enough it does not matter what is right and what is wrong you need a lawyer to protect yourself. As far as I’m concerned Tiffany and her team are mericle workers. I went into this thinking “oh great I’m going to be manipulated out of more and more money and I’m going to end up where I started anyway” following Tiffany’s advice I ended up being able to protect myself. From the moment I retained ms Andrews she was there for me literally day and night. I had many questions and issues throughout my case and though I don’t suggest anyone bothering her after business hours there were a few times I felt I needed to contact her and received a response very shortly after. These responses were often reassuring that she had things under control. This is a huge factor for me. Also she was very knowledgeable and always represented herself and myself in good light. I did not want to be vicious and aggressive and she managed to be assertive without being over the top. She was very respectful and I never had the feeling hat things were over my head. She always took the time to explained things to me in a way that I could understand and make well informed decisions. I would and will recommend me Andrews and her team to anyone looking for the best.
    - Brian
  • “Highly Recommend this Law Firm”
    Extremely knowledgeable of the family law issues confronting me. Highly motivated to assist and involve me in the process so there are no surprises. So far I am satisfied with the process and would highly recommend this law firm to take care of your legal issues.
    - Jack
  • “Kind and Professional”
    Tiffany Andrews is very kind, understanding and extremely professional. I was certainly grateful to have her by my side through the entire court process (child custody). Not only is she remarkably knowledgable, she goes above and beyond for you; which is why I always go to her regarding any questions I may have. I would highly recommend Tiffany!
    - Satbir
  • “Great Law Firm.”
    Great Law Firm. They were professional and very caring to my situation. Would highly recommend this Law Firm.
    - Gabriel
  • “Effective and Professional Representation”
    When an already difficult case took an unexpected turn, my Family Law attorney suggested another member of her team take on this new aspect of my case. As the issues of the case unfolded I was very relieved that Tiffany had been brought on to handle this troubling matter. Her professional confidence provided a sense of security while her familiarity with the complex issues kept me reassured. I am extremely happy with the final outcome of the issue and would confidently recommend Ms. Andrews for quality representation.
    - George

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