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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.


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

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  • “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
  • “Great Dependency Lawyer”
    Great dependency lawyer. Was able to make strong arguments with very little information. Super sharp.
    - Previous Client
  • “Attorney With Compassion”
    Working with Tiffani Andrews Law office was a godsend. After struggling for a bit to get legal assistance, I found Brenda. She showed a great deal of empathy to me as I was unfamiliar with the California legal process, and had the need to get legal assistance as soon as possible for a divorce and child custody case. Her guidance and handoff to Stephanie could not have been more helpful and beneficial. I would recommend this office for all the obvious reasons, but also for their efficiency and clear value for the client. Tiffani Andrews Law has my complete trust.
    - Mary
  • “Amazing Experience!”
    Tiffany helped me through a very difficult custody battle, and she was very helpful and informative. She answered all of my questions and made me feel very comfortable. Tiffany truly knows what she is talking about... I would highly recommend her to anyone trying to get through a difficult custody battle, or anything else!
    - Previous Client
  • “Rock-star Attorney!!”
    I spoke with Tiffany on the phone for a short 15 consult and she helped me very much with my case. She was able to ask some great questions and provide great advice! Thank you very much :)
    - Celeste
  • “Got my life back, so awesome!”
    This lady knows her stuff! She is quick and on top of the case at hand. When we were waiting for my very late (now) ex to show up for court, she was furiously working and we got the case settled, done, over! She also tells it like it is. I learned so much from her and her very courteous staff. If I was freaking out a bit, they never lost their cool. Thank you so much for everything!
    - Lyn
  • “Guardianship”
    Ms. Andrews, 
    Has guided and helped me thru a very difficult guardianship. I can't express how much I appreciated her expertise as my attorney. Thank you, Ms. Tiffany Andrews.
    - Janet
  • “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

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