In California, the adoption process is comprised of two key legal proceedings:
1. Establishing a legal parent and child relationship between the child and the non-biological parent, or parents
2. Terminating the legal rights of one or more biological-birth parents It’s important to realized that the adoption laws for both step-parent and independent adoption are complicated and best handled by an experienced adoption lawyer.
A child custody order allows you to make important educational and medical decisions regarding your child as well as determines whether you will share in joint physical custody with your child’s other parent or if one parent will have sole physical custody custody of the child. A child custody order may provide a pathway for immigrant children to obtain special immigrant juvenile status who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by one or both of their parents with whom reunification is not possible.
In certain situations, a parent may obtain an “emergency” custody order. These emergency orders are called ex parte orders. However, the circumstances in which ex parte orders granting or modifying custody orders are limited. Under California Family Code §3064, the court is prohibited from both granting or modifying a custody order on an ex parte basis unless there has been a showing of an immediate harm to the child or an immediate risk that the child will be removed from the State of California. For the purposes of an ex parte child custody request, circumstances involving “immediate harm to the child” include both domestic violence and sexual abuse of the child.
Child support must be for the benefit of the child and allows the child to have the same standard of living while living in the homes of both parents as well as pays for the child’s necessary living expenses.
CHILD CUSTODY, SUPPORT, AND VISITATION MODIFICATION
In California, it is possible to establish parentage by securing an official parentage judgment or a court order that states the legal parents of the child. A parentage judgment is required before a court will order custody, visitation, or child support payments.
In legal terms, a divorce is a legal decree entered by a judge that formally ends a marriage before you or your spouse’s death. Once a divorce is finalized, you and your ex-spouse are no longer legally bound to one another and are able to remarry or enter into a domestic partnership with another individual.
SPOUSAL AND DOMESTIC SUPPORT
When a marriage or domestic partnership ends, the court may award spousal or domestic support long enough or until the supported party becomes self-supporting.
People can legally change their name for any number of reasons so long as the reason for doing so is not for purposes of committing fraud, hiding from law enforcement or another illegal reason.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER
An individual can seek a domestic violence restraining order against his or her (1) spouse or former spouse, (2) cohabitant or former cohabitant, (3) a person with whom he or she is having, or has had, a dating or engagement relationship, (4) a person with whom he or she has had a child, or (5) close relative such as a child, sibling, parent, in-law or grandparent.