San Diego Family Law Firm
Resolving Southern Californians’ Divorce and Child Support Needs
The Law Office of Andy Cook is a San Diego Family Law Firm. With an emphasis on settling matters effectively, our law firm is positioned to address the growing needs of families in the San Diego County region of southern California. Whatever the cause of your family dilemma or child-related dispute, our firm is trained to resolve each property division, child visitation arrangement, or spousal support plan according to your rights, needs and expectations.
Settlement when Possible, Trial when Necessary
The Law Offices of Andy Cook is a settlement-oriented law firm from day one. Out of court settlement is always in the forefront of our lawyers’ minds from the start of your divorce case or family law dispute. We want to resolve your case effectively and efficiently, but always in your and your loved ones’ best interests. When the case calls for resolution by trial, you will find an experienced trial lawyer with the skill and tenacity to represent your interests in court.
Separation and Divorce
California is a “no fault” divorce state, which means that you only have to state you and your spouse or domestic partner have irreconcilable differences. In other words, you don”t have to prove your spouse or domestic partner did anything wrong. The Law Office of Andy Cook supports you every step of the way by providing expertise related to family law matter.
The State of California requires that either you or your spouse must have lived in California for six months, including three months in the county in which you wish to file.
There is no absolute right to spousal maintenance (alimony), but the court may grant maintenance to either spouse based upon certain factors such as need, ability, standard of living, and education. Whether seeking or challenging a maintenance award, you will need an experienced divorce lawyer to persuasively argue the facts and law which support your position.
Child Custody and Visitation – In the Best Interests of the Child
The “best interests of the child” is the standard by which the court determines and allocates the parents” parental responsibilities for child custody and support. However, numerous factors play into the determination of the best interests of the child regarding child support and custody. The relationship between the child and each parent is usually maintained and fostered unless it would be inconsistent with the child”s best interests. Our experienced family law attorneys know how to prove your merit in each of these factors to put your best parenting foot forward.
We help you fight for custody, parenting time (visitation), respond to court requests or modify an existing order. Our goal is an arrangement that meets your needs and that of your children.
Any move which substantially changes the geographical ties between the child and the other parent requires consent of the other parent or permission of the court. Our office helps you understand the factors to consider and weigh your rights and options whether you are the moving or nonmoving parent.
Child support is an order by the court requiring a parent to pay for the support of a child and his or her living expenses. Find out which child expenses you may be responsible for, and which ones you may not be responsible for, by talking with our child support lawyer. The court uses statutory guidelines to determine the amount of child support, but the judge has the power to deviate from the guidelines when convinced it is in the child’s best interest to do so.
Asset and Property Division
California is a “community property” state, which means that each spouse owns an equal interest in all the property (and debt) acquired during the marriage. The court’s job is to divide each asset and the entire estate as evenly as possible. To ensure a proper distribution, it is essential that every asset be properly identified as community property or separate property and accurately valued. We can help by making sure every asset is disclosed by your spouse and properly appraised, including complex matters such as business valuations and stock options.
Property acquired before marriage or even after marriage by one spouse alone, such as through a gift or inheritance, is that spouse’s separate property, and is not subject to division by the court in a divorce. To qualify property as “separate property,” you need to ensure the property is maintained and titled separately and apart from marital assets. An investment or exchange of separate property may jeopardize its separate status. We advise clients before and during a divorce to ensure their assets are protected.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a San Diego Family Law Firm
Regardless of the issues that matter most in your divorce, able and experienced legal representation is essential to seeing that your interests are fully and adequately represented.