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Best Family Lawyers in Chico

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Brett A. Gilman Attorney at Law logo
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Brett A. Gilman Attorney at Law

140 Yellowstone Drive Suite 120, Chico, CA 95973
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Business Description

Brett A. Gilman, Attorney at Law, has been catering to clients in Chico since 1993. Gilman collaborates with spouses in family law proceedings that involve the dissolution of marriage and partnerships, as well as discussions on child custody and asset division. As a litigator with over two decades of experience, he also helps families address complex marital conflicts and sensitive domestic issues within the courtroom. In addition, his practice covers the filing of restraining and protective orders on behalf of domestic violence victims.

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Chico Lawyers logo
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Chico Lawyers

313 Walnut St, Ste 120, Chico, CA 95928
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Business Description

Chico Lawyers offers representation for family law matters to clients in the metro. The firm handles divorce, annulment, legal separation, child custody, spousal support, and property division. Its attorneys personally handle cases and work directly with the client throughout the process. Chase Medeiros, a family law attorney, combines aggressive advocacy with compassion to achieve favorable legal outcomes while keeping the client's financial and emotional concerns in mind. He strives to resolve cases quickly so that the family can move on with their lives.

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Law Offices of Spencer M. Gysin logo
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Law Offices of Spencer M. Gysin

1395 Ridgewood Drive, Suite 300, Chico, CA 95973
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  • Divorce

Business Description

The Law Offices of Spencer M. Gysin offers its legal services to individuals and families in the Chico community. It helps clients navigate family law matters, including divorce, alimony, child support and custody, visitation rights, and guardianship. It also assists with restraining orders, premarital and postnuptial agreements, and property and debt division. Spencer M. Gysin has over a decade of legal experience. He provides estate planning solutions and handles landlord-tenant law as well.

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Pai Law Firm logo
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Pai Law Firm

2531 Forest Avenue Suite 100, Chico, CA 95928
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Pai Law Firm serves the people of Chico and the surrounding areas. Its founding member and principal lawyer, Anil Pai, provides legal counsel and representation to individuals dealing with various family law affairs. These include issues related to divorce or legal separation, guardianship, and child support and custody. He also aids clients in filing for restraining orders. Pai works closely with clients to help them make informed decisions about their families, properties, and finances. The attorney has been practicing law for over a decade.

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We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of cases do family lawyers handle?

Family lawyers handle all types of family-related issues, including divorce, child support and spousal support, custody, adoption, paternity and guardianship. Family attorneys can also handle prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and divide marital assets based on the policies outlined in these documents. Domestic violence cases are also within the purview of family law attorneys.

Is family court different from district court?

In most states, family court is a division of the district court rather than a separate court system. Family law judges primarily preside over family disputes, such as divorce and custody hearings. Most states require family law judges to receive special training on how to best address family law matters.

How long do custody cases last in family court?

The duration of custody cases can differ based on the circumstances surrounding the claim. A case in which parents agree to split custody can be quick, while lawsuits in which both parents or guardians are fighting for full custody can take much longer. Most child custody cases last three to 10 days, but this can vary under more challenging circumstances.

Why is there no jury in family court?

There are no juries in family court cases because the concept of innocence or guilt does not apply. While there may be some cases in which additional opinions could be helpful, most cases are based on the letter of the law versus individual circumstances. Some states, including Texas, permit jury trials for family court cases, but this is uncommon.

What are the most common cases in family court?

Family law covers a variety of different cases pertaining to familial relations. The most common cases in family court include:

  • Divorce cases, including settling issues of alimony, property distribution, and child care
  • Child custody and the determination of paternity
  • Domestic violence protection orders
  • Name changes, including modifications due to adoption or personal preference
  • Guardianship, including who will handle the care of a child or adult should current caretakers be unable to do so
  • Adoptions and the termination of parental rights
  • Juvenile matters, including child abuse and neglect, foster placements, and criminal conduct
  • Emancipation, which is the process of declaring a minor as independent from their parents
  • Approval of underage marriages

Do family lawyers handle mediation?

Mediation can be a valuable part of a divorce case, counseling spouses to work through areas of disagreement in a fair, calm, and unbiased manner. Most, but not all, family lawyers handle mediation. Anyone who believes they may need intervention services is encouraged to ask about an attorney’s experience with resolving disputes, to ensure that support is available if necessary.

What is family law?

Family law is an area of legal practice that places a special focus on issues concerning families. Common areas of family law include separation of assets and potential alimony arrangements during a divorce, child custody and child support mediation between estranged or divorced parents, paternity cases, and matters of adoption. Family lawyers not only oversee mediation during disputes over things like child support and custody arrangements, but they also represent parties' interests when family matters are dealt with in court.

What is a custodial parent?

When two parents do not live together with a child, one will be named as the custodial parent. The designated parent—or other guardian if both biological parents are deemed unfit—will have precedence in any legal decisions made concerning the child's life, including education and other matters of the child's welfare. The other parent is referred to as the noncustodial parent.

What is sole custody?

When a child lives with one parent full time after a divorce or a legal separation, that parent has sole custody. This parent will be fully responsible for providing basic necessities for the child's well-being, including food, shelter, and clothing. The alternative is joint custody, in which both parents share physical custody of the child, based on a predetermined legal arrangement.

While they may sound the same, sole custody is not identical to full custody. In full custody, the noncustodial parent may have visitation rights, while in sole custody, they do not. A court would rule that a parent has sole custody rather than full custody when only one parent is deemed fit to act in the best interests of the child.

What is joint custody?

Joint custody is a preset arrangement that occurs after a marriage is dissolved. In joint custody, a child lives with their custodial parent for certain days or weeks and their noncustodial parent for the remainder. The custody arrangement may be decided in a hearing, but if two parents come up with a suitable agreement on their own, the court will likely accept it.

What makes a good family lawyer?

There are a number of characteristics to look for in a good family lawyer. The first is experience. An experienced family law attorney will understand the right steps to take to come to an equitable resolution that reflects the best interests of the family, often without going to court. The ability to communicate and act as an intermediary between parties in a dispute is important, whether it concerns a divorce, custody, paternity, or something else. Family legal disputes can be stressful to manage, especially when mediation and finding a common ground is involved. A good family lawyer is also available as a resource to help their client navigate a difficult situation in a way that won't harm their chances for a positive resolution.

How can a mother lose custody of her child?

A mother could lose custody of her child if she's deemed unfit to provide or take proper care of them. This decision often comes as a result of the mother being unable to provide a safe home or take care of a child's basic needs. It can also come from a mother abusing the child or neglecting them, abusing drugs and alcohol, or frequently being arrested.

In any of these cases, the state can revoke custody from the mother, citing details learned through home visits, interviews, court records, and a variety of other sources as the reasons. In this case, sole custody would be given to the other parent, if he/she is able.

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