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Best Family Lawyers in Marin County

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A Family Law Firm, Inc. logo
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A Family Law Firm, Inc.

1612 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
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  • Domestic Violence
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

A Family Law Firm, Inc., helps clients throughout Marin County and the nearby locations sort out their legal concerns. The firm aims to help families achieve peace of mind during a difficult transition, handling legal matters such as divorce, division of marital assets, child support and custody, spousal maintenance, stepparent rights, and dissolution of domestic partnerships. The firm was established in 1995 and its lawyers, Bret and Joann Campoy, are both certified by the California State Bar as specialists in Family Law.

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Allingham & Cuerva LLP Attorneys-at-Law logo
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Allingham & Cuerva LLP Attorneys-at-Law

1010 B Street Suite 219, San Rafael, CA 94901
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Allingham & Cuerva LLP, Attorneys-at-Law, is a private practice serving the residents of Marin County and the surrounding areas. It provides legal representation for both contested and non-contested dissolution of marriage and related matters such as child custody and support motions. It also assists with other areas of family law, including pre-nuptial agreements and adoptions. Principal attorney John Richard Cuerva has been practicing law for more than a decade. He can accommodate clients in English and Spanish.

Apicella Law & Mediation logo
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Apicella Law & Mediation

120 4th St #2205, Petaluma, CA 94952
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Apicella Law & Mediation handles family law cases of clients throughout Marin County and the surrounding areas. It helps individuals and families resolve their issues involving divorce, debt allocation, spousal support, asset division, and child custody and support. It also handles paternity matters. The firm has offices in San Rafael and Petaluma. Its founding attorney, Michael, exclusively focuses his practice on divorce meditation. He also conducts legal consultation services to assist clients in drafting post-marital, co-habitation, and premarital agreements.

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David Ostiller | Attorney At Law logo
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David Ostiller | Attorney At Law

999 Fifth Avenue, Suite 230, San Rafael, CA 94901
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

David Ostiller | Attorney At Law offers family law guidance to locals in Marin County. The practice represents clients in divorce, child and spousal support, and asset division matters, including business appraisals. It also drafts premarital, postmarital, and cohabitation agreements and helps clients navigate paternity determination actions. David Ostiller, the firm's namesake, has been specializing in California family law and mediating disputes since 1999. He sits on the board of directors of the Collaborative Practice of Marin.

Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle logo
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Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle

419 Mission Ave, 4B, San Rafael, CA 94901
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

The Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle caters to people in Marin County. Marcelle has been in practice since 1983 and began handling family law issues in 1992. She takes on a wide array of matters, including divorce, alimony, child custody and support, and visitation rights. Marcelle has litigation experience, which enables her to develop a trial strategy to deliver a positive conclusion to her clients' cases. She also works on property and accounting matters related to divorce claims.

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Greene Taubman Dias Chernus Simborg & Dominguez LLP logo
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Greene Taubman Dias Chernus Simborg & Dominguez LLP

999 Fifth Avenue, Suite 400, San Rafael, CA 94901
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  • Child Custody
  • Domestic Violence
  • Divorce

Business Description

Greene Taubman Dias Chernus Simborg & Dominguez LLP aims to help Marin County clients sort out legal conflicts through advice and representation. The firm exclusively focuses on family law, offering litigation, mediation services, mediation counseling, and private judging services to help resolve disputes over a wide variety of issues such as marital dissolution, spousal and child support, child custody, and alimony. All of the firm's partners are specialists in family law, certified by the State Bar of California's Board of Legal Specialization.

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Kate Rockas logo
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Kate Rockas

999 5th Ave, Suite #230, San Rafael, CA 94901
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Business Description

Kate Rockas has been working with families in Marin County for more than 25 years. She provides legal counsel to couples dealing with contested and uncontested divorce cases. She represents clients during mediation and litigation proceedings and helps them file claims for physical or emotional spousal and child abuse. The lawyer also takes on matters involving child support and custody, parenting time, and property division. Rockas is a board-certified family law specialist by the State Bar of California.

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Kristine Fowler Cirby logo
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Kristine Fowler Cirby

101 Larkspur Landing Circle Suite 311, Larkspur, CA 94939
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Kristine Fowler Cirby is a lawyer serving Marin County and the surrounding metros. She handles family law cases with compassion, including complex divorce and paternity establishment proceedings. She helps parents change their names after a divorce and reach visitation, custody, and support agreements in the interest of their children. Her law office also assists domestic violence victims in acquiring protective orders. Cirby has represented more than 1,500 clients in over 20 years of exclusively practicing family law.

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Law Office of Christina Sherman logo
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Law Office of Christina Sherman

1101 5th Ave Suite 310, San Rafael, CA 94901
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

The Law Office of Christina Sherman offers counsel to individuals, couples, and families that are facing family dissolution and conflicts throughout Marin County. It provides legal advocacy to safeguard the interests of its clients and their children's interests in various legal situations, including contested and uncontested divorce, child support, and spousal maintenance matters. It also handles pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, post-judgment modifications of custody and support, relocation, and paternity issues. Sherman is a board-certified family law specialist.

Law Office of Erin Farley logo
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Law Office of Erin Farley

775 Baywood Drive, Suite 117, Petaluma, CA 94954
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Through its Petaluma location, the Law Office of Erin Farley caters to clients across Marin County. The firm mainly takes on family law cases and guides individuals through the process of divorce. It represents them in mediation or litigation proceedings involving disputes over matters like child custody and spousal support. The firm also obtains civil protection orders for victims of domestic violence. Erin Farley, its managing attorney, was recognized by the Petaluma Argus-Courier as its best attorney in 2015.

Law Office Of William H Paynter logo
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Law Office Of William H Paynter

809 Broadway 6, Sonoma, CA 95476
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

The Law Office Of William H Paynter has been providing its services to the residents of Marin County and the surrounding communities since 1989. It helps clients settle family matters involving legal separation, divorce, child custody, spousal support, and asset distribution. It also offers mediation and civil litigation services. The legal firm's attorney, William Paynter, has been in practice for more than 40 years and is authorized to practice in all state and federal courts.

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Law Offices of Marianne F. Skipper logo
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Law Offices of Marianne F. Skipper

755 Baywood Dr, Petaluma, CA 94954
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Law Offices of Marianne F. Skipper accommodates the Marin County area. It represents those who have been facing a wide range of issues involving family law, from legal separation, divorce, and annulment to the division of property and child custody and support. Founder Marianne F. Skipper combines her extensive knowledge of family legislation and skills in managing emotional stress in guiding families throughout the legal proceedings. In addition to family law, she handles general civil litigation and personal injury law claims.

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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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Law Offices of Mary L. Needham logo
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Law Offices of Mary L. Needham

802 B Street, San Rafael, CA 94901
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  • Asset Distribution
  • Child Custody

Business Description

The Law Offices of Mary L. Needham is a family law practice serving the residents of Marin County and the surrounding areas. It provides legal representation for marital dissolution and legal separation. It also handles complex cases such as breach of fiduciary duties between spouses. In addition, it litigates against the Department of Child Support Services. Principal attorney Mary Needham has been practicing law for more than three decades. She previously served as Chair of the Civility Committee of the Marin County Bar Association.

Law Offices of Matthew Briggs logo
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Law Offices of Matthew Briggs

1108 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901
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Business Description

Law Offices of Matthew Briggs caters to the legal needs of families in Marin County and its surrounding areas. Sole practitioner Matthew Briggs dedicates his private practice to protecting the rights of clients facing various family law-related disputes, such as step-parent adoption, child custody and support, paternity rights, division of assets, divorce, and domestic violence. He represents them in negotiating agreements and is prepared to take these matters to trial. He has been working in the legal industry for over a decade.

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Marie Barnes Attorney at Law logo
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Marie Barnes Attorney at Law

1001 Lootens Place; Suite 200, San Rafael, CA 94901
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Marie Barnes is a family lawyer who serves clients in Marin County. She guides individuals and couples through the emotional process and helps them make informed decisions to ensure a positive outcome. She handles different family lawsuits, including pre-marital planning, divorce and post-divorce, parental rights, and domestic violence protective orders. She is equipped to offer both collaborative and litigation solutions depending on the needs of her clients. She also practices criminal defense and offers services in English and Spanish.

Professionalism:

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Terre Family Law, Inc. logo
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Terre Family Law, Inc.

575 West College Ave Suite 105, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
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Business Description

Terre Family Law, Inc., has been serving people in Marin County facing child and spousal support, property division, or divorce matters since 2004. Its principal attorney, Carla Boyd Terre, is a certified family law specialist who helps clients understand their options and select an approach that meets their and their family's needs while protecting their interests. She serves as a mediator for parties without and with attorneys present. Terre has experience in negotiation and has helped clients obtain settlements before litigation.

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The Law Offices of Jasmine Davaloo logo
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The Law Offices of Jasmine Davaloo

1000 Fourth Street Suite 425, San Rafael, CA 94901
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  • Alimony
  • Child Custody

Business Description

The Law Offices of Jasmine Davaloo serves clients in Marin County. The firm represents individuals looking to resolve various family law matters, including child visitation and custody, as well as spousal support. It also guides clients through the property division process. Its founding attorney and namesake, Jasmine Davaloo, was the 2015 recipient of the Unity Award from the Bar Association of San Francisco's Minority Bar Coalition. She is the former president of the Marin County Women Lawyers.

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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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