What are the scenarios that can constitute domestic violence?

Domestic violence is defined by California’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act, Cal. Family Code § 6200 et seq., to mean abuse committed against a spouse, a former spouse, a cohabitant, a former cohabitant, a person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship, a child of such persons, or any other person related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree. “Abuse” in this sense could include:

physical behavior (slapping, punching, pulling hair or shoving);
sexual assaults or harassment (unwanted fondling or intercourse, sexual jokes, and insults);
threats (threatening to hit, harm or use a weapon);
psychological abuse or harassment (attacks on self-esteem, attempts to control or limit another person’s behavior, repeated insults or interrogation);
vandalism (causing damage to the car or other property of the victim);
stalking (following a person, appearing at a person’s home or workplace, making repeated phone calls or leaving written messages); or
cyber-stalking (repeated online action or email that causes substantial emotional distress).

Furthermore, domestic violence involving bodily injury or the threat of bodily injury can result in criminal charges.  A domestic violence conviction has severe consequences that may affect immigration or child custody and visitation proceedings.  Domestic violence victims can seek protective orders to stop the abuse.

Whether you are charged with or have been the victim of domestic violence, you need an experienced family law lawyer.  Find out how we can help resolve the domestic violence issues in your family by contacting the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C.


What are protective orders and how are they used?

A protective order is a specific type of restraining order that is issued by a court to prevent a recurrence of domestic violence and to separate the parties involved to enable them to resolve the causes for the violence. Getting a restraining order in California can remove and bar the harassing person from a jointly occupied residence, and a protective order can be obtained even if the victim has left the home to avoid further abuse. Protective orders can also provide for the protection of pets, participation in counseling, and the payment of spousal support or attorney fees. Violation of a restraining order is a crime punishable by jail time and/or a fine.

The Law Office of Daniel Jensen can provide you with further information on how to obtain a protective order, or how to defend against a protective order that was unjustly obtained. Call our family law attorneys today at (408) 296-4100 to arrange an appointment to discuss your case.


What is the difference between annulment and divorce proceeding?

An annulment (or nullity) proceeding is instituted for the purpose of determining by a judicial ruling that a valid marriage never took place due to some defect that existed at the time the parties were married.  By contrast, a divorce proceeding is instituted in order to terminate a valid marriage for reasons that occurred after the marriage was entered into.  Both types of proceedings restore the parties to the status of un-married persons.  A third type of proceeding, that for legal separation, seeks a judicial determination regarding the financial and other obligations of a married couple living apart, but their marriage is not legally dissolved.

 What is child custody?

Child custody deals with who has custody of the children after a divorce or separation.  Custody and visitation issues can arise when parents are divorced or separated, when the parents have never been married, or when some type of reproductive technology, such as surrogate motherhood or sperm and egg donation cases, complicates the issues even further.  There are two components to the right of custody: legal custody and physical custody.  Legal custody refers to the right to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of the child, whereas physical custody determines the party with home the child resides.  California courts apply a “best interests of the child” standard when determining to whom custody should be awarded.  Although parental agreements as to the custody of the parties’ children are not binding on the courts, such agreements are generally approved by courts so long as they are in the best interests of the children.

The Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C. handles child custody disputes throughout the Silicon Valley. Call our child custody attorneys today at (408) 296-4100 to arrange an appointment to discuss your case.


What is spousal support?

Spousal support, or alimony, is the payment from one spouse to another for support after a divorce or during a separation.  Pursuant to Cal. Fam. Code § 4320, the following factors are considered by California courts in awarding spousal support:

the extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, taking into account the marketable skills of the supported party or the need for training or education to develop such skills;
the extent to which the supported party’s present or future earning capacity is impaired by unemployment incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote time to domestic duties;
the extent to which the supported party contributed to the supporting spouse’s attainment of education, training, a career position, or a license;
the supporting party’s ability to pay spousal support, with regard to the supporting party’s earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living;
the needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage;
the obligations, assets, and separate property of each party;
the duration of the marriage;
the ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children in that party’s custody;
the age and health of the parties;
documented evidence of any domestic violence;
the tax consequences to each party;
the balance of the hardships to each party;
the goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time;
the criminal conviction of an abusive spouse; and
any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.

To learn more about spousal support, contact our family law attorneys today for a free consultation.


What is paternity?

Paternity deals with who is identified and recognized as the father of a child.  Paternity can be important when trying to establish child support payments. Strong evidence is required to overcome the presumption that a child born during wedlock is the child of the mother’s spouse.

To learn more about paternity law in California, please contact our family law attorneys today for a free consultation.