California Family Law Attorneys

Managing the changes that come with marriage, divorce, and child custody arrangements can be challenging without skilled legal guidance. You need professionals who understand the law but also discuss your options with compassion and care. It helps to have an experienced team of California family law attorneys on your side.

At S.L. Pitts PC, we pride ourselves on being a boutique family law firm specializing in complex matters surrounding high-asset divorce, child custody and support, property division, and marital agreements. We focus on safeguarding your privacy and interests so you can deal with the emotional burden. To learn more, schedule a consultation with our team to find out how we can help.

Why Choose the Family Law Attorneys at S.L. Pitts

In 2001, Stella L. Pitts served as principal and manager for our firm, building a team of knowledgeable and accomplished family law lawyers focused on providing quality service to clients. Today, our team has expanded to include a host of experienced professionals who are driven by excellence to help families protect their children’s best interests. Our California family attorneys also customize strategies for asset protection and division. 

Our divorce lawyers also offer knowledge regarding interstate and international litigation for child custody, support, and divorce. California is somewhat unique in that many individuals may work across state lines or have non-U.S. affiliations that affect the jurisdiction where their case could be brought. Our team can guide you in handling the following legal issues:

We provide answers to your questions, keeping you updated on your case so you have peace of mind. Our family lawyers also understand the challenges associated with cases involving domestic violence, and we work to protect the vulnerable. Our California divorce attorneys recognize the tangle of emotions involved in these cases and skillfully apply the law to demonstrate abusive actions that deserve justice.

Areas of Family Law We Handle

Each family law attorney at S.L. Pitt provides honest, researched advice so you can make the right decision for your needs. Knowledge is power, and we show respect for our clients by ensuring they understand their options before moving forward. Your California family lawyer will identify potential issues and verify when something is an actual problem before getting to work.

Above all, we endeavor to help our clients remove the emotions that may be clouding their judgment so they can plan long-term for their future. We do not dismiss how you are feeling but help you thoughtfully consider the optimal solution. With over 25 years of experience, our California family lawyers have developed skills in areas including high-asset divorce, divorce for tech professionals, child custody, child support, and marital agreements. 

High Asset Divorce

Divorce can be highly emotional and frustrating, especially when substantial assets are involved. If couples have started with very little and developed their wealth together, it can be challenging to determine how to divide everything when the marriage comes to an end. Our California divorce attorneys can intercede when each spouse may have a different understanding of what constitutes a fair split.

Our California divorce lawyers assist you in understanding California community property law and how we can negotiate division within its confines. We then collaborate with accountants, valuation experts, and other individuals to ensure all holdings are appropriately identified and valued. Generally, property is defined as either separate or community, and the judge overseeing your case will order separate property remanded to its original owner and community assets divided equally.

There are numerous factors that can impact the final distribution, and each case will be unique. By speaking with a California divorce attorney as soon as you decide to divorce, you can educate yourself about how your case might proceed. We work with opposing counsel to come to a satisfactory agreement for all parties, especially when children are involved. 

Divorce for Tech Professionals

When tech professionals divorce, there are special considerations around their stock holdings. Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) and stock options vest over time, and not all may be correctly valued at the time of the divorce. There are numerous questions about what rights the non-employee spouse has to bonuses, stock holdings, and other elements that impact how property is classified for divorce purposes.

As a tech professional, you must also consider where your employer is based and where you have worked for the majority of your employment. For example, if you are considering relocating or changing to another large tech company, how does the timing play into when you should divorce? How will another state’s law affect asset division if you move? Your California divorce lawyer at S.L. Pitt will guide you through examining these questions and other concerns.

Child Custody

Regardless of how a couple feels about their property, their emotions surrounding their children’s welfare often take precedence. However, these feelings can clash when parents do not agree on who should have child custody. There are multiple reasons why one parent should have primary custody over the other, and California family courts always prioritize the children’s best interests.

In general, California prefers to maintain stability for children of divorce, including awarding joint custody. This typically means children stay in the family home with one parent while having visitation rights with the other. However, every family will need a unique solution for their circumstances, and our family attorneys are committed to developing creative approaches for you. Custody arrangements could look like any of the following:

  • Children live with both parents equally in separate homes
  • Children remain in the family home while parents rotate into and out of the house during their visitation time
  • Children live with one parent who has sole physical custody with visitation rights for the other parent
  • Children live with one parent who has sole physical and legal custody because the other parent was abusive or has been incarcerated

Custody can be one of the most complicated aspects of divorce. When you present your custody and parenting plan to the judge, they will look for signs that you built it around stability for the children. Our California family law attorneys are experienced in helping couples craft agreements that put the children’s needs first. 

Child Support

Another hotly contested topic during divorce is child support. It is vital to remember that child support payments are for the benefit of the children, not the other spouse. Discussions can go off-course quickly when bitterness, anger, or spite influence how much is enough, but our California family law firm focuses on applying logic and the law to these conversations. We build our understanding of your needs, then can negotiate on your behalf with your spouse’s attorney to avoid unhealthy confrontations.

Under California law, both parents must support their children’s needs appropriately after divorce. When children reside primarily with one parent, the other parent usually pays financial support to cover housing, food, and clothing costs. The amount depends on a variety of factors, including how much each parent earns, what the children’s lifestyle was like before the divorce, and any special health or educational needs the children have. While there is a child support calculator that can give you an idea of what payments should be, high-net-worth individuals may need additional elements applied to determine a fair amount. 

Just as with working out child custody arrangements, our divorce attorneys will ensure that child support discussions are focused on the benefit of the children above all else. If you have already divorced and your ex is refusing to pay what they owe, we can help you hold them accountable so your children have the financial resources they need and deserve. Your divorce lawyer can also assist you with renegotiating support when either parent experiences a substantial change in employment or assets. 

Marital Agreements

In many California marriages, pre-nuptial agreements are common before the vows are said. If these papers are not drawn up before the wedding, couples may choose to create a post-nuptial contract. These marital agreements are important tools for establishing what both parties want and expect from their union, especially if they need to divorce later on. 

Prenuptial agreements can describe how assets and debts will be divided, as well as provide a template for child custody. Although it cannot serve as a custody order, it can lay out each spouse’s desires and speed the process should divorce become a reality. When guided by a qualified California family law lawyer, the discussions around prenuptial agreements can be eye-opening, helping a couple have honest and critical conversations before entering into marriage. 

At S.L. Pitt, we are devoted to ensuring individuals consider how the law will impact their decisions. We can help you review a proposed marital agreement to ensure your interests and rights are protected before you sign. While it is not necessary to have a family lawyer create your contract, we recommend having one examine whether it is enforceable or could be contested. 

What You Should Look for When Hiring a California Family Law Attorney

There are numerous California family law firms in our state, all promising competent service for your legal needs. Who you choose depends on many factors, chief among them being your comfort with the attorney as a person and the firm as a whole. No matter how educated a divorce attorney is, if you do not feel trust and support from them, you could make decisions you later regret.

It is vital to choose a divorce law firm that collaborates as a team so your case benefits from multiple legal viewpoints. You should also look for a firm that has years of experience in your specific need, whether that is divorce, marital agreements, or domestic violence cases. If you suspect your soon-to-be ex is hiding assets, you need a law firm that networks with forensic accountants and valuation experts.

The best divorce lawyers are also skilled mediators and negotiators, able to find common ground even in high-conflict situations. Their goal is to lead spouses to a peaceful, equitable, and long-lasting solution that serves the needs of the children first but allows partners to move on to the next chapters of their lives successfully. Finally, a valuable divorce lawyer will be upfront with expected costs so you can understand your financial obligations with no surprises at the end of the case.

Schedule a Consultation With the Highly Qualified California Family Law Attorneys at S.L. Pitt PC Today

Facing the challenges of divorce and other family law matters is no easy job, regardless of whether your situation is amicable or contentious. Untangling the details is exhausting but can be made easier when you partner with the nationally recognized team at S.L. Pitt PC. We cultivate bold leaders with a reputation for excellence and proven results. 

When your emotions lead you down paths that do nothing to address the legal and real-world concerns of family law, we acknowledge the necessity of facing them and refocusing your attention on the matters at hand. Our lawyers provide straightforward and honest advice and aggressive legal representation against opposing attorneys during negotiations and in court. We are by your side every step, offering problem-solving collaboration to ensure the best possible outcome. 

Learn more about how we can help you and your family achieve peace of mind and an appropriate division of assets by arranging a meeting with our California family law attorneys. Use our online form to set up a consultation in our Los Angeles offices, or contact us by phone today.