Sitting in front of a pile of legal documents can be intimidating. These forms are often dense and confusing, and failure to understand the documents can lead you to waive rights you didn’t even know you had.
So why trust just anyone with your legal documents? Only attorneys have the legal expertise, knowledge, and experience to make sure you fully understand complex legal documents. Legal document preparation is a big undertaking, and it should be undertaken by someone who knows the law inside and out.
If you are looking for help with legal documents, contact The Law Office of Heath L. Baker. Mr. Baker is skilled and experienced in all areas of family law, and he can help you make sense of the documents and forms involved. Whether you are dealing with a divorce, child custody arrangement, or other family matter, Heath Baker will guide you through every step of the process.
What Documents Can We Help With?
Attorney Heath Baker is prepared to assist with documents needed for:
- Divorce, including documents regarding community property, shared finances, alimony, prenuptial agreements, child custody arrangements, income distribution, child support, inheritance rights, and access to retirement
- Child custody, including physical and legal custody, joint custody, split custody, parents with disabilities, and unmarried parent arrangements
- Child visitation, including preparation of a visitation schedule and schedule modifications
- No fault divorce
- Uncontested divorce
- Contested divorce
- Legal separation
- Child support
- Spousal support
The complexity of given legal documents varies based on several factors, including your financial situation, family dynamic, number of children, and more. Regardless of how simple your situation may seem, it is generally best to consult an attorney no matter what; with an attorney on your side, you can rest easy knowing your rights are protected and someone is looking out for your best interest.
Why Hire A Lawyer?
When it comes to preparing legal documents, the advice of an experienced attorney is invaluable. Attorneys have the legal knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to get these documents right the first time. Without the legal expertise of a lawyer on your side, you and your family’s best interests could be left up to a judge or another attorney.
There are a number of legal document preparation services to choose from, but without the presence of a bona fide attorney, your case can suffer. At best, those working at legal document preparation companies are paralegals — and the most qualified paralegals are employed in law offices. If you have questions or concerns about the forms, paralegals are unable to lawfully give legal advice.
For example, there are approximately six forms that must be filed for an uncontested divorce in California. It is deemed “unauthorized practice of law” (UPL) for someone at a legal document preparation service to tell you which forms to fill out and where to send them; the right to instruct clients on the proper course of action is reserved for attorneys and attorneys alone.
Time and time again, judges in family law courts urge litigants to stop using paralegals and find qualified family law attorneys who understand the Family Code, Evidence Code, and Code of Civil Procedure. Paralegals and “Legal Document Assistants” are not permitted to give legal advice or represent you in court in any manner. If you’re looking for knowledgeable input from someone with knowledge of the law, hiring a lawyer is the best approach.
What Areas Do We Practice?
The Law Office of Heath Baker specializes in child custody and visitation rights for all types of families. Mr. Baker has vast experience in family law, including the following:
Divorce: is different for every married couple, and as such there are several options when it comes to a California divorce. Certain marriages, especially in the first few months, can qualify for annulment, in which a judge can render your marriage null and void. In some jurisdictions, married couples are required to be legally separated for a period of time before divorce papers are filed, meaning the two will usually live in separate homes and undergo counseling.
When it comes to actual divorce, your specific situation will dictate which type is appropriate. No-fault divorce is an option for married couples who want to divide assets and split on amicable terms; no-fault divorce is often achieved through mediation, in which both parties sit down with a family law attorney and divide assets and property. Similarly, an uncontested divorce allows a couple to amicably divide assets and determine child custody. When reconciliation is no longer an option, a contested divorce may be necessary.
Spousal support: orders are based on a formula that includes the length of the marriage, the earnings of each partner, the debts and property involved, child custody, and many other factors. An experienced family law attorney can ensure that your spousal support plan is fair and justified.
Child custody: includes a variety of options for different family situations. Physical and legal custody means one parent is awarded the right to live with the child for most of the time. In certain cases, a parent is granted legal custody so he or she can be involved in decisions about the child’s education, medical care, and religion. Joint custody, which requires a high degree of understanding and cooperation from the parents, allows the child to spend time with both parents equally. Split custody, which gives one parent custody of one child and the other parent custody of the other(s), is more uncommon, as courts are reluctant to separate siblings from each other.
Child support: represents the responsibility of both parents to care for their child, regardless of their status as a couple. Child support is determined based on income, as well as several other factors, and is ultimately determined by the court.
Visitation rights: are granted by the court based on a visitation schedule submitted by the parents or parents’ attorneys. A family law attorney can help make adjustments or modifications to visitation schedules as children grow older and the parents’ schedules change.
Rights of disabled parents: are incredibly important, and a family law attorney can make sure the court understands the contributions of both parents. Custody or visitation is not dependent on the daily routine of soccer practice and carpools — a parent with a disability can play a major part in a child’s ethical and intellectual development.
Move away orders: come into play when the custodial parent wants to move out of state. The court will consider many factors in move away orders, including the reason for the move, the child’s relationship with the noncustodial parent, and the law of each particular jurisdiction.
Contact the Law Office of Health L. Baker
Filling out a legal document incorrectly or forgetting to fill out a particular form can delay your case unnecessarily. Using the expertise of an attorney will make the legal process much more bearable during a difficult time for you and your family.
The Law Office of Health L. Baker can help you prepare a variety of different legal documents. If you need assistance in legal document preparation for family law cases, call The Law Office of Heath Baker at (951) 222-2228 or use the online form to schedule your free consultation.