Pinkham & Associates is a dedicated Divorce and Family Law firm. We have been in practice for over twenty years. In addition to divorce, family law includes child support, child custody & visitations, spousal support issues, domestic violence, divorce mediation, and several other more subtle areas. We are aggressive litigators. We have been litigating for all of our years in practice and we are very comfortable and confident fighting hard for our clients both in and out of courtrooms.
However, although there are occasions when litigation is absolutely necessary, we are at all times cognizant of the fact that prolonged litigation is both time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, anytime time we can negotiate a settlement that benefits our clients and we are able to avoid court or arguing before a judge, we are able to save our clients’ time, money and anguish. This being said, we only engage in settlement talks when the ends justify the means. We will not ever recommend a settlement that is not as good or better than we would expect to receive through court orders in court. As a side note, we find that people that are able to negotiate a settlement they can live with outside of court, are far more likely to follow those court orders through the years that if they had gone to court and received orders that were ordered on them by a judge.
Contact us to schedule a consultation and we will personally help you analyze your case and create a legal strategy.
At Pinkham & Associates APLC, we are a dedicated Family Law Firm in Orange County California practicing Divorce and all related Family Law issues. If you or anyone you know needs advice about their divorce or family or legal matter, call us, we can help. When a marriage fails there are many issues that may need to be addressed, issues of child custody and visitations schedules, financial support of your children, issues of spousal support, and the division of all of your community property and belongings, including bank accounts, cars, and retirement accounts. Also, one party or the other may be self-employed or own their own business, and that business is likely to be a community property asset and will need to be valued and divided between the parties one way or another.
There are also many other family law issues that we help our clients with, such as paternity cases, annulments, domestic violence, grandparent rights, and more. If you are involved in a Family Law matter, please look around our website for more information and videos on a number of different topics. We know you will have questions, if you are comfortable with talking to a Family Law Attorney, call us, we truly are happy to talk to you.
The cost of a divorce depends on many factors. If you hire attorney it will cost more, but you will get your divorce done correctly the first time. it is always more expensive if you have to redo the paperwork in the future. Aside from attorney's fees, there is a filing of $435 in most counties in California. There are a few counties that have slightly higher fees. Also, keep in mind that you are not required to hire an attorney, but it may be very difficult to complete your divorce properly without legal help.
You can hire a Divorce Attorney generally to handle your entire Divorce, also known as Dissolution of Marriage or Dissolution of Domestic Partnership. The total cost of a Divorce Attorney will be dictated by three major factors; the first being the attorney’s hourly rate which can range anywhere from $300 to $700 per hour in Orange County; the second factor is the total amount of hours necessary to complete your divorce, and the third major factor relates to the number of issues or complication of issues in your particular divorce. The more complicated, or the greater the number of issues in your particular divorce, the more expensive it will be to complete. Lastly, you should be aware that the amount of animosity between the parties is a large factor. Obviously, the greater the animosity between the parties, the more time it will take to fight it out and therefore the greater the expense. So, unless you know in advance exactly how many hours your divorce would take and what that hourly rate will be, it is impossible to determine how much an attorney will cost to complete it. However, an experienced (10+ years) and knowledgeable attorney can save you thousands of dollars in legal fees and countless hours in unnecessary legal battles. The right attorney would have done it hundreds, if not thousands, of times. They can see dozens of red flags where you would be convinced everything is fine and they should ensure you get the best outcome.
You can also hire an attorney to simply do the paperwork for you, sort of on an A La Carte basis. For example, we charge a flat fee to assist some clients with filing their initial divorce paperwork.
At Pinkham & Associates, we always fight hard for the legal rights of our clients, at all times and at all steps along the process. However, fighting for our client is not the most important objective, the single most important issue in any divorce is to be aware of and always cognizant of the client’s priorities and expectations.
In California, if you are married for more than 10 years, the State of California deems your marriage to be a “long term marriage” and the court will maintain jurisdiction over the issue of spousal support indefinitely. Now, that may not be “forever,” but it like means that the court will maintain that jurisdiction until there is some “significant” change in the circumstances at the time the spousal support orders were made. If you are married for less than 10 years, the court will likely only maintain jurisdiction over the issue of spousal support for half of the length of your marriage. These laws can be confusing. We at Pinkham & Associates will help you understand how the duration of your marriage and other factors will affect your spousal support.
One of the more difficult issues in Family Law is child support. The two most important factors in determining child support are 1) the income of the parties, and 2) how much time the children spend with each parent. There are approximately 30 other factors that may come into consideration. If you are in Orange County and you are curious about how much money you should pay or receive for child support, call us.
The issues of custody and visitations are very sensitive. As a matter of fact, the term “custody” has two different meanings: physical custody, and legal custody. They really have nothing to do with each other and understanding the difference between each is a must for anyone going through it.
In a divorce, the characterization of property must be determined before the judge can divide and disperse the property. Characterization means determining whether a certain piece of property is the wife’s separate property, the husband separate property, or community property. This is not always easy to determine.
Unbundled services are an emerging area of law; if you simply need to hire an attorney to help you file a document, or to help you prepare a motion, we are happy to do that as well. We can also help with you with issues of Domestic Violence, as well as Annulment, Visitations, or any family law and divorce related legal case.
While we, at Pinkham & Associates, have the reputation of being an aggressive law firm that is fiercely protective of its clients’ interests, we also recognize that sometimes it is way more valuable to play it smarter, and subtle to achieve an outcome that could not have been achieved using standard aggressive methods.
Understanding those subtleties and nuances of a divorce or family law case requires highly personalized involvement and attention from the attorney. At many law firms, clients may experience that they meet with the principal one time and never see him or her again. That does not happen at Pinkham & Associates. Although the firm has exceptionally talented associates and a highly dedicated paralegal, when clients hire Pinkham & Associates, they get Douglas Pinkham. You will meet with Douglas personally and he will go through the issues and process together with you. Throughout the process, when you want to speak to him, he will be personally available. Douglas will be personally litigating your matter in court. Unless there is some relatively benign issue or a small, less important hearing in court where an associate may be present to save you some money, it will be Douglas standing next to you and fighting for you in court.
However, this personalized attention to your divorce case will not come at the cost of financial prudence. The research work and writing assignments, some document preparation, filing, and other work that can and should be handled by paralegals, will be handled by them most professionally to save you on costs. The bottom line remains that when you wish to speak to Douglas, you will have the opportunity to speak to him personally. Recognizing the contingencies and emergencies that may arise in sensitive divorce and family law cases, Douglas strives to make himself available to his clients even on nights and weekends.