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Legal Separation or Divorce



You’ve decided, after long and agonizing thoughts about it, that a legal separation or a divorce is inevitable.  This is a big step.  You are daring to re-write your life. But what do you do now?

That next step is to call us.  We understand that going through a divorce or legal separation can be an emotionally trying time and with over 40 years of experience assisting clients in resolving family law issues including: dissolution of marriage, legal separation, nullity, child custody, child support, spousal support, dividing property, debts and assets, prenuptials and postnuptials, cohabitation agreements, adoptions, paternity, domestic violence defenses and in obtaining restraining orders and emergency protective orders, we are here to answer your questions and guide you through one of the most difficult times in your life. 

Attorneys in our office have extensive experience in litigation matters, through trial and appeals, in the event you are unable or find yourself in a position in which an amicable agreement cannot be reached with your partner/spouse. However, if you find yourself fortunate enough to have an amicable relationship with your partner/spouse and desire a cost effective resolution to your family law case, our firm can assist you through collaborative mediation, where we sit down with both parties and work with you to reach a harmonious resolution. 

We won’t promise that getting through a legal separation or divorce will be painless, but you will get through it and we will be with you every step of the way.

To schedule a consultation with any of our attorneys regarding your family law matter, please contact us at (916) 357-6554

Domestic Violence


 If you are being investigated by law enforcement or if you have been arrested for domestic violence, the first thing to do is to hire a criminal defense lawyer.  Domestic violence convictions can lead to severe, life-long consequences.  

 When addressing domestic violence matters during a divorce,  there is often significant overlap between family law and criminal defense issues. 

Whether you are the victim of an act of domestic violence or face accusations of domestic violence, we can provide the aggressive legal experience you need at this time.  

Our attorneys at Law Offices of Poole and Pereira have over 40+ years of combined experience handling domestic violence cases. 

Child Custody


Who Gets Child Custody in California?  Like most states, the standard for child custody determinations in California is the overall best interest of the child with an emphasis on assuring the “health, safety, and welfare” of the child and “frequent and continuing contact” with both parents absent child abuse, domestic violence, or where the contact would not be in the best interest of the child as provided in the California family code section 3011

A common challenge for the court is to decide who will get custody of the child. Child custody may be petitioned by parents, grandparents, stepparents, or any person who believes they can provide suitable care and guidance to the child. So how does the California family court or California judge handle competing persons seeking custody of the child? According to California Family Code section 3040 child custody should be granted in an order of preference and according to the best interest of the child. The court looks first to grant custody to both parents jointly or to either parent before looking to grant custody to other persons. 

California however does not currently establish a preference or a presumption for or against joint custody arrangements. Instead, if the parents are unable to come to an agreement on child custody and visitation it allows the California Family Court or California judge to make the parenting arrangement decision on a case-by-case basis according to what it believes reflects the overall best interest of the child. If neither parent is granted custody, then the court may look towards the person’s home in which the child has been living and the stability of that environment and then to any person deemed by the court to be able to provide appropriate care for the child.  In short, the court will typically look to grant child custody first to the parents according the best interest of the child and if they are deemed unfit the court will then look to grant child custody to other persons according to the best interest of the child.

To schedule a consultation with any of our attorneys regarding your family law matter, please contact us by e-mail or by telephone at (916) 357-6554 

Child Support and Spousal Support


Child support is one of the most contentious issues in family law, and California child support issues are no exception. When dealing with California child support, it is best if you have a good California child support attorney to help you. 

Sometimes, although not often, a court will consider expenses which it may consider extraordinary, however that is the exception, not the rule. They really only care about income, number of children, and the time the children are with each parent.

Some exceptions to the above rule include the cost of child care if it is required during the custodial parent's work hours, or while they are going to school in an effort to create better job opportunities for themselves. In those situations, the non-custodial parent will often be ordered to pay part or all of that child care expense. The same will often hold true for medical expenses which are not covered by insurance, and if the children are not insured through the custodial parent's employment, the noncustodial parent may also be ordered to pay for medical insurance for the children.

Whether any of these exceptions will apply in your California family law matter will depend on various factors.  

Among the questions going through your mind, whether you are the person making the decision to seek a legal separation or divorce, or the person who finds you have no choice in the decision, is about finances.  How is the mortgage or rent going to be paid?  Food and Utilities? What about credit card bills?  And, how will you pay an attorney?  At Law Offices of Poole & Pereira, we understand how life altering it is to face legal separation or divorce and to handle the stresses associated with the upheaval of your family life, only to also have to deal with added financial stress.  We are here to help you understand the rights and responsibilities each party has as to these matters, and where possible, to achieve financial agreements which will maintain the status quo as we work through the legal separation or divorce process.  If the parties are not able to reach an agreement as to whether support is appropriate, who is to pay support to the other, or cannot agree upon an amount for support, and the matter proceeds to court, we will advocate on your behalf.

To schedule a consultation with any of our attorneys regarding your child support matters, please contact us by e-mail or by telephone at (916)357-6554.

Property Division


When starting a family law case, the person serving a Summons or the other party, and upon receipt thereof, the person served, become bound by automatic restraining order with respect to the handling of their assets and debts.  

During a legal separation or divorce case, each party to the case also has certain statutory obligations of disclosure requiring them to each inform the other of all known assets and debts, and income from all sources. 

Law Offices of Poole & Pereira’s attorneys have extensive experience assisting client’s in understanding and complying with the legal requirements concerning property handling and in reaching a resolution for a fair and equitable division of their assets and debts, whether by agreement or following Trial.

To schedule a consultation with any of our attorneys regarding your child support matters, please contact us by e-mail or by telephone at (916)357-6554.