California Family Law Issues

Nicole M. Stednitz, the owner of Torrance Family Law, APC, strives to provide personal, professional, intelligent, and cost-effective legal service to clients experiencing some of the most common and stressful family law matters that clients may go through, such as:


Going through a divorce can be a mentally and emotionally challenging obstacle. Not knowing your rights and lack of information on the legal process make matters worse.

Experienced in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and a member of  “A Better Divorce” Collaborative divorce group, Nicole M. Stednitz can adequately guide you through the strenuous proceedings. Our priority is to make the process trouble-free and possibly get the matter resolved without going through an expensive, time-consuming court trial.

California is a “No fault” divorce state. Divorce in California can be obtained based on irreconcilable differences. You do not have to prove your spouse did something wrong to get a divorce. 

We offer our expert advice on all matters regarding divorce, such as child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, paternity, division of community and property, and much more. Whether it’s a simple divorce or a complicated one, we are here for you.

Legal Separation

In some cases, a legal separation may be a better solution than divorce. A legal separation is an official court-ordered agreement in which the couple lives separately. A couple can mutually agree to a legal separation, or the court can order it. Legal separation allows you to set up financial boundaries and decide on child custody and support without a permanent divorce.


A marriage can be annulled in California if the court decides it was never legally valid. An annulled marriage is like a marriage that never happened. There are many grounds for annulment of marriages in California, such as bigamy, incestual marriages, underage marriage, forced marriage, and more. Annulments are a bit more complicated than divorce as the party seeking an annulment must be able to prove the grounds for the annulment substantially. 

Our experts will be able to properly guide you through the criteria and help you present the best possible case.

Child custody and visitations

One of the most challenging aspects of going through a divorce or separation is deciding on child custody and visitation. In California, either parent can get custody or share custody. The judge has the final say in the decision but usually accepts an arrangement made and agreed to by both parties.

Physical custody is decided by visitation orders set by the court based on the child’s best interest, the financial situation, the mental health of the parents, and other factors. 

It is favorable for you to have proper legal advice to ensure the best for your children. We are here to help you get the custody you desire.

Child support

The court will also make child support orders along with custody and visitation orders. The amount of child support is affected by the amount of time a parent spends with the child and the difference in income of both parents.

There are various child support guidelines, which can get quite complicated without legal support.

Spousal support

As a resident of California, you can possibly get spousal support from your partner after the divorce, legal separation, or domestic violence restraining order. There are general guidelines for calculating alimony, but many factors affect it. Seeking legal counsel to get the best possible outcome would be in your best interest.


It is our priority to safeguard your parental rights regarding your children. In California, if the parents were married after the child’s birth, then the parentage or paternity of the child needs to be established legally. If not established, then even a biological parent will not have any legal right over his child. The law on paternity is a complicated matter, and we can help guide you through the process.

Community property division

As California is a community property state, in general, any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is considered to be owned equally by both spouses. We can help you present an alternative division plan. Our experts are here to protect your rights and get you a satisfactory and fair outcome.

Restraining orders

Are you a victim of domestic violence?

If so, you have full rights to apply for a domestic violence restraining order. Our office is available to all domestic violence victims in California. We can help you get legal protection from all forms of domestic abuse. 

Wills, trusts, and estate planning

Estate planning is crucial in a state like California, where probate lawyers can take a good percentage of your asset’s gross value as a fee for their services. A living trust or last will can help protect your property and family.