Family Law, Divorce, and Bankruptcy Attorney in Long Beach, California
Law Office of B. Stuart Walker115 Pine Avenue
Long Beach, California 90802
(562) 598-7486 or(877) 372-6738
Contact Stuart Walker
Law Firm Overview FREE CONSULTATIONThe Law Office of B. Stuart Walker offers zealous legal representation in the areas of Family Law and Bankruptcy in the Southern California region including Long Beach, the South Bay, Los Angeles, Lakewood, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Lawndale, Cerritos, Norwalk, Bellflower, Compton, Signal Hill, Cypress, Seal Beach, Garden Grove, Westminster and West Orange County.
In addition to excellent divorce and family law representation, our clients require as much certainty about the costs of attorney representation as possible. Unfortunately, the situation where a party is left unrepresented due to high attorney fees incurred towards the beginning of a case is more common than you might think.
Using fixed fees when possible, unbundled legal services, and discussing the costs and benefits of pursuing various Discovery and Litigation methods, we endeavor to ensure that you have the resources to properly maintain professional attorney representation throughout your divorce, family law or bankruptcy case.
Year this Office was Established: 2008
Languages: Spanish (upon request); English.
Areas of Law
Areas of Law Description
Our practice includes:
- Family Law & Divorce
We offer professional representation in the fields of Family Law, (Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Spousal support / alimony, Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, Paternity, post judgment modification) Civil Name Change and Bankruptcy. Our tools include Extensive Discovery (Document Production, Depositions...), Forensic Experts (expert accountants, appraisers), Custody Evaluations and Litigation. Our office is a short walk from the Long Beach, CA Family Law Court House.
- Child Custody
A judgment of divorce involving children, or a paternity judgment, will specify how the parents shall share legal and physical custody of the children jointly, (joint custody), or whether one of the other of them shall have sole legal and, or, sole physical custody. Child custody and visitation orders can be in the initial orders pending a judgment, a judgment or in post-judgment modification orders. There are a number of principles the courts follow in determining child custody issues. The most important is “best interests of the child”.
- Child Support
Child Support is normally an issue in divorce and paternity cases filed by parties with children in the local Family Law Courts. Given the percentage of custody and the incomes of the parties, we can give you a very close estimate of what the court will award in child support using the same Dissomaster program used by most Family Law Courts in California. Child support can also be an issue brought by the County Department of Child Support Services, attempting to collect support on behalf of a parent. The Department of Child Support Services will also bring an action for reimbursement of benefits paid out by the county to the custodial parent for the benefit of the minor child.
- Spousal Support/Alimony
Spousal support, often known as alimony, consists of two components. They are the payment amount and the duration of the courts ability to award support. There is a rebuttable presumption that the court’s jurisdiction to award spousal support shall continue for half the length of the marriage for a marriage that lasted less than ten years from the date of marriage to the date of separation. For marriages of ten years or more the court’s jurisdiction to award or modify alimony continues until the death of one of the parties, the supporting party remarries, or the parties stipulate to ending the court’s jurisdiction to award support.
- Restraining Orders/Domestic Violence
The three types of Restraining Orders are: Family Law Domestic Violence Restraining Orders; Civil Restraining Orders; and Restraining orders to prevent Elder Abuse. They are all very similar, although the Civil Restraining Order requires a higher level of proof than the other two. Although a criminal restraining order may be issued as a result of prosecution of a victims criminal complaint against a defendant, I do not include it above because the police and the prosecuting office, not the victim, decide whether or not to go forward with the criminal charge which must underlie a criminal restraining order.
- Uncontested Divorce and Paternity
An uncontested divorce is a divorce where there are no disputes over division of property, support, or child custody. It occurs when either both parties are in agreement regarding all the issues or where one party chooses not to participate in the divorce. This type of divorce is much less expensive than a contested divorce – even a contested divorce that uses mediation or collaborative law. When both parties are in agreement I charge a flat fee rather than an hourly rate. If both parties are capable of being fair with each other – this type of divorce is the least traumatic and expensive. But, be careful; an uncontested divorce can be used by an unscrupulous spouse to obtain a judgment that is completely unfair and one sided.
Paternity is established by either both parents signing a declaration of paternity (usually when the child is born), both parents signing a stipulation (agreement) and a resulting uncontested court order, or by a contested order of the court. Until one of the above happens, there are only presumptive and alleged fathers, (or in some cases; mothers). It is more than possible that in a contested paternity action that a court will find that a parent who has acted as parent for a significant period of time during the child’s life can be given legal status as the parent over a biological parent that has been relatively uninvolved in the child’s life.
- Legal Separation
A judgment of Legal Separation can accomplish the same goals as a judgment of divorce. It can decide custody and visitation of children, child and spousal support, division of property and debts, and domestic violence issues. But, you are not divorced and therefore cannot remarry. People choose this option over divorce sometimes to maintain the other party on their health insurance, or to begin the dissolution process prior to meeting the California residency requirements, or due to personal or religious aversion to an actual divorce.
An annulment or nullity is a legal ruling that there never was an actual marriage, either because the marriage is void at its inception or is voidable by order of the court. A significant number of cases filed as annulments do not meet the statutory requirements and must be refiled as a dissolution. Getting it right the first time saves a lot of time and expense. A void marriage is invalid from its inception. This can be due to a failure to follow the procedures that are required by law (e.g. marriage license, solemnization, or blood test (if required)); or it can be due to bigamy or incest.
- Name Change
Changing your name in California is one of a number of legal procedures that can be done by yourself. You don’t need to pay an online legal service because the instructions and forms are free. If you were divorced in California and didn’t request the court to change your name back to your prior unmarried name, you may still do so for a minimal cost. You may also be interested in a “common law” name change. This is where a person simply starts using a new name. It’s not illegal as long as it is not done for an illegal purpose such as identity theft, fraud, etc. It has fallen out of popularity because a “common law” name change is not recognized by government agencies such as: the DMV, Social Security, Homeland Security, schools, colleges, and many private sector financial institutions.
- Divorce Mediation
When parties desire more legal advice than provided in an uncontested divorce, but wish to avoid the expense and acrimony of the litigation involved in a contested divorce; a mediated divorce is the answer. Parties can agree to divorce on their own terms without interference from the court. When I mediate a divorce, I do not represent either party. Instead, I provide you with the benefit of my court room experience as to what a judge is likely to order when presented with a conflict between the parties. With this knowledge parties often settle the issue without the need for litigation.
- Division of Property and Debts
Community property is the assets and debts acquired by a married couple between the date of marriage and the date of separation. Some couples choose to “opt out” of California community property law by entering into a premarital (prenuptial) agreement. Separate property is the property of a party to divorce that is acquired prior to marriage, after the date of separation, by inheritance, or through a gift. The separate debt of a party is the debt acquired prior to marriage or after the date of separation.
B. Stuart Walker Esq. will provide you with honest, professional advice and representation at a reasonable price. We use state-of-the-art software to help prepare your case and this helps to keep our fees low and provide you with the fastest possible service. Sometimes bankruptcy is the best way to hold on to your assets and get a financial “fresh start”. We can provide you with information about the bankruptcy process and help you decide which bankruptcy option is best in your case.
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Eliminate most debts; Stop annoying creditor phone calls; Stop Wage Garnishments; Stop court actions and levies; Freezes pending foreclosure; Freezes repossessions of valuable belongings including cars.
Mr. B. Stuart Walker
Alimony, Child Support and Custody, Child Visitation, Collaborative Law, Divorce
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