Areas of Practice
I work in partnership with my clients to understand their concerns and objectives and to inform them about the divorce process and applicable law. It is my goal to provide my clients with the information they need so that they know what to expect and can make informed decisions on how to proceed.
I Encourage Mediation
I advise my clients regarding cost effective alternatives to going to court, such as mediation. I encourage my clients to pursue these methods, if possible, because they are usually less time consuming, less costly and less risky than litigation. However, if litigation is determined to be the best and/or only option, I provide aggressive representation to obtain the best possible outcome.
Los Angeles Child Support Attorney
The support of any children affected by a divorce is the main concern during a divorce proceeding. After custody has been decided, the court will rule on if and how much child support will need to be paid by the non-custodial parent. To best defend your rights and argue your side of the case, you will need to retain the services of a qualified California family law attorney like Jennifer Skolnick.Child Support allows for the financial burden of raising a child to be shared by both parents even though they are not married. The court will consider many factors when deciding if and how much child support is appropriate:
Earning potential of both parents
Living conditions of the family before a divorce
Custodial situation (shared, visitation, etc.)
Special care needed by the child due to medical conditions
Need to pay for daycare for child
The goal behind child support payments is to balance the burden between both parents so that the life of the child is not adversely affected by the divorce. While the court always has the best interest of the child in mind, the decisions that are reached may not always seem fair. By having good representation in your child support case, you can give yourself the best chance at receiving a deal that you consider to be fair. Call me today for a free consultation. I will be happy to work with you on this case and support you each step of the way.
Los Angeles Dissolution of Marriage Attorney
At the outset of a divorce or termination of a partnership, there is often a breakdown in trust between the spouses or partners. I provide my clients with experienced guidance and support during this difficult time. I encourage amicable resolution to divorce and other family law issues whenever possible. However, when an out-of-court settlement is unattainable, I provide vigorous, focused litigation to achieve the best possible outcome for my clients. I know that divorce usually results in significant changes to the lives of the family members. My goal is to bring you through the process with efficiency, compassion and cost-sensitivite.
Los Angeles Divorce and Family Law Attorney
Sadly, a divorce is almost always an emotionally, and often financially, stressful event, particularly where minor children are involved. The thought and the prospect of getting a divorce can take you on an emotional roller coaster. Losing the network and foundation of unconditional support from your spouse is never easy. Also, the frustration, the fear of a potential hostile litigation can seem so overwhelming that you might not see any hope. A divorce case is first and foremost about the lives of the people involved.
The term uncontested divorce refers to a divorce in which the parties agree to terms outside of the courtroom to settle matters. Among the various areas that may need to be agreed upon in an uncontested divorce are the following –
Division of property
Just because a divorce is able to be settled in an uncontested manner, does not mean you should proceed without an attorney. By using a family law attorney to assist in the formulation of your uncontested divorce you can make sure both parties are being treated fairly and all of your settlements meet the requirements of the law.
When the divorcing parties cannot come to an agreement outside of the courtroom, a judge will have tomake decisions on the terms of the divorce. While this is not ideal, sometimes it is the only way to get the divorce completed. Having qualified representation is obviously important in a court hearing to make sure your rights are protected and that you are treated fairly in the decisions of the court.If you are currently in the middle of a divorce proceeding, or are preparing for one, contact me right away. I will be happy to give you a free consultation and put my experience to work for you in this difficult matter.
Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney
Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects many families in California and can impact many issues in a family law case. Whether you are a victim of violence or have been accused of violence, working with the right attorney is important to ensure that the truth comes out in court and that your rights and your children’s best interests are protected. I am here to help you obtain and present the evidence you need so that the court makes the right orders in your case.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one against another. It includes physical, psychological, emotional and financial manipulation, control and abuse. It can occur between married couples, unmarried partners who live together and former partners.
How Does Family Violence Impact Family Law?
Although California is a no-fault divorce state, domestic violence may be a big factor for the court in determining spousal support, child custody and/or visitation. For instance, courts generally do not award custody to a parent who has been found to have committed domestic abuse because such an arrangement is not in the best interests of the child or children. However, if the alleged abuser can prove that he or she either did not commit domestic violence or has taken rehabilitative steps — such as completing a treatment program — that may go a long way to how the court views a custody request.At Skolnick Family Law, I am committed to preparing and presenting your domestic violence case so that justice prevails.
Los Angeles Enforcement of Support Orders Attorney
If you are due child support or spousal support payments and have not been receiving them, you need to act quickly in order to enforce the terms of your agreement. A qualified California family law attorney will be able to present the facts of the case to a family court judge. The judge can issue a contempt of court against the other party, and that person could face possible jail time if the situation is not rectified. I can help you navigate this process quickly and easily.While child support and spousal support payments being missed are the most common reason to seek enforcement, there are others as well.
Failure to maintain health insurance as ordered by court
Refusal to disclose assets
Failure to pay off marital debts as ordered by court
You are legally entitled to the support that has been decided on by a judge in a divorce proceeding. If you are not receiving that money, or it is coming late, you need to take action to defend your rights. Call me today and I will provide you with a free consultation into the specifics of your case. I would be proud to represent you and make sure that all of your rights and best interests are protected.
Los Angeles Limited Scope Representation Attorney
Limited Scope Representation is somewhat new to California courts. In the past, an attorney was responsible for all aspects of a case that involved their client, even though the client may have only retained him/her for one specific portion. Because of this, some attorneys were unwilling to take on these cases. Often, a client could not afford to pay an attorney to handle their entire case so they would simply go without representation. The result was messy court hearings that were filled with mistakes and many individuals not being able to properly argue for themselves.
With Limited Scope Representation, many of those problems are resolved. By using LSR, an attorney can sign on to represent a client for a very specific portion of their case. This keeps the cost down for the client, and limits the liability for the attorney. An agreement is signed upfront which outlines what the attorney will be helping with, and clearly defines the scope of the services. With that in place, a client is able to consult the attorney on any areas where they feel that they need help, without accruing the bill that can come with complete representation. If at anytime the client decides to retain the attorney for the entire case, that change can be made.
I am happy to work with you on creating a Limited Scope Representation agreement that serves your needs. Give our offices a call for a free consultation today. I look forward to assisting you in your family law case.
Los Angeles Mediation Attorney
In most cases, mediation is the preferred course in obtaining resolution of issues in a divorce or family law matter. That’s because courts are limited in how they can divide assets, debts, and responsibilities and the parties have less control over the outcome. I can help you reach agreements, heal relationships, and find creative solutions that work without going to court. The benefits of mediation over litigation include resolution through a confidential process that will help protect your personal and financial privacy. Also, in mediation, you speak for yourself and make your own decisions from an informed mindset, minimizing upset, alienation, and costs. When an agreement is reached, the mediator can help you memorialize the terms so you can have it reviewed by an independent attorney if you wish. If the mediator you hire is a licensed attorney, they can file your agreement with the court as a final divorce judgment.It is important to understand that a mediator is neither party’s advocate and cannot give individual legal advice. An attorney mediator can provide legal context and explain likely scenarios if the parties went to court, but they cannot take sides – a mediator must remain neutral. Also, the information discussed in mediation is confidential and cannot be used as evidence in a court proceeding. The best mediators will provide information and help design different options and scenarios to resolve issues but they will not make suggestions or decisions which might alienate a party, nor will they allow you to sign anything until you completely understand the terms and have had a chance to discuss it with independent counsel. I can help you design a Win-Win settlement agreement that will realistically satisfy the needs and goals of all of the parties to the mediation. I am also available to analyze an agreement that has been drawn up for you by a mediator or lawyer outside of my office.
Los Angeles Modification of a Court Order Attorney
Life is full of unexpected changes. The changes you experience after a divorce or paternity judgment may necessitate a modification of the judgment in various ways. Court-ordered spousal support or child support could be impossible to pay if you have lost your job.
As a custodial parent, you may have been offered a better job opportunity out of state but are restricted by the other parent’s court-ordered visitation rights.
Perhaps the current custodial parent is not fulfilling his or her duties as a parent, warranting a change in custody in the children’s best interests. Whatever the case may be, I can help!
As a Certified Family Law Specialist I can help you present a strong argument to prove that circumstances have changed and that the modification you want is necessary.
Los Angeles Prenuptial Agreements and Pre-marriage Planning Attorney
Some people shy away from the idea of premarital agreements (prenuptial or prenups) because they think the very idea of writing a formal document stating the terms about their marriage is unromantic or it sends the signal that they are thinking ahead to divorce.
However, premarital agreements can serve a wide variety of purposes that can strengthen a marital bond by making sure everyone is on the same page about difficult but important issues.
Prenuptial agreements are beneficial in not only protecting your assets, but also in other ways, such as:
Keeping your business out of the divorce;
Agreeing to a spousal support arrangement
I can help you in drafting, reviewing and negotiating prenuptial and agreements. Also, if you and your spouse have already agreed on issues, I can review the drafted document to explain the legal consequences and significance of your agreements.
Often, it is very helpful to receive legal advice if you are contemplating marriage or if are in a marriage, just to know what your rights and obligations are during marriage and how they may be affected in the event of dissolution.
Los Angeles Spousal Support Attorney
California statutes set forth a long list of factors considered in determining permanent spousal support. Included in that list are such things as the age and health of the parties, their education, training, length of time working, length of the marriage (short v. long), each persons earning ability, expenses, tax consequences, and other economic factors. A judge must also make a decision as to the duration and amount of support. Because California has not adopted guidelines for the determination of spousal support as it has for child support, the question of spousal support can be a real source of contention between the parties.
Temporary Spousal Support
During the period between filing a petition for dissolution of marriage and the final judgment, a spouse may request, and the court may make an order for, temporary support based on the same factors considered in making a final support award. A temporary order will not affect the final order but may set the baseline of what to expect. During this temporary support period each county court, such as Los Angeles County has a Guideline that is used to calculate what is generally considered to be the appropriate amount of support. The Courts of course has discretion to order temporary support that is different from the Guideline.
I work to help you negotiate a satisfactory spousal support settlement with your former spouse with minimal court intervention. However, I am ready to pursue court intervention if negotiations fail.