Sacramento Family Law Attorney

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Sacramento Family Law Lawyer

There are many instances in which one needs a family law attorney. When you’re going through a complex divorce, in a contentious custody battle for your children, or stuck in a place of domestic violence, legal guidance is crucial. You can benefit from a Sacramento family law attorney who can help you get through these difficult times.

Here at the Law Offices of Dianne M. Fetzer, we have decades of experience dealing with family law cases. We can work with you to make sure the process is as painless and stress-free as possible.

Sacramento Family Law Attorney

Defining Family Law at the Law Offices of Dianne M. Fetzer

Family law includes any legal issue that concerns the family unit. This includes the following:

  • Divorce: The splitting of a marriage or a domestic partnership.
  • Child Custody: This involves who is permitted to house the children and make important decisions for them, as well as how often the other party gets to see them.
  • Spousal Support: How much money one ex-spouse receives from another must be decided during a divorce.
  • Domestic Violence: A family attorney can help you seek a restraining order, divorce, and child custody in the case of domestic violence.
  • Property Division: A couple’s assets must be divided in a divorce, and a family attorney can help you seek a fair divide.

All of these legal issues can be emotionally taxing, especially divorce, domestic violence, and child custody. They can be even worse if you and your spouse are not on speaking terms. It may be difficult to navigate these cases alone, but seeking the help of a Sacramento family law attorney can make these difficult decisions easier.

Hiring a qualified attorney is crucial if you have high-value assets that you and your spouse own together, like a house. Also, if you have children, an attorney can help make the process of deciding custody and visitation rights more streamlined and pursue a favorable divorce agreement.


Divorce is complicated for everyone involved. You, your spouse, or a family court must make decisions about child support, spousal support, how your assets will be divided, and more. California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning there does not have to be a reason for you to file for divorce. You only must decide that your marriage is no longer working and cannot be salvaged. In order to file for divorce in Sacramento, California, you will need to have lived there for six months prior to filing for divorce.

When you file for divorce, you file the initial papers and have them served to your spouse. You are not allowed to serve the divorce papers to your spouse. An uninvolved third party, such as a professional server, must do so on your behalf. Hopefully, your divorce can be solved amicably. If not, however, litigation could be needed. A divorce attorney can help you resolve everything as smoothly as possible.

There are certain alternatives to divorce. You can seek an annulment, or you can agree to be legally separated. You will still need to discuss the custody of your child or children, as well as any financial support, with an attorney and possibly a family court.

It takes at least six months for a divorce to be finalized, provided everything is in order. If there is missing paperwork or if it takes longer to settle your agreements, it could take more time.

These terms also apply to domestic partnerships, in which the two of you are not legally married but have filed for a legal domestic partnership. If you’d like to end your domestic partnership, you will still have to file for divorce, annulment, or separation.

Child Custody

Battling for the custody of your children is another complicated situation. The court looks at the living situations of the parents, how old the children are, and ultimately, what is right for the children. A family law attorney can help you seek the outcome you desire, whether it be joint custody, sole custody, or proper visitation rights.

There are many different types of custody when it comes to children:

  • Physical child custody: Where the child will be living.
  • Legal child custody: Who gets to make the legal decisions for the child, such as schools, medical decisions, etc.
  • Joint custody: Both parents are involved in the child’s life, and both parents have the child living in their homes for a set amount of time.
  • Sole custody: One parent is in charge of the child’s life and has the child living in their home.

For joint custody, you and your spouse or the court will choose how much time the child or children will spend with each parent. You can decide on an even split of time, an arrangement in which one of the parents has them during the week and the other has them over the weekend, or another arrangement. It depends on what is right for your children, and the court will consider their interests above all else.

If your ex-spouse tells you they are moving or if another life-changing event occurs, you may have to reappear in court to have your custody agreement reevaluated. An experienced family law attorney can evaluate all of the factors at play and can help fight for a custody modification that is ideal for your child.

Divorce can be hard on everyone, especially your children. The court and an attorney can help decide which options are better for your child.

Spousal Support

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is ordered when one spouse depends on the other for most of their financial support. A court may look at your incomes, your children, and how long your marriage lasted when determining how much support you either give or receive.

The goal of spousal support is to help spouses transition financially to their new way of life and to prevent them from entering a period of financial instability. Hiring a family law attorney can help you fight for a just spousal support agreement.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can be terrifying when filing for divorce, and you may not know what lies ahead after your divorce is completed. Hiring a domestic violence attorney can help you navigate this frightening time.

When one party is accused of or proven guilty of domestic violence, it can affect that parent’s right to their children. A case of domestic violence can alter the spouse’s visitation privileges and may require a third party to be involved in the visits to make sure everyone is safe. An attorney can help you make important decisions and fight for a divorce agreement that prioritizes the safety of you and your children.

Property Division

Property division in a divorce can also be difficult to navigate. Determining who receives what assets in the divorce can be an emotionally charged process since you both made so many memories in your house or business. California is a community property state, so all of your property is shared evenly in marriage and, consequently, divorce.

When it comes to deciding who will receive your business, if you have one, the court looks at how long you had the business, how much money it took to start it, and how much money it made. An attorney from the Law Offices of Dianne M. Fetzer can help resolve everything fairly.

Why Choose the Law Offices of Dianne M. Fetzer?

Dianne M. Fetzer has over 20 years of experience in family law. She has also received several awards and honors during her practice. She has been and currently is a member of several boards and committees, such as the American Bar Association, the Sacramento County Bar Association, and the National Association for Counsel of Children.

She knows the law thoroughly and can help you understand it as well. She also teaches law at the McGeorge School of Law. Not only is she sharing her experience with you, but she is teaching other aspiring attorneys to do the same.

At the Law Offices of Dianne M. Fetzer, we can advocate for you and your children during divorce proceedings or any other family law matter.

Do I Need a Family Law Lawyer?

It is wise to hire an attorney when dealing with all legal matters. Attorneys can help you understand the law and how it applies to you and your situation. In particular, a family law attorney can help you better understand the details of your divorce proceedings, fight for proper visitation or custody rights, make sure your property is divided evenly, and help you seek the proper support you need for you and your children.

Attorneys can also respond to your questions with educated answers. They know how to help you when you are struggling emotionally with something as difficult as a divorce or child custody case. Handing your case over to an experienced attorney can help ease your stress about the situation, whether it be divorce, custody modifications, or domestic violence.

Proceeding without a family law attorney could be dangerous to your case. You could make a mistake in the paperwork or agree to terms that are less than ideal for you. Be sure to hire an accomplished, skilled attorney to help you with all of your family law proceedings.

What Can You Do Without Going to Court?

There are a few things you can do in a family law case without going to court. It would still be helpful to hire an attorney in these situations since they can help you with your paperwork. Many divorcing couples choose to come to an agreement in mediation, in which a mediator assists them in making compromises.

You can arrange the terms of your divorce, such as who receives what property and which assets, without appearing in court. You can also arrange child custody and visitation rights. An attorney can help you make sure everything is legal and accurate before taking your paperwork to a judge to sign off on it.

It is possible to solve a divorce amicably without needing to go to trial. However, if the divorce becomes more difficult to handle and more contentious, it may be time to appear in court. Either way, hiring a family law attorney is a wise decision.


Q: How Much Does a Family Lawyer Cost in California?

A: On average, a family attorney in California will cost you around $300 per hour. You are paying for their knowledge and assistance. If you choose to go without an attorney and represent yourself, you may make mistakes that may cost you more than just money—it may cost you things as important as visitation with your children.

Q: What Does a Family Lawyer Do in California?

A: Family attorneys help you through your divorce, child custody battles, spouse support battles, and instances of domestic violence. They can help arrange visitation with your children, handle divorce proceedings, and give you what you deserve for spousal support. They can also help determine how your case will play out if domestic violence is involved.

Q: What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce?

A: If the wife receives child custody, child support, and spousal support, she could be entitled to 40% of her spouse’s income and half of the marital assets. However, gender is not a factor considered in property division. Marital assets include your house’s mortgage, as well as any cars you bought, anything you earned, and any debts you incurred while you were married. 40% of the other spouse’s income is usually used for child and spousal support.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce?

A: A divorce can cost as little as $17,500 and as much as $26,000, depending on whether or not you have children and how long the divorce actually takes. All of the fees included in a court case, such as filing fees and attorney fees, contribute to its high cost.

Seek Help From an Experienced Sacramento Family Law Attorney

Family law, just like any legal matter, can be difficult to navigate on your own. However, with the help of a Sacramento family law attorney from the Law Offices of Dianne M. Fetzer, it becomes easier. Contact us today for assistance with your family law matter.

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