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Practice Areas

Over 20 years of proven experience.


Every marital dissolution presents unique issues which require us to develop legal strategies to best represent you and to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the dissolution proceeding. We advise, resolve, negotiate, and litigate as appropriate for the particular issues of your marital dissolution. We are experienced in negotiating successfully on behalf of clients who are involved in highly contentious situations, diligent in discovering the complete estate, and seasoned in ensuring that the best interests of the children affected by the dissolution remain in the forefront of our clients' cases.


Once an action for dissolution has been commenced, either party has the right to request temporary assistance from the Court. This request may be for temporary orders for custody and child support, spousal support, for payment of community debts, or for other temporary relief that is necessary for the circumstances of your dissolution, such as move-out orders or orders for exclusive use and possession of the marital home.



Community Property


California's family laws have the express underlying policy of ensuring a proper division of community property and that child and spousal support awards are both fair and equitable. To affect this policy, the Family Code requires that parties to a dissolution action exchange “preliminary” and “final” declarations of disclosure, income and expense declarations, and supporting documents. These documents are mandatory and must be completed truthfully and accurately.


We diligently prepare these documents for our clients and carefully scrutinize the documents produced by opposing parties to ensure that the marital estate is adequately depicted. We will also conduct the discovery necessary to obtain an accurate and comprehensive picture of the marital estates of our clients.


Child Support


In divorce or child paternity proceedings, disputes often arise over the amount of child support payable by one parent to the other. California has adopted statutory guidelines for determining child support. These guidelines require consideration of factors including the incomes of both parents, the number of children for which support is required, the cost of health insurance paid by the parents, and the amount of time the children spend with each parent.


A comprehensive understanding of these factors is necessary to ensure that the amount of child support proscribed by the guidelines accurately reflects the true income and expenses of the parents.  At the Law Offices of Stuart Fishman, we diligently work on behalf of our clients in to obtain accurate information to substantiate income and expenses, including discovery of hidden or non-traditional sources of income, to ensure that the amount of child support is an accurate reflection of the incomes of the parties in an effort to protect the best interests of the children for whom the support is ordered. We will counsel you as to the factors that affect the amount of child support payable, and gather all the financial information necessary to ensure that a child support order is entered which properly applies the child support guidelines within the particular circumstances of your case.

Restraining Orders


Allegations of domestic violence are very serious. If true, they affect the victim not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. If untrue, the person against whom the allegations were made is called upon to defend him/herself in a spurious proceeding. In addition to it being a civil matter, California also imposes criminal liability on persons who have perpetrated domestic violence and who have violated an abuse prevention order.


Pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence statute, the following persons may obtain a protective order:


  • A person who is in immediate and present danger of domestic violence

  • A child who is in immediate and present danger of abuse by a family or household member

  • A child who is in immediate and present danger of being abducted by a parent or relative

  • An elder or dependent adult who is in immediate and present danger of abuse


At the Law Offices of Stuart Fishman, we provide knowledgeable and caring yet aggressive and effective representation for our clients. Whether you are alleging that you and/or your child is the victim of domestic violence, or you are facing accusations of such abuse, we have years of experience and are well-equipped to counsel clients on abuse prevention orders. When you entrust your case to us, we will take the immediate steps necessary to ensure that your rights are protected.


Custody & Visitation


In California, child custody and visitation requires consideration of the best interests of the child. This standard mandates that the Court consider various sensitive factors which may increase the stress, discomfort, and disagreement between parents. This area of the law requires the knowledgeable, compassionate, and responsive representation that the Law Offices of Stuart Fishman provides.


Whether you are seeking a custody and visitation order in connection with an action for dissolution, legal separation, annulment, abuse prevention, or parentage, we diligently work to obtain favorable outcomes for our clients while maintaining the sensitivity and attention necessary to ensure that the needs and interests of your children remains paramount.

Spousal Support


An order for spousal support may provide a spouse with temporary financial assistance during a divorce. In California, spousal support may also be ordered to be paid to a spouse for a specific length of time after the marriage has been dissolved and, in some cases, an order for support may be permanent.


Spousal support may be ordered by the Court only after consideration of all statutorily enumerated factors, including:


  • The length of the marriage

  • The standard of living established during the marriage

  • The needs of each party

  • Financial resources and liabilities of each party, including separate property

  • Each party's source(s) of income

  • The impact of the custodial parent's employment on the needs of the minor children

  • The age and health of each spouse

  • Each spouses' ability to be self supporting

  • Tax consequences to each party

  • The contribution of each party to domestic duties

  • The contribution of each party to the education and training of the other party

  • Domestic violence


Prenuptial Agreements


The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to provide persons who anticipate entering into a marriage/domestic partnership with a clear definition of how certain issues will be resolved upon dissolution, with the object of avoiding litigation should an action for dissolution be commenced.


Prenuptial agreements can identify property brought into the marriage/domestic partnership, how income and assets acquired during the marriage/domestic partnership will be characterized, and who has the legal right to control separate property. A prenuptial agreement can designate that certain property and income is to remain the separate property of one party and can either adjust or avoid the application of California's community property laws upon dissolution. Additionally, these agreements may include provisions for the division of debt, division of real property, medical coverage, life insurance, and the payment of spousal support upon dissolution.




California explicitly recognizes that the state has a compelling interest in establishing paternity for all children. For unmarried persons, obtaining a judicial order establishing paternity is a critical precursor to obtaining a child support order and ensuring that children have access to all legal rights and benefits under the law including social security, health insurance, and inheritance rights. For married persons, it may be necessary to rebut the presumption of paternity. We represent clients who seek to prove or disprove paternity, and offer competent counsel in both types of paternity actions.


Issues of paternity can be extremely sensitive in nature and can have a tremendous impact on the futures of both the parents and the children involved. Our seasoned and dedicated team can help you navigate the waters of paternity law.


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