California family laws can be downright confusing. Attempting to navigate the complex maze of  family laws, procedures and forms is not something which a layman can do. No matter what the numerous do it yourself guides say, you should hire an experienced divorce attorney to represent you in a divorce proceeding. Our Oakland family attorneys can have been representing clients all over Northern  California for the past 25 years. Call  the Thomas Hogan Law Office if you are looking for quality legal advice and representation. We offer one-on-one consultations. Here are the answers to some of the most important family law questions:

  • What are the factors considered in determining child support?
  • What types of adoption are available to me?
  • How can I get child custody or obtain visitation rights?

Foster Care

Today about half of all children who are removed from their homes have been abused or neglected. Physical “battering” is the most obvious form of abuse. Neglect is the term for parents not supplying food, clothing, or other needs for the child. Sexual abuse is fairly common. All of these forms of abuse generally are determined as the result of an investigation. If the child’s home is found to be unsafe, the child is removed and placed in foster care. Other children are in foster care because they are considered unmanageable. Such a child may skip school or may roam the streets and get into trouble. The family court judge or juvenile court judge removes the child from the parents. These unmanageable children make up about one quarter of the children in foster care. A third group of children consists of those who have been abandoned or whose parents cannot care for them. Included in this group are children whose parents are incarcerated or ill. Newborn infants are sometimes abandoned and this may occur as a result of the mother using illegal drugs.

Adoption Assistance Appeal

When adoption assistance negotiation or renegotiation does not go well, parents can opt to request an administrative hearing, or a fair hearing, to air their grievances. Applicants and participants in federal assistance programs have the right to appeal agency decisions that affect subsidy benefits under Federal regulations at 45 CFR CH.II 205.10, (a) (5). A denial of the child’s eligibility for Title IV-E adoption assistance or reimbursement of nonrecurring adoption expenses or the denial of a request for a higher amount of federal adoption assistance must be communicated to the applicant in writing along with information about how to request a hearing. Administrative fair hearings are relatively informal proceedings in which you as adoptive parents have the opportunity to present your case in your own words. Our family law attorneys of Thomas Hogan Law Office Oakland can assist you with your administrative hearing.


In order to obtain a guardianship, a petition must be filed with the court, evidence of the need for a guardian must be presented at a hearing, and the court must make a determination regarding the need for a guardian. For voluntary guardianship procedures, a person who is still competent but feels that his or her capacities may be declining, can file a petition requesting a guardian. Interested third parties can file petitions for involuntary guardianships with the court. Since the consent of the proposed ward is not obtained, involuntary guardianships are considered to be adversarial proceedings. Any interested person, corporation, and in some instances, a governmental agency acting as a “public guardian,” can file with the court of appropriate jurisdiction a petition that initiates the guardianship action. Our Oakland family law attorneys have years of experience dealing in guardianship issues.


When a paternity case is ultimately given a hearing in court, the rules concerning what procedures will be followed and what evidence will be considered by the court differ from what occurs in the usual civil case. Paternity cases are generally considered to be private matters. The public is excluded from the hearings. The putative father will also be required to testify, unless he claims his fifth amendment privilege, i.e., he can decline to testify in a court of law (or similar proceeding) if to do so would result in his incriminating himself. Finally, if the putative father fails to show up at the hearing, a decision can still be made in his absence, and he will be required to abide by it.

Domestic Violence

Arrests can be made to prevent further injury or to protect ‘a vulnerable person or child’. However, whilst the police may recognize the emotional and psychological trauma a woman may be suffering, to cause such conditions is not an arrestable offence. Neither are many minor injuries such as slaps, scratches and injuries that do not leave obvious physical signs of harm. In these cases, the police are often powerless to act in any way other than giving the perpetrator an informal verbal warning. Even when a man is arrested unless the injuries are deemed serious, the police are unable to detain him in custody for a period greater than twenty-four hours, after which he is released on unconditional bail.

Unpaid Child Support

Under the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act, it is a felony offense for the paying spouse to leave the state or the USto avoid payment of child support when the paying spouse is one year behind in child support payments or when the outstanding payments are more than $5000.  If the payments are more than 2 years overdue or outstanding payments exceed $10,000 the paying spouse can be sentenced to two years in prison. You can also file a contempt motion against your for non-payment. The paying spouse can be sent to jail for not making the payments under the child support order. Speak to the our family law attorneys in Oakland, CA to know how you can collect unpaid child support.

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