When you need heart surgery, you don't go to your primary physician. You would go to an American board-certified heart surgeon who specializes in matters of the heart. Likewise, if you want the most experienced and knowledgeable lawyer handling your family law matter, you hire a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS).
Less than 1% of attorneys in California are certified specialists in family law. Of the over 200,000 lawyers in California roughly 1,000 are Certified Specialists in Family Law. We are proud to say one of those few attorneys, Ilian Alchehayed, is here at Giammichele Law, APC.
Qualifications for CFLS
Most law schools provide foundational coursework on family law but that does not provide the deep understanding required for many complex family matters. Those wanting to be recognized as having specific knowledge in family law can choose to become a certified specialist. This designation requires extensive experience along with demonstrated success in family law.
The general requirements to become a certified specialist include:
- Passing a Written Examination
- 5 Years of Law Practice, 25% or More in Family Law
- Continuing Education in Family Law
- Demonstrating Broad-Based and Comprehensive Family Law Experience
- Favorable Evaluations by Other Attorneys and Judges
The State Bar of California approves each attorney's application.
Once certified, specialists must maintain their certification by:
- Paying the Legal Specialization Program Annual Fee
- Completing at Least 36 hours of Continuing Education Every 3 Years
- Recertification Every 5 Years
The Advantage of Hiring Our CFLS
Lives, relationships, and marriages are complicated. Family law cases are unique and there are no template solutions. Our certified family law specialist appreciates the nuances of California family law and the challenges each situation brings. He has devoted time and energy to be among the most educated and experienced in the family law field and has handled numerous trials in Southern California courts.
Attorney Alchehayed has extensive experience handling a wide range of family legal issues, including:
- Divorce. Ending a marriage is a decision often made after long consideration and forethought. Yet, that doesn't make the process easy. Emotions, finances, children, assets, and even the family dog can complicate what is already a complex undertaking. Our CFLS has years of experience working through sensitive and hotly contested divorces. You will have a strong advocate who works tirelessly on your behalf, fighting for your best interests.
- Child Custody. Our CFLS understands how passionate and protective parents are about their children. He'll work to get you as much time as possible with your children. A parent with sole legal custody can make all decisions for the child, from school to medical care. Joint legal custody requires parents to share in those decisions. Joint physical custody gives both parents time with the children, though not necessarily split 50/50. In sole physical custody, the child lives with one parent most or all the time, but the other parent may have visitation rights. If you want to fight for sole legal or physical custody, you will find a staunch defender of your position who is unafraid to argue before a judge.
- Child Support. Whether you are divorcing or are a single parent seeking child support from the other parent, Attorney Alchehayed has navigated the challenges associated with fighting for court-ordered child support. California requires judges to follow a prescribed formula when allocating child support. The formula includes the income of both parents as well as the number of children, how much time each parent spends with the child, and support of the children from other relationships, among others. Judges do have the discretion to waiver from the guidelines in very limited situations.
- Spousal Support. You'll want a certified family law specialist arguing for your right to spousal support if you are legally separating, divorcing, or having your marriage annulled. Support is also available for those with a domestic violence restraining order against their partner. When a case is in progress, support is referred to as a temporary spousal support order. A permanent (or long-term) order can be issued once the divorce or separation has been finalized. Judges study the standard of living during the marriage and the duration of the marriage when issuing an order.
- Marital Agreements. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are quite similar in the areas that are addressed, one just happens before the marriage, and the other happens after a couple has officially tied the knot. Both agreements can include division of the marital home and other real estate, distribution of bank accounts and investments, allocation of retirement plans and pensions, and allocation of personal items including cars, artwork, collectibles, and more.
- Separate Property Protection. California divorce law treats separate property and community property very differently, but in application they can be difficult to distinguish from one another. Especially after a long marriage, it can be challenging to discern what belonged to who – what is separate, individual property, and what is joint, marital property. Additionally, not all debts or assets have written proof of ownership. The complications increase when you use an asset you had before your marriage to buy a joint asset during the marriage. Fortunately, our certified family law specialist uses the intricacies of the law to protect your assets and fight for reimbursement.
- Pre-Divorce Planning. When you think you want a divorce, start planning for the end of your marriage before you ever file by working with Attorney Alchehayed. As a certified family law specialist, he can help you carefully plan for single life. He will help you think through your finances and potentially formulate an argument for alimony; determine how to talk to your children about the divorce and evaluate their needs; begin creating a stronger support system; and plan for your career advancement, all before asking for a divorce.
- Business Valuation. Some divorcing couples own businesses together. These cases require the extensive knowledge of a certified family law specialist like we have at Giammichele Law, APC . Common questions that arise include whether the business must be sold or whether one spouse is required to buy out the other. At the heart of these and other related questions is the valuation of the business. These concerns can be addressed by our certified family law specialist in the divorce process.
Schedule a No-Cost Consultation
If you have a family matter that needs resolution, contact Giammichele Law, APC for an appointment with our certified family law specialist.
Call us at (949) 303-7811 or use our convenient online form to get started.