All posts by Torrence Howell

Using the Internet to Find a Family Law Lawyer in Ontario CA

Using the Internet to Find a Family Law Lawyer in Ontario CA

Starting a divorce or having to take an ex to court over child custody issues is never easy. Who you choose to represent your legal interests during this time could be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. Finding a family law lawyer in Ontario, CA, is easy; finding the best one for your situation may take a little work.

Seeking referrals and advice from friends, family members, and co-workers is a good place to start. Chances are some of them have faced the same challenges you’re facing now. Asking them to share their opinions and experience will make the process of selecting the right family lawyer much less difficult.

Some Tips for Finding a Family Law Lawyer in Ontario CA Using Online Resources

If you want to keep your search confidential, there are other ways to find a family law lawyer in Ontario, CA. The internet is one of the most popular ways of finding an attorney. However, there are pages and pages full of family lawyers looking for clients. It can be difficult to know where to even start.

Here are a few tips. You can narrow down the list by including a few specific keywords in your search query. Use keywords that indicate your geographic location. If you live in Ontario, CA, for instance, type in the search term “family law lawyer in Ontario, CA.” This will provide you with the names of family law attorneys who serve clients in the Ontario, CA area.

To narrow it down even further, add keywords that are specific to your situation, such as “divorce” or”child support,” along with your location. “Divorce lawyer in Ontario, CA” is one example.

Finding the Best Family Law Lawyer in Ontario, CA for Your Case

Once you’ve got your list, you can start contacting your candidates. One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an attorney is their family law experience. They should have extensive experience in the area of family law that pertains to your case, including courtroom experience.

Other questions to ask when looking for a family law lawyer in Ontario, CA include:

  • How much do they charge in fees?
  • What financing options do they provide?
  • Do they offer a free initial consultation?
  • How do they approach a case?
  • How well do their personality and professional attitudes align with yours?

Your Search for Family Law Lawyer in Ontario CA is Over

If you’re looking for exceptional family law services in Ontario, CA there’s one name you’ll come across time and time again and that’s family law lawyer Torrence L. Howell. Ontario, CA family law lawyer Torrence L. Howell has been serving clients in a wide range of family law cases for nearly two decades. He’s a trusted name when it comes to divorce, child custody, alimony, child customer, and other family law issues – just check out our client testimonial pages.

If you need the services of an experienced family law lawyer in Ontario, CA contact the law office of Torrence L. Howell through our website, or call us at (909) 920-0908 to schedule a free case consultation today.

Establishing Parentage in California

Establishing Parentage in California

In California, the parentage of any children must be legally established for a court to make rulings on custody, visitation, or child support, Parentage cases (also known as paternity cases) are cases in which the court is asked to make an order declaring who a child’s legal parents are.

In most instances, establishing parentage isn’t a problem. If a child’s parents were legally married at the time of birth, there are usually no questions about parentage. California state law automatically assumes the married persons are the child’s legal parents. Similarly, if parents are registered domestic partners when a child is born, the law assumes that the domestic partners are the child’s parents.

Situations Where the Parents Weren’t Married When Their Child Was Born

If the parents aren’t married or legal domestic partners at the time of the child’s birth, then parentage will have to be established by the court. This can be accomplished with both parents signing a voluntary declaration of parentage or paternity establishing themselves as the legal parents of the child. The parents can also request the court issue an order or sign an official declaration of parentage or paternity. If the father refuses to admit that he is the parent of a child, the court may order the father, mother, and child to submit to genetic testing.

Establishing Parentage Gives Your Parental Rights

Once a person has established themselves as the mother or father of a child, they will have all the rights and responsibilities of a parent. This includes the right to request custody and visitation orders from the court. The responsibilities of being an established parent include paying child support, as well as half of the uninsured health care costs and half of the child-care costs that result when the custodial parent holds a job or goes to school.

Establishing Parentage is Important for the Child

Establishing parentage is extremely important for a child. In addition to the emotional benefits of knowing who both parents are, it entitles them to several legal rights and privileges, such as:

    • Financial support from both parents;
    • Access to family medical records and history;
    • Family health and life insurance coverage;
    • Inheritance rights from either parent;
    • A birth certificate and other legal documentation that identifies both parents; and
    • The right to receive social security and veteran’s benefits, if available.

Speak to an Upland CA Family Law Attorney About Establishing Parentage

Establishing legal parentage is important when it comes to child custody and visitation rights. It can also provide a child with the legal rights and privileges they rightfully deserve. The laws pertaining to parentage in California can be complicated, especially if the parents aren’t married. To do what’s best for your child, it’s important to seek experienced legal advice.

Torrence L. Howell is an Upland CA family law attorney with extensive experience when it comes to California parentage and paternity laws. His knowledge and expertise can resolve even the most complicated of family law issues.

Contact the offices of Upland CA family law attorney Torrence L. Howell or call us at (909) 920-0908 to schedule a free case evaluation today.

Child Custody and “Move-Away” Situations in California

Child Custody and “Move-Away” Situations in California

There are many reasons why you may need to move to another state after a divorce. You may have a new job or just want to move closer to relatives. If you have children, your child custody agreement could complicate your moving plans.

What are your rights if you want to move away with your children, or are concerned that your ex-spouse or partner will move away with your children? The laws pertaining to these situations are complicated and subject to frequent changes. California’s state courts recommend that you consult with a family law attorney if you find yourself in a family move-away situation.

Torrence B. Howell is a family law lawyer in Upland CA who has helped many clients in child custody move-away cases. One of the most difficult issues to handle when a couple separates is what happens to the children. Torrence is here to help you and your ex come to an amicable child custody agreement; if this fails, he is more than able to protect your rights and interests in court.

Cases Where a Parent Has Sole Physical Custody

In most instances, when a parent has a permanent order of sole physical custody or primary physical custody, they can move with the children if they wish. In order to prevent this, the other parent must show that the move would harm the children. Things aren’t so cut and dry if the parent only has a temporary order for primary physical custody. Since every case is different, the advice of an experienced family law attorney would be useful.

Situations Involving Joint Custody

What about situations involving joint custody? What happens when one parent wants to move with the children and the other doesn’t want this to happen? In California, the courts make decisions for child custody based on what is in the best interests of the child. So, in situations involving joint custody, the parent who wants to move must show that the move is in the best interest of the children. Talk to a family law lawyer before you make any agreements with an ex.

Speak to a Family Law Lawyer in Upland CA About Changes in Your Child Custody

Upland CA family law lawyer Torrence L. Howell can represent your interests if changes need to be made in any court-ordered child custody agreement. With over two decades of family and business law experience, Torrence L. Howell possesses the legal skills and expertise to handle any legal issues related to child relocation and visitation rights.

Torrence is always interested in what’s best for the children. Whenever possible, he’ll work to help you reach a fair custody and visitation agreement outside of court; however, if this doesn’t work he’s more than willing to take your dispute to court to protect your rights and the best interests of your children.

Torrence L. Howell serves clients in Upland CA and surrounding

communities, including Ontario, Claremont, Pomona, Chino, and Rancho Cucamonga. Contact us through our website, or call us at (909) 920-0908 to schedule a free case evaluation with a leading family law lawyer in Upland, CA.

Annulment vs. Divorce in Ontario CA

Annulment vs. Divorce in Ontario CA

Everyone knows that emotions play a big role in a divorce proceeding. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had an angry client come into our offices demanding that they not only want to split up with their spouse – they want the state to declare the entire marriage annulled as if it never existed!

As an experienced family law attorney in Ontario, CA, I’ve helped many clients who have decided to end a relationship with their spouse or domestic partner. One thing a family law attorney brings to the table during a divorce proceeding is a cool head and an objective perspective. If you’ve decided to end your marriage or domestic relationship it’s important to listen to the advice of your attorney then let emotions guide your actions.

The Differences Between Annulment and Divorce in California

An annulment is a case in point. Most people don’t understand the difference between a divorce and an annulment. Getting a divorce in California is fairly easy; having your marriage annulled may be impossible.

So, what is the difference between a divorce and an annulment in California? An annulment is a much more serious matter than a divorce. You aren’t simply asking the court to dissolve a marriage; you’re asking the court to declare the marriage null and void based on the assertion that it was never legal or proper to begin with.

Situations in Which a Marriage Can Be Annulled in California

There are some situations where a marriage is never legally valid in California. These include incest, where the two partners in a marriage or domestic partnership are close blood relatives; and bigamy, where one or both partners is already married or in a domestic relationship with another person. There are other circumstances in which the court may decide to annul a marriage, such as:

  • Age. One or both of the partners was under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage.
  • Mental illness. One of the spouses was of unsound mind at the time the marriage took place.
  • Fraud. The marriage was literally a fraud, such as marrying a U.S. citizen in order to obtain a green card.
  • Force. Force or intimidation was used to get one of the partners to agree to the marriage
  • Physical incapacity. This usually means that one of the partners was unable to “consummate” the relationship.

If you are successful, it will be as if the marriage never took place. Unfortunately, an annulment can cause all kinds of legal headaches when it comes to child support and custody, dividing common property, and debt. If you are successful, it will be as if the marriage never took place. It’s also important to note that, unlike divorce, there is are statutes of limitation in California for filing for an annulment.

Speak to a Family Law Attorney in Ontario CA

During a divorce proceeding, it’s important not to let anger and other negative emotions guide your actions and speech. The best thing for everyone is to hire an experienced family law attorney to formulate a plan that works for all the parties involved.

With 20 years of experience and proven results you can trust, Torrence L. Howell is a family law attorney in Ontario, CA who can help you secure the best possible outcome for your case. Torrence L. Howell and his staff are with you every step of the way, from developing an initial strategy to protect your assets and interests to filing legal paperwork to fighting for you in court.

Contact the law offices of Torrence L. Howell through our website, or call us at (909) 920-0908 to schedule a free, initial consultation to discuss your case.

Grandparents’ Visitation Rights in Ontario CA

Grandparents' Visitation Rights in Ontario CA

There are a lot of blogs discussing a spouse’s visitation rights after a divorce. But what about grandparents? What visitation rights do they have in the state of California?

As a grandparent living in Ontario, CA, you have a right to maintain the relationship you have with your grandchildren even after their parents have filed for divorce. If you’re unsure of how to exercise these rights, contact the law offices of Terrence L. Howell without delay. Terrence is an experienced family law lawyer in Ontario CA dedicated to protecting the rights of grandparents to be with their grandchildren, no matter how messy the divorce proceedings may be.

You Have to Show That Visitation is in the Best Interests of The Grandchild

The courts always have the best interests of the child in mind when they make decisions about custody and visitation during a divorce proceeding. In order to be granted visitation rights, you must show that there your relationship has “engendered a bond” between you and your grandchild. Basically, you have to establish that the emotional bond you share with your grandchild means continued visitation would be in the best interests of your grandchild. In most instances, it’s fairly easy to show the court that you and your grandchild have the type of relationship that would qualify you for visitation rights.

Keep in mind that the court will have to find a balance between your rights as a grandparent to be able to visit your grandchildren and the rights of the parent(s) to make decisions about their child.

The Grandparents’ Visitation Rights Court Process: What to Expect

Petitioning the court for grandparents’ visitation rights can be a challenge. Ontario, CA family law lawyer Torrence L. Howell is here to guide you through the process. First, you’ll have to determine if there is already a family law case filed between the grandchild’s parents (such as a divorce, a parentage case, a child support case, or a domestic violence restraining order). If there isn’t an open case, you may have to file a petition with the court to open a new case. In order to open a new case, you’ll have to submit a ‘Request for Order” form with the courts.

After you’ve filed papers in court to ask for visitation, they will review the papers and assign a court date. In the meantime, the law requires you to give notice to the parents (or anyone else who has physical custody of your grandchild). This is done through “service of process.” – the legal way of informing someone about a court case or a petition you have filed in court.

A lot of times, the judge will order you to go through mediation with Family Court Services mediation to work out a visitation agreement with the parents. If this fails, the judge will make a decision on visitation rights based on the best interests of the child.

Get Help From an Experienced Family Law Lawyer in Ontario, CA

We know how special the bond between a grandparent and grandchild can be. Just because you’re children are getting divorced doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your relationship with your grandchildren. As a leading family law lawyer in Ontario, CA, Terrence L. Howell has successfully represented grandparents in Ontario, Ca, and surrounding communities in a wide range of visitation rights cases.

Contact the law offices of Terrence L. Howell through our website or call us at (909) 920-0908 to discuss your case.

The Basics of Child Custody Orders in California

The Basics of Child Custody Orders in California

When a couple decides to get a divorce, one of the biggest concerns is who will get custody of the children. In California, the courts do not automatically award custody based on the age or sex of the children. In addition, the courts cannot deny you custody because you weren’t married to the other parent. Nor can they deny you custody because of your religious beliefs, sexual orientation. a physical disability or lifestyle choices.

If you have any questions about child custody in California, contact the law offices of Terrence L. Howell. Torrence L. Howell is a Family Law Attorney in Upland, CA who is dedicated to defending the rights of his clients in disputes over custody. He’ll ensure the judge considers all the factors in your favor when determining child custody rights.

How Child Custody Is Decided in California

In California, the court can award custody to one or the other parents, or both. In most instances, the judge will approve a parenting plan arrangement that both parents agree to. However, if the parents are unable to come to an agreement the judge will make a decision.

California state law says that a judge must base their decision on what is in the best interest of the child or children. To make their determination, the judge will consider factors such as:

  • The age of the children,
  • The health of the children,
  • The ability to care for the children,
  • The emotional ties between the children and their parents,
  • Any history of family violence or substance abuse, and
  • The children’s ties to their school, home, or community.

The judge usually waits to make their decision until after the parents and their legal representatives have met with a mediator from Family Court Services. In addition to child custody, the judge will also determine visitation rights and the amount of child support to order.

The Two Kinds of Child Custody in California

There are two kinds of child custody in California: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody gives the parent(s) the right to make decisions about their children’s schooling, daycare, religious activities, sports participation, health care, travel, and residence. Physical custody determines which parent(s) the children will live with.

Custody can be joint (both parents share responsibility) or sole (only one parent has custody), based on the court’s decision. Sometimes, a judge will give parents joint legal custody, but not joint physical custody. The parent who does not have physical custody is usually granted visitation rights. In some circumstances, such as when both parents are unfit to care for their children, the court will grant custody or “guardianship” to someone other than the parent.

Speak With a Family Law Attorney in Upland CA

If you’re getting a divorce in Upland, CA, it’s important to protect your rights when it comes to child support, child custody, and child visitation. Contact the law offices of Torrence L. Howell without delay. As a leading Family Law Attorney in Upland, CA is familiar with the state’s laws when it comes to awarding child custody and visitation rights. He can help you and your spouse to come to an equitable custody agreement; if this isn’t possible, Torrence will aggressively represent your interests in court.

Contact the law offices of Upland, CA family law attorney Torrence L. Howell through our website, or call us at (909) 920-0908 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

Factors Used to Calculate Spousal Support in Upland California

Factors Used to Calculate Spousal Support in Upland California

At the law offices of Upland CA family law lawyer Torrence L. Howell, one of the more frequent questions we get asked by clients is how much spousal support, or alimony, they can expect to receive as a part of their settlement. Unfortunately, we can’t give them a precise answer. That’s because these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. What we can do is discuss some of the factors family law judges take into consideration when determining the rate and duration of spousal support.

How Temporary Spousal Support is Calculated

There are two types of spousal support in California: temporary and permanent. A spouse may request temporary support to maintain their accustomed lifestyle while the proceedings take place. In most instances, judges rely on a formula to determine temporary spousal support amounts.

It’s important to keep in mind that these formulas are only guidelines and the judge is free to determine whatever amount of temporary spousal support they feel is fair and appropriate.

Factors Used to Calculate Permanent Spousal Support

While a judge will generally rely on a formula to calculate temporary spousal or partner support, they use different methods to calculate their final support order. Long-term spousal support is decided on a case-by-case basis. Family court judges tend to follow the guidelines listed under California Family Code Section 4320 when determining permanent spousal support.

Under California Family Code Section 4320, the judge will consider some of the following circumstances in making his decision:

  • The duration of the marriage or domestic relationship;
  • The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support;
  • The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party;
  • The needs of each party, based on the standard of living established during the marriage;
  • The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party;
  • The age and health of both parties;
  • Any history of violence against the supporting party by the supported party; and
  • The criminal conviction of an abusive spouse.

The judge can also use whatever factors they deem just and equitable when making their final decision.

How Long Will You Receive “Permanent” Spousal Support?

It’s important to remember that “permanent” spousal support will only be paid for a certain amount of time. If you were married for ten years or less, you can expect to receive spousal support for only half the time you were married. For instance, if you were married for six years, the court will probably order your former spouse to pay support for only three years. The purpose of spousal support is to provide the supported spouse with the resources they need to transition from married to single life. Different standards can be applied in marriages that lasted longer than ten years.

Get Help From a Family Law Lawyer in Upland, CA

Whether you are seeking temporary or permanent spousal support, the smart thing to do is hire a trusted family law lawyer to handle your legal matters. Torrence L. Howell is an experienced family law lawyer in Upland CA who has represented clients in Upland, Ontario, Fontana, San Antonio Heights, San Dimas, Pomona, Montclair, and other San Bernardino County communities. Torrence L. Howell understands the factors a judge takes into account when determining spousal support; he will fight to ensure you get the total spousal support to which you are due.

Contact Upland, CA family law lawyer Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 to protect your rights and interests during your divorce proceedings.

Can You Modify Alimony in California?

Can You Modify Alimony in California?

When your divorce is finalized, aspects like property and asset division, child support and custody, and alimony are detailed in the agreement. These specifics are usually set in stone for the specified amount of time and are determined based on the situation and circumstances when it was finalized. However, if circumstances have changed since the divorce agreement was finalized, you might be wondering if aspects like alimony can be modified. Keep reading to learn more about alimony and spousal support order modifications and how Torrence L. Howell can help you through the process.

Can a spousal support or alimony order be modified?

Yes! Alimony, also known as spousal support, can be modified. However, the judge will not grant a modification just because you request it. There has to be a valid reason for the request.

What could justify alimony modifications?

In California, a change in income of either spouse can justify an alimony modification. The judge will consider granting a modification if certain circumstances change, including:

  • The paying spouse loses their job or suffers a permanent reduction in earning power
  • The supported spouse gets a new job or a raise and becomes self-supporting
  • The supported spouse remarries or is cohabitating
  • Child support has ended

This list is certainly not exhaustive. If you have a valid reason to request a change in alimony or spousal support, Torrence L. Howell is here to help!

Do I need an attorney to modify a spousal support order?

While having an attorney is not required to file a modification, it is a good idea to have one. These types of agreements have a big impact on your financial situation so you want to be sure that you put the best case forward. Having an experienced family law attorney like Torrence L. Howell can help!

If you need help with your spousal support modification, contact Torrence Howell Law today!

If your situation has changed and you need to request a modification to a spousal support order, Torrence L. Howell can help. With over 27 years of experience, Torrence L. Howell has handled countless alimony cases and has a plethora of satisfied clients to support his efforts. Give us a call today at (909) 920-0908 to learn more or schedule an initial consultation!

To learn more about the reliable and quality family and business law services that we offer, visit us on the web at Torrence L. Howell.

Do You Know the Factors That Affect Child Custody Agreements?

Do You Know the Factors That Affect Child Custody Agreements?

If you are going through a divorce, it can often be a stressful and difficult time. This is especially true if there are children involved. When going through a divorce or separation with children involved, the court will issue a child custody agreement. This details how much time and when a child is with each parent. It also lays out visitation, holiday schedules, and other aspects, and is considered binding. When going through a divorce or separation, it is essential to know what factors can affect child custody agreements and thankfully, we are here to help. Keep reading to learn more about the factors that affect child custody agreements and how Torrence L. Howell can assist you through the process.

What factors affect custody agreements?

In California, the court will always issue orders in the best interest of the child. When assigning custody and visitation rights, the court will consider the following:

  • Mental and physical health of the parents, as well as their moral fitness
  • How long the child has lived in an environment that is stable and whether that environment can be continued
  • The ability of each of the parents to provide a routine of stability for the child
  • Child’s preferences, if the court determines that the child is able to make the decision
  • The ability of each of the parents to meet the needs of the child developmentally
  • Prior situations or convictions related to domestic violence involving one or both parents

Do I need an attorney to work through a child custody dispute?

While you are not required to have an attorney when going through a child custody dispute it is highly recommended. The order issued by the court will be binding and impact the time that you are able to spend with your child going forward so it is essential to have an experienced attorney fighting on your behalf for a fair agreement.

If you need help with your child custody dispute, contact Torrence Howell Law today!

If you are dealing with a custody dispute it is important to have a dedicated and experienced family law attorney on your side. Torrence L. Howell has over 27 years of experience and will fight to help you get a fair agreement when it comes to child custody. If you are ready to move forward, give us a call today at (909) 920-0908 to learn more or schedule an initial consultation!

To learn more about the reliable and quality family and business law services that we offer, visit us on the web at Torrence L. Howell.

Do You Need to Modify a Child Support Order in Claremont CA?

Do You Need to Modify a Child Support Order in Claremont CA?

When your divorce agreement is finalized, it establishes stipulations that need to be followed regarding child support, child custody, alimony, and property division, among other things. Items like child support and alimony are put in place relative to the financial situation of each party at the time. However, over time these situations can change and the agreement might not be working anymore. You might be wondering if you can modify a child support order and we are here to help. Keep reading to learn more about child support modifications in Claremont CA and how Torrence L. Howell can help you through the process.

Can a child support order be modified?

Yes! A child support order needs to be followed, but there are some circumstances where the order can be modified. If certain circumstances change, you can request a child support modification.

What could justify child support modifications?

The court will not modify a child support order just because you ask for it. There needs to be a significant change in circumstance, including:

  • The parent paying support can no longer afford it due to income or health problems
  • The parent receiving support begins earning more
  • The parent receiving support gets remarried
  • The physical custody split is changed
  • The child has been emancipated
  • The child requires additional support for a specific medical or educational need
  • The child requires ongoing support after age 18 due to disability

This list is by no means exhaustive. If you have a valid reason why your current child support order is no longer working, contact us for assistance.

Do I need an attorney to modify a child support order?

When you are submitting any request to the courts that has a large impact on your life and your finances, it is always a good idea to have an attorney on your side. Torrence L. Howell will make sure that you put the best case forward!

If you need help with your child support modification, contact Torrence Howell Law today!

If your situation has changed and you need to request a child support modification, Torrence L. Howell is the attorney to call. With over 27 years of experience and a strong devotion to his clients, Torrence L. Howell will work tirelessly to ensure that you get the best outcome possible in your child support modification request. Give us a call today at (909) 920-0908 to learn more or schedule an initial consultation!

To learn more about the reliable and quality family and business law services that we offer, visit us on the web at Torrence L. Howell.