Orange County Family Law Attorneys

Family Law Attorneys Serving Orange County

If you are looking for an experienced attorney to help you with any family law-related issue, contact the lawyers of Irwin & Irwin today at (714) 222-3992.
Family law is a broad and important branch of the law that affords families the opportunity to resolve civil matters that affect them, including divorce, child custody cases, prenuptial agreements, cases involving minor’s counsel, domestic abuse cases, and beyond. If you are facing a family law concern, your rights can hang in the balance, including your rights as a parent, which makes working closely with an experienced Orange County family law attorney from the start in your best interest.

Family Court Matters We Handle

Many people equate family law with divorce and leave it at that, but family law is far more comprehensive than divorce alone.

Child Custody

In California, child custody breaks down into both legal and physical custody. Legal custody determines who will be making primary parenting decisions like the following:

  • the children’s education
  • the children’s healthcare
  • the children’s religious education
  • the children’s participation in travel and extracurricular activities
Physical custody determines each parent’s parenting time schedule – or how the parents divide their time with the children.
Child custody cases can take many forms, including:
  • high conflict child custody cases, which sometimes include minor’s counsel
  • mediated child custody cases
  • child custody cases involving domestic abuse
  • child custody cases involving parents living in different states
  • child custody cases involving parental alienation
  • child custody cases involving relocation


Divorce is the dissolution of the marriage contract, and while every divorce is utterly specific to the unique circumstances that pertain, every divorcing couple must address the following terms (as applicable):
  • the division of community property
  • child custody arrangements
  • child support
  • alimony or spousal support
Divorce cases take many different forms, but some of the most common specialized cases include:
  • high asset divorce
  • divorce involving business ownership
  • divorce involving a professional enterprise, such as a medical facility
  • mediated divorcev
  • contested divorce
  • uncontested divorce
Other than the division of community property, the terms of divorce can also be addressed in cases related to post-divorce modifications. Further, both child support and child custody cases can arise entirely outside of marriage and divorce.

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are contracts created by couples who are preparing to marry that do not go into effect until the marriage occurs. When valid and legally binding, these agreements can guide how specific terms will be resolved in the event of a divorce and can also determine inheritance rights for the spouses themselves or for any children of only one spouse. Contractual agreements that are executed from within the marriage are called postnuptial agreements, and they can fill the same role prenuptial agreements do.
The divorce terms that can be addressed in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement include the following:
  • the division of community property
  • spousal support
  • child support – if the terms included exceed the state’s financial expectations
Because child custody arrangements are based on the best interests of the children at the time they are decided, this divorce term cannot be addressed ahead of time in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that are deemed to have been coerced or to have been predicated on fraud are not binding.


When a married couple has a child in California, the child’s paternity – or the matter of who their father is – is presumed. When this isn’t the case, however, paternity must be established. The most expedient means of doing so is when both parents sign and file a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity. This process can begin at the hospital when the child is born. When the mother and the potential father are in disagreement about a child’s paternity, the court can require DNA testing. Further, the court can require DNA testing on its own –to establish paternity in response to a mother seeking state aid for the child, for example.

Divorce Involving Minor’s Counsel

In some high-conflict divorces or divorces involving child abuse or neglect, or domestic violence, the court can assign a minor’s counsel who represents the best interests of the child in question. The minor’s counsel is intended to ascertain information that the court might otherwise not be privy to and that allows the court to make better-informed decisions related to the child.
While the minor’s counsel may take the child’s preferences into account – if the child is deemed mature enough to offer reasonable preferences – these preferences are only a piece of the puzzle and are not the focus of the attorney’s job. And while the parents can request that a minor’s counsel be assigned, only the court can do the assigning.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a generic term that is used to describe a range of physical, sexual, financial, or emotional abuse that occurs within the family – or within any intimate relationship. The primary defining factor is that the abuse takes place between people who live in the same household, are in the same family, or are in a close relationship. Domestic violence, as it relates to family law, often directly affects child custody and divorce cases.

An Experienced Orange County Family Law Attorney Is Standing by to Help

Whatever kind of family law concern you’re facing, it’s important and can directly affect your future. With professional legal guidance on your side, you can proceed with the sense of purpose that comes from knowing your rights and best interests are well protected. An accomplished Orange County family law attorney cares about your case and is well-prepared to help you resolve the matter as favorably and efficiently as possible.


How much does a family law attorney cost in California?

Family law attorneys in California generally charge an hourly fee that is in keeping with their level of experience handling cases like yours. The more challenges associated with your case, the more skilled legal guidance you can expect to require. For example, all the following tend to require more legal attention:
  • high asset divorces
  • high conflict divorces or child custody cases
  • divorces involving business ownership
  • contested divorces
The more straightforward your family law case, the fewer legal hours you are likely to require, which leads to lower legal costs. It’s important to recognize, however, that working closely with a seasoned family law attorney amounts to an investment in your future.

What is ex parte in Orange County Superior Court family law?

Ex parte means a hearing without notice, and ex parte motions refer to one party’s request to meet with the presiding family law judge without the other party to the case being present – or even being notified in some cases. Often, ex parte motions are used to request emergency orders that unique circumstances support. The laws that guide ex parte motions are exacting, and having the skilled legal guidance of an Orange County family law attorney is advised. Common examples of when the Orange County Superior Court will consider ex parte orders include:
  • forcing a non-compliant party to comply with restraining orders on a summons
  • issuing restraining orders
  • scheduling hearings
  • shortening the amount of time required for a hearing date based on unique circumstances
  • issuing a child custody order that is designed to protect a child from abuse or abduction

What does a family law attorney do?

Practiced Orange County family law attorneys staunchly defend the legal rights of their clients in pursuit of favorable case resolutions. Family law itself focuses on a wide range of concerns that affect family members, including divorce, child custody, paternity, domestic violence, cases involving minor’s counsel, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and well beyond. When it comes to family law cases, the stakes are too high to proceed without professional legal guidance, which is where your trusted family law attorney’s focused legal skill and considerable insight come in.

What types of cases are heard by family law courts?

Family law courts hear a wide range of cases that pertain to families, including all the following:
  • divorce
  • divorce involving high assets, business ownership, and other complicating factors
  • high-conflict child custody cases, including those that require minor’s counsel
  • paternity cases
  • domestic violence cases
  • cases involving prenuptial and postnuptial agreements