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Family law is the area of law that deals with family disputes and obligations. The purpose of family law actions is to resolve disputes in the course of determining the status of the marital partner and/or parents. Typically, nullity, legal separation and dissolution of marriage proceedings involve issues of determination of the marital status, parenting (custody and visitation) of minor children, support of minor children or one of the spouses, division of property, and attorney fees/court costs.  These areas include but are not limited to:

By their very nature, family law cases tend to be uniquely emotional and stressful. After all, they involve incredibly personal matters, such as the breakup of a relationship or deciding how to share custody of children. A family law case can be quite complicated, involving the division of assets, spousal support, child custody and child support matters. At the Law Offices of Thomas R. Chapin, we have substantial experience representing clients in both contentious and peaceable family law matters in Corona and the surrounding areas. We put our skill and knowledge of California family law to work for our clients so that they can achieve a result that protects their financial and familial interests.

California is a no-fault divorce state...

This means that neither party has to claim or prove that the other spouse was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. The fact that one spouse might have done something wrong in the marriage, such as having an affair, does not impact whether or not a divorce will be issued or how property will be divided. Additionally, a spouse does not have to agree to a divorce for it to be granted; it can be ordered by a court without the agreement of the other spouse. These factors make it all the more important that anyone considering filing for divorce in California -- or anyone who has been served with divorce papers -- consult with an experienced California family law attorney. 

Under California law, there is a six month waiting period after a divorce petition has been filed. This means that the earliest that a divorce can be granted is six months after filing. However, in many cases, divorces take much longer than six months to complete. This is particularly true where the parties must reach an agreement as to the division of property or sharing custody of children. If both spouses can reach a settlement as to the terms of a divorce during this waiting period, then the divorce may be granted at the end of the six months.



... and also a community property state. 

This means that all property and debt that was acquired during the marriage is subject to property division in a divorce. If the parties cannot agree to a division of property, then a judge will split the community property equally. A skilled family law attorney might be able to argue that a particular piece of property should be considered separate and not subject to distribution in the divorce. Spousal support or alimony might be ordered if one spouse has a much higher earning capacity and the other spouse requires financial support to maintain the standard of living that he or she enjoyed during the marriage.

How divorce shapes child custody

When it comes to determining child custody, the primary factor that California courts consider is the best interests of the child or children, which includes an evaluation of their health, safety and welfare. The parent with primary physical custody of the children might be entitled to child support, which is determined based on a formula that takes into account a number of factors, including the income and obligations of the non-custodial parent.

At the Law Offices of Thomas R. Chapin, we offer highly skilled legal representation in divorce, child custody and support matters. We utilize our in-depth knowledge of California law to strategize with our clients about how to achieve the best possible results. We will then aggressively fight to protect our clients’ rights in a divorce or other family law matter.


Thomas Chapin is a seasoned family law attorney representing clients throughout Southern California in divorce, child custody and child support matters. He is highly skilled at negotiating favorable terms in a divorce agreement and will litigate cases when necessary to protect clients’ best interests. Contact the Law Offices of Thomas R. Chapin today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.