Serving Families Since 1980

Adopting A Child In California


Father Holding a Baby- Law Firm in Rancho Cordova, CA
Whether you are considering a independent adoption, an agency adoption, a stepparent adoption, the office of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law is here to serve your needs, and we look forward to working with you in one of the most miraculous areas of law. Attorney Mary Quintero, an outside attorney, is an experienced lawyer to whom we refer these cases. You will be in very good hands.

Contact our firm online to start getting your adoption questions answered by an attorney who understands what you are going through.

Legal Assistance For Every Kind Of Adoption

For those seeking to adopt a child, discussing the many aspects of this procedure for welcoming a child into your family is critical. If you are considering placing a child for adoption, or looking to adopt a child, we can also provide answers to your many questions and help you through the entire process.

Representation of Birth Mothers

Placing your child for adoption is a bittersweet decision, we know. It is important that you are comfortable with your attorney and for that reason, we encourage you to begin by scheduling a phone appointment with Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law. We will get you in touch with the right people who will answer your questions and explain the process. Never a charge for birth mothers' representation.

Contact A Skilled Adoption Attorney In The Rancho Cordova Area

If you have any questions, you may contact us online or call our California law firm at (916) 852-0222 and we will discuss your legal matters.

Domestic Violence/Civil Restraining Orders

Experienced Domestic Violence Attorneys

Whether you file charges of domestic violence or have had charges filed against you, attorney Hugh O. Allen has the experience to help you navigate complex legal problems and keep your life intact. We have handled domestic violence and family law in California for over 30 years.

If you believe that you or your children are in danger, you should call 911 or find a domestic violence shelter immediately. To schedule an appointment with the law offices of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law, call us today at (916) 852-0222 or contact our offices online.

Handling Restraining Orders

Anyone who files a restraining order will be seeking a temporary restraining order that will remain in force until a hearing is held to determine whether the accused abuser has committed domestic violence.

We can help you file an effective restraining order or respond when one has been filed against you. In every case, we are devoted to our client's best interests. We handle protection orders involving a variety of issues such as:

 
  • Physical abuse
 
  • Sexual abuse
 
  • Stalking
 
For victims of spousal abuse, this means keeping you and your children safe from the threat of future harm. For those accused of domestic violence, this means investigating the claim to see if it is valid and helping you adjust if a court order effectively bars you from visiting your own home.

If you are unsure of the type of restraining order you need, schedule an appointment.

To schedule an appointment with an experienced lawyer, call us today at 916-852-0222 or contact us online. We provide experienced, knowledgeable representation dedicated to your well-being.

This does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

 

Child Custody

Resolving Child Custody Issues Fairly And Humanely

Father with Daughter - Law Firm in Rancho Cordova, CA
While most parents know better, some divorcing mothers and fathers forget that their children stand to lose the most when their parents' marriage dissolves. When the best interests of a child are overlooked in favor of the anger or resentment of a divorcing parent, two things are very likely to result: The child will suffer more than necessary, and the parent's legal position on custody and parenting time issues will be seriously undermined.

At the office of Hugh O. Allen, our attorneys help divorcing parents work out their differences with one another with respect to the custody issues that will be essential to each spouse's ability to be the best possible parent for the children caught in divorce. Contact us in Rancho Cordova to learn more about our approach to parent-child issues in divorce.

Advice About Child Custody In Greater Sacramento: Call (916) 852-0222


California law requires family law judges to resolve custody and parenting time issues according to the best interests of the children involved, so a big part of a divorce lawyer's job is to help the parent understand how to formulate goals that place the child's interests foremost. In the vast majority of cases, the child's interests will require a secure, substantial and stable relationship with the other parent.

Our lawyers advise clients about the best ways to resolve custody and support issues in all kinds of divorces: amicable dissolution, high-conflict cases, high net worth divorce, short-term marriage, military divorce and everything in between. Our services cover such problems as:

  • Child custody and parenting time issues
  • Determination of child support obligations, including upward or downward departures from the guidelines amounts
  • Modification or enforcement of child custody, visitation or support arrangements
  • Parental proposals to relocate with a child to another part of California or another state
  • Parental fitness issues that will require professional evaluation or therapy
  • Parental alienation issues when one divorcing parent undermines the other's parent-child relationship

Hugh O. Allen has been a certified family law specialist under standards established by The State Bar of California's Board of Legal Specialization. The breadth of his experience on parenting issues of all kinds in divorce can represent a significant benefit for our law firm's clients.

To learn more about your options for resolving child custody or support problems, contact us in Rancho Cordova, California, or call us at (916) 852-0222.


 

Family Litigation

When Family Conflicts Demand Litigation

Father and Baby - Law Firm in Rancho Cordova, CA
Anyone who is undergoing serious family litigation needs a lawyer with the experience and ability to fight tooth and nail for his or her best interest.

At the law offices of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law, we can aggressively pursue family litigation while doing everything possible to reduce costs and keep from doing further harm to your family relationships. We do this by meticulously preparing all aspects of each case while maintaining proper conduct and actions based on current orders.

We represent clients throughout California. To schedule an appointment with an attorney at our firm, call us today at (916) 852-0222 or contact our firm online.

Family Litigation Is A Means Of Solving Problems

Of the many methods of representation offered at the law offices of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law, family litigation is only one. When conflicts can't be resolved through more cooperative methods like mediation, some issues may remain unresolved. If no negotiated agreement can be reached, issues like child custody, support and division of community property and retirement accounts may be decided in the courts through litigation, at hearings, at settlement conferences and at an actual trial.

We have practiced through many historic and major changes to California's family law statutes, and we bring a deep understanding of the historical roots of today's legal landscape.

Handling Cases On Appeal

We have prevailed with cases on appeal in the past, but we no longer taking on appellate cases.

Fathers' Rights

Explaining Fathers' Rights

For biological, legal and social reasons, fathers face a different set of challenges from mothers. At the law offices of attorney Hugh O. Allen, we have handled fathers' rights issues related to paternity, child custody, visitation and child support.

We offer experienced, caring, knowledgeable and committed service to help resolve each client's legal issues. To schedule an appointment with a caring attorney, call (916) 852-0222 or contact us online today.

What Rights Do Fathers Have?

In theory, fathers' rights are no different from mothers' rights: They are both entitled to have access to their children and they are both expected to contribute materially to the children's upbringing. As a result, both parents have the right to:

  • See and raise their children through custody and visitation agreements
  • Make decisions about the child's education, religion and health care
  • File a protest if the other parent attempts to move far away with the children
  • File for modifications and enforcement of child custody and support court orders if the other parent doesn't follow them or if circumstances change significantly.

Step One To Enforce Fathers' Rights: Establish Paternity

A biological father whom the state doesn't recognize as the legal father will receive no parental rights from the state.
Whenever a child is born to a married mother, the state assumes that the husband is the father. If a child is born out of wedlock, then the father can establish paternity by signing a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity form. That gives the father custody and visitation rights along with an obligation to pay child support.
To schedule an appointment to discuss fathers' rights with an experienced lawyer, call (916) 852-0222 or contact our firm online today.

This does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

Grandparents' Rights

Sacramento, California, Grandparents' Rights Attorney

In California, grandparents do not necessarily have legal rights to visitation. That means that if a child's parents don't want to allow their child to interact with his or her grandparents, the grandparents may have no legal basis to seek visitation rights. In more extreme circumstances, however, grandparents may have the right to take custody of a grandchild, due to both parents being a detriment to the child.

At the law offices of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law, we have handled family law issues involving the rights of grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members for over 30 years in Sacramento, California. We provide caring, knowledgeable, experienced service. To schedule an appointment, call today at (916) 852-0222 or contact our firm online.

When Grandparents Raise Grandchildren

In many cases, grandparents do more to raise their grandchildren than the child's biological parents, even without having established a formal legal relationship. If the parents become neglectful or abusive or begin to engage in criminal activities, your pre-existing role as a caregiver can help you gain legal custody of your grandchildren.

This holds true for aunts, uncles and any other family member who acts as a de facto parent of the child. A "de facto parent" is someone who takes on the responsibilities of a parent to such an extent that the law can consider that person as being like a parent.

Gaining Custody Of A Grandchild

If you believe that both parents are a detriment to the child's upbringing because of illegal, neglectful or abusive behavior, you can contact Child Protective Services to investigate. If officials determine that both parents are detrimental to the child's development and well-being, they can remove the child from the household.

At that point, they have to find a guardian with whom to place the child. Before placing a child in the foster care system, they look to see if any family members are able and willing to raise the child first. Concerned and caring grandparents are usually favored.

If you wish to eventually adopt the child, you first have to end the biological parents' legal relationship with that child during a termination of parental rights proceeding.

At the law offices of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law, we handle grandparents' rights cases with dedication and care. If you would like to talk about grandparents' rights with a lawyer, call (916) 852-0222 or contact our firm online today.

This does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.
 

Paternity

Sacramento, California, Lawyer Handling Paternity Issues

In addition to being a joy, fatherhood is a legal relationship that confers certain rights and responsibilities on fathers toward their children. Before this relationship can be established, it is often necessary to scientifically determine the father's identity. In addition, complex issues can arise as a result of marital infidelity.

At the law offices of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law, we have handled family law issues related to paternity. We provide knowledgeable, experienced and caring service. To schedule an appointment, call us at (916) 852-0222 today or contact our offices online.

When Can Paternity Be Contested?

When a child is born to a married woman, the state automatically assumes that her husband is the father. When a child is born out of wedlock, paternity may be established in one of two ways:

  • The father signs a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity form.
  • A DNA test proves conclusively who the father is.

The legal father of a child has certain rights, including custody rights and the right to have scheduled child visitation. Other fathers' rights include the right to file a protest if the mother attempts to move far away. The father also has certain responsibilities, most notably the obligation to make regularly scheduled child support payment.

Paternity Issues Relating To Extramarital Infidelity

Legal complications can arise when a married woman conceives a child during an extramarital affair. When the child is born, the mother's husband will be presumed by the state to be the legal father. Indeed, strong emotions, bonds and behaviors can arise out of the father's mistaken perception.

If it becomes known later who the child's real father is, what is to be done? The state would have to terminate the rights of the husband, but complications can arise since he may be a fit guardian and will likely have developed a strong bond with the child. He may not want to give up his legally binding paternity rights.

We have extensive experience handling legal paternity and the complex litigation and conflicts involved. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an attorney at the law offices of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law, call (916) 852-0222 or contact us online today.

This does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

Termination Of Parental Rights

At the law offices of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law, our lawyers have represented clients in proceedings involving the termination of parental rights.

We represent parents who are in danger of having their children taken away, as well as grandparents and other concerned family members who believe a child's biological parents are a strongly negative or damaging influence. To schedule an appointment at our firm, call us at (916) 852-0222 or contact us online.

What Is In The Child's Best Interest?

Sometimes parents really are incapable of or unwilling to provide a stable, healthy upbringing for their children. Courts often rule against parents who engage in child abuse, child neglect or criminal activity like using or selling drugs.

In other cases, agents for Child Protective Services may simply have an overly strong negative reaction to a particular parenting style. In these cases, the child would be better off remaining with his or her parents than being forcibly taken from them and potentially placed in foster care.

Child Protective Services may also remove a child from parents' custody if the child is heavily involved in drugs or crime.

Grandparent And Stepparent Adoptions

Before adopting a child, it is first necessary to terminate the parental rights of the biological parent or parents.
We frequently represent grandparents who believe their children are unable to raise their grandchildren and who want to give their grandchildren a chance to have a more stable, happier upbringing. To do this, you must show that neither parent is able to provide a proper place for the child's development.

We also frequently handle stepparent adoptions involving custodial parents who want their new spouse to be recognized as a legal parent to their children. To do this, either the biological parent must willingly give up his or her parental rights or you have to prove that he or she is an unfit parent in a termination of parental rights hearing. There must be a showing of detriment for both parents if the nonparent is to prevail.

To schedule an appointment to discuss termination of parental rights with an experienced family law attorney, call (916) 852-0222 or contact us today.

This does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.
 

Recent Changes In California Family Law

California Family Law Changes Constantly

No society or government has been endowed with a perfect set of laws since Moses descended from Mount Sinai with two stone tablets in hand. Because our citizens and legislators can never be fully satisfied with any set of statutes, our legal codes change constantly.

At the law offices of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law, we have adapted to the changes in California's family law statutes over the years. Call (916) 852-0222 today or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

Fiduciary Duty

For centuries, men and women have been viewed as having the highest of duties toward each other in marriage. This is a good example of fiduciary duty. In 2007, the case in re Feldman confirmed that the bond of marriage creates a fiduciary duty between divorcing spouses such that they are expected to deal honestly with each other, even in divorce. If one spouse lies or withholds relevant information during the discovery process, he or she can be forced to pay stiff sanctions to the other spouse. In Feldman, the spouse who withheld information from the other spouse was ordered to pay sanctions totaling over $100,000.

Mediation

Because it removes strain from the court system and can often resolve a divorce with less bitterness and contentiousness, mediation has gone from being perceived as a novel, unconventional approach to being considered fully mainstream. Before any divorce case is heard in court, the court now encourages couples to explore mediation as an option first.

More …

Other changes in the law are too numerous to mention, but have included regulations on smoking in houses with children, drug tests and international child custody regulations. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an attorney at the law offices of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law, call us today at (916) 852-0222 or contact our office online.

This does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.