Child Custody/Visitation

Child custody matters during a divorce proceeding are often the foremost conflict. Child custody matters need to address both physical or primary custody of the child(ren), rights and responsibilities regarding health and day-to-day care, and any other rights and responsibilities associated with a child’s upbringing. In past years, courts routinely gave mothers physical custody of children and gave fathers just specific visitation rights. Courts today have begun to realize that sometimes it is in the best interest of the child(ren) that they actually reside with the father.

Moreover, California law encourages that joint child custody arrangements be made, allowing for both parents to have the rights and responsibilities of rearing the child(ren). Typically, California courts determine one parent as the primary custodial parent, and the other parent as having secondary child custody. In giving primary custodial custody to a particular parent, courts look to where the child or children are currently residing and what would be in the best interests of the child(ren).

Contact Orange County Child Custody Attorney Dieter Zacher for Help

In reaching a favorable child custody and visitation agreement, many parents do not know where to begin. In many instances, it is difficult for one or both parents to move beyond their emotions so that an agreeable solution can be met. As an experienced Orange County child custody attorney, Dieter Zacher has guided hundreds of clients through the legal process of child custody matters in a vigilant and compassionate manner. Orange County child custody attorney Dieter Zacher has the expertise you need to achieve your child custody goals either through mediation or litigation.

Protecting the best interests of your child(ren) by establishing and/or enforcing your child custody and visitation agreements is Orange County child custody lawyer Dieter Zacher’s goal. Some of the issues that will be addressed in your child custody case are legal and residential custody, visitation, child support, healthcare and educational responsibilities, and interstate and intrastate removal of children.

As one of Orange County’s leading child custody attorneys, Dieter Zacher will carefully explain all of California’s laws and statutes, as well as the legal procedures that will need to be followed so that you are fully aware of all of your options. For more information on how Orange County child custody lawyer can help you, contact us today for your free initial consultation.

Contact us about your legal matter today!


Dealing with Divorce

It’s never easy when a marriage or other significant relationship ends. Whatever the reason for the split and whether or not you wanted it the breakup of a long-term, committed relationship can turn your whole world upside down and trigger all sorts of painful and unsettling feelings. But there are things you can do to get through this difficult time. Even in the midst of the sadness and stress of a divorce or breakup, you have an opportunity to learn from the experience and grow into a stronger, wiser person.

Divorce is a life-altering, unpredicted occurrence that sometimes causes great emotional and financial consequences. During the period of a divorce, many matters can be exacerbated by the unwillingness of the parties to cooperate with one another. During a contested divorce in Orange County California, matters such as division of property and child custody require the expertise of a qualified Orange County divorce attorney.

The State of California allows for divorce action to be brought simply by one party’s stating irreconcilable differences. While other grounds for a California divorce may exist, the most common is classified as “irreconcilable differences” between the parties. This means that your spouse cannot stop you from filing for a divorce if you choose to do so. The primary issues that will need to be decided during a California divorce proceeding include spousal support (alimony), division of property, and, if children are involved, child custody and child support.

When both parties agree, a divorce can be obtained fairly quickly. In the state of California it takes a minimum of six months and one day from the date the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is served upon the respondent or his/her representative. At any time during a divorce proceeding, a case may settle in full or in part or proceed to trial for all or some of the marital issues. Whether or not divorce issues can be resolved without the need for trial is based on willingness of the parties to achieve compromise and the complexity of the issues involved. It is important to note that fewer than five percent of all Orange County divorces end in trial.

Healing after a divorce or breakup

Why do breakups hurt so much, even when the relationship is no longer good? A divorce or breakup is painful because it represents the loss, not just of the relationship, but also of shared dreams and commitments. Romantic relationships begin on a high note of excitement and hope for the future. When these relationships fail, we experience profound disappointment, stress, and grief.

A breakup or divorce launches us into uncharted territory. Everything is disrupted: your routine and responsibilities, your home, your relationships with extended family and friends, and even your identity. A breakup brings uncertainty about the future. What will life be like without your partner? Will you find someone else? Will you end up alone? These unknowns often seem worse than an unhappy relationship.

Recovering from a breakup or divorce is difficult. However, it’s important to know (and to keep reminding yourself) that you can and will move on. But healing takes time, so be patient with yourself.

Recognize that it’s OK to have different feelings. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated and confused and these feelings can be intense. You also may feel anxious about the future. Accept that reactions like these will lessen over time. Even if the marriage was unhealthy, venturing into the unknown is frightening.

Give yourself a break. Give yourself permission to feel and to function at a less than optimal level for a period of time. You may not be able to be quite as productive on the job or care for others in exactly the way you’re accustomed to for a little while. No one is superman or superwoman; take time to heal, regroup and re-energize.

Don’t go through this alone. Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. Consider joining a support group where you can talk to others in similar situations. Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, relationships and overall health. Don’t be afraid to get outside help if you need it.

Allow yourself to grieve the loss of the relationship

Grief is a natural reaction to loss, and the breakup or divorce of a love relationship involves multiple losses:

Loss of companionship and shared experiences (which may or may not have been consistently pleasurable)

Loss of support, be it financial, intellectual, social, or emotional

Loss of hopes, plans, and dreams (can be even more painful than practical losses)

Allowing yourself to feel the pain of these losses may be scary. You may fear that your emotions will be too intense to bear, or that you’ll be stuck in a dark place forever. Just remember that grieving is essential to the healing process. The pain of grief is precisely what helps you let go of the old relationship and move on. And no matter how strong your grief, it won’t last forever.

Reach out to others for support through the grieving process

Support from others is critical to healing after a breakup or divorce. You might feel like being alone, but isolating yourself will only make this time more difficult. Don’t try to get through this on your own.

Reach out to trusted friends and family members. People who have been through painful breakups or divorces can be especially helpful. They know what it is like and they can assure you that there is hope for healing and new relationships.

Spend time with people who support, value, and energize you. As you consider who to reach out to, choose wisely. Surround yourself with people who are positive and who truly listen to you. It’s important that you feel free to be honest about what you’re going through, without worrying about being judged, criticized, or told what to do.

Get outside help if you need it. If reaching out to others doesn’t come naturally, consider seeing a counselor or joining a support group. The most important thing is that you have at least one place where you feel comfortable opening up.

Cultivate new friendships. If you feel like you have lost your social network along with the divorce or breakup, make an effort to meet new people. Join a networking group or special interest club, take a class, get involved in community activities, or volunteer at your school, synagogue, or church.

Taking care of yourself after a divorce or relationship breakup

A divorce is a highly stressful, life-changing event. When you’re going through the emotional wringer and dealing with major life changes, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. The strain and upset of a major breakup leaves you psychologically and physically vulnerable. Treat yourself like you’re getting over the flu. Get plenty of rest, minimize other sources of stress in your life, and reduce your workload if possible.

Learning to take care of yourself can be one of the most valuable lessons you learn following a divorce or breakup. As you feel the emotions of your loss and begin learning from your experience, you can resolve to take better care of yourself and make positive choices going forward.

Self-care tips:

Make time each day to nurture yourself. Help yourself heal by scheduling daily time for activities you find calming and soothing. Go for a walk in nature, listen to music, enjoy a hot bath, get a massage, read a favorite book, take a yoga class, or savor a warm cup of tea.

Pay attention to what you need in any given moment and speak up to express your needs. Honor what you believe to be right and best for you even though it may be different from what your ex or others want. Say “no” without guilt or angst as a way of honoring what is right for you.

Stick to a routine. A divorce or relationship breakup can disrupt almost every area of your life, amplifying feelings of stress, uncertainty, and chaos. Getting back to a regular routine can provide a comforting sense of structure and normalcy.

Take a time out. Try not to make any major decisions in the first few months after a separation or divorce, like starting a new job or moving to a new city. If you can, wait until you’re feeling less emotional so that you can make better decisions.

Avoid using alcohol, drugs, or food to cope. When you’re in the middle of a breakup, you may be tempted to do anything to relieve your feelings of pain and loneliness. But using alcohol, drugs, or food as an escape is unhealthy and destructive in the long run. It’s essential to find healthier ways of coping with painful feelings.

Explore new interests. A divorce or breakup is a beginning as well as an end. Take the opportunity to explore new interests and activities. Pursuing fun, new activities gives you a chance to enjoy life in the here-and-now, rather than dwelling on the past.

You’ll need to be honest with yourself during this part of the healing process. Try not to dwell on who is to blame or beat yourself up over your mistakes. As you look back on the relationship, you have an opportunity to learn more about yourself, how you relate to others, and the problems you need to work on. If you are able to objectively examine your own choices and behavior, including the reasons why you chose your former partner, you’ll be able to see where you went wrong and make better choices next time.


Helping the Children of Divorce

For children, divorce can be stressful, sad, and confusing. At any age, kids may feel uncertain about what life will be like, or angry at the prospect of mom and dad splitting up for good. Divorce isn’t easy, but as a parent you can make the process and its effects less painful for your children.

Helping your kids cope with your divorce means providing stability in your home and attending to your children’s physical and emotional needs with a reassuring, positive attitude. To make this happen, you’ll need to take care of yourself and work as peacefully as possible with your ex. It won’t be a seamless process, but your children can move forward feeling confident in your unconditional love.

A parent’s guide to supporting your child through a divorce

As a parent, it’s normal to feel uncertain about how to give your children the right support through your divorce or separation. It may be uncharted territory, but you can successfully navigate this unsettling time and help your kids emerge from it feeling loved, confident, and strong.

There are many ways you can help your kids adjust to separation or divorce. Your patience, reassurance, and listening ear can minimize tension as children learn to cope with new circumstances. By providing routines kids can rely on, you remind children they can count on you for stability, structure, and care. And if you can maintain a working relationship with your ex, you can help kids avoid the stress that comes with watching parents in conflict. Such a transitional time can’t be without some measure of hardship, but you can powerfully reduce your children’s pain by making their well-being your top priority.

Helping children cope with divorce: What to tell your kids

When it comes to telling your kids about your divorce, many parents freeze up. Make the conversation a little easier on both yourself and your children by preparing significantly before you sit down to talk. If you can anticipate tough questions, deal with your own anxieties ahead of time, and plan carefully what you’ll be telling them, you will be better equipped to help your children handle the news.

What to say and how to say it

Difficult as it may be to do, try to strike an empathetic tone and address the most important points right up front. Give your children the benefit of an honest but kid-friendly explanation.

Tell the truth. Your kids are entitled to know why you are getting a divorce, but long-winded reasons may only confuse them. Pick something simple and honest, like “We can’t get along anymore.” You may need to remind your children that while sometimes parents and kids don’t always get along, parents and kids don’t stop loving each other or get divorced from each other.

Say “I love you.” However simple it may sound, letting your children know that your love for them hasn’t changed is a powerful message. Tell them you’ll still be caring for them in every way, from fixing their breakfast to helping with homework.

Address changes. Preempt your kids questions about changes in their lives by acknowledging that some things will be different now, and other things won’t. Let them know that you can together deal with each detail as you go.

Avoid blaming

It’s vital to be honest with your kids, but without being critical of your spouse. This can be especially difficult when there have been hurtful events, such as infidelity, but with a little diplomacy, you can avoid playing the blame game.

Present a united front. As much as you can, try to agree in advance on an explanation for your separation or divorce and stick to it.

Plan your conversations. Make plans to talk with your children before any changes in the living arrangements occur. And plan to talk when your spouse is present, if possible.

Show restraint. Be respectful of your spouse when giving the reasons for the separation.

How much information to give

Especially at the beginning of your separation or divorce, you’ll need to pick and choose how much to tell your children. Think carefully about how certain information will affect them.

Be age-aware. In general, younger children need less detail and will do better with a simple explanation, while older kids may need more information.

Share logistical information. Do tell kids about changes in their living arrangements, school, or activities, but don’t overwhelm them with the details.

Keep it real. No matter how much or how little you decide to tell your kids, remember that the information should be truthful above all else.

Listen and reassure

Support your children by helping them express emotions, and commit to truly listening to these feelings without getting defensive. Your next job is reassurance assuaging fears, straightening misunderstandings, and showing your unconditional love. The bottom line: kids need to know that your divorce isn’t their fault.

Help kids express feelings

For kids, divorce can feel like loss: the loss of a parent, the loss of the life they know. You can help your children grieve and adjust to new circumstances by supporting their feelings.

Listen. Encourage your child to share their feelings and really listen to them. They may be feeling sadness, loss or frustration about things you may not have expected.

Help them find words for their feelings. It’s normal for children to have difficulty expressing their feelings. You can help them by noticing their moods and encouraging them to talk.

Let them be honest. Children might be reluctant to share their true feelings for fear of hurting you. Let them know that whatever they say is okay. If they aren’t able to share it, they will have a harder time working through it.

Acknowledge their feelings. You may not be able to fix their problems or change their sadness to happiness, but it is important for you to acknowledge their feelings. You can also inspire trust by showing that you understand.

Give support and love

Children have a remarkable ability to heal when given the support and love they need. Your words, actions, and ability to remain consistent are all important tools to reassure your children of your unchanging love.

Both parents will be there. Let your kids know that even though the physical circumstances of the family unit will change, they can continue to have healthy, loving relationships with both of their parents.

It’ll be okay. Tell kids that things won’t always be easy, but that they will work out. Knowing it’ll be all right can provide incentive for your kids to give a new situation a chance.

Closeness. Physical closeness in the form of hugs, pats on the shoulder, or simple proximity has a powerful way of reassuring your child of your love.

Be honest. When kids raise concerns or anxieties, respond truthfully. If you don’t know the answer, say gently that you aren’t sure right now, but you’ll find out and it will be okay.

While it’s good for kids to learn to be flexible, adjusting to many new things at once can be very difficult. Help your kids adjust to change by providing as much stability and structure as possible in their daily lives.

Remember that establishing structure and continuity doesn;t mean that you need rigid schedules or that mom and dad’s routines need to be exactly the same. But creating some regular routines at each household and consistently communicating to your children what to expect will provide your kids with a sense of calm and stability.

The comfort of routines

The benefit of schedules and organization for younger children is widely recognized, but many people don’t realize that older children appreciate routine, as well. Kids feel safer and more secure when they know what to expect next. Knowing that, even when they switch homes, dinnertime is followed by a bath and then homework, for example, can set a child’s mind at ease.

Maintaining routine also means continuing to observe rules, rewards, and discipline with your children. Resist the temptation to spoil kids during a divorce by not enforcing limits or allowing them to break rules.

Red flags for more serious problems

If things get worse rather than better after several months, it may be a sign that your child is stuck in depression, anxiety or anger and could use some additional support. Watch for these warning signs of divorce-related depression or anxiety:

-Sleep problems
-Poor concentration
-Trouble at school
-Drug or alcohol abuse

-Self-injury, cutting, or eating disorders
-Frequent angry or violent outbursts
-Withdrawal from loved ones
-Refusal of loved activities

Discuss these or other divorce-related warning-signs with your child’s doctor, teachers, or consult a child therapist for guidance on coping with specific problems.



Matters of paternity can be tremendously delicate in nature and can have an immense influence on the outlooks of both the parents and the children implicated. When a child is born outside of marriage, either parent can file a Petition for Paternity (or Parenthood) to establish the fact of parenthood, as well as parental rights and obligations. For instance, if there is an issue between a man and a woman as to who is the father of a child, either party can petition for determination of parenthood and have the man undergo a DNA test. If it proves he is the father, then custody, visitation, and child support will be determined in the same way they would be if it were a dissolution of marriage case.

The State of California has a convincing interest in verifying paternity for all children. For unmarried individuals, attaining a judicial order proving paternity is a vital precursor to winning a child support order and guaranteeing that children have access to all lawful rights and benefits under California law plus, health insurance, social security, and inheritance rights. For married individuals, it may be essential to refute the assumption of paternity. Our Family Law Firm represents clients who strive to prove or invalidate paternity, and offer skilled counsel in both types of paternity actions.

Married Persons and Paternity

California’s Family Code believes that if a child is born to a wedded mother, her husband is the father of that child. If the mother come to be pregnant through donor insemination or other aided reproduction, and the mother has the approval of her spouse, the spouse is also acknowledged to be the legal parent of the child.

If a child is created via a heterosexual union, the paternity assumption may be refuted if court-authorized genetic analysis shows that the spouse is not the child’s father. If you suspicious that paternity may be incorrect, the assistance of legal counsel is vital to safeguard both your rights and the rights and best interests of the child.

Unmarried Persons and Paternity

A father may willingly affirm that he is the father of a child. This voluntary declaration is documented by the State of California as having the same power and result as a judgment for paternity delivered by a court, and is the foundation for creating orders for child custody, child support and visitation.

Correspondingly, a mother may pursue to ascertain that a alleged father is definitely the biological father of a child. This involves requesting the court to ascertain paternity and involves genetic testing to give an evidentiary foundation for deciding paternity disagreements.

There are several presumptions in the law with respect to who should be considered the father, and there are times when the court will find that a man who has held himself out as the father, and who has “stepped up to the plate” in providing a stable family environment for the child for a significant time, will actually be found to be the father over the claims of the biological father.


Child/Spousal Support

Child Support

The responsibility to provide child support in the form of regular payments typically arises during a divorce proceeding or when one parent has primary custodial care of the child. Either parent can be ordered to pay child support and the amount is dependent upon various factors, including how custody is arranged. In California, child support is set by state statute and is based on disposable income (including overtime and bonuses), the amount of time each parent spends with the child(ren), and educational and health care needs of the child. A parent who is ordered to pay child support and fails to do so exposes him or herself to significant penalties. Some of these penalties include but are not limited to:

– The suspension of professional or business licenses

-The suspension of or permanent removal of privileges to operate a vehicle (driver’s license)

– Automatic withdrawal of payments from bank accounts or wages

– Jail time

Child Support Enforcement

Help From an Expert Orange County Child Support Attorney

In California, there are a number of remedies available to enforce child support orders. Some of the most common include: contempt motions, wage assignment motions, writs of execution, and the filing for a child support security account/electronic funds transfer. Contempt motions are typically quasi-criminal in nature and the burden of proof relies solely on the moving party. If an individual is found guilty of contempt for a child support order, he or she may have to pay a fine and is subjected to possible jail time. Under California Law, a wage assignment order is automatically required to be issued for all support matters unless agreements are reached otherwise. A wage assignment order requires the payer’s employer to directly pay the child support to the recipient. A wage assignment is an extremely powerful tool when the payer fails to make regular payments.

The filing for a Writ of Execution is also used when a payer fails to make regular child support payments. A Writ of Execution is used against a payer’s bank accounts in order to obtain past due child support and to seize assets so that they can be sold to satisfy court support obligations. Lastly, a motion for Child Support Security Account/Electronic Funds Transfer can also be filed when a payor fails to maintain child support payments. Courts may require that the payer deposit up to one year’s worth of child support payments to fund an interest-bearing trust account for the benefit of the supported child. Typically, Child Support Security Account/Electronic Funds Transfer actions are used when the payer is self-employed or frequently changes employment.

Orange County child support laws are complex and it is always best to consult with one of the more experienced Orange County child support attorneys to help protect your interests. For almost 18 years, Orange County child support attorney Dieter Zacher has been helping clients enforce child support orders. As a leading Orange County child support lawyer, Dieter Zacher can assess both parties’ financial and employment situations and formulate strategies so that the best possible child support order is awarded for his client. If child support arrangements cannot be agreed upon, he will zealously represent his clients’ interests in court. For more information on how Huntington Beach child support lawyer Dieter Zacher can help you with your child support matter, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Spousal Support

Under California law, spousal support can either be permanent or temporary. Permanent spousal support is generally ordered when marriages have had a long life span (typically ten or more years). In the instances of short-lived marriages (typically fewer than ten years), spousal support payments are generally payable for a period equal to one half of the period of the marriage.

When a spousal support order is issued, courts take into consideration various factors, such as the extent of the earning capacity of both parties and whether these capacities are sufficient so that each can maintain the same “standard of living” that they enjoyed during the marriage. Additionally, courts look at the extent to which the supported party’s current or future earning capacity was impaired during the marriage or may become impaired post-divorce due to periods of unemployment so that he or she devoted or could devote time to domestic obligations. Furthermore, courts consider the extent to which the supported party may have contributed to the paying party’s ability to earn money, such as for the attainment of licenses, educational degrees and career positions.

In addition to the aforementioned, spousal support determinations are also based on marital and non-marital assets, other obligations, the age and health of both parties, and an array of other complex factors. California state law provides that spousal support determinations be made only after careful review of all relevant factors. Because the laws governing spousal support orders in Orange County are broad and complex and have huge financial impacts for all parties concerned, it is always best to consult only experienced Orange County spousal support attorneys to help secure the best possible terms for your situation.

Orange County Spousal Support Attorney Dieter Zacher is one of Orange County’s leading spousal support attorneys with a reputation for excellence. As an expert Orange County spousal support attorney, Dieter Zacher can help you with your spousal support matter, including the development of an order, modification of a child support order and enforcement of a spousal support order. At the Orange County spousal support law office of Dieter Zacher, we have handled all kinds of complexities that spousal support embodies.

Dieter Zacher is a formidable Orange County spousal support lawyer with almost 18 years of experience. As a personable and dedicated professional, Mr. Zacher believes that informing and educating his clients during the entire process of spousal support matters is crucial. Because of the wide scope of California’s spousal support law and the complexities that are involved, it is impossible to answer all the questions you may have about Orange County spousal support here on our website. Please contact Orange County spousal support lawyer Dieter Zacher today for sound advice and effective representation.

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Division of Property

Divorce often involves a union that lasted many years where considerable martial property was accumulated. When it comes to the division of property in divorce litigation, it encompasses a wide array of assets, including (but not limited to), real and personal property, family businesses, trust funds, joint and separate bank accounts, investments, pensions, insurance, and debts. The division of property in contested divorces is often complex and requires the expertise of an efficient and qualified Division of Property attorney.

In the State of California, most real and personal property acquired during the marriage is considered community property, to be evenly divided during a divorce proceeding. Any property owned prior to the marriage is typically considered non-marital property. The legal intricacies involved in division of property matters are not clear-cut in Orange County. The Zacher Firm can help clients by identifying and evaluating marital assets and then handle negotiations or, when necessary, litigate so that their client is granted the best possible outcome.

Help From an Expert Orange County Division of Property Attorney

While some divorcing couples are able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution regarding the division of property, many are not. Often one or both partners are unwilling to negotiate or are hiding marital assets. As an experienced Orange County division of property attorney, Dieter Zacher works with a team of experts to uncover assets so that the rights of his clients are protected. It is an Orange County division of property attorney’s job to help his or her clients track down marital assets. It is a job that Dieter Zacher takes seriously.

At the Orange County division of property Law Farm of Dieter Zacher, we aggressively investigate all aspects pertaining to property division and help our clients attain the best possible outcomes. Whether you own and operate a business or have multiple real estate assets or intricate pension plans, Orange County division of property lawyer Dieter Zacher possesses the expert skills you need to insure that your assets are protected during a divorce proceeding. As a formidable Orange County lawyer, Dieter Zacher has represented hundreds of clients in division of property matters. For more information on how we can help, contact us today for your free initial consultation.

Contact us about your legal matter today!


Enforcement of Orders

  1. Equally as important as obtaining an appropriate and effective order in a custody, dissolution, or support case is making sure the other party follows the court order. For support orders, the most reliable way to get the money to the supported party is to serve a wage assignment on the other party’s employer. Immediately after the court makes a support order, our paralegals prepare an Earnings Assignment Order, and file it with the court clerk. When the conformed Earnings Assignment Order is returned from court, we then serve it on the other party’s employer with an explanatory letter to the party’s payroll department indicating that the company is obligated by law to follow the terms of the order, and provide a support check directly to our client in the amount permitted by law.
  2. Self-employed support obligors present a more challenging problem. If there is no employer to serve, we work with our clients to assist them in receiving their support when they inform us that the other party has not paid their child or spousal support obligation on time. We may file an Order to Show Cause to determine what amount of support is owed, and then record a support judgment against any property owned by the other party. We may request that the court enforce its own orders through a contempt proceeding, in which the most drastic remedy is putting the non-paying party in jail. Before the court sends anyone to jail, the court will first attempt to take less drastic steps to get the party to follow the court order.
  3. If an opposing party fails to follow the terms of a custody or visitation order, we consider the option of filing an Order to Show Cause to notify the court of the offending party;s non-compliance with the order and request that the existing order be modified to meet the best interests of the children. Oftentimes it is appropriate to request attorney fees from the non-complying party, for having to go to the expense of enforcing a valid order that the court already made.
  4. If a party fails to follow an order dividing real or personal property, relief can be sought by asking for an order that the court transfer the property, without the other spouse’s signature on the transfer document. This often occurs when a piece of property, such as an automobile, a boat, or the family residence is awarded to one party, either after trial or by way of a property settlement agreement, and the spouse that did not receive this piece of property refuses to sign the transfer documents. In these situations, we prepare a motion and request that the court clerk sign the transfer documents. We provide the transfer documents to the court in advance of the hearing date, and on the day of the hearing, the transfer documents are signed and provided to our client. It is typical to request attorney fees in the form of a sanction from the non-complying party, because if they would have complied with the order, the motion would not have been necessary.


Limited Scope Representation

Limited scope representation, sometimes known as unbundled legal services, allows clients to get legal assistance for one part of their case. For example, if you need a lawyer to represent you in one hearing or you want an attorney to review an agreement, limited scope representation can allow you to obtain only the limited representation you need, without the high cost of a retainer.

Saving Money By Getting Only the Representation You Need

With the recent recession, it can be hard for some families to afford the legal representation they need. Paying for limited scope representation can be an economical way to handle your legal matter. The Zacher Firm can assist you with any stand-alone legal task such as:

  • Representation at a family court hearing
  • Review or drafting of petitions, declarations, responses, stipulations and motions
  • Representation for out-of-state clients in California court
  • Jurisdictional challenges
  • Amending or modifying paperwork
  • Help with obtaining evidence and exhibits
  • Assistance with creating a persuasive argument in your case

Help for Clients Who Are Handling Their Own Legal Work

Whether it is appearing before a judge or writing a contract, limited scope representation can augment and improve the work you have done on your own. If you are handling your divorce or other family matter on your own, The Zacher Firm can assist you with the elements of your case you are not comfortable with. They can provide you with advice and guidance so you can feel confident in the decisions you make in your case and for your future.



Cooperative parenting with your ex can give your children continued stability and close relationships with both parents, but it certainly isn’t easy. In reality, putting aside relationship issues to co-parent amicably can be extremely stressful and difficult.

Despite the many challenges, though, it is possible to initiate and maintain a cordial working relationship with your ex for the sake of your children. You have the power to remain calm, stay consistent, and avoid or effectively resolve conflict with your ex, all in the name of putting your children’s needs first.

Co-parenting after a separation or divorce

Joint custody arrangements, especially after an acrimonious split, can be exhausting and infuriating. It can be exceedingly difficult to get past the history of hurts and built-up resentment you may have with your ex. Making shared decisions, seeing one another at drop-offs, or just speaking to someone you’d rather just forget about can seem like impossible tasks. But while it’s true that co-parenting isn’t an uncomplicated or perfect solution, it’s the best way to get your children’s needs met and ensure their closeness to both of you.

It may be tough going, especially at first, but you can learn to effectively co-parent and still keep your sanity and self-respect. It can be helpful to begin thinking of your relationship with your ex as a completely new one, one that is entirely about the well being of your children, and not about either of you. Your marriage may be over, but your family is not; doing what is best for your kids is your most important priority. The first step to being a mature, responsible co-parent is to always put your children’s needs ahead of your own.

Conflict between parents separated or not, can be very damaging for kids. It’s crucial to avoid putting your children in the middle of your fights, or making them feel like they have to choose between you.

Rules of thumb

Remember that your goal is to avoid lasting stress and pain for your children. The following tips can save them a lot of heartache.

-Take it somewhere else. Never argue in front of your children, whether it’s in person or over the phone. Ask your ex to talk another time, or drop the conversation altogether.

-Use tact. Refrain from talking with your children about details of their other parent-s behavior. It’s the oldest rule in the book: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

-Be nice. Be polite in your interactions with your ex spouse. This not only sets a good example for your kids but can also cause your ex to be gracious in response.

-Look on the bright side. Choose to focus on the strengths of all family members. Encourage children to do the same.

-Work on it. Make it a priority to develop an amicable relationship with your ex spouse as soon as possible. Watching you be friendly can reassure children and teach problem-solving skills as well.

The big picture

If you find yourself, time after time, locked in battle with your ex over the details of parenting, try to step back and remember the bigger purpose at hand.
-Relationship with both parents. What’s best for your kids in the long run? Having a good relationship with both of their parents throughout their lives.

-The long view. If you can keep long-term goals your children’s physical and mental health, your independence in mind, you may be able to avoid disagreements about daily details. Think ahead in order to stay calm.

-Everyone’s well-being. The happiness of your children, yourself, and, yes, even your ex, should be the broad brushstrokes in the big picture of your new lives after divorce.

Joint custody tips for divorced parents: Setting hurt and anger aside

The key to co-parenting is focusing on your child and your child only. Yes, this is hard really hard. It means that your own emotions any anger, resentment, or hurt must take a back seat to the needs of your children. Admittedly, setting aside such strong feelings may be the hardest part of learning to work cooperatively with your ex, but it’s also perhaps the most vital. Co-parenting is not about your feelings, or those of your ex spouse, but rather about your child’s happiness, stability, and future

Children in the middle

You may never completely lose all of your resentment or bitterness about your break up, but what you can do is compartmentalize that and remind yourself that those are your issues, not your child’s. Resolve to keep your issues with your ex away from your children.

–Never use kids as messengers. When you have your child tell the other parent something for you, it puts him or her in the center of your conflict. The goal is to keep your child out of your relationship issues, so call or email your ex yourself.

–Keep your issues to yourself. Never say negative things about your ex to your children, or make them feel like they have to choose. Your child has a right to a relationship with his or her other parent that is free of your influence.

Aim for consistency

It’s healthy for children to be exposed to different perspectives and to learn to be flexible, but they also need to know they’re living under the same basic set of expectations at each home. Aiming for consistency between your home and your ex’s avoids confusion for your children.

Rules. Rules don’t have to be exactly the same between two households, but if you and your ex-spouse establish generally consistent guidelines, your kids won’t have to bounce back and forth between two radically different disciplinary environments. Important lifestyle rules like homework issues, curfews, and off-limit activities should be followed in both households.

Discipline. Try to follow similar systems of consequences for broken rules, even if the infraction didn’t happen under your roof. So, if your kids have lost TV privileges while at your ex’s house, follow through with the restriction. The same can be done for rewarding good behavior.

Schedule. Where you can, aim for some consistency in your children-s schedules. Making meals, homework, and bedtimes similar can go a long way toward your child’s adjustment to having two homes.

When your child leaves

As kids prepare to leave your house for your ex’s, try to stay positive and deliver them on time. You can use the following strategies to help make transitions easier:

Help children anticipate change. Remind kids they’l be leaving for the other parent’s house a day or two before the visit.

Pack in advance. Depending on their age, help children pack their bags well before they leave so that they don’t forget anything they’ll miss. Encourage packing familiar reminders like a special stuffed toy or photograph.

Always drop off never pick up the child on “switch day.” It’s a good idea to avoid “taking” your child from the other parent so that you don’t risk interrupting or curtailing a special moment. Drop off your child at the other parent’s house instead.

When your child returns

The beginning of your children’s return to your home can be awkward or even rocky. You can try the following to help your child adjust:

Keep things low-key. When children first enter your home, try to have some down time together read a book or do some other quiet activity.

Double up. To make packing simpler and make kids feel more comfortable when they are at the other parent’s house, have kids keep certain basics toothbrush, hairbrush, pajamas at both houses.

Allow the child space. Children often need a little time to adjust to the transition. If they seem to need some space, do something else nearby. In time, things will get back to normal.

Establish a special routine. Play a game or serve the same special meal each time your child returns. Kids thrive on routine if they know exactly what to expect when they return to you it can help the transition.


Domestic Violence

Millions of women and children each year are victimized by domestic violence. Domestic violence is categorized as physical or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, harassing and annoying phone calls, threats of violence, and/or destruction of personal property. Under the terms of the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (signed by the President on January 6, 2006), in emergency situations, victims of domestic violence can obtain an immediate restraining order. In California, a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) can be issued even if the abuser is not a spouse. Additionally, minors who are at least 12 years of age can file for domestic violence restraining orders without the assistance of a parent or guardian.

What is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order and What is the Process?

In California, a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, referred to as a DVRO, is a civil court order issued by a judge. It tells the abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. The DVRO provides civil legal protection from domestic violence for all victims of domestic violence. Once the necessary paperwork is filed with the courts, an emergency hearing is held whereby the judge will make a decision based on what was filed and issue a temporary DVRO. When the temporary DVRO is granted, it provides for the exclusive use of the home by the victim, and the abuser must maintain at least a 100-yard distance between him or herself and the victim and any children that are relative to the matter. Twenty-one days after the temporary DVRO is ordered, a second hearing is held. Both the victim and the abuser are required to attend. At this hearing, the victim is to advise the court as to whether he or she wishes the DVRO to continue and why. The abuser typically will appear with his or her domestic violence defense attorney. Whether you are the victim of domestic violence or the accused, it is important that at this hearing you are represented by an experienced Orange County domestic violence attorney so that you can face the challenges of the imposing of a DVRO.

Dieter Zacher represents victims of domestic abuse as well as those who are falsely accused of abuse. Orange County domestic violence lawyer Dieter Zacher utilizes the approach regarding domestic violence matters with conflict resolution in a swift and efficient manner. Mr. Zacher treats all his clients with dignity and respect while they are having to deal with such serious matters as domestic violence. If you or someone you love needs help with a domestic violence matter, please contact Orange County domestic violence lawyer, Dieter Zacher for a free consultation.

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Facts About Divorce

Common Questions About Divorce In Orange County:

1.After the Dissolution of Marriage petition is filed, how long does it take for it to be granted?
2.How long do I have to live in California before I can file for a divorce?
3.How much Child Support am I entitled to?
4.What is a minor’s counsel?
5.Does California have a standard practice regarding the division of property?
6.What is Mediation?
7.Am I still liable for the debt that was incurred during my marriage?
8.Can I make my spouse pay for my attorney fees?
9.What is a modification?
10.What if all the property is in the name of my spouse?

1. After the Dissolution of Marriage petition is filed, how long does it take for it to be granted?

Once the Summons and Petition has been served on the respondent, there is a six-month and one-day waiting period before the Judge will sign the order granting the divorce.

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2. How long do I have to live in California before I can file for a divorce?

In short, you must be a resident of California for at least six months prior to filing for a Dissolution of Marriage. Furthermore, you must have resided at least three months in the county where the petition is to be filed. If there are children involved, then the petition must be filed in the jurisdiction (county) where the children have resided for the prior three months. Note, there are some exceptions and it is always wise to consult with an experienced Orange County Family Law attorney before hand.

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3. How much Child Support am I entitled to?

California utilizes specific guidelines in determining how much child support will need to be paid. If the parents are unable to agree on a reasonable child support amount, then the court will follow these specific guidelines in establishing the amount. The things that the courts take into consideration when determining child support include: How much money each of the parents earns or can earn, All income received by each party on a monthly basis, How many children the two parties share, How much time each parent will be spending with the children, The actual tax filing status of each parent, Support given to the recipient parent for children from other relationships, Health insurance expenses, Mandatory union dues and/or retirement contributions, and Daycare costs. In addition to the above, the court may also consider other costs that one parent may incur that benefit the child or children educationally or help meet certain special health needs.

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4. What is a minor’s counsel?

A minor’s counsel is a court-appointed lawyer who represents the best interests of the child. Typically, he or she will make recommendations to the court regarding custody, visitation, health issues, and education. He or she will try to express to the court both the needs and desires of the child(ren).

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5. Does California have a standard practice regarding the division of property?

In a Dissolution of Marriage proceeding, the courts will attempt to divide fairly all mutual marital property that both parties have an equitable interest in. Marital property is defined as all property that either spouse acquired during the marriage, except such property that is acquired by gift or inheritance, property acquired in exchange for property that was owned prior to the marriage, and property excluded by valid agreement of the parties. All property that is acquired by either party after the marriage, including pre-owned property that is transferred into some form of co-ownership after the marriage, is considered marital property. In dividing marital property, the courts will attempt to distribute all marital property between the parties equitably. This does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split in regards to a particular item, but rather, the court tries to insure that each party receive an equitable 50/50 share. For instance, one spouse may be awarded the marital home that is valued at $500,000, while the other will be awarded savings accounts, bonds, and other assets that are valued at $500,000.

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6. What is Mediation?

Mediation is part of the legal process wherein both parties are aided by a neutral, third party whose job it is to help the two parties come to some sort of agreement regarding custody, support, visitation, and property distribution. The mediator helps resolve various issues by: helping to identify the needs of both parties and any children involved, gathering information (including financial information) that is needed in order to make decisions regarding asset distribution and support issues, and exploring various alternative solutions and making recommendations.

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7. Am I still liable for the debt that was incurred during my marriage?

If you have joint credit cards or joint loans that both of you agreed to repay during the marriage, then both of you are still legally liable to the creditor despite whether or not one party agrees to pay the debt or is ordered by the court to repay the debt. For instance, if your spouse takes or is awarded the Mercedes in the divorce proceeding and agrees to continue to make the payments, if he or she fails to do so, the creditor can still come after you. Your only recourse would be to take your spouse back to court and sue him or her for breach of the divorce agreement. The best way to insure that you will no longer be responsible for certain debts is to have the court order your spouse to have loans rewritten in his or her name solely and to have your name removed as a liable party to all credit cards and other loans. Unfortunately, if you obtained a loan or credit card solely in your name, it may be difficult to get the court to order that your spouse pay it. Furthermore, in some instances, (due to creditworthiness) some spouses may not be able to obtain the credit in their names. Caution should always be used in determining who will be responsible for what debts and you should always consult with an experienced Orange County family law attorney who can provide you with the guidance you need.

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8. Can I make my spouse pay for my attorney fees?

Possibly. California Family Code allows attorney fees to be paid when there is a great difference in income between the parties or when one of the parties is acting very badly and being uncooperative. However, the Court has broad discretion to grant or deny attorney fees and in actual practice tend to grant them sparingly. Even if you are awarded attorney fees to be paid by the other party, you are still responsible to pay your bill until the fees are actually collected.

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9. What is a modification?

A modification is a change of an existing order. A party who wants to modify a court order must follow the same rules as in the initial action. The first step would be to file a motion with the court asking for the change. It is the burden of the party bringing the motion to demonstrate a change in circumstances that would justify the requested modification.

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10. What if all the property is in the name of my spouse?

In California, if the property was acquired during the marriage, there is a rebuttable presumption that it is community property. This presumption is rebutted where the title shows only the name of one spouse. However, if the facts support it, there are other arguments which may be made, such as breach of fiduciary duty and undue influence. The success or failure of these arguments will depend upon the specific facts of your case. The bottom line is make sure that your name is on the title whenever possible.

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Move Away-Relocation

In most circumstances, California courts give visitation rights to both the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent. A custodial parent cannot move away or relocate the child without the court’s permission because doing so would infringe on the non-custodial parent’s visitation.

No court can prevent a parent from relocating to another city or state. However, courts are concerned with how a move will affect a child. A court can prevent relocation of a minor child if it fears that moving a child away from a noncustodial parent would have a detrimental impact on their relationship.

Relocation or a move away can occur for many reasons. Relocation is often for personal reasons, such as a new job, an illness in the family or a new school. You may be moving to another city, a nearby county, another state or even a different country. The court’s decision to grant the relocation will be based on a number of factors but the main issue for the court is what decision is in the best interest of the child.

In instances where there is not a joint custody arrangement, generally speaking, the noncustodial parent must show that the intended move would be detrimental to his relations with the children. If the noncustodial parent is able to show a move will be detrimental, the court will then determine whether a change of custody is in the best interests of the children.

Move away cases are difficult and delicate procedures. If you are moving with your children, or want to prevent your children from moving, you should hire an attorney to represent your interests.

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