FAQ

Are you embarking on the path to divorce and you’re wondering what the cost of divorce will be in California? Or, are you trying to get your estate plan up to date? Perhaps you’re facing intimidating criminal charges in California and need legal help in San Diego. 

I, attorney Michael C. MacNeil, can help you to achieve your unique goals whether you’re dealing with family law, estate planning, or criminal law matters. Here is a rundown on FAQ and related answers pertaining to these areas, as well as how you can secure legal help in San Diego. In addition, if you’re ready to tackle your legal matter, contact me today for a free case evaluation to get started.

Family Law Questions

In most cases, divorce in California ranges from more than $5,000 to nearly $40,000. These varied costs depend on a number of factors, as no two divorce situations are alike.

On average, the cost of divorce in California is about $17,500. Note that divorce proceedings involving children tend to be the most expensive to conclude.

Sadly, in California, family law courts’ calendars are quite full. For this reason, the process of divorce usually lasts between eight and 20 months, with 15 months being the average. Unscrupulous lawyers take advantage of this by adding unnecessary billable hours to increase the cost of a divorce in California.

I am passionate about pushing courts and opposing attorneys to be expeditious with your case. Keep in mind, though, that the more complicated your divorce case is, the longer it may take to complete, and the greater the cost of divorce may be in California.

By offering top-tier legal help in San Diego and answering your family law questions about the cost of divorce in California, among other topics, my goal is to get you past the stress of divorce as quickly as possible.

legal separation allows you to stay married while still having the ability to live a separate life from your spouse. This is a good option over a divorce if you would like to avoid divorce for personal or religious reasons. Also, you remain entitled to benefits that offer payments for surviving spouses, such as pensions and Social Security, when you are legally separated. Furthermore, you can choose to reverse a separation if you and your spouse end up resolving your issues.

The mother’s child custody rights are automatic, so they do not have to go through the court process to secure custody rights.

Further reading for legal help in San Diego: For more information, check out this blog on the benefits of hiring a family law and criminal defense attorney, as well as my Family Law Services page.

Criminal Law Questions

As a general rule of thumb, police cannot arrest you if they have not obtained an arrest warrant for you first. Still, police may arrest you with no warrant if he or she can pinpoint objective circumstances that lead him or her to believe that you have engaged in criminal activity.

The length of your criminal case will ultimately depend on the crime you’ve been charged with and how complex your case is. However, following your arrest, critical proceedings will start immediately, and so it’s imperative you seek legal help in San Diego near you as soon as possible.

As your leading provider of legal help in San Diego, I will guide you through the California court system and help you choose the best, most personally favorable path given the circumstances surrounding your case.

Both federal and California gun laws are quite complex. Unfortunately, if you end up being convicted of unlawfully possessing, using, or purchasing a gun, you could face major consequences, such as substantial fines or a long prison sentence. In addition, you could lose your right to possess firearms in the future. Fortunately, by providing legal help in San Diego, I can help you vigorously fight such charges with the goal of achieving the best outcome for you.

Getting your criminal conviction expunged will make it possible for you to avoid reporting criminal convictions to potential employers. This is because your criminal record will be sealed off, which means that members of the public won’t be able to access it.

An attorney will argue for a child’s case to stay in juvenile court. In this way, the juvenile can plead guilty and obtain lesser charges. The attorney may alternatively fight the child’s charge at trial if the attorney considers this to be the best option for him or her.

Further reading for legal help in San Diego: For additional information, check out my Criminal Law Services page, as well as my insights on how to get a criminal conviction expunged in the future.

Estate Planning Questions

An estate plan is essential, as it will allow you to provide for the future of your loved ones. This type of plan will ensure that your loved ones will be appropriately cared for if you end up suffering incapacity or disability.

With legal help in San Diego, you can avoid the expensive, time-consuming, and public process of probate. That’s because your attorney can help you create a strong estate plan that will allow for the private distribution of your estate. A well-thought-out estate plan can keep your loved ones from experiencing the emotional ordeal of fighting over an estate once you pass away.

If you need legal estate planning help in San Diego, I can put together a plan for you at the Law Office of Michael C. MacNeil. This plan will safeguard your loved ones’ financial futures based on your wishes. At the same time, I will take the necessary steps to reduce your death taxes.

If you have a trust, you may need to revisit it right away. The reason for this is that events might have occurred over the past few years that might require you to update the trust. These events may include a child’s birth, a beneficiary’s death, or a new home purchase. Another example of a life event that may impact your trust is the refinancing of your home.

In addition, keep in mind that estate law is changing constantly, which is why estate planning legal help in San Diego is invaluable. At the Law Office of Michael C. MacNeil, I can make changes to your trust and other estate planning documents to ensure that your wishes will be upheld at minimal cost under the newest California estate laws.

Yes, you can put together your own will. However, by seeking legal help in San Diego, you can make certain that your property is fully protected. In addition, if I create a will for you, you can be sure that the medical decisions made for you if you become incapacitated will be exactly as you wish.

Further reading for legal help in San Diego: For extra information, check out my Estate Planning page, as well as this blog on the benefits of a trust versus a will.

Domestic Violence Questions

It is within your rights to file a restraining order in California in a few situations. First, you may file a temporary order if you are experiencing domestic violence. This temporary order lasts three weeks but may be extended to last three years. You may also file a criminal order against an aggressor who has committed a crime against you. You can additionally file a civil harassment order against any person who is threatening or harassing you. At the Law Office of Michael C. MacNeil, I can help you to file any of these types of orders as needed.

Being represented by an attorney is not a requirement for those seeking restraining orders. However, seeking legal help in San Diego offers multiple benefits.

First, as your attorney, I can help you to choose the best restraining order option for your particular situation (e.g., emergency order, temporary order, criminal order, or civil harassment order). I can also help you to successfully prepare the necessary court documents based on my knowledge of today’s legal standards and the kinds of evidence required to justify your order. Finally, I can legally represent you at the hearing for the restraining order you’re seeking.

A domestic violence conviction can lead to jail time, fines, a criminal record, and even the loss of your gun rights or custody rights. However, if you are charged with domestic violence, I can help you to fight this charge in the California criminal justice system. Legal defenses may include demonstrating that the incident was an accident or that any related injuries didn’t result from your actions, for example. In some cases, it’s possible to convince the prosecution not to further pursue a case against you. In addition, we could negotiate a plea deal for a lighter charge.

Further reading for legal help in San Diego: For more information, check out my Domestic Violence page, my Restraining Orders page, and this blog on what happens during restraining order hearings.