Practice Areas

Law Offices of Guerin L. Butterworth of Long Beach, California, offers representation throughout Long Beach, Torrance, Norwalk, Lakewood, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Gardena, Lawndale, Hawthorne, El Segundo, Marina Del Rey, Carson, San Pedro, Bellflower, Cerritos, Cypress, Whittier, Downey, Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange, Westminster, Tustin, Irvine, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. This includes the municipalities of Los Angeles County and Orange County.

Divorce Attorney, Family Law, Guerin L Butterworth, Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Guerin L Butterworth

Divorce.

For many people, divorce is one of the most financially and emotionally draining experiences they will ever encounter. During this time, it is important that you have someone at your side who knows how to navigate the process in a manner that protects your resources and minimizes the emotional strain on you and your family.
Clients throughout Southern California have come to trust the personalized and highly skilled approach of Law Offices of Guerin L. Butterworth. From start to finish, we will keep you fully informed of every step and development in your divorce case, equipping you with the knowledge and information needed to confidently face this process.
We understand the impact these decisions will have on your life for years to come. We are committed to providing you the information you need to make the best choices for you and your family. There is life after divorce, and we will help you chart a course to get you there.

Child Support

Child support is determined based on a guideline recognized by the state of California. This formula takes into account income of both parents, custody of the child and time spent with the child. A non-custodial parent will be required to pay the custodial parent the amount set forth by the support order.
While the formula seems fairly straightforward, there are many technicalities that can come into play. A parent may have non-traditional income, including overtime, bonuses, contracts, exempt assets, business profits or a professional practice. We will carefully assess the situation and provide the court a realistic understanding of the assets of the parents involved.
Following a divorce, you are already experiencing deep financial concerns. The additional worry of how much you will be required to pay in child support can be overwhelming and stressful. While you care about your children, you want to be treated fairly and avoid being taken advantage of by your former spouse and his or her lawyer.

Modifications.

Divorce orders often only reflect current circumstances of the couple and their children at the time they part ways. It is not uncommon for these agreements to become outdated as the years progress and the needs of the parents and children change. At Law Offices of Guerin L. Butterworth, we have more than 25 years’ experience representing individuals throughout California seeking a modification to the divorce orders to reflect new needs and concerns of the family.

Once a divorce agreement has been created, there must be a certain amount of proof provided to the court to request a modification of a particular order. The person moving away or who has experienced a change in income is the individual who must provide proof that a modification is needed.
This proof is different than what is required for the original agreement. The process and requirements can become complicated and confusing. It is important that you have the skill and understanding of a knowledgeable attorney on your side, navigating.
Individuals may seek a modification for a variety of reasons. The two primary reasons include:
If the parental relocation of one parent is far enough away that the current visitation orders are impossible to maintain
One or both of the parents has experienced a change in income, making it impossible to continue to pay the current amount of child support .
While parenting and support agreements may be modified, property and asset division orders are not eligible to be modified.

This can be a highly complicated process. If your former spouse’s representation is fighting to prevent the modification, you may find yourself trapped in legal loopholes and traps. There is no end to the exceptions and special instances that can arise during these proceedings. You need skilled and knowledgeable representation on your side.

Paternity

Many fathers assume that because they are men, they are entitled to fewer rights than mothers. This is simply untrue. In the state of California, the trend in almost all courts is toward granting equal rights to both parents, regardless of gender.

At Law Offices of Guerin L. Butterworth, we are committed to helping fathers receive the rights that they deserve, fighting for those important relationships between fathers and children. With more than 25 years’ experience, we have the knowledge and experience that you need advocating for your rights.

We will seek the initial paternity tests that will confirm the paternity of the child. From there, we will take action to establish your rights as the father. While this will require a non-custodial father to begin paying child support, it will grant him a fair amount of visitation and parenting time with his child.
Generally, these plans are set up so that each parent has two set days a week with the child, switching Fridays and weekends. When necessary, we will seek paternal custody.
Every situation is different, generally based on circumstances between the mother and father. We will listen carefully to the unique dynamics and facts of your case and provide the legal options that you need to maintain a relationship with your child.

We are committed to ensuring that the parents we represent are fully informed and understand exactly what is transpiring in the case. These situations are of vital importance to you, and we go the extra mile to ensure that you are provided the information that you need to make the best decisions possible for your family.

Property Division

One of the most stressful components in divorce is the division of property and assets between the spouses as they part ways and prepare for the future following the marriage. While the state of California says that the marital property should be split 50-50, this can quickly become a complex situation.

Every situation is different, framed by the circumstances of the spouses’ careers and assets coming into the marriage. We take a careful look at the property owned by the spouses, characterizing each asset.

Community property — Any property held between the two spouses during the marriage, including certain assets brought into the marriage, are considered community property and will need to be divided 50-50 in the divorce.
Separate property — Certain assets are exempt from the 50-50 division. These are the exception rather than the rule, however. We will take a close look to see if any of your assets are eligible to be kept out of the property division proceedings.
We are highly knowledgeable in this process. We will thoroughly explain each step and legal decision to ensure that you are comfortable with how the division is progressing.

With more than 25 years’ experience, we are equipped to handle more complex professional and business matters, including service-based ventures and professional practices. The division of these assets is often complicated by added concerns of debt, business goodwill and whether the practice was supported by education received before the marriage.

These are highly complex and technical divisions, and you need a lawyer who has the skill and understanding to protect your interests.

Legal separation.

An alternative for some situations. This allows a couple to part ways in every aspect except actually dissolving the union. All issues, including custody, support, property division and parenting time, will be resolved. This is generally used in instances where it behooves the couple to remain married for reasons such as benefits or religious conviction.

Annulment.

This is a request for the court to determine that the marriage never actually happened. It is important that you receive knowledgeable guidance through this process as it can affect other aspects of your life and estate.

Child Custody

Custody and visitation agreements will frame the future relationships between the parents and their children far into the future, and we are committed to fighting for the best possible outcome and sound relationships.
It is widely recognized that it is in the best interest of the children to maintain frequent contact with both parents. This means no more than a few days between visits, if possible. These parent-child relationships are highly important to the child’s development, and we are committed to seeking custody and visitation orders that will shelter and nurture this dynamic.
We seek to achieve an agreement with as little conflict and dispute as possible. We have found that this is best for the children and helps both parents maintain the most cordial relationship possible as they will have to execute the order for years to come.
While we seek this agreement through negotiations and low-conflict options, you can be assured that we are equipped to fight for your relationship with your child should the situation require it. We have the skill and experience in family court that you need.
This is a highly stressful process for both parents and children, and we are sensitive to what you are facing. We are dedicated to providing the information, solutions and options that you need to feel comfortable with the case and its resolution.

Spousal Support and Alimony.

In many marriages, the husband and wife work together, compromising for the good of the family. This many involve deep personal sacrifices for the good of the other’s career, education or professional development. While this benefits the lifestyle of the couple together, the sacrificing spouse may be at a great disadvantage should they divorce.
The state of California often orders spousal support payments to be made to a husband or wife who is unable to support themselves after a marriage ends.

At Law Offices of Guerin L. Butterworth, we have more than 25 years’ experience guiding individuals through the process of determining how much should be paid to a dependent spouse in spousal support or alimony.
There are various forms of spousal support available. Though they range widely in duration, there is generally a specified end to payment after several years. In some cases, the court may require a spouse to pay the other a support amount to provide for him or her during the divorce proceedings.
As a general rule, though, it is expected that the person become self-sufficient within a reasonable amount of time following the divorce. The court will expect the spouse receiving support to provide evidence that he or she is making a reasonable effort toward being self-supporting. You will be given a warning that you are obligated to become self-supporting and the court will want to know what your efforts are in achieving this.

The duration of the marriage plays a significant role in the amount of spousal maintenance that will be awarded in the agreement. If you were married for less than 10 years, you will get support for half the length of the marriage. If the marriage lasted more than 10 years, the judge could create an open-ended order that could last for the rest of the spouses’ lives.

Prenuptial Agreements.

Prenuptial agreements are often looked upon negatively as a pessimistic forecast for the marriage. They are, however, an opportunity for the couple to take an honest and realistic look at the financial landscape they are entering together, laying ground rules for how to proceed.

We provide guidance during this process, helping you draw up a prenuptial agreement that sets clear expectations for both spouses. By clearly communicating your financial expectations for the marriage, you are not only able to protect yourself against unforeseen issues later, but you also avoid bitter arguments that many couples fall into.

It’s important to us to take the time to fully understand your situation and all of the assets involved in the marriage, as well as some that you may not have known would be included in the union. We will carefully explain all options at your disposal, ensuring that you are fully informed and comfortable with the agreement being drafted.

Prenuptial agreements allow the couple a way to dictate the rules for how their finances will be directed during the marriage.
Under a typical marriage, the law provides just the bare minimum framework for how finances will operate within a union. The prenup gives couples the opportunity to work through key financial decisions before the marriage, laying a structure for how the finances will be directed during the marriage. It is wise to have these conversations before the marriage, charting a clear and solid financial path.

You cannot predict the future, but you can enjoy peace of mind that you are prepared for it.

Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders.

An individual facing a safety risk or potential danger at the hands of his or her spouse or partner needs protection quickly. Restraining or protective orders can be gained quickly with little explanation. While this is good news for the abused and his or her children, there are often resulting complications that must be considered.

At Law Offices of Guerin L. Butterworth, we help families and individuals throughout California quickly gain the protection needed. We then continue on with our clients, helping them sort through the resulting outcome of the instated order.

We are prepared to go to court on a moment’s notice, obtaining an immediate restraining order. This order will provide protection that will go into effect from the moment you obtain it, even if the other person is not aware that it is happening.

We then take the time to fully explain the legal side of the order and how it will affect you and your family. Each situation is unique in the circumstances that shape it, and we listen carefully to what you are facing. We are able to provide the solutions and options that you need for long-term protection and safety.

Orders of protection are powerful tools, and must be used with care. Some require that the individual not come within 100 yards of you. Others order the individual to attend counseling or rehab.

We are also ready to represent individuals who have been falsely accused of abuse by a spouse seeking the upper hand in a divorce or other family law matter. Unfortunately, this is all too common, and we will show you the legal options that you have to protect your freedom and your contact with your children.