Family Law

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I have extensive experience in family law. This area of law includes divorce, legal separation, custody, support property division, restraining orders, premarital and post marital agreements. My office will  maneuver through the complex laws of California and provide legal representation to protect your rights.

I have been through the struggles of divorce myself when my two children were very young. Knowing and understanding the fears and concerns of someone facing a marital breakup inspired me to want to practice family law. I want to use my own personal understanding coupled with my legal experience to assist each of my clients with their own individual concerns. Each case is different with it’s own special considerations. A family law client wants an attorney who is not only smart, but sensitive to the emotional components  of the process, cares about the children involved, and will work vigorously to make sure the outcome is as fair as possible. I am devoted to my family law practice because I understand that caring and competent advocacy is so important.

iStock-598689282-optimizedWhen parties are going through a divorce or involved in any family law proceeding there is incredible anxiety and fear. Changes in financial status, ending of a relationship, sharing custody of children, and all of the other unknown personal changes that come with divorce are very difficult. For this reason, a person a looking for legal representation in a family law matter will want an attorney who is not just experienced and knowledgeable, but trustworthy. Trust is as important as any other quality for a client so he or she  can openly discuss and put in the hands of this professional the most private and personal aspects of one’s life. I offer a free twenty minute consultation to clients looking for a family law attorney to allow prospective clients the opportunity to meet me to k now if they can work with and feel confident in me.

I am keenly aware of the effects the legal process can have on children and I make every effort to advocate in ways that are sensitive to, and protect the welfare of, the children. For every parent, custody is the most heart-wrenching aspect of divorce. Litigation of custody is the most difficult for parents. I have represented many parents in trial and in negotiation and, although difficult, I find it very rewarding to assist a parent obtain a custody share that is most beneficial for the children.

Sometimes the problems that arise in a marriage lead to physical abuse. This behavior is not tolerable and can be protected by an order from the court entitled restraining orders. These restraining orders are registered with the local police departments. If physical violence is an issue, these orders are important to obtain early on when the violence starts to offer victims the best protection. There are also times when accusations of abuse are unfounded, and sadly used as a strategy by the accusing party. I have represented parties in both sides of this situation and I am a staunch advocate to protect you, as the victim of abuse or a false allegation of abuse.

Dissolution is a difficult process that can create financial changes but should not lead to financial crisis. I will assist you with spousal support issues and property division so that you are left in the most comparable financial position to how you provided for yourself before the marriage ended. Child support is based upon a computer calculation in California called a dissomaster, uniformly creating child support guidelines in our state courts. The initial child support order is modifiable with changes in circumstances (typically of income and time share with the children) until the children complete high school. I can easily guide you through the changing child support calculations when those circumstances arise.

Want to learn more?

If you are facing any of the situations or have questions about any of the areas of family law and need to talk with someone who can guide you, please call my office for a consultation. It is far more comforting to have the information you need than to wonder in anxiety what the future holds.

Additional Practice Areas


Probate includes drafting wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health directives and all of the documents required for each of us contemplating what we want to have happen when we die and when we become critically ill. A “Dying Request” is also now part of the probate practice, which allows for the legal right to die. That legislation became effective as of June 2016.

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personal-injury-iconCivil Litigation

This is a general area of legal practice for clients needing legal help to be compensated with monetary damages. I want to provide  my legal experience to help my clients with recovery for physical injuries that leave you emotionally and physically suffering. These injuries can result from all types of causes – falls, dog bites, bicycle accidents and car accidents.

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We are here to help

To learn more about our services, feel free to email us or call at (510) 444-1881.

Law Offices of Catherine Haley
1633 San Pablo Avenue
Oakland, CA 94612
Telephone: 510-444-1881
Fax: 510-444-5108

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