Divorce and Family Law Attorney

(714) 375-6619 or (562) 430-7676

Divorce Lawyer|Huntington Beach Divorce|Thorsteinson Law Group
About Thorsteinson Law Group .
Brett Thorsteinson takes great care to provide compassionate and effective assistance that lives up to your expectations.

Your Trusted and Expereinced Divorce and Family Law Attorney

Thorsteinson Law Group is focused exclusively on California divorce and family law issues. When you hire us to represent you, we bring extensive knowledge and a commitment to help you meet your goals.

In addition to handling divorce and legal separation, including child support, spousal support and child custody, Thorsteinson Law Group addresses all other family law matters, including paternity, adoptions, guardianships, and domestic violence.

Located in Long Beach and Huntington Beach

Thorsteinson Law Group helps people in Orange County and Los Angeles County who are facing divorce, legal separation and child custody issues. We understand that divorce is a sensitive and timely matter, and we treat your case with care and dignity.

We approach all cases carefully and precisely, taking time to listen to your concerns and learn about your goals. When we build a case, it is built specifically for you. We are prepared to take the steps necessary to meet your needs.

Thorsteinson Law Group will defend your interests and be steadfast in our pursuit of your goals. Whether your divorce can be resolved through careful negotiations or through aggressive courtroom litigation, we will be there.

Consultations are easy and convenient at our Long Beach or Huntington Beach locations. Contact Thorsteinson Law Group today and move towards a lasting resolution.

Frequently Asked Questions

When you are going through an uncertain time in your life, whether it be divorce, child custody, paternity or other family law matters you have questions. In this section, Thorsteinson Law Group provides answers to some common questions.

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Divorce Timeline and Process

Did you know that in California, there is a minimum six-month waiting time before your divorce can be finalized? Do you know who the petitioner is in a California divorce? In this section, Thorsteinson Law Group provides a high-level overview of the California divorce timeline and process.

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Committed to bringing healthy and lasting resolutions
Attorney Profile .

Brett Thorsteinson is an attorney focused exclusively on Divorce and Family Law

Brett Thorsteinson is the founder and Principle Attorney at Thorsteinson Law Group, a law firm focused exclusively on California divorce and family law. After completing his master's degree at Biola University, Brett went on to complete his law degree from Trinity International University. He is a member of the State Bar of California, Orange County Bar Association - Family Law Section, and the Long Beach Bar Association.

Throughout his law career, Brett has focused exclusively on California divorce and family law, ensuring you get the most up-to-date legal information. Following his passion to live and work in the Southern California area, Brett established Thorsteinson Law Group and opened offices in Huntington Beach and Long Beach, California to make consultations convenient and easy.

Thorsteinson Law Group provides clients with sound and accurate legal counsel and works diligently to establish a lasting resolution that meets your needs and goals.

When your divorce, legal separation or family law matter calls for strong, determined advocacy, Thorsteinson Law Group will competently and compassionately protect and fight for your rights.
Listening and responding appropriately to your unique situation
Practice Areas .
Thorsteinson Law Group provides assistance and information with the following areas of divorce and family law:
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In California, all divorce is considered “no-fault” which means that each spouse is equally responsible for 50% of the marriage. Assets and debts are divided equally, and other issues such as spousal support and child custody are negotiated and worked out through the divorce process. Divorce is referred as ”dissolution of marriage” in legal terms and it’s often an stressful event in people’s lives. Additionally, the divorce process can be confusing at times and you need someone to help you understand the options and possible outcomes.

Thorsteinson Law Group works to address your concerns and questions quickly and in your favor. As a divorce attorney and legal separation lawyer, Brett Thorsteinson will guide you through the divorce process so you can begin a new chapter in your life feeling confident and secure.

Offices are located in Long Beach and Huntington Beach:
Long Beach Divorce
Huntington Beach Divorce
Spousal support, also commonly called alimony, is not a requirement, and it is not always granted in a divorce or legal separation. Matrimonial law grants the court broad discretion in deciding whether to award spousal support, how much, and for how long. the primary factors considered by the court are the need of the spouse seeking support and the ability of the other spouse to pay. Whether you are seeking or challenging an award of support, it is important to be represented by a strong attorney who can effectively advocate for your interests before the family law judge.
As a community property state, all marital property is divided equally between the spouses. It is essential, therefore, that every asset by properly identified as separate property or community property and properly valued, in order to arrive at a fair distribution. Characterization and valuation issues can get quite complicated, such as when dealing with one spouse's ownership interest in a business or the division of a military pension.
In determining custody, the judge will decide both the physical custody and the legal custody of the child. Physical custody refers to actual parenting time, while legal custody includes the parental authority to make decisions regarding the child's education, medical care, religious upbringing, etc. In either case, the court may grant either sole custody or some form of joint custody, where the parents share in the child's care and other important responsibilities.

California child support law places the needs of the children first. Although parents usually know what is in their children's best interests, arriving at viable support arrangements can be difficult, and the judge may be the one to decide based on the evidence and arguments presented. Some factors considered in determining child support include the earnings of both parents, the custody and visitation arrangement, and the child's health insurance expenses as well as any extraordinary medical expenses or other special needs.
Under California law, a temporary restraining order (TRO) can be obtained against a current or former spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, relative, or other person in a close personal relationship who has been physically or verbally abusive. The TRO can accomplish many things, including ordering the abuser out of the house and prohibiting any contact with the victim, the victim's children, and others living in the home. The TRO could also prohibit the abuser from possessing a gun or order the abuser to pay child support or spousal support or comply with other domestic relation orders.

After a TRO has been put in place, the court sets a date for a hearing on whether the protective order should be dismissed or continued for a longer period, up to five years. The person subjected to the order has the right to appear at this hearing and challenge the order, so it is important to be prepared for this hearing and to be well-represented by experienced legal counsel.
Only a legal father can assert a legal right to custody and visitation. Also, only a legal father can be legally compelled to pay child support. The question of paternity is therefore often raised in a divorce proceeding where there is a question as to the child's parentage. This question can be resolved in a legal proceeding brought to establish or challenge paternity.

When a couple was unmarried at the time of the birth of a child, the question of paternity may still be open if the couple did not sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity at that time or at a later date. Even if the couple is married, the husband is only presumed to be the father, and this presumption can still be challenged by a third party and proven by genetic testing or other means.
When the parents of a child have died or otherwise cannot provide for the care of their children, such as if they have become incarcerated or physically or mentally incapacitated, the court may appoint a guardian over the child's person or estate. A guardian of the person has legal and physical custody of the child and is responsible for the child's care and upbringing. A guardian of the estate is responsible to manage the child's finances until the child turns 18. A guardian of the estate is usually only necessary if the child receives more than $5,000, and the court may appoint the same person to serve in both types of guardianships. Grandparents or other family members are frequently the choice to become guardians.
There are many different types of adoptions. Grandparents or other family members caring for a minor relative may seek to adopt the child rather than merely serving as guardian, or as a next step following a guardianship proceeding. Also, couples may choose to adopt a child from a public or private agency, which may be in-state, interstate, or international. Finally, a stepparent may wish to legally adopt the children brought into his second marriage, in order to grant them legal status to inheritance and other rights, and to establish his parental rights. A stepparent adoption will terminate the parental rights of the biological father, and cannot generally be accomplished over the natural father's objection, unless he has abandoned the child for more than a year and has not provided any financial support.

Any type of adoption is a complicated, legal process which can take a lot of time and still fail if not handled correctly. Experienced legal representation by a skilled and knowledgeable family law attorney is important to making sure the adoption is handled correctly.
Once domestic relations orders are final, they are difficult to modify, except upon a showing of changed circumstances which would justify the modification. For instance, a change in either spouse's income may justify a change in a child support order, and the child custody arrangement may need to be modified if either spouse chooses or needs to relocate out of state or a significant distance from the other.
Reasoned legal advice and counsel
Divorce Resources .

Child Support and Imputed Income

In California, both parents are legally responsible for the financial support of their children whether or not they are married. Income is an important factor in figuring out how much child support is owed. However, some parents intentionally reduce their income in order to avoid child support. In that case, courts will “impute” income to parents.

What is Imputed Income?

Imputed income is income that is attributed or credited to a parent even though the parent is not actually earning that amount. Judges impute income to ensure that children’s needs are met and to deter parents from shirking their responsibilities.

If a parent has been earning good income in a stable, full-time job and suddenly states that they make no income, the judge is going to want to know why.  If it comes to light that the parent voluntarily quit work, the judge may impute income. To determine the amount of imputed income, the court would likely use the most recent amount of income reported.

California courts look at three factors to determining whether to impute income:

  • willingness to work
  • opportunity to work, and
  • ability to work

It’s important for the judge to understand the reason for the unemployment or underemployment because it is important in determining whether to impute income.

How Much Income to Impute?

The parent’s earning capacity or income potential is determined and used when the courts are deciding how much income to impute.

Educational level is used most often as a way to determine income potential as well as work skills and employment history. Willingness to work is determined by behavior or recent actions such as: searching for jobs, sending out resumes, and going to interviews. Opportunity to work takes into account the availability of appropriate jobs opportunities in the local area: Are companies in the parent’s field hiring or is there an employment slump?

A court can determine how much to impute by reviewing evidence regarding salaries for a job that parent would qualify for as well as  the parent’s ability and opportunity to work. Occasionally, if it’s too difficult to determine income potential, the court will impute minimum wage.

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group  to help you with your divorce. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to bringing you a lasting resolution.

Thorsteinson Law Group | Huntington Beach divorce attorney | Long Beach divorce attorney


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3780 Kilroy Airport Way, Suite 200
Long Beach, Ca. 90806

Phone: (562) 430-7676
Fax: (714) 375-6621

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17011 Beach Blvd., Suite 900
Huntington Beach, Ca. 92647

Phone: (714) 375-6619
Fax: (714) 375-6621

Driving Directions:
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