Practice Areas

Property Division

California is a community property state. This means that assets and debts acquired during marriage are presumed to be community property and, absent an exception to the presumption such as a prenuptial agreement, title change or other exception, the assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage will be divided equally. This does not mean that each asset must be split, but rather that the value of all of the community assets and debts must be determined and allocated equally between the parties. If the parties are unable to agree to an allocation of assets and debts, the court will decide the allocation. Throughout the divorce process, Rachel Castrejon will assist you in determining the best way to allocate the assets and liabilities to accomplish the goals that are most important for you.

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Complex Asset and Income Issues

As the advent of technology and business grows, Family Law issues evolve and require familiarity with complex compensation packages that include stock/options/restricted stock units and other forms of non-traditional compensation. Likewise, start-ups and long-standing businesses, whether small or large, need to be valued. Having familiarity in these areas allows Rachel Castrejon to assist her clients in resolving spousal and child support issues and complex business valuations by taking into consideration all aspects of compensation and valuation and working collaboratively with experts in business valuation.

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Spousal Support or Alimony

In California, there are two defined periods of spousal support. Temporary spousal support refers to the support that is paid or received between the time that the parties file for divorce or separation and the time that judgment is entered. Temporary spousal support is usually determined by a statewide uniform guideline calculation. Permanent spousal support is the spousal support that is paid or received after judgment is entered and you are divorced or legally separated. Unlike temporary spousal support, permanent spousal support is determined by the review of several factors which are enumerated in Family Code section 4320. Rachel Castrejon can help you determine the amount of support that would be appropriate in your case so you can determine the best plan in pursuing support options.

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Child Support

Child support is calculated by the Statewide Uniform Guideline formula that primarily utilizes the income of each parent and the time that each parent shares with the children to determine the “guideline” amount of support to be paid. In addition to the monthly guideline child support amount, there is additional child support that must be paid including work related child care costs and uninsured medical costs. The amount of those costs that either party is required to pay can be proportional to their respective incomes. Likewise, there are certain discretionary expenses (i.e. extracurricular activities) that can be allocated between the parties. Rachel Castrejon can calculate child support so the client knows what to expect at the earliest opportunity and can plan accordingly.

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Child Custody and Visitation

Perhaps the most critical element of a divorce or separation matter is the establishment of a parenting plan so that the children have a consistent and stable custody and visitation schedule. To that end, Rachel Castrejon assists clients in creating parenting plans, establishment of temporary and emergency custody and visitation orders involving domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and modification of existing custody and visitation orders. Additionally, Rachel Castrejon is a trained Parenting Coordinator and, in that capacity, helps high conflict parents resolve disputes that arise throughout their coparenting years.

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Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

Domestic violence continues to affect families throughout San Francisco and Marin County. The very sensitive and emotional nature of a relationship that suffers from abuse requires the utmost skill and compassion in helping a client through the emotionally draining process. Whether you are the party who is being accused of domestic violence or the victim of domestic violence, Rachel Castrejon is skilled in helping you through the process in a dignified manner with the least amount of collateral issues for you and your family.

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Prenup and Postnup

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements provide individuals and married couples a way of protecting assets and defining ownership rights outside of the confines of community property laws. A prenuptial agreement is prepared and signed by both parties prior to the marriage. It take effect upon the marriage. A post-nuptial agreement is drafted and signed by both parties during the marriage. It is generally an agreement that is not entered into in anticipation of divorce, but rather an agreement through which married persons want to define their rights in certain property. Rachel Castrejon has a wealth of experience in drafting both prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements.

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Domestic Partnership and Same Sex Marriage

Rachel has represented several clients in domestic partnership disputes and dissolutions and same sex marriages. This representation includes out-of-state clients who have to dissolve their partnership in California because the state in which they reside does not recognize the domestic partnership.

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