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Our office is devoted to legal representation in divorce, property division, support, custody and related family law matters.

We serve clients throughout all of Northern California and routinely practice in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and San Joaquin counties. | 916-877-9353


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Family Law

Dougherty & Associates handles all aspects of divorce, or the "dissolution of marriage" as it is known in California. Besides dissolving a marriage, the court will divide property, make orders regarding child custody and visitation and determine child and spousal support. California is a no-fault state which means that either party may obtain a divorce solely on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. However, expert advocacy is critical to getting a fair or equal distribution of assets, valuing assets like business or professional practices, determining true incomes or earning capacities for setting support or obtaining custody orders that are truly in the best interests of the children.

We keep the child's best interest at the heart of every child custody case. We have particular expertise and experience in litigating complex custody issues such as those where one party is wanting to "move-away," where there are allegations of abuse or molestation or where one party has, or is alleged to have, mental health or substance abuse problems.

Top Ten Family Law Tips

1. Learn the differences between mediating, collaboratively negotiating or litigating your divorce. Understand the pros and cons of each.
2. When business/professional practice valuations or complex financial issues are involved, you may save money by hiring a forensic CPA to work with your attorney.
3. Most often, when dividing income and assets acquired during marriage, it does not matter whose name is on an asset, account, retirement fund, etc., who earned the money during the marriage or who worked or ran the business. It is most often community property. Only a qualified attorney can tell you the exceptions.
4. When it comes to most issues of income and debt, the community of marriage ends when separation occurs — not when the couple divorces.
5. Married couples and domestic partners determine the date of separation by their actions and intents (e.g. separating with a final intent to not resume the marriage or relationship).
6. If you have children, don't leave them or the home without a written custody agreement with your partner or spouse.
7. If you are a victim of domestic violence, get help and advocacy now. It will not get better!
8. Don't wait until you have made a mess of your divorce with poor representation (including self-representation) before at least consulting with a family law specialist.
9. You do not always save money by hiring a cheaper attorney, but high fees do not guarantee attention to your case with active advocacy and communication either. Ask as many attorneys as you can who they would hire to represent their daughter or son.
10. When it comes to custody, focus on the child and not the faults of your spouse or partner. If your mate has a problem that does not affect the child (most do), the court and mediators will not care about it. If his or her problem does affect the child, focus on the effect rather than your anger about the problem.


Dougherty & Associates is a family law firm based in Sacramento, California. We serve clients throughout all of northern California, and routinely practice in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and San Joaquin Counties.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Please call the Law Offices of Dougherty & Associates at (916) 877-9353 for legal advice as it relates to your specific case.

Dougherty & Associates
650 University Ave., Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95825

Phone: 916-877-9353
Fax: 916-567-0909
Business Hours:
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m
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