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Family Law

The decision to divorce is a difficult one to make, particularly if children are involved. The divorce process creates profound stress and often precipitates many other life changes. That is why you need a divorce attorney who will guide you through this difficult process before, during and after your divorce.

In addition to acting as an advocate and advisor for my clients, I understand the pressure felt by those involved in the divorce process and work to address their personal concerns. I am sensitive to my clients’ needs whether you are the Father or Mother and alleviate stress through personalized client service.

When representing clients in divorces and child custody, I promise to vigorously pursue your interests to achieve results and ensure the process proceeds smoothly.

Same Sex Marraige - Divorce

In California, same sex couples that marry, must now seek a divorce in the same manner as heterosexual couples. The only legal way to end a marriage is to divorce. Typically, in order to divorce in California, at least one of the spouses must be a resident of California for at least six months, and a resident of the county in which the divorce is filed for three months, before filing a divorce petition. However, under a law that went into effect January 1, 2012, same-sex couples who married in California but live out-of-state (and, thus, cannot meet California’s normal divorce residency requirement) can still get divorced in California if they live in a state where they cannot divorce. States that do not permit or recognize marriages between same-sex couples may not allow same-sex couples to obtain divorces. 


Indian children involved in state child custody proceedings are covered by ICWA. A person may define his or her identity as Indian but in order for ICWA to apply, the involved child must be an Indian child as defined by the law.

ICWA defines an “Indian child” as “any unmarried person who is under age eighteen and is either (A) a member of an Indian tribe or (B) is eligible for membership in an Indian tribe and is the biological child of a member of an Indian tribe” (25 U.S.C. § 1903). Under federal law, individual tribes have the right to determine eligibility, membership, or both. However, in order for ICWA to apply, the child must be a member of or eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe.

If the Indian child qualifies, the child’s tribe and family have an opportunity to be involved in decisions affecting services for the Indian child.

Attorney John Carelli has successfully completed training in the area of how to properly handle a case involving an Indian child in compliance with ICWA as provided by NICWA.

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