Divorce (dissolution), is the most common method of terminating a marriage between two people in California. The entire process takes a minimum of six months and one day until it is possible to become a single person again. If you and your spouse have no contested issues in the resolution of your property or custody matters you may wish to explore completing your divorce as self-represented (pro per). The Riverside Superior Court Family Law Assistance Center can help you. If you want help in deciding your options, please contact Swanson and Ruegg for a consultation.

Custody and Paternity

Custody arrangements for minor children (under 18 years old) often bring up major issues between couples who are separating. Custody arrangements must account for both physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody includes the daily care and activities of the minor children. Legal custody includes the legal rights of each parent and who bears the responsibility associated with making decisions related to the minor child’s upbringing. If you want to explore counseling to help you and your spouse, referrals for counseling can be obtained through the mediation department of the Riverside family law court at (951) 955-6985. If you and your child’s parent were not married, it may be important that paternity be legally established to protect you and your child. If co-parenting between you and your former partner has become an issue or if you want to modify your custody arraignment, Swanson and Ruegg can help you.


Child Support is calculated using the California Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines use a complex formula involving factors such as each parent’s income, mandatory deductions and time share with the child. Spousal Support may also be awarded depending on a number of factors including the supported spouse’s need for support, the paying spouse’s ability to pay, the age and health of each spouse, the ability of each spouse to earn at a certain level the historical income of the parties and the length of the marriage. Support is taken very seriously in California and a failure to pay can result in wage garnishment, liens on real property, suspension of professional licenses, and suspension of a driver’s license. Getting early advice is critical since decisions made early on in the process can greatly impact your final support obligation orders. If you need legal advice regarding support obligations, support arrear-age or collections, Department of Child Support Services, or require a modification of your current orders call Swanson and Ruegg.


Adoption is a big step and the required paperwork can be frustrating at times. Whether you are thinking about a Stepparent, Independent, or Adult Adoption, let Swanson and Ruegg help walk you through the process.


Guardianships are usually established by relatives or other caring adults who want to provide stability for minors whose parents can no longer provide for them. If you or a loved one are seeking advice on how to protect your rights with a child or how to establish a Guardianship, please contact Swanson and Ruegg.

Juvenile Dependency

California law has an extensive statutory scheme that establishes procedures for the juvenile court to follow once a child is removed from his or her home by Child Protective Services. The objective of this scheme is to provide if possible return the child safely to the home and if that is not possible, to provide a permanent, safe, and stable environment for the child. If your child has been taken away from you or a loved one and you need a Juvenile Dependency attorney, Swanson and Ruegg can help you.

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO)

More commonly referred to as a QDRO, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or other stipulated order dividing an account is typically prepared pursuant to a judgment for dissolution. If you have questions regarding the QDRO process, contact Swanson and Ruegg and ask for David.

Prenuptial Agreements

If you are concerned about your property rights or those of your heirs in the event of your death or divorce of a planned marriage, call for a consultation with Swanson and Ruegg.

Restraining Orders

If you are a victim of domestic violence or have been accused of domestic violence yourself, the court will address restraining orders on an expedited basis. These orders are serious in nature and can have far reaching effects on your freedom, child custody and employment. Alternatives to Domestic Violence at (800) 339-SAFE is available free of charge to assist self-represented victims of domestic violence obtain restraining orders, emergency housing, counseling and other support services. The Law Offices of Swanson and Ruegg are here to assist you if domestic violence issues have arisen in your case.