DAVID S. BANKS, ATTORNEY AT LAW
Honest, experienced and skilled representation in:
FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION
1600 Humboldt Road, Suite 4
Chico, CA 95928
Representing clients in Butte, Glenn, Tehama, and Plumas Counties.
FAMILY LAW ISSUES
I represent clients with the following legal issues:
Whether you are simply contemplating the process of divorce (or legal separation) and would like more information, or have an active case, I am willing to meet with you to discuss your options. It is important for potential clients to know that the decision to proceed with a divorce is not mine to make. My initial consultation is frequently just an opportunity for a person considering the process to obtain information so that they can make an informed and intelligent decision on their own. Divorce can involve many significant decisions with long lasting ramifications, such as decisions involving: custody, property division, payments of debts and obligations, child support, and spousal support. I often hear from potential clients that their spouse is pressuring them not to seek an attorney. This should be a red flag...it is imperative that you fully understand your legal rights under California law so that you are not taken advantage of unfairly. I represent clients in cases in which the parties are amicable and are able to settle without setting foot and court and cases in which court action is required at each step. Every case requires a different approach and demands judgment and finesse.
Parenting has been described as the ultimate in self-sacrifice...and this continues further when parents are no longer living together. It is not uncommon for parents going through custody disputes to get caught in battles of ego and control. I encourage clients to take a step back and focus on how they can best support their children through this difficult process so they can develop into happy, healthy, well-adjusted adults. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. There are times however where a parent must take steps to protect the health, safety, and welfare of a child because the other parent is not meeting the needs of the child(en). I represent parents in all phases of custody issues, from attempting to resolve out of court to filing emergency requests and requests for orders for custody and time-share.
California is a community property state and application of case law and statutes is quite complex. Very often separate property claims intermix in the consideration of the character of an asset. Perhaps you purchased a house before marriage in your own name and later during marriage you added your spouse to title? Maybe you used an inheritance as a down payment for a house? Did you begin contributing to a pension or retirement before marriage? These are all issues that require evaluation and consideration by a professional. I help clients understand how community property laws will likely apply in their respective situation.
Spousal support is a particularly contested area of the law. Whether you have been the family "breadwinner" and are worried about whether/how much you might have to pay in spousal support, or whether you sacrificed a career to raise children so your spouse could advance a career and you need an order for payment of spousal support, the issues are complex. I help clients navigate this constantly changing areas of law to see that their interests and rights are protected under their circumstances. In addition to seeking original orders, I also help clients that need to modify spousal support due to a change in circumstance such as job loss, disability, or retirement.
In California, child support is typically calculated based upon a formula (with some exceptions). This is usually relatively straight forward when the income information for both parties is clear. However, there are many instances where a parent may fail to fully disclose their income, may be self-employed and claim business expenses that are actually personal expenses, or perhaps choose to be voluntarily unemployed. Whether your case is straight-forward or complex, I assist clients to ensure that the child support they should be receiving (or paying) is consistent with the application of California law.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDERS
I represent clients who wish to seek restraining orders to protect themselves, their children, and family members from domestic abusers. Of course, the first course of protection is the enlistment of law enforcement. The Domestic Violence Protection Act provides a multitude of orders that can be issued to potentially protect abused individuals. The definition of what qualifies as "abuse" is quite broad, and I can assist clients evaluate whether their case falls within this definition.
In addition, I represent individuals who have been served with a temporary restraining order and want a hearing to contest such order because they have been falsely accused. Unfortunately, there are occurrences, particularly when a child is involved, that a parent may abuse the restraining order process in order to obtain a more favorable custody ruling. I assist clients who desire their day in court to contest false claims.
MY PRACTICE PHILOSOPHY
In my 22 years of handling family law cases, I have represented clients from ALL walks of life...doctors, teachers, nurses, police officers, farmers, stay at home parents, professors, builders...you name it. The one thing I have learned through this experience is that each case requires personalized service and focus....and the needs of each client is different. Some firms will hand you off to support staff and paralegals. With my firm, you will be interacting with me personally.
I see my role in assisting clients in two distinct but related ways. When meeting with clients privately, my goal is to provide my honest, objective advice, based on my experience and judgment. I do this so the client can evaluate all of the information and factors in making an informed decision on how they wish to proceed in a case.
If a matter is unable to resolve, however, my role before the court is as your skilled advocate to make sure that I am protecting your interests and rights at each step and direction to obtain the best possible results.
My goal in assisting clients through one of the most difficult and intimidating experiences in life, is to hopefully make the process a little less painful. I try my best to keep clients fully informed and educated about the legal issues in their case to help reduce surprises. At the end of the day, I want my clients to feel that they have been heard, and that they their interests have been well represented.
I was born and raised in California. I received my undergraduate degree from UC San Diego and my law degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. I moved to Seattle upon graduation and became a member of the Washington Bar Association, and practiced family law in the Seattle area for five years before relocating back home to California. I have been practicing family law in Chico since 2004.
In addition to practicing law, I also taught "Community Property Law" at Cal Northern School of Law in Chico for several years.
I am a member of the California Bar Association, Washington State Bar Association, and Butte County Bar Association.
When not practicing law, I enjoy spending time with my two children, fishing, hiking, and traveling internationally in search of amazing food.