Family Law cases present many different paths to resolving complicated issues regarding relationships. Our philosophy is that we firmly believe that the less conflict there is in settling these issues, the better it will be emotionally for the children (and for the Parties as well). Our overall aim is to resolve issues regarding child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support and the division of property with as little animosity as possible. This not only enables families to move on with their lives sooner and with less emotional baggage but costs substantially less financially as well.

California Divorce Proceedings

In this article, you can find answers to questions like:

  • Do I need an attorney to file for divorce in California?
  • How is child custody determined in a divorce?
  • Can you waive child support in a divorce?

What Are The Options Available For A Couple To Proceed With A Divorce In CA?

There are many different ways to pursue a divorce. Just as each relationship is unique, so are the variety of methods suitable for each divorce proceeding. In general, a divorce will fall into one of two categories: contested or uncontested.

In a contested divorce:

The parties do not agree to the terms of a divorce. Separating couples can pursue mediation in an attempt to negotiate a settlement, but it is not uncommon for litigation to become necessary. This is because when a former couple cannot agree to things such as the division of property or child custody, the court will step in to make a final ruling on the matter.

In an uncontested divorce:

The parties work together to create a settlement on the terms of their divorce. In this method, a separating couple will draw up the agreed terms (with or without the assistance of a family law attorney) and submit a petition of divorce to the court together.

Whether you choose to petition for divorce on your own, with a mediator, or with the representation of divorce lawyers is up to you. There are a variety of factors that go into determining what any given person needs to meet their goals. Even if you plan to go through with a divorce on your own, it’s always advisable to consult with an attorney beforehand.

At the end of the day, divorce is a legal process. It’s beneficial to have the insight that an expert can provide you with – especially considering that your divorce may require attention to matters such as your financial wellbeing and the structure of your parenting arrangement.

What Happens If My Spouse And I Can’t Agree On Custody Or Other Matters In Our Divorce?

You and your spouse can work together (or with a mediator) to pursue a settlement agreement. If tensions are too raised – or if either party will not budge in their goals – the matter will be taken before a judge.

There are a number of factors that the courts consider when deciding these matters. Typically, the courts will favor 50-50 custody agreements. However, extenuating circumstances may necessitate an alternative approach.

What Is The Timeline Of The Divorce Process After A Divorce Is Filed In California?

The process of a divorce officially begins when one party serves the other with a Summons. After the service has been completed, the served party will have 30 days to make a response.

After this, each side will be responsible for different filings and appearances. Typically, informal discovery is completed within the year. (This includes depositions, if necessary.) Then, trial usually is set to occur within the first two years. Any divorce case that is not resolved within five years will be dismissed.

Does California Recognize An Age Where A Child Can Decide Who He Or She Will Live With After A Divorce?

There is not a specific age at which California courts will automatically honor a child’s wishes for their custody arrangement. However, Cal. Fam. Code § 3042 (a) provides that if a child is at least 14, they may state a custodial preference – unless the judge believes doing so would be detrimental.

When Will Child Support Be Awarded During The Divorce? How Is The Amount Of Child Support Determined In CA?

Child support is determined by the state of California. The amount of support that will be ordered relies on the calculation of a number of factors. The greatest of these factors include:

  • The amount of time each parent spends with the child.
  • The income and overall financial situation of each parent.

It’s important to note: The state of California almost never waives the requirement of child support. Even if separating parents agree that they don’t “need” a child support order, the court will enforce it. This is because child support is not seen as a benefit to either of the adult parties, but rather as the right of the child to a certain standard of care.

Does California Recognize Alimony Or Spousal Support Awards In A Divorce Case?

In California, alimony is formally referred to as Spousal Support. The amount of Spousal Support that is ordered in any given case will vary, depending on a number of factors. Typically, however, support is paid by the spouse that has a higher income.

How Is The Amount Of Spousal Support Determined In California?

Some of the factors that are considered in determining the amount of child support awarded in a divorce case may include:

  • Earning Capacity
  • Marketable Skills
  • Length Of The Marriage
  • Age
  • Health
  • Contributions to the education, training, and career advancement of the higher-earning spouse
  • And more . . .

What Factors Affect The Division Of Assets And Property In A Divorce?

So many factors affect how assets will be divided in a divorce case. Some of these factors may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Whether one spouse has been granted primary physical custody of the minor children of the marriage.
  • The income or earning power disparity between the two spouses. (A significant age gap between the two parties could influence how “earning power” is determined.)
  • Any health conditions or concerns.
  • The size of the marital estate.
  • The expectation of an inheritance.
  • The total value of each spouse’s separate property.
  • The anticipated financial needs and liabilities of each spouse.
  • The liquidity of marital assets. (Liquidity refers to the ease with which an asset could be sold in the market without affecting its price.)
  • The degree to which each spouse contributed to the acquisition of marital assets.
  • The degree to which each spouse contributed to the other spouse’s earning power.
  • Spousal maintenance obligations.
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.
  • Whether fault-based grounds for the divorce are present. (Such as domestic violence or child abuse.)
  • The length of the marriage.
  • And more . . .

If you have concerns about the way your assets may be divided in the divorce process, it’s essential to contact an experienced divorce law attorney as soon as possible.

For more information on Family Law Issues In The State Of California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (661) 255-2233 today.

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