In a marital dissolution (divorce) you file a petition requesting that the court terminate your marriage and decide all of the other issues in your case such as custody, support, and property division. In a legal separation action you file a petition requesting that the marital status remain intact (remain husband and wife), however, you can also request that the court decide all other issues in your case just as in a marital dissolution. Many people chose a legal separation for religious purposes, or when it is necessary to remain husband and wife so that a spouse can remain on the other spouse’s health insurance plan. The only difference is that in a legal separation the marital status remains intact.
Community property is usually divided equally. Whether an asset is community or separate is determined by the Source Rule. For instance earnings of the parties during marriage are community. Let’s say that you and your spouse save $50,000.00 during the marriage from moneys earned during marriage and use it to purchase a house in both of your names. Since the money/source used to purchase the house is community coupled with the fact that both names are on title characterizes the house as a community asset. Many issues arise in family law cases over characterization of assets. An experienced family law attorney can guide you through an analysis on the characterization of your assets.
Child support is based on the incomes of the parties and the amount of time each party has with their child or children. The figures are put into a program that is used statewide called DissoMaster. There are web sites available on the DissoMaster program. If you have enough information on you and your spouse’s income, a lawyer will be able to give you estimates and different scenarios on the amount of child support.
The collaborative divorce process and mediation are ways of keeping your dispute out of court. Mediation is a process whereby a neutral third party is chosen by both parties to assist them in resolving their case. The mediator will guide the parties through the process of reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement. Because the mediator is neutral, he or she cannot give the parties legal advice which is adverse to the other party. Even when going through mediation, each party should have their own consulting attorney to advise them of their legal rights, and the consequences of the agreement they are negotiating.
The State of California’s court system provides mediation services at no cost to parents involved in a custody case. The mediator is specially trained in assisting parents with reaching an agreement regarding their children. The State of California requires that the parties attend mediation before the court will hear a contested custody matter. An experienced family law attorney can help you explore the different ways of resolving your custody problem. A consultation with the attorney is essential in developing options to reduce the chances of a custody dispute. It is well known that custody battles have a detrimental effect on children.
Although this is allowed, it is not recommended. Divorce laws are complicated and it’s best to consult with an experienced family law attorney before proceeding with a divorce.
Every divorce case is different, with multiple factors that will affect your final costs. In addition to lawyer fees, there are also court costs and other related costs that need to be taken into account. These can be discussed thoroughly during your consultation. Generally, mediation and collaborative divorces are significantly less expensive than going through the court system by way of litigation.
Under California law, the earliest day that a divorce can be finalized is six months and one day from: 1) the date that the spouse who filed the divorce had the other served with the Petition for Dissolution and the Summons, or 2) when the other spouse responded to the Petition.
California is a no fault divorce state. This means that neither party has to prove that the other one is at “fault” for the deterioration of the marriage. The grounds for divorce in California are irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity.
Put simply, a legal separation does not change your marital status. Under the law, you are still considered married when you are legally separated. A divorce, on the other hand, terminates the marital status and you are considered “single” after a divorce.
Filing for a legal separation allows the court to divide your marital property and make decisions about child custody, child support and spousal support while you are still legally married. This can be beneficial for spouses who are relying on each other for health care benefits, military benefits social security benefits, pension payments etc. It also allows the couple time apart to see if divorce is actually what they want.
Mediation is an effective way to resolve issues related to a divorce without going to court. However, you should still consult with a family law attorney before making any important decisions regarding mediation. The lawyers at DKY Law are trained in the mediation process and can help you reach an agreement with your spouse, without the emotional trauma and financial burden that comes with the traditional court process.
California is a Community Property state and under this rule, most property acquired during the marriage is owned equally by both parties. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Property is not always divided equally between the parties and it is actually rare that everything is split an even 50/50. This is why it is critical to hire a lawyer that is knowledgeable when it comes to property valuation and property division during a divorce.
While it is always better for the two parties to come to an agreement regarding child custody through mediation, it does not always happen. This is when a judge will step in and decide what he or she thinks is in the best interest of the child. The law favors that parents have continuing and frequent contact, unless one of the parents has a history of domestic violence or drug abuse.
The first thing you have to do to file for divorce in the state of California is figure out what kind of divorce you want to file for. You and your spouse will have to make this decision together; otherwise you may need a lawyer to help. Jurisdiction is also an issue, and you will need to file for divorce in the district in which you make your residence in.
Part of the overall purpose of divorce is to divide up community property and resolve custody and support issues. You can make prior arrangements with your spouse, or you can get a lawyer to help. It is always best to consult with a family specialist before proceeding with your divorce or legal separation.
When contemplating a divorce, you must ask yourself a few key questions, one of them how much a divorce will cost? Legal and court fees accumulated are typically paid by each spouse on their own. In some cases, lawyers may be requested to have one spouse be responsible for a portion or even all of the legal and court fees of the other party. A judge may order one spouse to pay the costs. For instance, if one spouse is more financially equipped than the other, he/she would be deemed to be in a better financial position and less likely to suffer from paying a larger portion of the fees and costs. There are several factors that will determine the costs associated with a divorce. One factor is based on how collaborative a couple is. If a couple can come to agreements easily, the costs associated with lawyers, legal and court fees will be less. If, on the other hand, a couple disagrees and cannot discuss terms, issues related to child support, child custody, and the division of assets will be more difficult to resolve and more costly.
It is important that you hire a lawyer that you feel is highly experienced and has your best interests in mind.
In divorce cases involving children, having to deal with a custody battle will raise costs. First off, you may incur higher lawyer fees in regard to the additional work a lawyer may have to do because of a custody battle. A lawyer may also suggest calling on an expert witness, which in turn will be another expense. Other fees should be expected in a custody battle, including miscellaneous expenses such as psychiatric evaluations.
A divorce may also involve a large sum of marital property and debt which needs to be divided appropriately. In this case, an attorney may bring on other expertise, such as a financial analysts or a real estate appraiser. This addition of expertise will undoubtedly add to the cost of a divorce. Ultimately, it is up to the couple and their ability to cooperate with one another to determine how costly a divorce may be.