Going through a divorce is often very difficult. In the state of California, "irreconcilable differences" with your spouse are the only reason required to get a divorce, and it does not matter who is at fault.
There are many possible issues that must be addressed, such as child support, spousal support, custody, and visitation. In addition, issues related to the division of property, and other assets, and liabilities must also be addressed.
Spending the time to discuss your divorce case with an attorney can save you time and money.
In some cases, couples do not know whether they want a divorce. However, issues related to money, property, and custody require attention.
Once a petition is filed with the court, the court will now have jurisdiction to order child support, spousal support, custody, and visitation, as well as any other orders which may be necessary.
If you file for legal separation and later decide you want a divorce, an attorney will need to file an amended petition to ask the court for your divorce.
Child Custody & Visitation
Child custody and visitation orders can be made during a divorce, separation, or annulment case. Parents need to make a decision as to the percentage of time their minor child(ren) will spend with each parent.
The court will appoint a Family Court Services Mediator to meet with both parents to discuss a parenting plan that is in the best interest of the child or children. At the continuation of this mediation session, the Mediator will submit a written recommendation to the court as to the custody and visitation.
If the parents are unable to reach an agreement as to the custody and visitation, the judge will make a decision for them. If the parents do reach an agreement with regards to custody and visitation, the attorneys for each parent will draft a custody/visitation agreement and submit this agreement to the court for the judge's signature.
Determining child custody and visitation is a very important decision. Being represented by your attorney will ensure your rights and the rights of your child(ren) are protected.
A child support order defines a specific amount of money that one parent will pay to the other parent each month for the support of their minor child(ren).
In California, there is a statutory formula used to determine the amount of child support to be paid. Child support payments occur until the child(ren) turns 18 years of age or graduates high school, whichever occurs first.
It is also common that a parent may need to make a modification to their previous child support order due to a change in their financial circumstances.
Whether the child support order is the first or a modification to a previous order, it is always best to be represented by an attorney to ensure that you and your child(ren) are represented fairly.
When a couple separates or divorces, there may be a spousal support order which requires one spouse to pay the other a set amount of support each month for a designated time.
There are many factors that determine spousal support and the amount. Such factors include the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, and how much income each person earns.
Whether you will be receiving or paying spousal support, it is best to be represented by an attorney so that your rights are protected.
A pre-nuptial agreement is a contract that is drafted and signed prior to marriage. The content of a pre-nuptial agreement varies greatly but often includes terms for the division of property and spousal support in the event of a divorce.
There are many different reasons why you or your future spouse would draft a pre-nuptial agreement. In either case, it is strongly advised to consult and retain an attorney to draft the agreement.
A post-nuptial agreement occurs after a couple is married. The agreement defines such matters as to how the title of their property will be held currently and in the future.
The agreement may also address how the property will be divided if they divorce. Post-nuptial agreements can help both parties understand how marriage impacts their estates.
If you and your spouse are considering a post-nuptial agreement, it is best to consult an experienced family law attorney who can draft an agreement that will meet your specific needs.