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Absolutely no one wants to face a potential divorce. It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever face. The Spodek Law Group is here for you when it comes to getting advice on potential family law, and divorce issues. Our team of nationwide attorneys pride ourselves on providing high quality legal services. With offices in LA, we’re here to assist you with any – and all, potential matrimony issues you are contending with. Our lawyers are available for our clients and understand what’s at stake.

Our Divorce Attorneys Can Help

Our Los Angeles divorce lawyers offer a risk free consultation with a fully licensed, and credible, divorce attorney who is here to answer any question you may have. We offer flexible payment plans, so that you don’t have to worry about your finances when choosing the divorce attorney attorney you want. At Spodek Law Group, we understand the stress you are feeling, and empathize. We answer calls promptly, respond to emails punctually, and take pride in offering white-glove service for all of our clients. Founding partner Todd Spodek is one of the most reputable attorneys nationwide and is frequently interviewed by the media.

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Los Angeles Divorce Lawyers

Spodek Law Group is a second-generation law firm, that operates nationwide. Our team of attorneys based out of Los Angeles has experience handling uncontested divorces and complex divorces alike. What matters is the fact that when you hire our law firm, you’re hiring a seasoned team of family law attorneys who have experience dealing with serious family law issues. We have over 50 years of combined experience practicing law, and are pleased to utilize it to help you get better results. Our Los Angeles divorce lawyers know how stressful family law matters can be, which is why we strive to be a guiding light and a voice of reason for our clients.

Allow Us To Guide You

We approach each case with a desire to tailor our approach to your needs. This is critical. No two situations are alike, just as no two people are alike. We listen carefully to your goals and concerns – and provide a tailored strategy. This strategy revolves around what we think is possible, what the law dictates, and most importantly: the outcome you’re looking for. We strive to understand where you’re coming from so we can come up with a solution that is customized to your needs. Going through a divorce can take an emotional toll, especially if you don’t have counsel that properly reflects your goals and desires. There are many steps to take into consideration from child custody to alimony, not to mention the division of property. That’s where our family law attorneys step in and take over the process. Our goal is to move you through the divorce process, so you can receive a fresh start and not be encumbered by your spouse.

Top Rated Los Angeles Divorce Attorney

Founding partner Todd Spodek, and his team of Los Angeles divorce lawyers, is here to help guide you through this complicated time in your life. Todd has handled cases that have captivated the media spotlight and has many years of experience handling cases in the limelight. His unique perspective is unique amongst his peers, and other attorneys you may be considering. Our team’s goal is to help keep your emotions in check, and to make decisions with a sound, and reasonable, state of mind. We constantly share our experience and expertise, so you can make the best decision possible.

Los Angeles Family Law Attorneys

Our Los Angeles family law attorneys have experience with all aspects of family law cases and divorce. Regardless of whether you need a prenuptial agreement in order to preserve your premarital property, or want a postnuptial agreement – we can help. Perhaps you, and your child, are the victims of domestic violence and need a restraining order against your spouse. We can help. We empathize, and we understand. We can take immediate action to preserve your safety, and get you the court-ordered protection you need.

How Do I File for Divorce in LA

In order to get the proper forms, you have to purchase a dissolution form packet from the clerk of your county superior court. Or you can go to the California Courts website. You, or your lawyer, or your mediator, will have to prepare a Petition and a Summons. You can begin the process by filing your Petition and Summons with the clerk of the superior court in the county where you, or your spouse is residing. You have to pay a fee to file the papers unless you have a low income, and qualify for a fee waiver.

Copies of the Petition and Summons, and also a blank response, have to be officially delivered/served, to your spouse by someone other than yourself who is over 18 years old. The Summons is a paper which notifies the spouse that you are filing for divorce, and that he/she has 30 days to file a response to the divorce. In situations like this, you’ll want a Los Angeles divorce lawyer representing you and helping you.

In response to this, your spouse then will indicate what has to be resolved by the court system. For example, he/she may object to your request for spousal support or sole custody of the children.

There are a few things that can occur after you file:

Disclosure: You have to complete disclosure declarations which provide information about your income, expenses, assets, and debts, and then have that delivered to your spouse.

Temporary orders: You, or your spouse, can ask for a hearing so that the judge can decide any issues with child custody, child visitation, child support, requests for Los Angeles divorce attorney fees, and more. Such hearings are known as Order to show cause hearings.

Agreements: You, or your spouse, and your mediator/lawyers, will work on a permanent agreement that resolves all the issues. If you do reach an agreement, you don’t have to appear in court, and a judgment based on your agreement can be entered into the court. You will have to submit a statement to the court saying the marriage is finished due to irreconcilable differences.

Trial: If you cannot reach an agreement, then you and your spouse will have to appear in court for a trial in which the judge makes the final decision.

Default: If your spouse doesn’t file a response, then you can request a default, and proceed to a default hearing to get a judgment.

What are grounds for divorce in Los Angeles?

In California, there are two main grounds for divorce.

  • Irreconcilable differences: You can use this on the dissolution petition, and the court will grant it.
  • Incurable insanity: This is almost never used. You need medical proof that one spouse is insane when the petition was filed, and remains incurably insane.

In addition, you, or your spouse, must have lived in CA for 6 months, and in your county for 3 months before you file a petition to dissolve the marriage. There’s no residency requirement in order to file for legal separation.

Are there rules you and your spouse have to follow during the divorce process?

Yes. There are temporary restraining orders which will go into effect ASAP when the divorce process starts. For example, neither of you can take your minor children out of the state without the other spouse’s permission, or court order. In addition, neither of you will be allowed to either cancel, or change, the beneficiary on your insurance policy or to transfer any property. You will be required to notify your spouse before any “out of the ordinary,” spending occurs. You’ll need to be prepared to account for such expenses to a judge. These requirements are listed on the back of the divorce summons.

If you’re considering divorce, you have several alternatives available

Full legal representation: You can get a divorce by hiring a Los Angeles divorce attorney to represent you in court. You can qualify for a free, or low cost, Los Angeles divorce attorney if you have little income.

Limited attorney representation: You can hire a Los Angeles divorce attorney to assist you in a limited capacity.

Mediation: You and your spouse can reach a resolution with the help of a mediator in a non-adversarial situation, and it doesn’t require you to go to court.

Self-representation: You can act as your own attorney.

Each situation has its advantages and disadvantages. The course of action you take will depend on your situation. There are many factors to consider, like time, cost, and children.

If you’re looking for a Los Angeles divorce lawyer or any of the surrounding counties, you should know that the Spodek Law Group is here to provide you with the white-glove service you want, and deserve. Divorce is complicated, so is virtually any family law related issue. With the Spodek Law Group, you’re assured a law firm that is here to help you through these challenging times. Nothing is simple when it comes to divorce. In addition to the finances, there’s a wide array of issues relating to alimony, child support, child custody, and more, that come up.

What you get with the Spodek Law Group is a loyal advocate, who will never stop fighting for what you rightfully deserve. Our philosophy is taking a conservative approach – focusing on results, not billable hours. If you are the victim of domestic violence, because your spouse goes to the liquor store frequently, we are here to help you. Most importantly, it’s knowing when to be diplomatic, and when to fight tooth and nail to get our clients what they need and what they deserve.

In addition to having office locations throughout Los Angeles, the Spodek Law Group is available to speak about complicated issues via Zoom, and other virtual solutions.

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Is there a simple way to get a divorce in Los Angeles?

Yes. California has a legal processed called summary dissolution. If you qualify for summary dissolution, you have much less paperwork to file, and you won’t have to appear in court. You can be eligible for such a process if you, and your spouse, have agreed in writing to a division of assets and debts. In addition, the following conditions must be true:

  • You’ve been married for less than 5 years
  • You have no children from the marriage
  • Neither of you own a home/real estate
  • The value of all community property is less than $25,000
  • Your combined debt doesn’t exceed $5000
  • Both of you are waiving spousal support

Both spouses have to agree to all of the terms of the summary dissolution. Also, either of you are allowed to cancel it for any reason before the dissolution is finalized. Summary dissolution is a type of divorce. It’s a great, and fast, way to end a marriage or domestic partnership. In some cases, it can be a very quick and simple way to end it. It is limited to couples who have no children, few assets/debt, and a marriage which lasted 5 years or less.

This fast-track process is available to couples, and domestic partners, regardless of gender and to those people whose relationship began as a domestic partnership, and then later married. Couples don’t have to end their domestic partnership if they marry. They can end both their marriage and domestic partnership at the same time if you opt for a summary dissolution. If you wish to qualify for a summary dissolution, you have to meet all of the requirements at the time the petition is filed.

  • One of you has lived in CA, for the last 6 months, and in the county where the petition is filed for the last 3 months. There’s an exception to this requirement for same-sex couples who don’t live in CA, but were married in CA. If this is your present situation, you can file for summary dissolution if your current state of residency is refusing to dissolve the marriage. In order to do this, you have to file in the California county where you were married.
  • Both of you want the marriage/partnership to end due to irreconcilable differences.
  • The marriage or domestic partnership lasted less than 5 years from the date you were married/registered as domestic partners.
  • Neither of your owns any property. You can have a lease, but it can’t have an option to purchase. It must end within 1 year from the date your file the dissolution petition.
  • Neither of you has more than $6,000 in debt since start of the marriage.
  • You have less $38,000 or less, in community property. This means all assets and debts acquired during the marriage. You can exclude cars, but must include any compensation like a 401k, or retirement benefits, earned during the marriage.
  • Neither of you has more than $38,000 in separate property.
  • You both complete + sign a property settlement agreement. This divides your community property. Before filing your summary dissolution petition, you have to sign the paperwork needed to make the agreement effective.
  • You both agree to give up spousal support.
  • You both waive your rights to appeal, once the court enters the dissolution
  • You both agree you have read the Summary Dissolution Information booklet

Not all people qualify for a summary dissolution – so if you still want to end your marriage, you can file for a regular dissolution. You have to wait 6 months after filing your petition for dissolution. Once this time runs out, the court will enter a judgement which dissolves the marriage. At that point, the marriage is over, and your property settlement agreement kicks in. You are free to remarry, or enter into a new partnership.

 

Wonderful people!

They work very hard at what they do to give you the best possible outcome. If I ever need legal help or advice I’ll be coming to them! Todd and his team are superb. I highly recommend and respect these wonderful people at Spodek. They go above and beyond to help me everything from zoom calls to an Uber home from court when my phone died! Wonderful people

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a legal separation, or annulment?

Yes! It is possible to get legal separation, or annulment, without having lived in California for 6 months, or your county for 3 months, before filing.

Legal separation: You can have religious, insurance, tax, or other reasons, for wanting a legal separation versus a dissolution. If you get legal separation, you and your spouse will remain legally married, but the court can divide your property, and issue orders relating to child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal support, and even issue a restraining order. If you live in an apartment for rent in NYC, you can force your spouse to leave it.

Annulment: If you are granted an annulment it’s as if your marriage never existed. You can get an annulment if you are married when you were a minor, without the consent of a parent/guardian, or if there were certain types of fraud/deceit involved. If you want an annulment, you will need to appear in court for a trial.

How much does the consultation cost?

We offer a risk free consultation, and can offer it over the phone, in person, or through Zoom conference.

What is a divorce

In Los Angeles, there are a few ways to end a marriage/domestic partnership. You can file for an annulment, divorce, or summary dissolution. The purpose of this article is about discussing divorce. An annulment is when a court invalidates your marriage, as if it never occurred. It essentially says your domestic partnership/marriage was never legal and therefore the status is like it never happened. There are cases where an annulment might be appropriate – for example, your partner was already married, was too young to consent to marriage, or was tricked and forced into marriage.

When you get a divorce, also known as a dissolution of the marriage/dissolution of domestic partnership, it legally ends the marriage. After a divorce, both partners are now single, and allowed to begin another domestic partnership/get married again. Courts can also issue orders, during the divorce – regarding things like division of property, restraining orders, child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal support, and more.

A summary dissolution is able to end your marriage, like a divorce, but you only need to file paperwork with the court instead of actually appearing in front of a judge. Summary dissolution only applies in situations where spouses have been married for less than 5 years, have no children, and have no shared real estates/debts/assets together. California has a fourth process, known as a legal separation, which is something your Los Angeles divorce attorney can help you with as well. Legal separation doesn’t end your marriage, like a divorce/summary dissolution can. It simply allows you to ask the court to decide issues like child custody, visitation, etc. Some people choose to get a legal separation for religious/insurance reasons. Unfortunately, a legal separation doesn’t allow you to get re-married, or enter into a new partnership with someone else.

Los Angeles has a process known as “no fault divorce,” which means you don’t have to prove your spouse did anything wrong in order to get divorced. Instead, you can tell the court you and your spouse have “irreconcilable differences.” Under California law, either you or your spouse can decide to end the marriage at will. The other party cannot obstruct it by refusing to participate. Even if your ex does not wish to get divorced, or does not participate in the process, you can get a default judgement, and the divorce will proceed.

The process of filing for divorce in Los Angeles begins with a petition to file, with the court. You put basic information about your marriage. The petition can also ask for orders, regarding shared property, children, etc. Los Angeles also requires you to file a Summons, in addition to the petition. The Summons provides information about the divorce for you, and your spouse, and can limit what you may do with the shared property, money, assets, etc. You may also be required to get a court order, or prior written consent from your spouse before you are allowed to move out of the state. Depending on your situation, you might have to file additional forms, which can be found online at the California Judicial Branch website. 

Once you file any paperwork with the court clerk, you have to alert your spouse. This is called service, which means your spouse receives a copy of the court filing. Before the court can make any orders, or judgments in the divorce, you have to ensure your spouse has been served. After you file, and do service, you and your spouse have to attend mediation, or trial, to settle issues you both cannot agree on. However, the court is ok with accepting an agreement if you and your spouse can come to an agreement on issues on your own.

There are many Family Law courthouses in Los Angeles where you can file divorce paperwork. The three Central District courthouses are below:

The Central Civil West Courthouse
600 S Commonwealth Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90005

The Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Hill St.
111 North Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Grand Ave.
110 North Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Is it possible to leave an abusive spouse and get custody?

Are your kids and you in an abusive relationship? Do you dread that your kids will be removed because you leave your spouse? Are you afraid of losing custody of your kids as a result of your abusive partner? This is a familiar pain that many individuals experience every year. Below, you can find more information about what to expect.

There May Be A Custody Fight

Whenever partners separate, and there are kids involved, a fight may happen. This fight is bound to happen if the two guardians are going to care for the children. If one parent doesn’t need the children, at that point, they have the choice to transfer ownership of rights to the next parent. If the two guardians want the children, the case will be litigated, and a claim will be drawn up.

The Children Are A Major Part in Custody Determination

The kids play perhaps the most significant part of figuring out which parent will get guardianship. Whenever possible, kids will be addressed exclusively, and people will be seeing how the kids collaborate with each parent. If kids are of an age where they can settle on an informed and safe choice on which parent they might want to live with, they might be given an option to pick. The schools and medical facilities in the region are considered as well.

The Stability of a Home Also is Considered

Children can’t be housed in a stressful home. Kids must have the option to remain in a home that will advance their security and prosperity. If kids can’t contemplate, rest, eat, and carry on with their activities on peacefully and stable conditions, at that point, they can’t live in that home.

Guardians Must Demonstrate the Ability to Care For Children

Any caring guardian will need to invest; however, much time with their kids reasonably, yet individuals cannot be perfect in things. This is especially valid for young guardians that have had children in their adolescent years. Guardians must have the option to demonstrate that they can give everything that their kids should endure. On the off chance that the couple separate and one parent can’t monetarily accommodate the kids, they will probably not be given sole guardianship. And also, if none of the parents can think about the kids all alone, at that point, the children might be put in child care incidentally. This situation is temporary until either of the guardians can exhibit that they can think about their kids.

 Determination of custody is also affected by Environment and Lifestyle

On the off chance that the two guardians are discovered generally fit to think about the children and the court is thinking about joint guardianship, the environment and way of life may play a role in the ultimate conclusion.

Any parent that wants custody must demonstrate that they can satisfactorily give everything that the kids need. The guardians should likewise demonstrate that they can sufficiently set aside more time with kids and teach them various lessons regarding life.

Your Circumstance Will Be Unique

Many little factors decide the result of a custody case. Understand that nothing is given-everything is earned.

Where do I meet with the attorney?

We have meeting locations available throughout Los Angeles. Most importantly, we offer virtual video conferencing.

What’s a prenup agreement?

2020 Prenup FAQs: Important Questions About Prenuptial Agreements

Marriage is a partnership between two people where collaboration is an essential part of their success in the relationship. Part of the challenges of marriage is knowing how to manage finances. A prenuptial agreement helps couples navigate the legal implications of their marriage. It allows them to predetermine the future of their assets in the event a divorce was to take place.

Let’s review important questions people have about prenuptial agreements:

#1 What is a Prenuptial Agreement and When Should it be Done?

Also known as a premarital agreement, this type of legally binding contract is used by couples who plan to get married. It is also referred to as antenuptial agreements or just prenups. All terms are appropriate and widely used.

Marriage is a partnership under the eyes of the law. Each state has its own statutes that govern marriage and divorce. Family law attorneys help clients draft and validate a prenuptial agreement. They also offer legal counsel in matters of assets and liabilities. The contract deals with protocols that the couple design to implement in the event the marriage dissolves.

It is sometimes regarded as an uncomfortable topic to talk about and is filled with negative connotations. The fact is that couples who come together to draft such agreements often feel closer to each other because they are transparent with their intentions and are willing to put it in writing.

Although it can be a bit uncomfortable to speak about, prenuptial agreements lay everything out so that the couple knows exactly how certain matters may be handled in the future. It defines the terms of how assets and debts will be distributed, and how alimony would be handled. The agreement helps people avoid lengthy and stressful legal battles in divorce court. People who are concerned with alimony are able to negotiate it ahead of time and include it in the contract.

Overall it is a great tool for couples who want to be proactive with their legal affairs.

#2 What Requirement Are There to Make a Prenup Enforceable?

For a prenuptial agreement to be valid and enforceable, it has to meet the following criteria:

  • The document must be well-drafted in writing, signed by both parties, and witnessed by a third party.
  • Each individual must list all current assets and liabilities. There can be no hidden assets, everything must be disclosed.
  • Each person has to have their own attorney. One attorney cannot handle the case for the couple.
  • There must be no evidence of coercion, undue influence, or duress.
  • Provisions on the contract must be permitted by law.
  • The agreement must be signed and made valid 1-3 months prior to the wedding.

What Cannot be Included in the Prenuptial Agreement?

The agreement cannot be used to determine factors concerning the children of the marriage. It cannot mention anything about child custody, child support, or visitation rights. The courts will follow state statutes to make the best decision for the sake of the child.

Other non-financial topics such as domestic responsibilities cannot be part of a prenuptial agreement. These matters are not recognized by law. The couple may draft a separate agreement, but it will not be a legally binding contract like it is for a prenup.

Can the Prenuptial Agreement Help Avoid Litigation In Case of a Divorce?

Not necessarily. The agreement cannot guarantee that the divorce is free from litigation. However, a well constructed prenuptial agreement will help make litigation faster or even help avoid it entirely.

What Cannot be Included in a prenuptial agreement

Issues related to children such as custody, visitation rights, or child support payments cannot be included in the contract. The state of California will apply related laws in the best interest of the child(ren). Also, domestic duties or other matters that do not pertain to financial matters should not be included in the agreement. For example, a spouse cannot include things like chores or other obligations a couple may have in their domestic life.

No personal matter shall be included that deals with the way the children are raised or anything of personal nature. Prenuptial agreements are created mainly for financial distribution.

Where Can I Sign a Prenuptial Agreement?

The prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that should be filed at the state of residence or the state where the couple will reside most of the time. It does not have to be filed where you wed, such as in the case of destination weddings. California is a community property state, which means the state will divide assets equally in the event of a divorce. Having a prenup in California prevents the state from enforcing the California Family Code.

Retirement funds and 401(k) plans in a separation

Retirement funds and 401(k) plans in a separation.

Retirement funds must be divided cautiously to keep away from critical tax consequences, and the resources ought to be divided rightly. Specific laws also apply to the division of any retirement accounts during a separation. While resources like your home and vehicle and settling issues regarding children’s custodianship and support usually becomes the dominant focal point in the separation process, how retirement funds are shared is very important and requires more attention.

In a separation, resources are viewed as either separate property or community property. Individual property is minimal, and it includes:

The property possessed by either partner before the marriage.

Property that has been assigned as separate with a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement

A present received by a partner from an outsider

A will received by a partner (before or after marriage), and it’s not involved with conjugal resources.

Any property earned or obtained during the marriage is viewed as conjugal property. This implies one companion is presumably qualified for a portion of the other life partner’s 401(k) or retirement account.

Retirement Funds Distribution

Each state has its own rules about how resources and obligations are shared in case of a separation. In community property states all resources and responsibilities obtained during the marriage are community resources. This implies that both partners own the property in equal shares i.e., 50-50, and the resources ought to be shared equally. This incorporates retirement accounts.

It is essential to understand that partners can likewise have private agreements about obligations and resources during the separation. This is essential with regards to retirement accounts. If you and your partner agree on how to divide the retirement accounts safely, and amicably, this can be a great way to avoid going to court. Partners can agree on on how retirement accounts will be separated, if by any means. For instance, a partner may keep their retirement account or 401(k) in return for the family home.

Are high asset divorces different?

 

Every divorce is complex and emotional. Businesses that involve businesses, multiple homes, and other large assets can be particularly difficult. Below are some questions that clients frequently ask our Los Angeles divorce attorneys.

Often, one spouse will not

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