California Divorce Overview
California Family Code § 2300 describes divorce or dissolution of marriage as a judge’s order that legally “restore the parties to the status of unmarried persons.” Divorcees, once again deemed single, face far-reaching, life-changing consequences and improvements in their rights and responsibilities.
In many celebrity cases, the effect of divorce on property rights has been a fodder for tabloids. No surprise, the most costly divorces are mentioned on a Wikipedia website. Divorce has gained a reputation as a deeply traumatizing experience because of its effect on parental rights publicized in the form of violent custody battles.
Residency Requirements for Divorce in California
Under California Family Code § 2320, in order for a judge to grant a divorce in California, one of the parties must have been a resident of the state for six months, and of the county where he has been filing for a total of three months.
In the event of a nullity, formal separation or same-sex marriage, an exception to this law is allowed.
The following conditions must apply to same-sex marriages:
- In California the parties entered into such a formal arrangement, or
- Current residency status refuses the dissolution of the Union.
If you have questions about California’s citizenship provision, consult with a reputable Los Angeles divorce attorney.
The Divorce Waiting Period
No divorce is final in California unless at least six months have passed since the petition for divorce and the summons was served on the spouse or respondent who was not filing. If the respondent appears before such service in court, then the six-month countdown may begin from this first appearance (California Family Code § 2339).
California is a divorce-free jurisdiction. As such, evidence of wrongdoing, such as infidelity, has little effect on the decision by the judge to grant the divorce. Evidence of wrongdoing, however, could well be applicable to other decisions such as spousal support estimates. “No-fault” clearly means the court does not blame for the marriage’s breakdown.
As a ground for divorce, an argument by one party that the marriage or domestic relationship is deceased will suffice. This idea stands for the sentence “irreconcilable differences.” The courts also allow divorce or legal separation, if one of the spouses is permanently lacking legal capacity.
Decisions before the Court: The Scope of Divorce Proceedings
California courts may decide, while sitting in divorce proceedings:
- Who obtains child custody,
- How much Child support or spousal support will be provided, and
- How to split ownership.
The courts may also make a judgment on property rights and child custody with respect to legal separation, without dissolving the union. We will assist you with any aspect of a divorce relevant to family law including:
- High-net worth divorce,
- Contested divorce,
- Celebrity Divorce,
- LGBT Divorce,
- Military divorce,
- Uncontested divorce,
- Complex property division,
- Spousal support,
- Child custody,
- Child support,
- Modifications, and
- Domestic violence
Since a divorce can include so many different things, it’s important to have an accomplished family law attorney on your side with proven track record.
Unmarried partners and gay couples in California will also seek divorce
Same-sex marriage rights in California have a tumultuous past, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges ruled that not allowing gays and lesbians to marry was an unconstitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. As of 2003, registered domestic partners in California also share the same rights and obligations as married couples, including the right to terminate such partnerships.
Dissolving A Marriage Or A Domestic Partnership
The legislation allows for three separate ways of ending or changing the rights and obligations associated with marriage, including same-sex marriage or domestic partnership:
- Dissolution of marriage (divorce)
- Legal separation
For certain cases, an accelerated, summary technique can be used to achieve dissolution.
Alternatives to Divorce
A divorce cannot be the only choice, under some circumstances. Annulment and formal separation are two alternatives.
Annulment is only necessary when there are questions regarding the marriage’s validity. The grounds for cancellation include:
- One spouse being under the age of legal consent, or
- Use of force to compel the marriage.
Someone may choose legal separation if the requirement to reside in a divorce has not been met, to maintain certain benefits, or for religious reasons. California courts generally can not approve legal separation without the consent of both parties. The spouses can later convert the legal separation into a divorce; the California residency requirement may not apply in such cases.
Types of Divorce Matters We Handle
High Net Worth Divorce
Money can complicate divorce. It can be hard to figure out how property should be divided between the two of you when you and your spouse have high net worth assets. There may be disagreements over whether to identify such high-value properties as individual or collective property. Putting a particular meaning to business interests and intellectual property rights can be difficult.
Working with a divorce lawyer in Los Angeles who has vast experience with high net worth cases is important. A seasoned and well informed Los Angeles divorce lawyer will have built important relationships with some of the most respected Los Angeles-area appraisers, forensic accountants, and financial experts. As your attorney, he or she must ensure that your financial interests are safeguarded in your divorce.
If you get divorced you and your spouse will agree on the terms of your separation. This covers items like provisions for child custody, division of land, and conditions for spousal and child support. You’ll have what’s known as a disputed divorce if you can’t agree on one or more of these matters.
Just because your divorce is being contested doesn’t mean you’re going to have to go to court to resolve your issues. Trying to come to an understanding on your own with a little support from outside is important. Processes such as mediation, arbitration, and collaborative divorce can help you find mutually agreeable resolutions to any disputes that may arise. Our disputed divorce attorneys in Los Angeles are skilled negotiators and know how to navigate family law issues that are emotionally targeted. Call us today to find out how we can help you overcome today’s messy divorce.
Relationships with celebrities do not always stand the test of time. The stresses that success and wealth follow will devastate a marriage. Sadly, celebrities also find that their private relationship problems make headlines nationally, including reports of separation and divorce. The right lawyer will operate with the understanding that divorce is a highly personal and intimate matter which shouldn’t be a public affair. That’s why we go to great lengths to ensure the specifics of the divorces of our celebrity clients remain confidential.
A good Los Angeles celebrity divorce lawyers will use alternatives to family law court to discreetly settle problems involving celebrity divorce. Private proceedings may be conducted behind closed doors including arbitration and mediation. Might file any complaints with the court and be sealed for your safety. He or she will do whatever we can to protect the privacy rights of our celebrity customers. Get in touch with a celebrity divorce attorney today to learn more.
California extended marriage and domestic partnership rights to LGBT couples for years. The right to marry was cemented into US law in 2015. Just because homosexual couples now have the right to marry doesn’t mean all marriages can last. LGBT couples in California, too, have the right to break their civil relationships.
If you are in a legal LGBT marriage and want to get a divorce, hiring an attorney who understands this evolving area of law is very important. Although LGBT couples have the right to end a marriage, issues that may be important to the separation may be difficult to resolve. Determining custody and care can become difficult when children are involved. You’ll need a lawyer who understands what’s at stake and knows how to treat these sensitive issues.
Your experienced divorce attorney must be committed to providing all clients with the best possible legal services during a divorce, regardless of their sexual orientation. They will do whatever it takes to help you protect your legal rights and make your LGBT divorce come out of what you want.
If you are in the military, or your spouse, having a divorce can be highly stressful. Unlike civilian divorces, you’ll need to consider specific legal problems. Where are you supposed to file your divorce documents? What kind of military benefits will the non-military spouse share after divorce? How can problems relating to child custody be resolved if partners live in opposite country or world corners? To better answer these questions, you’ll need the help of an attorney who understands aspects with both civil and military divorce.
An excellent Los Angeles divorce lawyers who has handled military divorce cases for some years will understand that military service can complicate an emotionally exhausting and already daunting operation. Your lawyer will help you advocate for what you want, protecting your financial interests and seeking the best solution for your family is our mission. Contact a Divorce lawyer in Los Angeles today to learn more.
Divorces don’t have to be contested in Los Angeles. It is possible for spouses to (a) not care or (b) agree on the terms of the split. When a spouse simply fails to respond to divorce papers, it’s known as a default. When spouses agree on the terms of their divorce, it’s known as an uncontested divorce.
When you have an uncontested divorce, you always have to write down your separation details. You would need to provide the court with specific details on plans for child custody, child maintenance, property separation and (if applicable) alimony. A court will review and sign off the proposed terms if it finds that the conditions are fair and lawful. Hiring an attorney can be useful in helping you draft the documents you would have to apply to the trial. We will ensure as your counsel that what you have agreed to is fair and that your rights are secured. Call our unquestioned divorce lawyers from Los Angeles today to arrange your free consultation.
Complex Property Division
If you have a prenuptial agreement dictating how assets are to be divided, state law gives equal interest to each partner in all marital property. In other words, spouses are entitled to half of all property owned and/or acquired after the marriage by both spouses. If you and your spouse own hard-to-value properties, it can be hard to figure out how to divide those assets equally. Things like partnership rights, intellectual property, and pension benefits can pose a problem when you divorce yourself.
It’s critical to ensure you have a trustworthy financial team on your side when you’re faced with complicated division of property issues. An excellent, seasoned lawyer will have developed close ties with respected auditors, appraisers and financial forensic experts. He or she will be able to work closely with those experts to determine your assets’ worth. If the interest has been established we can approach the negotiation table. Together, you will decide which properties you want to hold, which ones you are willing to give up, and we will fight to meet your standards. Call an attorney who practices in the complex Los Angeles property realm today to learn more.
If you get divorced you are entitled to retain the standard of life that you have been used to during your marriage. However, in marriage it is not uncommon for one spouse to earn far more than the other. This can pose a problem once the couple’s not together any more. Spousal support can be awarded to help the lower-earning spouse maintain their lifestyle after a divorce and get back on their feet.
In California the calculation of spousal support involves a variety of factors. This includes earnings, earning ability, marriage contributions, spousal sacrifices, age, health, and financial need. Spousal support in a divorce is often a fiercely debated topic. A well informed lawyer will be able to help you advocate for or challenge an alimony claim. He or she will examine your family law issue carefully, and develop an argument that supports your position. Call your attorney to learn more today.
When children get involved, divorce gets much more complicated. Both parents in California share an equal right to be present in the lives of their children. When parents decide to split up, disputes about who the child should be living with and when arise are not uncommon. Any decision regarding child custody should be made with the best interests of the child at heart. Putting aside their own personal feelings and doing what is really best for their young child can be important to parents. There are times, though, when battles over custody can get negative and adversarial. It is important that you have an experienced family law attorney in Los Angeles by your side to make sure your family is protected.
Experienced Los Angeles child custody lawyers will fight to do what’s best for you and your child. Typically, the best solution is to sit down with a neutral third party, identify the interests of both the parents and the child, and work towards a mutually agreeable arrangement. If that does not work, we’ll gather evidence to support your custody quest. Call your lawyer to know more today.
When parents get divorced it is vital to ensure that the financial needs of their children are met. California courts will actually ensure a valid child support order is in place before a divorce is finalized. Although both parents have a responsibility to provide for their children, support requirements appear to fall on the parent’s shoulders which:
- Earns more money and/or,
- Spends the least amount of time with the child.
Child welfare in California is determined by the use of Statewide Uniform Guideline. Essentially, this is a formula that analyzes a number of variables, including income from each parent, non-financial contributions, and time spent with the child. The only way to raise an order in favor of child custody is by adjusting the variables that go into this calculation.
The right lawyer will make it his or her business to ensure that all determinations about child support are determined using the best details available. Your attorney must also ensure that other related issues, including child custody and the percentage of timeshare, are settled with due consideration for support obligations. One issue with divorce may affect the other. Working with an advocate who understands the intricacies of the divorce process is vital. Call a reputable child support lawyers in Los Angeles today to schedule a free consultation.
Tools To Help the Divorce Process
Getting divorced for the rest of your life will affect you, your spouse and your family. It’s important to recognize the importance of the decisions you make during the divorce process. While the court is willing to step in and make decisions about the future, it is always best to try and settle the own issues. Why? For what? There are three explanations for this: regulation, cost and privacy.
Control: When a court makes judgments on your behalf, you have no influence over the result. Negotiating the divorce terms with your partner secretly helps you to maintain at least some degree of power.
Costs: It is difficult to go to court. A smart way to reduce your divorce expenses is by making decisions about you.
Privacy: Many divorcing spouses, especially celebrities and high-net worth individuals, don’t want to be public about the details of their personal lives. Spouses may maintain a shield of secrecy over the proceedings by seeking private discussions. All settlements submitted to court for your safety can also be sealed.
No one wants you and your partner to see eye-to – eye on everything when you get divorced. There’s a reason you’re ending your engagement. Fortunately tools are available to help you manage the process. These tools are designed to help spouses find common ground, identify issues related to the big picture and reach decisions that work for the whole family.
Mediation will be your only choice if you can decide on some but not all aspects of your divorce with your partner. In mediation, you sit down with a neutral third party serving as a mediator, you and your partner (and your attorneys, if you like). It’s not unusual for mediators to be attorneys and/or judges retiring from family law.
The mediator works with you and your spouse to help you move towards mutually agreeable solutions, both individually and with one another. Their job is to identify issues, find common ground, and move in a positive direction for negotiations. The mediator does, however, have no power to settle the conflict. You and your spouse retain control of 100 per cent. If you can agree to the terms of your divorce, a legally binding contract is drawn up by the mediator. You’ll be obligated to comply with the terms once you agree.
Collaborative divorce is not at all different from mediation. Instead of working with a neutral third party, however, you and your spouse rely on your lawyers to resolve your concerns. This allows you to control the outcome of your divorce. Both attorneys have the right to provide evidence during the process, and to present witnesses who can support the case of their client.
The process of collaborative divorce involves firm commitment on your part. If you decide to use collaborative divorce, you need to consent without going to court to settle the problems. If you are unable to solve your problems with collaborative divorce you will need to start from scratch. You’re going to have to recruit a new lawyer to continue talk’s right from the very start.
Arbitration is, in fact, a private court. You, your partner and your attorneys are meeting before a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator, for a formal hearing. Both sides have a chance to bring forward points, challenge witnesses, and present facts.
The arbitrator shall have the authority to make unilateral decisions regarding your future. As a result, you are basically giving up the right to make final decisions about your life. Any Arbitrator’s decisions will be detailed in a formal contract. If you and your partner have signed, you will be legally bound to abide by its terms.