While a divorce offers an ideal way to break up a relationship, it’s also about breaking what is a legal contract that covers many areas ranging from financial matters to how the couple chooses to raise their children. Under California state laws, those who get married enter into an agreement that is not only emotion but also has basis in law. Spouses are entitled to certain things under law. Divorce means getting rid of these legal ties in a formal manner. All those planning a divorce need to make sure the divorce is done legally in order to satisfy the state’s specific requirements. Working with Long Beach divorce lawyers can ensure that entire process of divorce proceeds correctly and the divorce is legal.
Understanding the Basics
The prospect of actually getting a divorce can be intimidating. Many people have never been through any kind of serious legal proceeding before. Signing papers and working with legal officials is not always easy. This is why having help from skilled legal counsel is vitally important. A legal professional knows how to assist all those during the divorce process. They understand that any choices made now can have an impact on the person’s life for many years. This is why proper preparation and an understanding of the law are truly important. A good lawyer can explain what will happen under law and why. They can also make suggestions about how best to work out all areas of the divorce. That includes everything from how best to split up all property to what kind of child custody arrangements should be set up now. In doing so, they can make sure that the party to the divorce has what they need in order to get what they want from this process. That can ensure that the divorce is completed as quickly as possible.
Working It Out
Sometimes a couple may simply walk away from a marriage. A couple might have been married for a year and then decide to break up. In that instance, the couple can file a few documents, speak with Long Beach divorce lawyers and get on with life. In other cases, the two parties may have been married for a much longer period. During this time, they might have purchased a house, started a career and had kids. The partnership is one of long standing with many legal complications. Under these circumstances, proper legal council is even more crucial.
Each party will need to think about how they want issues resolved. One party might want to sell a house while the other might prefer to stay there. One partner may want to move out of state and take the kids with them. A partner may have a business they wish to avoid selling or may want to continue to operate with their former spouse. All of these issues can and must be worked out ideally before the divorce is finalized. Both parties can expect this process to take time before the divorce can take place legally.
All details, major and minor may require careful legal consideration. For example, the two parties may not be in agreement over who gets to live with a beloved dog. Each party may also contest who gets to assume primary responsibility for their children. Working out where the children are going to live, what schools they will attend and what will happen in the event of an emergency can be complicated and unclear from the first. Long Beach divorce lawyers can help any client figure out what is in the best interest of their children as well as what is allowed by law.
The lawyer can also set up agreements that will apply in the future. For those with lots of issues, this can be crucial. Children’s needs change as they grow older. If the parents are divorcing while the children are young, parents need an agreement that can be changed and updated with ease. A lawyer can also set up other kinds of documents that allow both parties to consider any changes in life such as how assets will be managed if there’s a downturn in the market. That makes for a much easier divorce process.
When your spouse files for divorce, they will need to choose grounds, and the available grounds will vary depending on the state. If you don’t agree with the ground for divorce that your spouse has chosen, they can be changed, provided you both agree to this. For example, if your mercedes car lease is taken away, as a result of the divorce, this can be adjusted.
This will only come into play if you live in a state that has fault divorces. Quite a few states only have no-fault divorces, which means the divorce court won’t find either party at fault regardless of the circumstances behind the divorce. In this case, your spouse will need to choose irreconcilable differences as the grounds for divorce (irreconcilable differences is the most common term, although some states use slightly different terms that hold the same meaning).
What to Do If You Want the Grounds for Divorce Modified
If your spouse is filing for a fault divorce, he will have multiple grounds for divorce options available. As mentioned, states set the grounds for divorce and the requirements to meet those grounds. For example, two states could each have abandonment listed as a grounds for divorce, but have different minimum time frames for when an absence qualifies as abandonment.
The most common grounds for divorce that are found in most states include abandonment, adultery, criminal acts, cruelty and mental illness. These are far from the only grounds for divorce, though, and other options include drug or alcohol abuse and sexual issues.
Let’s say that your spouse has chosen grounds for divorce that you don’t agree with. The first thing to do would be to talk to your spouse about it and see if he will agree to change them. Keep in mind that spouses sometimes choose multiple grounds for divorce that fit the situation so there are other grounds to consider if the court rules one out. If you agree to accept one ground, your spouse may drop the rest.
If you don’t want to talk to your spouse directly, you can also have your divorce lawyer get in touch with your spouse’s lawyer to discuss the situation.
Your Leverage in Changing Grounds for Divorce
Even though your spouse is the one filing for divorce, you still have leverage in the situation. When your spouse alleges that you’re at fault for the divorce, the burden of proof is on him. He can’t simply declare that you committed adultery, or abandoned him or inflicted cruelty – he must prove it to the court and demonstrate that it was also the cause of your marriage ending.
Whether your spouse has a valid case or not, fault divorces tend to be much longer and more expensive than no-fault divorces. The only way for a fault divorce to go through is for the court to find in your spouse’s favor or for you to agree that you were at fault.
If you’re willing to admit to being at fault for different grounds than your spouse listed, it’s likely you could make a deal with him. For example, if you don’t feel that you were cruel but will admit to abandoning your spouse, there’s a good chance he’ll modify the grounds. He’ll still get the result he wants, which is you admitting fault, without a lengthy legal battle.
It will likely be more challenging to get your spouse to modify their grounds from grounds that indicate you’re at fault to no-fault grounds. If your spouse files a fault divorce, it may be so he can obtain more favorable terms from the divorce court, which means he’ll have incentive to push the issue.
Figuring Out the Right Strategy
Divorces can be complex, and it’s a good idea to have a qualified divorce lawyer to represent you as you go through the process. If you don’t agree with the grounds for divorce that your spouse chose, your lawyer can give you advice on how to proceed and possibly get those grounds changed. Your lawyer will also be a huge help when negotiating.
The good news is that you don’t need to accept any grounds that you don’t like. By holding out, your spouse may agree to modify the grounds to avoid going to trial, even if it means switching to no-fault grounds. Should your divorce go to trial, your spouse must prove his allegations, and you’ll have the opportunity to provide a defense.
According to the Family Code § 2300 in the State of California term “divorce” is defined as a judge’s order that legally “restore the parties to the status of unmarried persons.” This is also referred to as the dissolution of a marriage. Suddenly single again, divorcees face pivotal changes in their rights and responsibilities.
Residency Requirements for Divorce in the Golden State
For a judge to grant a divorce in California under California Family Code § 2320, one of the parties must have resided in the state for six months, and in the county where they are filing for at least three months.
The Waiting Period
No divorce in Long Beach is considered final unless at least six months have passed since the petition for divorce and the summons were served on the respondent.
California state is a no-fault divorce jurisdiction. As such, proof of wrongdoing, such as infidelity, bears little effect on a decision by a judge to grant the divorce. Such evidence could well be applicable to other decisions such as spousal support estimates nonetheless. “No-fault” means the court does not blame anyone for the marriage’s breakdown.
As a reason for the divorce, an argument by one party that the marriage or domestic relationship is irreparable is enough. The phrase “irreconcilable differences” is used to express this common argument.
Divorce Proceedings: Decisions to be Made
In a California court, many decisions must be made in a divorce proceeding:
The courts may also make judgments on property rights and child custody in a legal separation, without dissolving the union.
Since a divorce can be so complex, it’s important to have an accomplished Long Beach divorce lawyer on your side with a proven track record.
Dissolving A Marriage Or A Domestic Partnership
The family code in the Golden State allows for three ways of ending or changing the rights and obligations associated with a marriage, including same-sex marriage or domestic partnership:
- Legal separation
Alternatives to Divorce
For a couple that no longer wants to be together, divorce is not the only option. Annulment and lawful separation are the two alternatives.
Annulment is a possibility when the validity of the marriage is in question. The grounds for annulment include:
- One spouse having been under the age of legal consent at the time of the wedding, or
- The use of force or coercion.
An individual can opt for legal separation if they are not ready to divorce but wish to maintain certain benefits, or for religious reasons. That said, California courts usually may not approve a legal separation without the consent of both parties. The spouses have the option to later convert the legal separation into a divorce. The California residency requirement may not apply in such cases.
Your Long Beach Divorce Lawyer: Services You Can Get
High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer
Money has a nasty way of complicating divorce. It can be difficult to figure out how property should be divided between the two of you when you and your spouse have many assets. Disagreements over whether to identify such high-value properties as individual or collective property can arise.
Working with a divorce lawyer in Long Beach who has years of experience with high net worth cases is important. A well informed Long Beach divorce lawyer will have established important relationships with some of the most respected Long Beach-area appraisers, forensic accountants, and financial experts. As your lawyer, he or she must ensure that your financial interests are protected in your divorce.
Contested Divorce Lawyer
If you get divorced, you and your spouse need to see eye to eye on the terms of your dissolution. This covers details like child custody, division of land, and conditions for spousal and child support. If you can’t agree, you’ll have what’s referred to as as a contested divorce.
Contested don’t all end up in court. Attempting to come to an understanding on your own with support from an impartial party is important. Processes like mediation, arbitration, and collaborative divorce can help you find mutually agreeable resolutions. Our Long Beach divorce lawyers are skilled negotiators and know how to deal with family law issues that are emotionally charged.
Celebrity Divorce Lawyer
Relationships between celebrities don’t always stand the test of time. The stresses that come with success and wealth have the potential to devastate any marriage. Regrettably, celebrities also find that their private relationship problems are in the headlines, especially when there are inklings of separation and divorce. The right Long Beach divorce lawyer will function with the understanding that divorce is a highly personal and intimate matter that shouldn’t be a public affair.
A seasoned Long Beach celebrity divorce lawyer will use alternatives to family law court to discreetly help solve problems involving celebrity divorce. Private proceedings can be conducted behind closed doors, including all arbitration and mediation processes. Any complaints with the court will be sealed for your safety. Your lawyer will do everything necessary to protect the privacy rights of his or her client.
LGBT Divorce Lawyer
California granted marriage and domestic partnership rights to LGBT couples in 2015. That said, just because homosexual couples now have the right to marry doesn’t mean all that all of their marriages will last. LGBT couples in Long Beach also have the right to dissolve their civil relationships.
If you are in a legal LGBT marriage and are looking to get a divorce, hiring an LGBT divorce lawyer who understands this evolving area of law is critical. Even though LGBT couples have the right to end their marriages, matters that may be important to the separation can be difficult to resolve. Figuring out custody and care of children, for example can become difficult. You’ll need a lawyer who understands what’s at stake and is experienced in these sensitive issues.
Your experienced divorce lawyer must be committed to providing all clients with top notch legal services during a divorce, regardless of their sexual orientation. They will do everything they can to help you protect your legal rights and see that you get what you want out of your LGBT divorce.
Military Divorce Lawyers
If you or your spouse are in the military, divorce takes on a different dimension. Unlike civilian divorces, you’ll need to consider unique legal details. For example, the questions of where are you supposed to file your divorce documents can cause confusion. What kind of military benefits will the non-military spouse be entitled to after the divorce? How could problems pertaining to child custody be resolved if partners live in different countries? To better address these questions, you’ll need the help of an divorce lawyer who understands aspects with both civil and military divorce.
An excellent Long Beach divorce lawyer who has dealt with military divorce cases for some years will understand that military service can complicate an already daunting situation. Your lawyer will help you advocate for what you want, protecting your financial interests and going after the best solution for your family.
Yes, unlike unicorns, uncontested divorces do happen in Long Beach. It is entirely possible for spouses to (a) not be concerned about or (b) be in agreement on the terms of the split. When a spouse simply neglects to respond to divorce papers, it’s a default. When the couple agrees upon all the terms of their divorce, it’s known as an uncontested divorce.
Even in an uncontested divorce, you always have to document your separation details. You would be required to provide the court with your plans for child custody, property separation, child support and (if applicable) spousal maintenance. A court then reviews and signs off on the proposed terms if it finds that the conditions are fair and lawful. Hiring a divorce lawyer can be useful in helping you draft the necessary documents.
Complex Property Division Lawyers
In scenarios where there is no prenuptial agreement dictating how assets are to be divided, community property laws give equal interest to each partner in all of the marital property. In other words, each spouse is entitled to half of all property owned and/or acquired after the wedding by both spouses. If you and your spouse possess hard-to-value properties, it can be difficult to figure out how to divide those assets equally. Assets such as partnership rights, intellectual property, and pension benefits can present a problem when you divorce.
It’s critical to make certain that you have a skilled, trustworthy financial team on your side when you’re dealing with complicated division of property issues. An excellent, seasoned lawyer will have nurtured relationships with respected auditors, appraisers and financial forensic experts. He or she will work closely with experts to determine your assets’ worth. If the interest has been established we can approach the negotiation table. Together, your team will decide which properties you want to hold on to and which ones you are willing to part with,
Spousal Support Lawyers
After you get divorced, you are entitled to enjoy the same standard of life that you had been used to during your marriage. That said, in marriage it is not uncommon for one spouse to earn far more money than the other. This can pose a problem when the couple parts ways. Spousal support can be awarded to assist the lower-earning spouse in maintaining their same quality of life after a divorce and as they work to get back on their feet.
In California the calculation of spousal support involves a number of factors. These factors include earnings, earning ability, marriage contributions, so called “spousal sacrifices”, age, health, and financial need. Spousal support in a divorce is frequently a fiercely debated matter. A well seasoned divorce lawyer will be able to help you advocate for or challenge a claim for support. He or she will examine your family law issue with care, and assemble an argument that supports your position.
Child Custody Lawyers
When children’s lives hang in the balance, divorce becomes much more complicated. Both parents in a Long Beach divorce have an equal right to be present in the lives of their children. When parents opt to split up, disputes about who the child or children should be living with are not uncommon. Any choice regarding child custody should be made with the best interests of the child at heart. There are times, nevertheless, when battles over custody can grow negative and adversarial. It is critical that you have an experienced family law attorney in Long Beach on your team to make sure your family is protected.
Experienced Long Beach divorce lawyers will battle to do what’s best for you and your children.
When parents get a divorce, it is important to ensure that the financial needs of their children are met. California courts actually must ensure a valid child support order is in place before finalizing any divorce. Although both parents are legally responsible for providing for their children, support requirements appear to fall on the shoulder of the parent who:
- Earns a bigger income and/or,
- Spends the least amount of time with the children.
Child support in the Golden State is determined by the use of the Statewide Uniform Guideline. Essentially, this is a formula that analyzes a selection of relevant variables, including income from each parent, non-financial contributions, and time spent with the child.
The right Long Beach divorce lawyer will make it his or her business to ensure that all determinations regarding child support are advantageous to you and your children. Your attorney must also be aware that related issues, including child custody and the percentage of timeshare, are guaranteed due consideration for support obligations. Indeed, one issue in a divorce can affect the other. Working with a lawyer who understands the intricacies of divorce is vital.
Tools To Move the Divorce Process in the Right Direction
Getting divorced will deeply impact your life, and the life of your spouse and your family. It’s important to be aware of the importance of the decisions you make during the divorce process. Even as the court is willing to step in and make decisions about the future for you, it is always wiser to try and settle your own issues. There are three good reasons for this: control, cost and privacy.
Control: When a court renders judgments on your behalf, you have no control over the result. Negotiating the divorce terms in tandem with your partner helps you to maintain at least some amount of power.
Costs: It is expensive to go to court. A clever way to reduce your divorce expenses is by making decisions about your divorce by mutual agreement.
Privacy: Numerous divorcing spouses, especially celebrities and high-net worth individuals, want the details of their personal lives to be kept confidential. Spouses can maintain a shroud of secrecy over the proceedings by having private discussions to settle details. All of the settlements submitted to court can be sealed.
Fortunately, a number of tools are available to help you manage the divorce process. These tools are designed to assist spousesin finding common ground, identifying minute issues in the big picture and arrive at decisions that work for the whole family.
Mediation is an excellent 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, with your partner and your respective lawyers. It’s not unusual for the mediators themselves to be attorneys and/or judges retired from family law.
The mediator works with you and your spouse to help you arrive at mutually agreeable solutions, both individually and cooperatively. Their job is to pinpoint issues, find common ground, and move in a positive direction in the negotiations. All that said, the mediator has no power to settle your conflict. You and your spouse retain control of 100 percent of the results. If you can agree to the terms of your divorce, a legally binding contract is drawn up by the mediator on the spot. You’ll be obligated to comply with the terms once you sign the contract.
Collaborative divorce is akin to mediation. The difference is that instead of working with a neutral third party (a mediator) you and your spouse depend on your lawyers to resolve your concerns. This affords you control over the outcome of your divorce. Both attorneys have a chance to bring evidence during the process, and to present witnesses who can support the case of their client.
Note that the process of collaborative divorce requires firm commitment on your part. If you opt for collaborative divorce, you are opting against going to court to settle the problems. If you do not end up solving your problems with collaborative divorce, you go back to square one. You will need to recruit a new lawyer to raise the discussions all over again.
Arbitration is, in reality, a private court. You, your partner and your attorneys go before a neutral third party for a formal hearing. This third party is referred to as an arbitrator. Both sides have an opportunity to bring forward points, challenge witnesses, and present facts.
The arbitrator shall have the authority to make unilateral choices that could alter your future. As a result, you are essentially giving up the right to make final decisions that deeply affect your life. Any Arbitrator’s decisions will be detailed in a written contract. From the moment you and your partner signed, you will be legally bound to abide by its terms.