Santa Clarita divorce lawyers
Divorce is a difficult thing for anyone to go through. The end of your marriage will give rise to a range of emotions. Anger, disappointment, sadness, and fear are some of the feelings you will experience during this difficult time. However, you cannot allow your emotions to get the better of your reason. You must still look out for your interests. You must do all that you can to protect your material security and your parental rights. The best way to do so is to hire a divorce lawyer.
California is a community property state. This means that you are entitled to half of all assets acquired during your marriage. Determining these assets is not as straightforward as it seems. Things can get especially tricky if you left the management of your household finances to your spouse and have not kept track of them.
A Santa Clarita divorce attorney can help you discern the total value of your estate. Your lawyer will bring in a forensic accountant to track down every property, investment fund, and bank acquired since your marriage. They will ensure that you get your share of the estate.
You may also be eligible for alimony. This tends to be one of the most contested areas of the divorce. Alimony or spousal support is usually given to the party who can demonstrate need. It is gender-neutral, meaning either spouse in a heterosexual marriage can request it. Most spousal support is temporary. Courts typically reserve permanent spousal support for instances in which spouses are ending a marriage of more than ten years and one spouse cannot work owing to advanced age or illness.
California is one of the most progressive states in the nation when it comes to spousal support. It allows a spouse to request reimbursement if they helped finance the other person’s education during the marriage. Many couples go through this phase of their marriage, especially if one of them is pursuing a law, medical, or doctoral degree. An agreement is made that one person will work while the other spends their time in study. Once the latter completes their degree and finds a job, the roles are reversed. In this scenario, both persons benefit. However, if the couple divorces only the person with the degree gets the benefit of it. California courts understand how unfair this can be and so they allow the other person to recoup the support funds used during the marriage.
In general, courts assess the following factors to determine the amount of spousal support:
-Each spouse’s earning capacity
-The paying spouse’s ability to pay spousal support
-Each spouse’s needs, given marital standard of living
-Each spouse’s debts and assets
-The length of the marriage
-The supported spouse’s ability to work while carrying for their children
-Each party’s age and health
-Any documented history of domestic violence
-Prospective hardship to each party
If you have children, you will need to work out a child custody arrangement that works for everyone. California family court judges are keen to grant shared custody. This is not for the sake of the parents but for the children. In the eyes of the law, a child has the right to know and form a substantive relationship with both parents. If you are given primary custody of your children, then you will need to negotiate a visitation schedule that allows them adequate time with you and their other parent but is not too disruptive to their daily routine.
In the event that you are deemed the primary caregiver in a shared custody arrangement, you will be responsible for the day-to-day routine and education of your child. You will also be responsible for keeping them properly clothed, nourished, and sheltered. All major decisions regarding the child must be agreed to by you and your ex.
Your divorce lawyer can usually work with you and the other side to come to a child custody agreement that is reasonable and amicable. But you should not be afraid to contest a shared custody arrangement if you have good reason to believe that your ex is unfit to be a parent.
Keep in mind, however, that a judge will need clear and convincing proof that this is the case. If you and your child have been subjected to physical, mental, or emotional abuse at the hands of your ex, if your ex has a substance abuse problem or lives a lifestyle that is incompatible with raising kids, your attorney will help you gather the proof necessary to convince a judge that you should get sole custody. In the end, the judge will do what is best for the child.