The decision to dissolve a marriage should never be taken lightly, nor should the process of deciding on marital property division, spousal support, child support or child custody rights. If you are considering filing for divorce in California or if you have been served divorce papers, your first course of action should be to contact the experienced attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles. Our California divorce practice prides itself on aggressively representing the best interests of our clients and our attorneys will work tirelessly to limit the stress, fear, uncertainty and financial difficulties that typically accompany divorce cases. With Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles on your side, you can feel confident that your case will be handled with competence and compassion, from start to finish.
Affordable Los Angeles Divorce Attorney
Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult, stressful and emotionally draining experiences in a person’s life, and hiring an attorney early in the process can help avoid the mistakes that inevitably occur when parties seeking divorce represent themselves in court. The legal system can be confusing for anyone without an extensive legal background and family law cases in particular can become complicated and messy when not dealt with properly. Our attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles have the experience and resources necessary to handle high-asset divorces in L.A. and the surrounding areas, and the competence to resolve critical disputes, including those that involve marital property division and child custody and visitation arrangements. Whether your California divorce case requires aggressive negotiation, mediation or representation at trial, hiring a knowledgeable attorney to represent your case can help ease any concerns you may have about the outcome of your case and may even help resolve your case more quickly.
Understanding What Divorce Means for You
According to statistics, nearly 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, or a dissolution of marriage, and whether your divorce is uncontested or contested – meaning you and your spouse disagree on one or more issues – it’s important to fight for what is rightfully yours once the marriage ends. A failed marriage can be emotionally and financially draining and taking the right steps at the start of a divorce can help you protect your own interests, your children and your finances. Divorces are always easier to get through when both parties make a good faith effort to work together to reach an amicable solution to any potential disagreements, but, sadly, this is rarely the case in today’s divorce proceedings. Because of this fact, hiring an attorney with experience handling California divorce cases should be your first step when considering divorce or after you have been served divorce papers.
Our legal team at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles understands that not all marriages work out and that, regardless of the reason for the divorce, it is a difficult situation for both parties, deserving of compassion, honesty and personal attention, especially when the divorce is contested. The most highly-contested issues that may arise in California divorce cases include:
- Marital property division – California is a community property state, which means that the debts and assets a couple acquires in marriage belong to both spouses equally and must therefore be divided equally in divorce. However, this does not include either spouse’s separate property, which may include gifts, inheritances or property that the spouse owned prior to the marriage.
- High-net worth divorce – Divorce proceedings become considerably more complicated when substantial property and assets are involved. This may include investment accounts, ownership rights to a business, or multiple pieces of real estate.
- Spousal support – Because California is a no-fault divorce state (described in detail below), proof of misconduct has no bearing on the judge’s decision to grant the divorce, but it can be relevant to the calculation of spousal support.
- Child support – Like all states, California requires parents to continue to support their children, even after divorce. Under California law, both parents have an equal duty to provide for their child until he or she reaches 19 years of age, and each parent is expected to contribute according to his or her ability.
- Child custody and visitation – The presumption in most divorce cases is that it is in the best interest of the child to have continuing contact with both parents following a divorce. However, if the parents can’t agree on a parenting plan, the court will decide how they will share time with their children. If one parent is granted sole legal custody of a child in divorce proceedings, that parent holds the exclusive responsibility for making decisions related to the child’s education, health and welfare, though visitation rights may be granted to the other parent.
If you disagree on how your marital assets or debts should be divided, or if you aren’t happy with your child custody and visitation arrangements, an experienced Los Angeles divorce lawyer can provide a fast and fair resolution to these important legal issues.
How to File for Divorce in California
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either party in a marriage has the right to file for divorce for no other reason than “irreconcilable differences,” and property settlements in CA divorce cases are not influenced by the behavior of either spouse, although child custody and visitation rights can be. Under California Family Code § 2320, in order for a judge to grant a divorce in California, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for six months, and in most cases, the individual seeking divorce must file in his or her county of residence, where he or she must have lived for at least three months. Once the divorce papers have been filed, California law dictates that the filing party must wait at least six months from the date the other spouse received the paperwork before the divorce can be finalized.
How an Experienced Divorce Lawyer Can Help
Not all divorce cases in California go to court. In some cases, couples can resolve their divorce disputes through negotiation or mediation, during which an attorney can make sure your best interests are being represented. Too often, couples filing for divorce believe they can handle the proceedings on their own and end up making a bigger mess of their situation than they started with. While we do encourage spouses filing for divorce to reach an agreement outside of court and try to avoid divorce litigation altogether, especially when children are involved, our experienced Los Angeles divorce attorneys can assist with every aspect of the divorce process and will aggressively represent your case before a judge if it comes to that. Whatever the circumstances surrounding your case, we still stand by your side and ensure that your legal rights are protected throughout the process.
Free Divorce Consultation in Los Angles
Divorce proceedings are not always simple and straightforward, especially when children are involved. In many cases, the consequences of a divorce can affect a person for the rest of his or her life, possibly resulting in a significant loss of financial support or reduced child visitation rights. A qualified divorce attorney however, can help you navigate the complex intricacies of family law and can negotiate the best settlement on your behalf. For more information about California divorce law and the divorce process, contact Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles for a risk-free initial consultation. Our main goal as divorce attorneys is to help you evaluate your options under California law and make informed decisions that protect your interests and legal rights. Don’t wait to get help, call our Los Angeles legal team today at (213) 550-4600.