Legal Separation & Divorce
There are numerous and differing reasons that some couples decide to separate, and no two are exactly the same. Sometimes separating is the best option for a couple, and no matter what stage a couple is at in that separation process, we can help ease the process.
A legal separation often comes prior to a full divorce for various reasons specific to each couple. This can give a couple distance to consider a divorce and protects the parties should a divorce become necessary. There are many aspects of a legal separation that are similar to a divorce: it is litigated in the same way, a trial is required and a judge makes it official. Legal separation differs from a divorce in that parties may not remarry or enter into a new domestic partnership while legally separated.
While a legal separation is not a divorce, legal assistance is still advisable. An attorney you trust and who will work through the entire process with you and continue should you proceed with a divorce is invaluable.
Divorce can be difficult, contested or not. There are complications beyond the relationship between the parties that require attention. If you intend to proceed with or finalize your divorce, it is advisable to seek experienced, knowledgeable and personalized legal representation right away.
The common issues that come up in divorce cases include but are not limited to:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- Assets and Property Division
- The Marital Residence
We work with all of our clients to understand their particular family and financial situations and achieve the outcome that best serves their needs when marriage is no longer viable.
A divorce is considered uncontested when the parties agree on most everything from property division to child custody to child and spousal support. These are often simple and far less time consuming and expensive than a contested divorce. The parties to an uncontested divorce are still advised to consult and work with an attorney, even though the case will not likely reach a courtroom for trial.
The assistance of an experienced and detailed attorney will help the parties ensure that nothing is overlooked, all of the property is properly divided, and an amicable separation does not turn into a contested divorce.
When parties do not agree on matters of division of assets and property, child custody, child and spousal support, or other matters, the divorce is contested. Divorce litigation is nearly impossible to do alone, the support and advocacy of an experienced and compassionate attorney can help mitigate the stress of a contested divorce.
We try to resolve all of our divorce cases with the least possible time and money spent disputing and prolonging difficult family matters. Whenever possible, we discourage disputes and encourage settlements in the best interests of the parties and their families. If settlement is not an option or disputes between parties cannot be resolved amicably, we advocate for the rights and interests of our clients to ensure the best outcomes are pursued. We work as well during trial as during settlement negotiating to ensure the best interests of our clients and their families are protected.
Marital Settlement Agreements
One of the most difficult endeavors in a divorce is fairly splitting the assets and liabilities that the divorcing couple has accrued. Whether the separation is amicable or not, an experienced and diligent attorney can help ensure this process is fair and complete. A complete inventory and valuation of all the marital assets, property, and debts is required first. California is a community property state, meaning all assets and debts acquired during the marriage is considered to be owned equally by both spouses and should be equally split at the time of divorce, unless the parties come to a different agreement.
A couple can agree to a fair split of property via a settlement agreement. If parties are able to reach an agreement, either on their own or as a result of negotiations with their attorneys and mediators, that agreement will be put in writing in a Marital Settlement Agreement, which both parties and their attorneys will sign. This agreement is ordered and decreed by the court and is incorporated into the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
Marital Settlement Agreements are often preferred because negotiating and coming to a mutual agreement is almost always less expensive and less time consuming than litigating a divorce and asking the court to divvy the marital assets and debts.
Contact our office to meet with an experienced attorney to discuss your separation, divorce, or family law matters. Our consultations are free, and we work to accommodate all of our clients and reach the best possible resolution to each family law matter.
Contact our office to learn more about how we can assist you and your business with your legal needs, we are excited to help you run your business as smoothly as possible.