Trusted Divorce Lawyer in Laguna Hills California
California’s divorce rules are complex. The more you know about them, the more prepared you’ll be for your divorce. But learning on top of the procedure itself might be overwhelming. Unpreparedness will engulf you and lead to expensive faults.
Focusing on how California’s divorce laws vary from other states’ rules might help simplify the situation. California’s divorce law has numerous unique features that make it easier. If you’ve been considering divorce in California but are afraid of the process, you’ll find these facts about the state’s divorce laws encouraging. Our reliable divorce attorneys in Laguna Hills can help enlighten you on the ins and outs of a California divorce proceeding.
What is Divorce?
A divorce in Laguna Hills takes about six months to achieve as long as the parties can agree on the terms of the divorce.
Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the legal process of terminating a marital union between two partners. In order to finalize a divorce in California, the following must be met:
- You and your spouse or former spouse have lived in California for at least six (6) months and the spouses or former spouses have been living separate and apart continuously for at least one (1) year prior to filing
- You must submit all the required divorce forms on your state’s website.
Divorce procedures vary depending on the state, and it is recommended you speak with a divorce lawyer who understands the requirements from where you live. Suppose you are dealing with a divorce matter in Suffolk County, Irvine, Laguna Woods, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Costa Mesa, or Lake Forest in California, our experienced Laguna Hills divorce lawyer from Trevino Law can give you legal advice!
Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce
The term “contested divorce” refers to a divorce in which one or both spouses dispute some part of it. Divorce processes take longer, cause more stress, and cost more money to complete.
A contested divorce requires both parties to go through multiple processes before it is completed, including:
- Legal paperwork asking for the divorce and stating the grounds for the breakdown of the marriage
- Petition response
- Hiring a lawyer
- Obtaining facts from your spouse and third-party witnesses (divorce discovery) (e.g., written questions, subpoenas, and depositions)
- Motions and hearings
- Attorney-client settlement ideas and talks
- Litigation if settlement fails
- A court case that must be finished throughout the process
- Appeals If you disagree with the trial court’s decision
Often, couples cannot address concerns during the settlement process. But when that doesn’t work, the divorce judge will take the case to family court.
Their attorneys cross-examine witnesses and make closing arguments throughout the trial. After the trial, the court will issue a final order recording the judge’s decision and finalizing the divorce.
Divorce, particularly contested divorces, is difficult. To safeguard their legal rights, divorcing couples should consult an experienced divorce lawyer.
In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on all divorce-related matters. Before filing for an uncontested divorce, spouses must complete particular legal criteria in each state. Consult a local attorney or check the courtroom website for specifics.
Uncontested divorces are frequently more straightforward than contested divorces since couples may terminate their marriage without ongoing discussions, legal posturing, or court appearances. Uncontested divorces are less stressful and inexpensive. It also tends to keep couples together, which is significant if they have children.
To overcome any divorce concerns, divorcing couples must be able to work together. Working with your soon-to-be-ex to resolve critical financial and child-related problems is one approach to avoid a full-blown legal fight.
California Is the State of No-fault
Before 1970, a divorce petition required justification. You also need to provide documentation to back up your “acceptable” cause for ending your divorce. The procedure will be slow and sometimes embarrassing for one or both partners. Emotional or physical abuse is a significant reason for divorce that may be difficult to establish.
No-fault divorce was first used in California. Without a cause, anybody may file for divorce without having to persuade a court. This relieves both couples of stress and makes divorce more accessible to those contemplating it.
Common Issues in a Laguna Hills Divorce
Each divorce case will have different concerns depending on the duration of the marriage, the properties or assets you hold, whether you have children, and other reasons. Here are some of the most prevalent difficulties that our divorce lawyer in Laguna Hills deals with:
Division of Marital Property
Each spouse in California owns one-half of the communal property. As a result, courts would attempt to split property between divorced couples in an equitable manner. If one of the couples wishes to retain more significant assets, such as a home or vehicle, the other spouse may have to compensate him or her. The purpose is to distribute marital assets equitably.
Division of Debts
With limited exceptions, each spouse in California is accountable for one-half of the total debts incurred during the marriage. To pay off your obligations, you may need to sell some of your possessions as collateral or develop a better alternative. This is something that a Laguna Hills divorce lawyer may help you with.
Child Custody Disputes
When children are involved in a divorce, a decision must be made on who gets to live with the children (physical custody) and who has legal authority over the children’s education, health, and other matters (legal custody). If you and your husband can’t agree on custody, the Court will have to put you both in front of a neutral mediator who can make an objective custody recommendation. The best interests of the child are always upheld in California, which is why the following considerations are frequently examined during mediation: each parent’s fitness, physical and mental competence to care for children, and the parent’s connection with children.
If you believe spousal support may be an issue in your divorce, contact our Laguna Hills divorce lawyer for a free first consultation. The length of the marriage, each spouse’s ability to pay, earning capacity, both parties’ health and age, the level of education, the lifestyle you’ve been accustomed to, your sources of income, and any history of past contributions to your spouse’s education or training are all factors that go into determining spousal support. The Family Law Court may decide not to grant spousal maintenance if the marriage is brief.
How Much Does a Divorce Case Cost in California?
Divorce costs in California are not precise. While you may locate an affordable attorney in Laguna Hills or the surrounding regions and get free consultations, the final cost will depend on how complicated your case is and what sort of divorce you seek.
For example, in an uncontested divorce, the cost may be lower since the husband and wife may file a joint divorce petition with the court. On the other hand, in a contented divorce, both parties would often engage their divorce attorney and complete the appropriate paperwork, which will cost more.
Residential Requirements for Filing a Divorce in California
Other restrictions remain even if you don’t have to offer a justification in California. Firstly, one spouse must have lived in California for six months. Also, they must have lived in the county for three months before filing. After filing, spouses have six months to appeal the divorce before it is completed.
Those who are seeking a summary dissolution of marriage, a kind of divorce, must meet additional standards. Though the procedure is quicker than a traditional divorce, it has tighter restrictions (you can visit the Judicial Branch of California for a complete list).
Regardless of the sort of divorce, you select, you’ll need competent divorce lawyers to guide you through the process. The Trevino Law Firm can assist with any California divorce.
Collaborative Divorce in California
Instead of going to court, you and your spouse may work together to create a separation agreement. By skipping a trial, you may save money on legal bills, split your property, and decide custody. Since it is still a legal procedure, lawyers are still engaged in signing contracts.
Collaborative divorce is a very adaptable approach where both spouses initially agreed to settle out of court. But the conditions you accept are final. If you hit an impasse and can’t agree on anything, you may go to court and enforce the issues you agreed on.
Collaborative divorce is excellent for all of these reasons and more. But it takes both partners working together. Sadly, not all situations allow it. Still, if you want more control and less stress, talk to your family law attorney about it.
Looking for a Laguna Hills Divorce Attorney?
A divorce lawyer may assist you in negotiating with your partner or spouse on asset division and child custody. Attorneys for divorce may also help with a spouse’s right to see their children. Divorce attorneys are skilled at negotiating settlements that are fair to both parties. In areas of California law such as divorce and family law, our team at Trevino Law Firm can help you fight for what you deserve.
It is not a choice to be taken lightly when it comes to hiring an attorney. You may send us a message by filling out the form or calling us at 949-755-8542 if you need a cost estimate for your divorce case in California.
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