If you’re like many people facing divorce in California, you’re already thinking about hiring a Claremont divorce lawyer for help. Because many complicated issues can arise from divorce, most people find that it’s best to have an attorney by their side throughout this difficult process.
While California is a no-fault divorce state, and it is possible to file for divorce without an attorney, many people prefer to work with a family lawyer who understands California laws and how they apply in various situations.
While every divorce is different, and no two couples are the same, many divorces follow a common theme – and typically, they all follow the same timeline.
In our practice, we see many common issues arise from divorce, regardless of each individual’s situation.
If you and your children’s other parent are splitting up, whether or not you were married, California courts cannot order custody or child support unless paternity has already been established.
When couples are married and a child is born, paternity is usually assumed; the law generally establishes the mothers spouse to be the child’s father. Unmarried couples may voluntarily declare paternity.
Remember, if there is no declaration of paternity, the courts cannot rule on custody or child support. For that reason, the judge in your case may order a DNA test.
California’s child custody laws are very clear. Both parents have a right to see and spend time with their children. Naturally, it’s best if you and your ex-spouse can reach an agreement together; after all, you two are the ones who know your family best, and you’re best qualified to make decisions regarding where your children will live and spend time.
However, not all couples are able to reach a fair custody arrangement by working together. In those cases, the judge is forced to decide what’s best for the children.
In order to get a better picture of your family dynamic, the judge in your case may order a 730 Evaluation. A 730 Evaluation relies on the expertise of an outside evaluator who will interview you, your ex-spouse and your children in his or her office (usually, home visits are not required for this type of evaluation).
After you and your family have completed your interviews, the evaluator will provide his or her recommendations to the judge. The judge can then make a more informed decision about custody.
The amount of child support that changes hands during a divorce in California varies based on a number of children a couple shares, the income of each member of the couple and a number of other factors. The state has very clear child support guidelines and a concise formula by which judges can determine the amount of support that one parent needs to pay.
In California, there are two types of property: community and separate. Community property must be divided between both parties, while separate property belongs to its original owner.
Under the law, community property is property that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage; separate property is property that you brought to the marriage yourself or that you inherited during the marriage.
If possible, it’s a good idea for you and your spouse to agree on your own property division. Otherwise, every asset and debt you have will need to be scrutinized and meticulously divided. This is time consuming, and it can become expensive.
Nobody should have to be a victim of domestic violence. There are resources available to help you if you have an abusive spouse. From protection orders to divorce, it’s often a good idea to work with an attorney who understands the nuances associated with domestic violence under California law.
If you and your partner or spouse are splitting up, talk to a Claremont family lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you with everything from child custody to property division.