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Rancho Cucamonga Divorce Lawyer

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce Lawyer

You don’t have to deal with a divorce on your own. Working with a Rancho Cucamonga divorce attorney from our office can help you understand all your options and get a fair divorce.

Divorce is tough on any family in Rancho Cucamonga or elsewhere. So you may feel a little lost after you and your spouse have parted ways. Having the support of a divorce lawyer experienced in family law is key, especially one who understands the emotional and financial impact of divorce.

Emotions are bound to run high because of the very personal nature of most aspects of divorce. You are dividing a life—splitting personal property, working out shared custody arrangements, and trying to separate yourselves financially. This isn’t easy for anyone, but a good lawyer can make it easier.

When you speak with a Rancho Cucamonga divorce lawyer from our office, you’re allowing yourself to let go of some of the stress associated with family law decisions. We can help you make sense of a confusing and overwhelming time. Plus you will have the added relief of knowing you will never be alone in this legal process.

What’s the Difference Between Divorce, Separation, and Annulment?

The differences between divorce, separation, and annulment are nuanced, but there are important differences to keep in mind.

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce Lawyer

Divorce (Dissolution of Marriage)

In California, a divorce is considered the ending of a marriage. The court helps resolve disputes between spouses, such as child custody, visitation, division of assets and debts, alimony, and more. After a divorce, the marriage will be legally dissolved.

Separation vs. Divorce

A legal separation is very similar to divorce in most ways except the spouses remain legally married to each other. All other issues, such as child custody, visitation, and division of debts and assets, can be settled in court in Rancho Cucamonga.

Annulment vs. Divorce

An annulment is different than a divorce in that it makes the marriage invalid, as though it never even took place. With divorce, on the other hand, the fact that you were legally married doesn’t go away.

In California, you will have to prove one of several requirements for your annulment to be allowed:

  • Incest
  • Bigamy (existing marriage)
  • One spouse is or was underage
  • One spouse is or was of unsound mind
  • Fraud
  • Force

There are several benefits to an annulment. Your Rancho Cucamonga lawyer can help you examine the specifics of your case to see if a divorce or annulment is right for you. Here are some benefits of annulments:

What Are Grounds for Divorce in California?

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In California, there are two main grounds for divorce. The first is called irreconcilable differences. This means the marriage is so far gone that it can’t be recovered. The second legally valid reason for divorce is incurable insanity.

With irreconcilable differences, you don’t have to prove anything in court for your marriage to be dissolved. With incurable insanity, you must prove your case in court.

What’s the Timeline for Divorce in Rancho Cucamonga?

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce Lawyer

The timeline for divorce is six months and one day from the date your summons and petition is served or six months and one day from the date the respondent files a response or notice of general appearance with the Rancho Cucamonga court.

For legal separation and annulment, whatever date the judge signs the judgment is the effective date.

How Are Divorce Papers Served in Rancho Cucamonga?

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce Lawyer

During the process when one spouse is filing divorce papers against the other, divorce papers must be served to the other spouse. This is usually at the start of the divorce proceedings and the spouse served has thirty days to respond to the papers.

The spouse filing for divorce can continue with the process and state their case. They can then request to enter default and file for a declaration of default. This allows them to move forward with the divorce.

What Does Default Mean?

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True default occurs if you’ve served your spouse with the papers, they don’t respond to them, and there is currently not an agreement. The filing spouse is not stopped from moving forward with the divorce when this happens. In fact, it means that the other spouse has given up their right to have any say during proceedings.

Default divorce does not occur often, though it does happen. When it does, you need to know your rights during this time. Obtaining a non-response from the other spouse grants the filing spouse the ability to get a divorce based on fault.

This doesn’t impact or stop the divorce process, but it can change how other parts of the divorce are handled. That includes child custody and support, alimony, and how property will be divided. The judge makes decisions based on any information they receive from the filing spouse.

If you’re the one who filed for the divorce, the other spouse has to receive the papers stating that you have. If the papers are never served, then any defaults are not counted against them. Using a law office that understands and has worked with defaults in divorce before can help you ensure you’ve taken the right steps to serve the papers.

How Does the Court Split Property During Divorce?

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce Lawyer

The division of assets and debts is one of the most difficult parts of a divorce. You and your spouse likely spent years accumulating property in Rancho Cucamonga and beyond, and it’s not always an easy matter to work out a fair division.

Fair doesn’t always mean equal. A lawyer can help you and your spouse work out the division of property as painlessly as possible, either through mediation or by going to court.

It may be possible for you and your spouse to make a list of all of your property, assets, and debts and then divide them fairly easily. In most cases, however, things aren’t so simple. Many people have pensions, retirement benefits, homes, or other assets that aren’t so easy to value and separate during divorce.

A divorce attorney can help you divide your property and walk you through the needed paperwork. In some cases, you may have to file a judgment in order to get your spouse to follow through on an agreement.

California Custody Laws and Child Support in Divorce

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce Lawyer

Each state has different laws about child custody and child support. In California, there are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody.

  • Legal Custody – This means you have the right to make important decisions regarding your children’s welfare, health, and schooling. Both parents can have legal custody, or only one can have it.
  • Physical Custody – This refers to where the kids live. They can live equally with both parents, or they can live primarily with one parent while the other has visitation. When children live with one parent more than the other, that parent is the primary custodial parent.

Visitation is another legal term referring to the time the non-primary parent gets to spend with the children. All of these issues can be decided between the two parents, and a written agreement can be made, which a judge can then sign off on.

If the parents can’t decide, that’s when the judge will make a decision based on the best interests of the child. This is when mediation comes into play. The court can also appoint a child custody evaluator. Your divorce lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga will help you get through this process as smoothly as possible.

As for child support, this is the amount of money a parent must pay every month to support or provide for the child, as ordered by a court.

An experienced divorce lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga can help you determine how much support is owed and reach an agreement that provides for your child and is fair for all involved. Child support agreements should take into account both parents’ income, other financial resources, benefits, and time with the kids.

Grandparents’ Rights in Rancho Cucamonga

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce Lawyer

Understanding what rights grandparents have in California can help you protect your relationship and visitation to family members during a divorce. Grandparents have the right to seek visitation of their grandchildren only under certain situations. 

If the parents don’t want them to have visitation, and they’re married, then the grandparents are not allowed to visit. The following are circumstances where grandparents may be able to seek visitation:

  • The child does not live with either of their parents
  • There is an existing bond between the child and grandparent and keeping this would be best for the child
  • A stepparent has adopted the child 
  • The parents are married, but living separately 
  • The child’s parents are unable to be located 

It’s important to seek legal representation in cases such as this. You want to ensure that you’re covered and know your rights as a grandparent, or as a parent with a grandparent seeking visitation of your child.

How Does Alimony Work in Rancho Cucamonga?

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce Lawyer

In California, alimony, or spousal support, is a court-ordered payment one spouse must make to the other. The time frame for spousal support will often depend on how long a couple was married and the circumstances of their relationship.

Spousal support was designed to financially provide for a spouse who doesn’t make as much money as the other. This could be because of the following factors:

  • One spouse stayed home to take care of the kids.
  • One spouse put his or her own career on hold to allow the other spouse to further his or her career.
  • One spouse gave up educational opportunities because both couldn’t afford to go to school at the same time.

An attorney with our divorce law firm can help you protect your interests and reach a fair agreement on alimony payments during your Rancho Cucamonga divorce.

 

Get Help from a Divorce Lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga

You don’t have to deal with the stress of a divorce on your own. Your attorney can give you individualized legal advice and help you navigate the legal process of a divorce, separation, or annulment. Our office is experienced in many family law matters. We are happy to answer your questions.

Get your questions answered by calling a Rancho Cucamonga divorce lawyer with the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock. We have over twenty-five years of experience handling family legal matters. We will handle your case in a caring and sensitive manner. Call for your free consult at 909-466-7661 or use the form below.

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce FAQ

Going through the divorce process can be lengthy and confusing. Using an experienced law office to help you navigate the court proceedings can be helpful. Your lawyer can give you personalized answers to your questions. 

If you need guidance, your lawyer is key in getting answers. While you’re waiting for your free consultation, check out some of the commonly-asked questions and how we can help.

How is child support handled during Rancho Cucamonga divorces?

Child support may or may not be a part of the divorce arrangements. Depending on the specific arrangements and if custody is also being established, you may want to consider adding this in during the process. If you’re seeking child support, you may need to discuss California’s child support guidelines with your lawyer to determine what you may be due. This is just a guideline and shouldn’t be used as an absolute for what you may receive or pay. There are many factors that are considered, and a child support lawyer can answer your questions about these factors.

How long does the divorce process take?

Every divorce is different with different circumstances and outcomes. Because of this, the length of the divorce can vary from couple to couple. Most marriage dissolutions can take between six months to a year. Yours may take longer or shorter depending on the terms and agreements. What we can say for certain is that your divorce lawyer will stay by your side throughout this process. No matter how long this process takes, your lawyer is here to help you.

What is mediation?

Mediation is often recommended as an alternative to litigation. If you and your spouse are unable to come to agreements but you wish to avoid going to court, mediation may be recommended.  You and your spouse will discuss the terms you’re having a hard time agreeing to under the guidance of a neutral third party. If you want to maintain control over the outcome of the divorce without the stress of time in court, this can be a helpful alternative.

What is the difference between an uncontested or contested divorce?

In uncontested divorces, both spouses come to agreements regarding all of the terms given in the divorce. These terms usually include property, alimony, child support, and custody. Everything is then settled and split. In contested divorces, the couple is not able to agree on the terms of the separation. They can disagree on one or more of the terms for it to be contested. In this case, the decisions and issues are settled in divorce court by a judge.

Why should I seek the help of a divorce lawyer?

If you’re going through a divorce, it can be difficult to get your life back on track and ensure you’re financially stable without a divorce lawyer. You need to think about all the areas of your life that will be affected by the decision to dissolve the marriage: assets, property, children, and finances.  By reaching out to an experienced law office in Rancho Cucamonga to help you through this process, you’re able to protect the things you want to keep of value. This is also a very emotional time, meaning you can have someone look into all the legal aspects and go through the process for you, so you have better peace of mind.

How are custody issues handled?

The judges handling the divorce decides custody based on what the child’s best interests are. Both parents may be able to care for the child, but specific factors come into play on what arrangement might be best for the child. These factors include the child’s age, their health and safety, if there is a history of domestic violence, how much contact each parent had with the child, whether either parent has a history of drug or alcohol use, and the wishes of the child. You may also need to make decisions on whether you or your spouse will have sole custody, or whether you’ll share custody.

What is the difference between legal and physical custody?

Legal custody is a parent’s right to make any important decisions about the child’s welfare. This could be about their education, medical care, or religious decisions. Legal custody may be joint to both parents or sole to one.   Physical custody covers where the child lives and who is responsible for the daily care of the child. Physical custody can also be joint for both parents or sole depending on the circumstances.

What if domestic violence is an issue?

If you feel you’re in danger, call 911. After this, contacting an attorney regarding whether you should file a domestic violence restraining order. If you decide to wait, you may waive your right to file one.  This is a serious situation, and you want to take action with a lawyer as soon as possible. Consulting with an attorney can protect your rights and your safety by taking the right course of legal action.

Should I file for a divorce or a legal separation?

A divorce and legal separation are different from one another in two ways. Both parties have to agree to a legal separation. Additionally, a legal separation does not allow you to remarry in the future if you want to do so. You’d have to obtain a Dissolution of Marriage Judgment to marry again.  Legal separation may be used if you haven’t established residency by living in the county for at least three months. If residency is currently not established, filing for a legal separation will start the divorce process. A divorce petition can be filed later on.  Additionally, if one party wants to turn the legal separation into a divorce, the divorce would trump the separation. A divorce is when both parties split everything and legally dissolve the marriage. It is a permanent decision that allows the parties to marry again later on.

What do I do after being served with divorce papers?

If you’ve been served with divorce papers, the first thing you should do is seek out legal representation. You have a short time to file a response to the papers. You may be required to attend mediation or family court, depending on the circumstance. It’s not recommended that you go to a proceeding or court without having adequate legal representation. Make sure you know your rights and have someone who is there to make claims on your behalf.

What is a parenting plan in family law?

A parenting plan is a written plan that states the parenting times and who makes serious decisions for the child. The more specific the plan is and the more both parents follow it, the more likely the kids will be secure with what to expect from their parents. This is helpful when the parents go through a separation or divorce.

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