Everyone gets into marriage with the hope that it will last forever. However, this is not always the case for some people. When a marriage fails, both partners are affected socially, emotionally, and financially. Also, several issues come up in the course of divorce and after divorce.
Having a strong legal representation is essential as it ensures that your rights are protected. An attorney by your side will also ensure that the best interests of your children are taken care of. At San Diego Divorce Attorney, we offer the best legal services to people seeking a divorce in Bonita. We offer not only advice but also legal guidance through various stages to ensure a smooth process. We also look into pre- and post-nuptial agreements to ensure that they are legally enforced.
Understanding California Divorce Laws
In the state of California, divorce is also referred to as marriage dissolution. Divorce laws in the state are apparent. To be granted a divorce, for instance, one of the partners must have resided in California for a minimum period of six months and three months in the county where they are filing for divorce.
When one partner decides to have their marriage dissolved, he/she will petition the Superior Court in the county of their residence by filing a Dissolution of Marriage and Summons. The petitioner, who is the partner that is filing for divorce, must serve the respondent, the other partner, with copies of that petition and other documents. Once this is done, the court gives the couple a mandatory six months of waiting period before their divorce can be finalized.
You have to fully qualify for divorce to be granted one by the Superior Court. For Summary Dissolution of marriage, for instance, here are some of the requirements the court will ask of the petitioner. Note that Summary Dissolution is the quickest way of obtaining a divorce in the state.
- That he/she is a resident of the state and the county in which he is filing for divorce
- That the couple has been in the marriage relationship for not more than five years by the time they are filing for divorce
- That the couple has no children, either born in or out of the marriage or adopted. The wife should also not be pregnant at the time of divorce
- That neither of the partners owns a real estate property or has an interest in any property
- That the couple doesn't have debts amounting to more than $6,000, which were acquired since they got married. It excludes car loans
- That the couple doesn't own a community property valued at more than $38,000, excluding cars
- That neither of the partners has a separate property of more than $38,000 in value. It excludes debts such as mortgages and car loans
- That both have agreed that neither of them will expect spousal support from the other
- that both have signed a document agreeing on how their property and debts will be divided
Note that when it comes to summary dissolution, there is usually no hearing or trial after getting divorced, neither of the partners is expected to request a new hearing or appeal the judgment made by the high court.
Legal Grounds for California Divorce
The state of California is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce matters. What this means is that the divorce petitioner does not need to prove to the high court that the other partner was the reason they want to dissolve their marriage. In this case, only two grounds for divorce are acceptable, and the couple can cite either of them as their reason for getting divorced:
- Irreconcilable differences: A couple can mention that their differences caused a breakdown of their marriage, which could not be remediated
- Incurable insanity: This will require proof, however. The kind of evidence the petitioner cam give the court is, for instance, a competent medical statement, or a psychiatrist testimony that the other partner was suffering from incurable insanity by the time they were filing for divorce.
The Divorce Process
It is crucial for anyone that is considering divorce to understand the divorce process to be well prepared once the process starts. The essential steps in the process include:
- Protecting yourself, your property and children
- Making sure you meet the requirements, including residency requirements
- Gathering information
- Deciding whether you will need alimony and child support
- Preparing the necessary documents
- Filing the forms
- Notifying the other spouse
- Attending the court hearings
- Waiting for the court’s decision
Reasons You Need a Divorce Attorney
A person is allowed to represent themselves in such legal processes as divorce, but it is advisable to have legal representation by your side. An attorney can, for instance, represent your interests better than you. There are several reasons why you need to walk the process with a competent divorce attorney:
For expert advice: No one will offer you better advice on divorce than a qualified divorce attorney. An attorney who has handled several divorce cases before will be in a much better position to tell you what is required, how long the process could take, what you need to avoid, and anything else you need to know about the California divorce process. State laws on divorce are a little tricky and could be challenging for partners whose marriage has complicated issues to settle. An experienced attorney will be there to simplify everything for you and ensure that your needs are met in the end.
For stress reduction: Divorce is never easy even for a person who could not wait to get out of their marriage. Hiring an attorney to walk with you through the process will make it a little more bearable for you. Again, much of what is needed by the court will be handled by your attorney, which means that little will be required of you. It gives you more time to take care of your needs and the needs of your family. With a competent attorney, you have little to worry about when going through the most challenging moment of your life
To avoid costly mistakes: The complicated divorce process, as well as the stress a person goes through during divorce, is enough to make a person make expensive mistakes. It is not easy to think clearly when you have so much to deal with, and thus, you might end up making mistakes that could leave you paying dearly for the rest of your life. Such a mistake could be, for instance, forgetting to address an important issue such as a credit card or medical debt. You could also end up underestimating the value of a particular asset. Such mistakes will leave you with more financial issues that could cost even more to correct in the future.
To avoid delays: The last thing you want when your marriage fails is a delay in getting it dissolved. Without an attorney, it could take a person a very long time to get all the documents ready. An attorney makes this easy and quick for you. An experienced attorney knows exactly what is needed and when it is needed to avoid any delays. This way, it is possible to have your marriage dissolved sooner than later.
Services You Can Get From a Competent Divorce Attorney
If you are in Bonita, finding a competent divorce attorney is vital as it is the only way you can enjoy a smoother process. A well-skilled and experienced Bonita Divorce Attorney will, for instance, be able to handle different matters that come up with divorce. Some of these are:
Alimony is spousal support that is paid by one partner to the other after divorce. It is one of the things that needs detailed deliberation before a couple decides to end their marriage. If you are the divorce petitioner, there are things you need to keep in mind, for instance, how much money you will need to keep the marital home and whether or not you will afford it.
Will you be able to foot your bills and cater to other financial responsibilities? Will you be able to provide your health insurance and also save for your retirement? If there is a chance to face financial difficulties after divorce, you may have to ask for spousal support from your partner.
Money is always the most challenging subject to resolving in the process of divorce. However, the law requires the couple to sit and agree on spousal support to ensure that each of them can support themselves after separation. Note that alimony is always based on need and is gender-neutral. It means that any partner could be required to support the other, depending on the need at hand.
California alimony is not a way of punishing the other partner or enriching one partner at the expense of another. The idea behind payment of spousal support is to strike a balance and allow both partners to at least live their lives just the same as they did while in the marriage. In this case, a lower-earning spouse will be helped by the other to adjust from married life to a single life they will be living.
If you are the less-earning spouse, your attorney will help you determine how much money you will request our partner as alimony during the divorce hearing. If your partner needs your financial support, your attorney will advise you on the best way to approach the matter.
Child custody and Visitation
If there are children involved in the marriage, the issue of child visitation and custody will be among the most critical aspects of a divorce proceeding. Getting divorced does not mean that the children are getting divorced as well. The most important thing about California divorce laws is in protecting the relationship between the children and their parents. It means that a fair decision has to be determined to the satisfaction of both parents.
There are two types of child custody that are allowed in California: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody entails involvement in the making of important decisions on behalf of the children. It means that the parent with legal custody can decide on such matters as where the children will live, which school they can attend, and which doctor they will see. Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to where the children will live. Note that both types of custody can be sole or joint.
Child visitation rights also take more than one form in the state of California. The divorce court could come up with a detailed visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent, an open-ended agreement that allows both parents to work things out on their own, supervised visitation, and the disallowance of any visitation rights.
Matters to do with children has to be decided by the court, but sometimes parents can be given a chance to come up with a plan that works for both of them. An experienced divorce attorney can work as a mediator to ensure that the best interests of both parents have been met.
Again, this is an important matter to settle in divorce cases that involve children. Other than deciding on where the children will live and how both parents will maintain their relationship with the children, the court will have to decide on child support. Child support is the amount of money a court can order one or both parents to pay for the monetary support of their children. The court does this to ensure that all the needs of the children will be sufficiently met after divorce, including physical, emotional, and mental.
On child support matters, the issue of paternity could come up, especially if the father feels that he has been excluded from their child's life. However, in cases where the parent-child relationship has already been established, other factors that affect child support matters will be considered. These are, for instance, the income of each partner, the amount of time each partner spends with the children/child tending to their needs, as well as the age of the child.
Note that child support will not be required if the child is already of legal age. Again, if the child loses their life, gets married, or joins the military, child support will come to an end. However, if the child is physically or mentally disabled and is incapable of supporting themselves as an independent adult, child support will go on beyond the legal age.
Again, your divorce attorney will offer solid advice on child support matters, depending on the amount of income you make and how much you take care of your children. If you are the custodial parent, your attorney will ensure that every physical need of the child is considered and that your partner agrees to pay child support.
Pre-nuptial agreements are contracts between two people who are about to get into a marriage relationship. These agreements include a wide range of elements and are unique from one couple to the other. In most cases, pre-nuptial agreements are drafted to address financial concerns. In this case, it could be a statement concerning how a property should be divided and how much of the said property will remain a separate property after divorce.
Pre-nuptial agreements could also contain information on how properties owned by both partners could be disposed of in the event one partner passes away. If one partner has an adult child, for instance, they could decide to leave part or all of their properties to the child after their demise, and not the other partner.
Because of their nature, pre-nuptial agreements will require legal intervention for a couple that wants to dissolve their marriage. If both partners had signed the prenuptial agreement, their attorneys could ensure that the contract is respected after divorce. Your Bonita divorce attorney can, for instance, ensure that any pre and post-nuptial agreement you might have is fully enforced and that you will be accorded the protections and benefits that are entitled to you after divorce.
For that reason, you need to work closely with an attorney that has your best interest at heart. You also need a competent Bonita divorce attorney who has successfully represented several divorcees in the past. This is the only assurance you have that your divorce will go on smoothly and successfully to the end.
Find an Experienced Bonita Divorce Attorney Near Me
If you are planning to get divorced in Bonita, you may be facing the same challenges as other people who have traveled the same road as you. The process is a little complicated and could be overwhelming because of the numerous matters you have to decide on before you legally get separated from your spouse. At San Diego Divorce Attorney, we have a team of competent attorneys who have excellent skills and experience in California divorce laws. We will ensure that you get the best possible outcome on every matter that will come up with your divorce. We will also fight vigorously to ensure that your rights are respected throughout the process. Call us at 858-529-5150 and let us make things easier for you.