Having to go through a divorce is one of the most stressful situations a person can go through. If you need legal help and representation in the Santee, California area then San Diego Divorce Attorney is the right firm for the job. Since Santee is located in San Diego County, this means that residents of the city are subject to the various laws of California, including family and divorce laws. This also means that the residents must go through the county of San Diego if they wish to seek out a divorce. San Diego Divorce Attorney is a knowledgeable law firm that takes on divorce proceedings as well as related family law cases.
What is Divorce Law?
California divorce laws fall under the general civil codes of family law. These laws deal with marriages, various kinds of domestic partnerships, and relations within families. Because marriage is a legal and binding contract, divorce and family law deals with these marriage contracts. Consequently, it is also referred to as matrimonial law. It is important to remember that a legally recognized marriage carries with it various financial responsibilities which must be adhered to by the couple within the marriage. These responsibilities are determined by various statutes in the state’s civil code.
For example, Santee, which is located in California within the boundaries of San Diego County, is subject to the civil statutes of California’s marriage laws. That means that a couple wishing to get married in California must obtain a license from the San Diego county clerk and obey the laws of the state in question. This also holds true if one or both parties in the marriage wish to get a divorce. Under California law, a divorce is a means of dissolving the financial contract that constitutes a marriage.
Other Practice Areas in California Family Law
California family law is also sometimes referred to as the law of domestic relations. This is because there are other practice areas that fall under the broad category of family law in the state of California. They include:
- Any and all marriages and/or kinds of domestic partnerships. This means that the couple in question must enter into a legally recognized civil union.
- Any proceedings to adopt a child and, in certain cases, another adult.
- Any disputes or issues that may arise in surrogacy cases (meaning surrogate mothers who give birth to a child for another couple).
- Cases of child neglect and/or abuse that necessitate intervention from the court. This can also be referred to as Child Protective Services.
- Any cases that are related to minors, including emancipation, delinquency, and/or juvenile adjudication. This is also referred to as juvenile law.
- Any cases that must either prove or disprove paternity as well as the determination of legal and/or financial obligations once the paternity has been determined.
Although San Diego Divorce Attorney deals primarily with divorce proceedings within Santee and the greater San Diego County area, these other aspects of family law frequently play a part in these proceedings. Divorces are typically presented as being complex and brutal affairs that can take a negative toll on the couple involved. Our law firm can help ameliorate these issues while also dealing with the other aspects of California family law that may arise during a particularly complex divorce case.
Ancillary Matters in Divorce Proceedings
Divorce law is a subsection of the broader category of family law. They both fall under California civil codes. A divorce is, as stated above, the dissolution of a legal contract. There are, of course, personal issues involved, and the emotional toll that a divorce can take is substantial. San Diego Divorce Attorney is sensitive to your needs; we are here to help your case as it relates to the legal ramifications of the divorce in question. Furthermore, divorce laws also partially refer to the termination of legally recognized domestic partnerships; there are certain issues that arise in both the separation of marriage and the separation of a domestic partnership.
The various issues that are usually related to a divorce proceeding are collectively referred to as ancillary matters. They include:
- The divorce itself. A marriage contract is a complex legal document and it is best to go through a divorce proceeding with excellent legal representation.
- This is a legal proceeding that renders a marriage, known in legal terminology as a voidable marriage and/or void marriage, null and void. In other words, it essentially makes it as if the marriage in question never happened. Unlike a regular divorce, it is also retroactive. California family law (and by extension the laws that apply to the residents of Santee) requires that a person not be married at the time they apply for a marriage license. This sometimes necessitates the need for an annulment for a prior marriage. The circumstances that allow for an annulment to be granted include if the marriage was fraudulent, it occurred between family members, if one person was already married to someone else, one of the two spouses was not of legal age at the time of marriage, and/or if the marriage was forced on one of the spouses through force or because they could not legally consent to the contract.
- Property Settlements. A married couple shares all their property (and debts) 50/50. This is why marriage is considered to essentially be a financial contract. Divorce proceedings consist of dividing this property (and debts) and then having a judge sign off on the final settlement.
- This is also referred to as spousal support. Remember that there are certain financial obligations in a marriage, and alimony is the sum of money paid by one former spouse to the other former spouse. The amount of money is determined by the court and must be paid.
- Child support. This is closely related to spousal support but refers to the sum of money paid by one former spouse to the other former spouse for the explicit intention of paying for their children’s needs. Much like alimony, the sum of money is determined during the divorce proceedings and must be paid by the parent in question.
- Child custody and/or visitation. This is frequently one of the most contentious ancillary matters in a divorce proceeding. This refers to the legal agreement that is part of the overall divorce proceedings that determines who the children live with. If there is joint custody, then the children essentially live half the time with one parent and the other half with the other parent. If one parent has primary custody, then a visitation agreement has to be developed to determine when and where the other parent may spend time with their children. There can be complications in determining the custody and visitation rights, particularly if one of the parents is determined to be a risk to the physical and/or mental well-being of the child. In some cases, the parent in question may be guilty of criminal neglect and/or child abuse, in which case they may have to undergo court-ordered counseling, obey a restraining order, and only have supervised visits with the children.
These ancillary matters are what the divorce proceedings focus on. They all fall under the category of California divorce law, meaning that residents in both Santee and the wider San Diego County area are subject to them. In order to achieve the best outcome in the divorce proceedings, it is crucial to retain the services of a skilled divorce attorney who can navigate the ins and outs of divorce law. San Diego Divorce attorney has worked on numerous cases that deal with these ancillary matters and we know how to argue for what is best for our clients.
Other Related Issues to the Divorce Proceedings
A struggle over the legality of the divorce may also arise. This means, essentially, that one party is claiming that the divorce in question is actually not legal and therefore illegitimate. This is referred to as a contested divorce and it substantially complicates matters. However, in cases where both parties agree to the divorce, the proceedings become significantly simpler and easier to go through. This is also referred to as an uncontested divorce. San Diego Divorce Attorney knows how to deal with each of these scenarios; we can help you contest a divorce or argue for the legality of the divorce.
Furthermore, California divorce law also specifies residency criteria in order to file for a divorce. A person has to have been a resident of California for the previous six months before filing. Much like filing for a marriage license, filing for a divorce is done with a county clerk. California divorce law also specifies that the person must have been a resident of the county in question for the previous three months. However, our firm can advise a client on how best to proceed if they wish to file for a divorce as soon as possible. There are various options, including legal separation and/or filing for the divorce in the county that the couple previously lived in.
For residents of Santee, they must file for divorce with the San Diego Superior Court. Because San Diego County is large, both in population and in size, there are various regional facilities that serve parts of the county. Couples wishing to file for divorce must do so at the East County Regional Center, located in the city of San Diego at 330 West Broadway.
Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce
Some clients may wish to seek out a legal separation before they decide to file for divorce. In some cases, this is a good idea as a legal separation is reversible whereas divorce is not. A legal separation essentially means that a couple will remain legally married while living apart. It is frequently considered to be a prelude to a full-fledged divorce, though in some cases the couple may reconcile and go back to living together.
There are various reasons as to why a couple may seek out a legal separation prior to a divorce. These include:
- The couple may oppose the very concept of divorce on moral and/or religious grounds.
- One spouse is about to become eligible to receive the other spouse’s benefits from the government, including Social Security.
- Health care and/or insurance benefits for both spouses may only be available if the couple remains married and/or in a domestic partnership.
- There are financial benefits to remaining married, including substantial tax cuts.
- The couple is not yet eligible to file for divorce due to the residency requirements outlined in California divorce law (for example, the couple has lived in Santee and/or San Diego County for less than three months).
- The stress and stakes are considerably lower when negotiating a separation agreement versus a divorce agreement.
It is important to note, however, that a separation agreement is in some ways very similar to a divorce agreement. There is still a legally sanctioned division of property, assets, and debts. Issues of child custody as well as spousal and/or child support are also determined by the particulars of the separation agreement. In many respects, a legal separation can be considered a stopping point on the way to a full divorce.
San Diego Divorce Attorney has clients from all over San Diego County, including in and around Santee. We can help you in both divorce and separation proceedings. The issues at hand, including all the ancillary matters, in both of these scenarios, are similar and we have the requisite know-how to get it done. Let us take the wheel as we help you navigate these stormy waters; we are here to help you get the outcome you deserve.
A recent psychological study ranked divorce and marital separation as the 2nd and 3rd most stressful events in a person’s life, behind only the death of a child or spouse. Divorces and separations can be absolutely brutal for a person and they can rip a family apart. Children get caught in the crossfire and relationships get shattered forever. It does not need to be that way! San Diego Divorce Attorney can help you preserve your sanity and let cooler heads prevail. Call our San Diego Divorce Lawyer today at 858-529-5150 and get a free consultation. Start living your new life in peace and happiness today!