California is a Community Property state and generally the rule is that if you earned it during marriage it is owned equally by the parties. However, there are many important exceptions to this general rule and it is rare that all things are split in half. It is critical that this division of assets and liabilities be done thoughtfully as to take advantage of any financial planning strategies and in conjunction with the remaining issues in the case. For example, it may be advantageous to take an unequal division of assets in exchange for a lower support payment.
How are assets split in a divorce? (GJ post)
The answer is NO, unless ordered by the court or determined as a sound strategy after consulting an attorney. More often than not, moving out is a bad plan. Please call us and schedule a consultation before making this decision or any other crucial choice that will affect the outcome of your case and life for years to come.
The soonest a married person can become single in the state of California is 6 months from the date process is served. However, it can take much longer if the matter is contentious. If this is the case, you may have the opportunity to bifurcate the action and get your marital status terminated while continuing your divorce action in regards to all the other matters. To complete the remaining issues you will need to settle out of court or litigate the issues at trial and this can take months or even years. We know this process is very difficult on you and, therefore, we make it our goal to finish cases promptly.
Why is my divorce taking so long? (GJ blog post)
It is possible to move outside the county or even the state with the children if permission is granted from the other spouse or a court Order is obtained. This area of law has seen significant changes in recent years and it is becoming apparent to all involved that it is rarely, if ever, in the best interests of the children. If you find yourself on either side of this issue, the experienced attorneys at Goldberg Jones can help you assess your options and implement your best strategy.
Below is a link that will take to a child support calculator. Please use this only as an estimate. The attorneys at Goldberg Jones are adept at calculation and exploring all possible sources of discount in your best interest.
Child Support Calculator (not on our site)
Our consultations are only $95 and entitle you to a full hour in our office with an experienced family law attorney. This does not require you to hire us and in the event you do retain our services, we will apply the $95 payment as a credit to our services.
This is allowed, but not recommended. Unless you have absolutely nothing to lose, make sure to consult an attorney and assess for yourself if going it alone is a prudent choice. We wrote a more detailed blog post around this topic.
Hiring a family law attorney vs. doing it myself
There are often many opportunities to improve your situation during your case or after Settlement and or Judgment. With “Modifications,” motions for reconsideration, “Appeals,” and other methods you may be able to significantly improve your outcome.
The simple answer is that at the end of a Legal Separation, you are still married. On the other hand, your marital status is terminated and you are “single” at the end of a divorce. Other than this very important difference, the process, laws, and legal system that you must navigate are identical. It is also important to note that a Legal Separation is not a mandatory step in the process of Divorce. We wrote more about this on our blog.
Legal Separation vs. Divorce Explained
Mediation can be a very effective tool in a divorce or custody case. However, you still should never come to a full settlement or sign an agreement without consulting your own attorney. In fact, you should consult an attorney before making the important decision to mediate, negotiate, or litigate your case. If you start your case with the right game plan, not only do you give yourself the best opportunity to achieve your goals, but you will likely reduce costs of litigation and over all stress on yourself and the children. Follow the link to read more about this in a blog post we wrote:
Should I mediate?
Simply put the court uses its discretion to determine what is in the best interests of the children. Usually it is in the best interests of the children to have continuing and frequent contact with both parents. Also the court likes to establish a custody and visitation schedule (child sharing plan; parenting plan) that promotes stability for the children. Depending on your facts this could lead to sharing the children equally or could lead to a lopsided result in which one parent has up to 99% of the time with the children.
You should spend time with your kids. The more time you are actively parenting your children, the better your chances are to maintain that role during and after a divorce. This is one reason you likely should not move out of your home at the time of separation. If your spouse is limiting your time with the children, you must act immediately. Do not let yourself be removed from the children’s life simply to avoid conflict. This will only set you up for failure and a steep child support obligation.
Also consider reading our blog or subscribing to our Facebook feed as we often post helpful tips on this topic.