Divorce in Carlsbad
Serving Clients in Carlsbad
Every California divorce case has its own unique set of issues. Some are quick and easy and some drag out for years. The complexity of a divorce case depends not only on the particular issues that need to be addressed in the divorce, but also on the willingness of the parties and the attorneys involved to be reasonable and open to compromise. The following are some examples of circumstances that make one divorce different than the next.
Short Term vs. Long Term Marriages
In California family courts, long terms marriages (marriages lasting longer than 10 years), and short term marriages (marriages lasting less than 10 years) are treated differently when it comes to the duration of court ordered spousal support. Further, in longer term marriages there are often more complex asset and debt division issues as well as rights to various types of financial reimbursement.
Read our article to get more information about different types of marriages.
Divorces including Minor Children
Divorces including minor children must be treated with care and always with the presence of mind that children know what is going on and are often blame themselves for the separation of their parents. It is very important to insulate children of divorce from the court process and emotional turmoil as much as possible. Litigation regarding the custody of minor children is hands down the hardest part of a family law attorney’s job and most often the most painful experience related to the divorce process for the parents involved.
If we could give one piece of advice over any other to our clients going through a divorce with children it would be to do all that you can to work together as parents despite the personal issues that you may have with one another.
High Asset vs. Low Asset Divorce
Low asset divorces are generally much simpler to resolve considering that not much is at stake from a financial perspective—of course this is all subjective. Often it is better to cut your losses than to pay an attorney more than the fight is worth. On the other hand, the higher value of the marital estate, more is at stake, considering the respective claims of the parties sometimes it makes sense to spend more money and effort fighting for a particular interest. This is not to say that high asset cases don’t ever settle—just that at times it makes sense from a legal and financial perspective that a particular claim should not be conceded for the sake of settlement. You always want to balance the amount you will pay to fight for a claim against the potential outcomes–win, lose or draw. A good family law attorney will give you realistic expectations and advise against throwing good money at a losing battle.
A divorce involving one or both spouses serving on active duty presents many unique challenges and requires a creative problem solving approach—especially for cases involving the custody of minor children. Divorcing military families require co-parenting plans that must consider abnormal work schedules, frequent moves, and deployments. There are also special rules for military divorces regarding health insurance benefits, division of retirement benefits, and procedures for case progress when one party to the action is deployed.
We represent military families (both service members and spouses) at an increasingly high rate considering the concentrated military presence in San Diego County. We also offer a military discounted hourly rate and flat fee services to military members and spouses.
With the recent evolvement of civil rights and protection of the right to marry for all California residents, gay divorces have come on to the scene for California divorce attorneys. As the federal government continues to afford equal access to martial rights and benefits, gay divorces in California are becoming more and more similar to traditional divorces with respect to property and financial support rights. As this area of law develops the California legislature will have to deal with more complex parental rights issues related to gay divorce as our statutory schema related to resolving parental relationships is largely catered to the traditional marital relationship.
Regardless of the type of divorce or family law issue you are dealing with, the divorce attorneys at Griffith, Young & Lass have considerable experience regarding any issue for which you require representation or counsel. Call our office today for a free consultation at 858-345-1720.
Filling for Divorce in Northern County – Carlsbad, Vista, Encinitas
Petition for Dissolution
Divorce in California can be a complicated process. You should have a basic understanding of the law and process before jumping in. Below is some basic information on the process and procedure involved in getting a divorce in California. Of course, every case is unique and you will want to consult with a qualified divorce lawyer in your area for questions.
What Does California Law Say About the Divorce Process?
Service of the Petition for Dissolution
The filer of the petition is known as the Petitioner. The opposing spouse is referred to as the Respondent. When the Petitioner files, the Respondent must be served with the petition before the divorce process can begin. Once the Respondent is served, the opposing spouse has 30 days from the date of service to file a response. If the Respondent fails to respond, the Petitioner may choose to request that a default judgment be entered against the Respondent.
This method can be helpful when the opposing spouse refuses to participate and, as a result, wishes to make the divorce process more difficult.
Once the Petition is properly served, the Divorce proceedings begin and your case either moves toward settlement or trial.
Sixth Month Waiting Period
In California, parties cannot officially divorce until sixth months have passed from the date of service of the Petition for Dissolution. This does not mean that the case cannot settle within the sixth month waiting period. It only means that the marital status will not terminate until that time.
Often, divorce cases may settle relatively quickly and a judgment of dissolution will be entered by the court prior to the sixth month time period lapsing. In cases such as this, all provisions of the settlement go into effect upon the judgment being entered, and the judgment will note a date in the future when marital status is actually terminated. Click here to find out why you have to wait 6 months to divorce in California.
If you are considering filing for divorce or have been served with a Petition for Divorce, call Griffith, Young & Lass for a free consultation. Ask about our flat fee divorce option and our discounted billing rates.
Control of Assets After Filing for Divorce
Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders
Once the Petition for Divorce has been filed and served, there are automatic restraining orders that go into place immediately. Divorce lawyers call these “ATROS.” These orders enjoin either party from moving assets including cash, stocks, retirement accounts, etc; they also enjoin either spouse from canceling or changing any health insurance plans, auto insurance plans, and life insurance plans without the express consent of the other spouse or an order from the court.
It is very important that you understand the ATROS and abide by them. Violation of the ATROS could result in sanctions and attorney’s fee orders against you.
Fiduciary Duties During Divorce
Each spouse in a Divorce proceeding owes the same fiduciary duty to the other spouse as he or she would owe to a business partner. The marital assets must be regarded as business assets and managed and cared for as such. If the parties own a house together, then the house must continue to be maintained by the party living in the house. If the parties own a business together, then the business must continue to be run with as much responsibility and due care as it was during the marriage. In short, damage to a marital asset due to the neglect of one spouse amounts to a breach of that spouse’s fiduciary duty to the community and to the other spouse.
Breach of fiduciary duty is taken very seriously by California Divorce Courts. In egregious cases, the court may award an entire asset to the non-offending spouse in a case of breach of fiduciary duty.
If you are not sure what you can and cannot do once a Divorce has been filed, call now for a free consultation with an experienced Oceanside Divorce Lawyer at 858-345-1720.
Financial Disclosure Requirements in Divorce Cases
Full Disclosure Requirement
California has very strict requirements when it comes to financial disclosures between parties in a divorce case. Within 45 days of the filing of a petition for divorce, each party is required to make 100% disclosure of all assets and debts as of the date of disclosure and to serve on the other party what is called a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure along with the financial disclosure documents themselves.
Financial Disclosure Documents
The two most common financial disclosure forms used as part of the divorce process in California are the Schedule of Assets and Debts (SAD), and the Income and Expense Declaration (IED). The Schedule of Assets and Debts is a full list of all assets and all debts including the date of acquisition, the fair market value, and any money owed on an asset. The Income and Expense Declaration is a snapshot of each party’s monthly income and monthly expenses. This document will include information related to earnings, expenses, educational background as well as asset holdings such as bank account balance.
Full financial disclosure is perhaps the most important aspect of the preparation of a divorce case. Both parties should have everything on the table when negotiating the terms of settlement. if one party discovers that the opposing party has willfully failed to disclose assets or income this can have devastating consequences on the non-disclosing party including sanctions, attorney’s fees and the setting aside of a judgment of dissolution.
There is a famous case in California of a woman that failed to disclose a winning lottery ticket of over a million dollars. She held onto the ticket until the divorce was final and then cashed it in. When her ex-husband discovered that this lottery ticket was purchased during the marriage and thus considered community property he filed a motion with the court. The court awarded the ex-husband 100% of the lottery winnings as a sanction against the wife!
If you have questions about California’s strict laws regarding financial disclosures in divorce cases call now to speak with an experienced Divorce Attorney.
Some of the local areas we service are:
- Del Mar
- La Jolla
Divorce can also be a stressful process. You need to take care of yourself and see it through. Click here for some helpful tips for handling the stress of a divorce: Handling Divorce Stress.