The official dissolution of a marriage, otherwise known as divorce, is one of the most personal issues that someone has to deal with under the legal system. It can be a challenging journey to find compromise while unraveling a life that was once lived together. Issues such as the division of assets, custody, and spousal support are all topics that will be up for discussion. Legal guidance from a Carlsbad divorce lawyer can help bring some comfort and clarity to a stressful situation.
At Erica Bloom Law, we are well-equipped to navigate the intricacies of divorce law in California. Our strategic approach has always been rooted in taking the time to understand the unique circumstances that our clients are under. This enables us to present the most creative and effective strategies for reaching the most amicable divorce possible.
Whether we are negotiating settlements or advocating for our client’s interests in court, we can help smooth the transition from your previous marriage to the next chapter in your life.
There are several key issues that can often become points of contention in the divorce process. These include:
If children are a part of the marriage, it will need to be determined who will have primary custody of the kids or if it will be split. If there is a non-custodial parent, specific visitation rights and a parenting schedule must be developed to lay out exactly what the new family dynamic will be moving forward.
A child custody decision is often based on what appears to be the most favorable scenario for the child. It also considers the quality of the parent’s living conditions and their ability to provide a stable environment.
Typically, the non-custodial parent will be required to pay the other parent a monthly stipend to cover traditional childcare expenses. The exact figure of this monthly payment will be calculated based on the income of both parents and how much financial support the custodial parent needs to minimize any disruption to the child’s life. The goal is to maintain the same standard of living that the child has grown used to in the previous family dynamic.
Dividing assets and liabilities that have been accumulated during marriage can be one of the most contentious items to face during a divorce. This includes splitting up homes, investments, savings, and even outstanding debt. The goal of division is to be equitable, not necessarily equal. This means that an analysis will be conducted to assess each spouse’s financial contributions to the marriage and what future needs may exist.
The concept of spousal support is mostly brought up in situations where a couple has been married for a long time, and one of the spouses has grown dependent on the financial contributions of the other spouse. The purpose of enacting a spousal support agreement is to help the lower-income spouse maintain a similar quality of life post-divorce as they begin to find their own way to better support themselves in the future.
Before a divorce is finalized, different issues can arise that need to be addressed in the short term. These could include interim financial support, temporary custody arrangements, and the joint management of assets. The details of a couple’s legal separation can set the tone for what terms and conditions are eventually agreed upon once the divorce is official.
If you have an idea of what you want your post-divorce life to look like, then you will need to collect some evidence to help make your case in court or reach a settlement. Some of the most persuasive pieces of evidence that can help make this happen include:
Begin by collecting your bank statements, pay stubs, and even tax returns. This evidence is crucial, especially during discussions of child support and property division. The quality of these records helps provide a clear picture of your financial status. Additionally, it will list all your income, assets, and liabilities.
This information will be examined closely, both by your own attorney and the opposing counsel, to help make a decision on what is the most appropriate form of support each will need to give or receive after divorce.
If your position is that your ex-spouse is not fit enough to have shared custody of the children or receive some assets, then various texts, emails, and letters can help showcase what the relationship dynamics have been like.
Depending on the nature of the communication records, it could help support your position that your ex-spouse has engaged in unsavory behavior or financial misconduct that should disqualify them from obtaining certain rights and privileges post-marriage. This could be really powerful, for example, in cases of infidelity.
Various records from school, medical reports, and testimonies from a child’s psychologist or counselor can have a significant influence on child custody decisions. These documents can help demonstrate the status of a child’s well-being and how specific instances of a parent’s involvement have helped or hurt their livelihood. This information is extremely useful to those who are trying to understand which child custody arrangement will be the most advantageous for everyone involved.
If you are trying to make a point that your ex-spouse is unfit to parent, or if you want to defend yourself against claims that you are unfit yourself, witness testimonies can be critical for making and refuting these accusations. This is because witnesses are often unbiased, third-party individuals who don’t have any stake in the outcome.
Rather, they are sharing their own observations on each spouse’s character and their parenting abilities. They may hare specific examples of what type of interactions they have seen before. If you want to reinforce your own character in court, finding someone who can speak to this is a great piece of evidence to do so.
If a divorce case has gone to court, the judge naturally have never spent time with anyone in the family. Rather, they will heavily rely on evidence to understand the exact dynamic at play. Providing pictures and videos can help give these stakeholders the perspective of what it is like to actually be a member of this family that is now splitting.
For example, you could share a video where one parent was verbally abusive to the child. On the other hand, you could also share a video of when a parent was uplifting the child and boosting their confidence. Either can help those who are unfamiliar with the nature of your family become more confident in their ability to make certain decisions on the divorce.
Sometimes, there is a need to bring in a professional who is well-versed in specific unresolved topics in the divorce trial, such as a financial analyst, child welfare expert, or a psychologist. They will be able to use their knowledge to assess the situation and provide their professional opinion on how the issue should be resolved. This can be a crucial piece of supporting evidence to resolve disputes over finances or child custody arrangements, to name a few examples.
If the splitting couple took the time to formalize any previous contracts to the marriage, such as a prenuptial agreement, the details in this document could present some legally binding decisions that need to be made. These could include specific property items where the couple already agreed on who would get what. Another is deciding who will end up having primary custody of the children. The only way to trump what has already been established in a prenuptial agreement is for the couple to get together and create a new post-nuptial agreement.
Having an attorney support your divorce proceedings can make a huge difference in how contentious issues are resolved. Working with a California divorce lawyer typically includes:
There is no universal cost to a divorce in California. Different factors will all add up to give each individual their own unique sum. To get a general sense of what the process might cost you, the following considerations can help:
You will have to pay a filing fee to officially request a divorce in California. This typically costs around $435.
If it’s true that both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse agree on how the marriage should split, the entirety of the process will be straightforward and much less expensive. An uncontested divorce could range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars in total. This is especially true if both parties’ attorneys did not have to get involved in any conflict resolution. Instead, they can supervise the process and ensure that everyone’s rights are protected.
As you might expect, a contested divorce over specific assets, custody, or support payments will drive up costs as both parties try to resolve these disputes. In fact, it could increase the final toll by thousands of dollars. It’s important to remember that while saving on attorney fees might tempt an individual to agree to conditions that they don’t truly feel are right, the upfront attorney fees could outweigh the long-term implications of a rushed decision that does not favor your interests.
If your divorce attorney charges by the hour, you could expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $500 an hour. The years of experience that an attorney has and where they are located will affect their hourly rate. While some attorneys charge by the hour, others prefer to offer a flat rate for their services. It’s important to have this discussion with any prospective attorney to ensure that you will be able to afford their services throughout the entire divorce process.
Aside from what has already been laid out, there are other fees that could be incurred during your divorce. These could include fees for:
These extra expenses can sometimes come as a surprise, so it’s important to discuss these with your attorney right away to anticipate when or if they might come.
If you are facing a divorce in California and need legal support, contact the divorce attorney at Erica Bloom Law today. We proudly stand up for the rights of everyone in a divorce trial, and our firm would be honored to extend this same mission to your own case.
Fields Marked With An “*” Are Required
"*" indicates required fields