Entering a divorce is never an easy decision. The process contains intricate legal proceedings that can easily become emotionally draining. If you are facing divorce or any other related family law issue, it may be time to consider hiring a Huntington Beach divorce attorney.
The legal professionals at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, have the education and experience to take on the burdens their clients would suffer with alone.
Divorce is the official dissolution of marriage. It legally terminates a marriage between two people who had previously sought to be recognized as a married couple under the law. Some people are unaware that California is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that neither spouse is forced to prove that the other did something wrong or illegal to request a divorce.
Before filing for divorce, there are specific residency requirements that must be met. Either you or your spouse must have lived in California for at least six months. In addition to this state requirement, the spouse filing for divorce must have resided in Orange County for at least three months before filing.
If both of these requirements are not met, the couple will have to wait until they have reached this eligibility threshold. Fortunately, the individuals are not required to live with each other while waiting to qualify. This is especially critical for couples whose circumstances have become volatile.
By understanding each of these steps, those looking to divorce can better prepare for what is to come and how to collaborate with their attorney. This can help to make the challenging legal proceeding more predictable and less stressful.
There is a huge amount of value a divorce lawyer can offer to help ease the traditional divorce proceedings. Some of the most commonly cited reasons include the following:
Because most Californians are not formally educated in law, a divorce attorney can step in to fill in this knowledge barrier. This can help an individual feel protected throughout the entire process by knowing an attorney will step up and object to any violations of their rights. An attorney is also aware of what their clients are entitled to, including assets, alimony, or child custody.
This understanding can keep clients on track to receive a fair court order. In addition to having legal knowledge, a lawyer also provides strategic advice that is customized to your specific case. This could include recommendations on when to compromise, when to stand firm in your position, or what the most effective route is to negotiate and meet in the middle.
Being divorced is synonymous with filling out a ton of paperwork. There is no way to avoid any of these requirements, and accidentally missing one form or a crucial deadline could delay the process or even jeopardize acquiring something that is important to you.
Having an experienced divorce attorney on your team can help ensure this does not happen. They have a strong command of what items are due and when, helping their clients to reduce the risk of any unnecessary damage to their case.
Unless a case is completely amicable, there will be scenarios where an attorney will need to step in and negotiate on behalf of their client. For example, you may feel like the original spousal support proposal is not enough to cover your most basic needs that will exist post-marriage.
An attorney who understands your objectives will be able to assess every other aspect of the case and put together a compelling negotiation strategy that could end up boosting your monthly spousal support check. Because these parts of the process are extremely emotional, having your attorney handle the negotiations can help you avoid making any impulsive decisions that could be detrimental to your case.
If a contested divorce case escalates to an official trial, a lawyer will be able to serve as your voice in the courtroom. They will spend time preparing to present your case, argue on your behalf, and challenge any of the opposing counsel’s viewpoints.
A seasoned attorney knows how to present evidence in the most compelling light and ensure any requests being made are backed up with tangible proof and witness testimonies. They will also be able to cross-examine any of the opposing parties’ witnesses to highlight any inconsistencies in their story and weaken their testimony.
Anticipating what the opposing counsel might bring up in court is the most effective way to stay prepared and win. They may have objections that are rooted in a disagreement over the facts or take issue with how certain evidence was collected.
Some of the most common objections to prepare for in a divorce case include:
A: There are several different factors that influence the cost of an attorney. Generally, the more years of experience an attorney has and where their firm is located will drive up costs. The average hourly rate is around $250 to $500 per hour, with the potential to be even higher for attorneys who have a strong reputation in the area.
If the attorney does not have an hourly cost structure, then they will likely request a retainer fee before starting to offer their services. They will gradually pull funds from this retainer until they need to request more. If they don’t use the full retainer, the rest will be returned at the conclusion of the case.
A: You’ll want to start by looking into the attorney’s educational background and how many years they have practiced family law. Certain reviews and testimonials of their services can be very insightful to understand what your experience might be like when hiring them for similar reasons.
During an initial consultation, ask how many cases they have won for their clients and if they have any certifications or additional training that may make them more qualified for your specific case. In addition to how they make you feel emotionally, all of this can help guide you to hiring a qualified attorney for your divorce case.
A: California is a community property state, which means that all assets that have been acquired during the marriage will be equally divided between both spouses. However, some people become confused that “50/50” means an equal split down the middle.
Because some items, like houses, cannot be split in two, this means that each spouse will be awarded an equitable share of the total value that everything amounts to. Any items that were owned before the marriage are not up for consideration.
A: There are no gender bias considerations when dividing assets in a California divorce. A wife will receive an equitable portion of all the community property just like her partner will. Sometimes, a wife is entitled to additional spousal support if she is not as financially independent as the spouse she is parting from.
The total amount of spousal support she could receive will be determined based on how long the marriage lasted, what her individual income will be post-marriage, and if her ex-partner is able to afford the monthly payments. Additional funds could be secured if there are children involved who need more funds to ensure their basic needs are met when they are not in the same physical space as their other parent.
If you are facing the prospect of a divorce and would like to connect with an attorney, contact a divorce lawyer at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, today. We have been successfully guiding California’s through divorce proceedings for years and would be honored to help you as well.
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