Ending a marriage is a very complex and emotionally stressful process. You not only face the emotional side of ending your marriage but also various financial issues. In addition, if you have children with your spouse, this will inevitably add a great deal of emotional stress and household tension to the situation, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you start to think about all the potential outcomes your divorce may have.
The right attorney is an invaluable asset in this difficult situation. When you have an experienced Irvine divorce attorney representing you, it’s easier to approach your proceedings with confidence and peace of mind. Whether you expect an amicable and relatively simple divorce from your spouse or you are bracing for an emotionally challenging dissolution process, our team can provide compassionate support and meticulous counsel through every stage of your divorce.
The attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski have helped many Irvine clients navigate difficult divorce cases. Many of our clients are unprepared for some of the issues they must address in their cases, but they are also surprised to learn some of the ways our firm can help them reach more favorable results. Most divorces involve multiple family law matters, and our team has the experience and resources necessary to address the most complex details of the case.
Strictly speaking, you do not need to hire legal counsel in divorce but doing so offers several potential advantages that no one should ignore. First, filing for divorce is more complex than you might expect, and once a divorce petition is filed, you will be compelled to meet strict filing deadlines and other procedural obligations for your case to proceed. If you have an experienced attorney advising you, they can handle this side of the case so you can focus on your family, your job, and your household.
Your Irvine divorce attorney will help you understand your options for resolving your divorce. While you may be bracing for an intense courtroom battle with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, this is not the only way you can resolve your divorce, and an experienced Irvine divorce attorney may help you take advantage of alternative dispute resolution. When you choose Quinn & Dworakowski to represent you in divorce, we’ll strive to settle your case as efficiently as possible, but as experienced trial attorneys, we are fully prepared to represent you in court as well.
Ultimately, every divorce case is unique, and everyone who goes through the dissolution process in Irvine will face different challenges. Additionally, there is always a possibility that you will need to return to family court in the near future to address issues pertaining to your divorce order and/or to request changes to the order as your circumstances evolve after your divorce. Whatever your case entails, the right Irvine divorce attorney can make handling every phase of the case much easier, and you will be more likely to reach the results you hope to see the most.
One of the most contentious issues in most divorces in the state is property division. Therefore, one of the most important functions of the divorce process is to establish separate property ownership rights for each of the divorcing spouses by dividing their marital property. The state’s community property statute means that all marital property is subject to a strict 50/50 division in divorce. Each person must submit their financial records to the court, reconcile any discrepancies pertaining to their marital property, and identify all separate property that each controls. Under community property law, separate property can include inheritance, gifts, and property owned before the marriage, and marital property generally includes everything earned and gained during the marriage.
Your Irvine divorce attorney will be invaluable for addressing property division in your divorce. They can assist you with your financial disclosure statement to ensure you fully meet all disclosure requirements and are not held in contempt of court. In addition, if you notice any issues with your spouse’s disclosure, or if you believe they have intentionally wasted marital assets and/or hidden assets to shield them from division, your attorney can address these problems on your behalf.
If you have children with your spouse, your child custody determination is likely to be the most difficult part of your divorce. It’s natural for any parent to want to secure the greatest amount of custody possible in this situation, but the final say regarding custody in your divorce will rest in the hands of a family court judge. The judge who oversees your divorce must determine custody based on what they believe would be best for the child.
Each parent has the right to present evidence, testimony, and their own arguments to make their cases for custody, and the judge is legally required to assess all available evidence and testimony in making these decisions. A child support determination will follow a custody dispute, and the parent who secures greater physical custody will receive child support payments from the noncustodial parent.
Most judges prefer to help children maintain as much contact with both parents as possible, but every family has unique dynamics, and every parent has different work obligations and other concerns that will influence custody and support determination. This can be an extremely taxing aspect of a divorce for any parent, but the right attorney can help you feel more confident about the situation and increase the chances of securing favorable terms.
Many people carry misconceptions about the financial aspects of divorce, and the community property law is often seen as frustrating and overbearing to those who decide to divorce in response to acute issues within their marriages. It can be incredibly frustrating for any divorcing spouse to face a long-term financial obligation to their ex, especially if their ex’s behavior directly caused the breakdown of their marriage. Unfortunately, alimony often comes into play in divorces in which the spouses earn vastly different levels of income.
The purpose of spousal support or alimony is to ensure the supported spouse can maintain an acceptable standard of living compared to what they had while married. The amount paid each month depends on the income difference between the spouses, and the judge will determine how long payments must continue based on how long the marriage lasted. Alimony will terminate if the supported spouse moves in with a new partner or marries a new spouse or if they complete any other terminating action listed in their alimony agreement.
Some divorces involve high-net-worth spouses who control complex investments, business assets, and other property that is very difficult to divide in a divorce. In addition, some divorces result from criminal behavior, substance abuse, gambling addiction, or domestic violence. Spouses in these situations face a wide range of significant challenges and may face more than just family court proceedings. When you choose Quinn & Dworakowski to represent you in a divorce, our team will help you address any unique financial concerns you may have about your upcoming case.
The family court system recognizes that the terms and conditions included in your family court order were devised based on your circumstances at the time the order was approved. Your life may have changed since then, possibly in dramatic ways. If recent events beyond your control have made it excessively burdensome or impossible to continue meeting your court-ordered financial obligations or your custodial duties to your children, you have the right to petition for a modification to your family court order that reflects this change.
The modification process starts with a petition explaining the desired changes and evidence and arguments to justify the change. Then, the court sets a hearing date, and a judge will hear evidence and testimony from all parties involved to determine if the requested modification is both necessary and reasonable. So, if you suffered a catastrophic injury in a car accident you did not cause and are left unable to work, this could release you from a child support and/or spousal support obligation depending on the unique details of the case.
Some modification petitions are approved with little to no contest, while others generate heated disputes in the courtroom. Whatever your case may entail, the team at Quinn & Dworakowski can provide the comprehensive legal representation you need to make the most informed decisions possible about your upcoming divorce. In addition, if you must respond to your ex’s petition for modification, we can help you prepare a counter-argument in this situation, and we can help you if your ex refuses to obey a standing family court order.
Any divorce is likely to pose a host of long-term challenges for the family, regardless of the underlying reason for the divorce. You may also face additional proceedings in civil or criminal court depending on how your spouse has behaved and whether they engaged in any harmful behavior to cause the breakdown of your marriage. Quinn & Dworakowski can provide the compassionate and responsible legal representation you need, no matter what your divorce entails. We have successfully represented many past clients in Irvine and can put this experience to work in your divorce.
A: California enforces a community property law, and under this statute, all marital property must be divided evenly in divorce, regardless of the underlying reason for the divorce, or any apparent “fault” either spouse may carry. It is important to note that the community property law allows each divorcing spouse to keep their separate property, which can include things they owned before the marriage, inheritance from parents and other family members, and gifts they have received. Your Irvine divorce attorney can help you identify your separate property and your marital property subject to division.
A: Spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony, is money paid each month to one spouse following a divorce to account for a substantial difference in income and/or a clear need for financial assistance. If you earn less income than your spouse and/or own substantially less separate property, you may have grounds to seek spousal support. A good attorney can explain how much you are likely to receive each month and how long your payments will continue. If you are required to pay alimony to your ex, your legal team can help you fully understand your responsibilities and assist you if you believe recent events have terminated your alimony obligations.
A: When parents divorce, the judge overseeing their dissolution proceedings has the final say regarding child custody, child support, and all related matters. The judge will want to hear from both parents and their children if they are old enough to convey their thoughts and preferences to the court. The judge must assess the overall fitness of each parent to handle their children’s needs and determine what type of custody arrangement would suit the children’s best interests.
A: Technically, you can represent yourself in divorce proceedings, and some people may assume this would be the best way to avoid paying attorneys’ fees in a divorce. However, you face several substantial risks if you attempt this. For example, you could make filing errors or other procedural mistakes that interrupt your case proceedings, or you could unintentionally agree to settlement terms that do not suit your long-term interests. Hiring an experienced Irvine divorce attorney to represent you can significantly improve the outcome of your divorce.
The attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski know how stressful any divorce can be, and you likely have many pressing legal questions when it comes to what you should expect in your divorce. Ultimately, every case is unique, but every divorcing spouse in Irvine benefits by having legal representation they can trust. So if you are bracing for a divorce and are ready to speak with an Irvine divorce attorney about your situation, contact Quinn & Dworakowski today and schedule a consultation with our team.
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