Beginning a divorce can be a frightening new reality for the two individuals who have decided it’s time to move on. The process is not only emotional but also can be overwhelming for the average Newport Beach resident who does not have any knowledge of the legal system. Sometimes divorces are simple and can be completed quickly if both parties agree on the majority of the terms. However, at other times divorce litigation is necessary to help resolve contentious issues between the two.
Divorce litigation is the formal process that aims to resolve disagreements between two individuals under California law. There can be a ton of different topics that need to be litigated during divorce, such as child support, if there are any children, and property division. The prospect of divorce litigation is usually only considered after couples have tried to resolve their differences through other resolution methods, such as mediation.
A: A rule of thumb says that the more complicated a divorce is, the higher the final ticket price will be for both individuals splitting. This is because the process will take more of your attorney’s time to resolve and may require bringing in other professionals for assistance, like a financial advisor or home appraiser. For attorneys who charge hourly, you can expect to pay about $250 to $500 per hour. It could be even more expensive if you hire an attorney who has a ton of experience and is based out of the city rather than in a more rural area.
A: It is always a good idea to understand the breadth of your options before making a decision. Take the time to leverage the initial consultation phase with some lawyers and see how you feel about the engagements. You will want the attorney you hire to appear competent and have a communication style that works well in your individual meetings and in the courtroom. Also, be sure to ask about different payment arrangements and an estimate of the total cost for representation. It’s helpful to compare the quotes among attorneys to see which you would feel most comfortable with financially.
A: In most scenarios, each spouse is going to be responsible for covering the attorney fees they generate as they advance through the divorce process. There are, however, some situations where one individual is able to pursue the other to cover their legal expenses. One example of this could be when the court determining spousal support arrangements discovers that one spouse is in dire need of financial assistance to maintain even the most basic necessities. Another scenario could be if one spouse has acted in bad faith during the process, such as not disclosing all the assets they own to avoid dividing them equally. In such an instance, that spouse could be ordered to pay the other spouse’s legal fees and include in the community property division the assets they tried to hide so they can be split appropriately.
A: The more trouble both parties have resolving their disputes, the longer the process will take until they are finally on their own and can operate off a solid divorce plan. At a minimum, California has a mandatory period where both parties need to wait up to six months from the date a respondent is served divorce papers. If the person responds sooner, the process can advance immediately, but a response is not required until that six-month mark. Some couples may quickly outline a divorce plan they agree on and close the process pretty quickly. For others, it could be the beginning of a long legal journey that could take months or even over a year to complete.
If you are in a position where divorce litigation is the next natural step, contact Quinn Dworakowski Family Law Attorneys. Our Newport Beach divorce team has been helping couples litigate their differences to reach solutions that benefit the entire family. We look forward to seeing how we can help.
"*" indicates required fields