When going through a divorce, there are a lot of concerns and frustrations to deal with. For instance, you may be worried about child custody, how you will afford life on your own, or just the perplexities of a new schedule that may be unfamiliar to you and your children. Whatever your biggest concerns, there is a good chance that an attorney from Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP can help you identify a solution. Give our firm a call today to discuss your divorce concerns.
Getting Divorced in California
California uses a no-fault divorce system, wherein people do not necessarily need to allege that the other individual did something wrong. Instead, the law in this state recognizes that life changes and sometimes people need to adapt to those changes. When people choose to end a marriage, it does not need to be a difficult and hostile experience. In fact, many people choose to have an amicable and friendly divorce and part ways in a manner that does not create extra hardship for either person. In other cases, disagreements cannot be resolved without litigation. Either way, the basic procedure is pretty much the same.
- Petition: One person must file a petition asking for the divorce.
- Response: The other person will file a response unless an agreement can be reached.
- Discovery: Unless the parties can reach a complete agreement about the terms of the divorce, the court will allow the parties time to exchange discovery. This is a process through which each side is entitled to learn about the other side’s income, assets, work, and other matters.
- Settlement: Ideally, the parties will reach an agreement on the division of property, maintenance, and other issues long before needing to go through too much litigation. If so, the parties will lay out their disputes and sign a settlement agreement known as a “marital settlement agreement.”
Like any other form of contract, a marital settlement agreement serves as a contract between the parties. If there are children, there will also be additional terms. But a settlement agreement sets forth the terms of the dissolution of the marriage. If either side fails to live up to the terms of the agreement, the other person can bring the matter back to the judge to review the problem and seek enforcement.
Types of post-divorce enforcement include:
- Child support enforcement
- Failures to pay maintenance (alimony)
- Enforcing distribution and division of property
- Enforcing terms requiring the sale of a home
- Enforcing terms involving the transfer of property, cars, or homes
How a Lawyer Can Help
Lawyers do not just help when things are out of control; sometimes lawyers help to avoid escalating tensions. One of the biggest benefits to having a lawyer is having an emotionally unattached individual available to carefully work through challenging issues without the same sort of mental connection to the problem.
If you are facing a divorce in Santa Cruz, call Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP today to speak with one of our attorneys.