The high is around 70 degrees pretty much 12 months a year in Watsonville. That quintessentially mild climate attracts a diverse population base. Walk down the streets of Watsonville, and you will probably meet white people, Latinos, Filipinos, Portuguese, Croatians, Sikhs, and Japanese.
This part of California is much more diverse than it was a generation ago, and the American family is more diverse, as well. In the 1970s, the head of household was usually a married mother and father who had never been married to anyone else. Now, a Santa Cruz County household is usually a non-traditional blend of stepparents and stepchildren, grandparents and grandchildren, or adopted parents and adopted children. Single-parent households are rather common, as well.
Most of these families have unique legal needs. The compassionate attorneys at Miranda, Magden & Miranda understand the changing nature of the California family, and we believe that everyone deserves an equal voice in the process. So, whether you need pre-divorce, divorce, or post-divorce services, we are here to help because just like you, we live and work here.
Prenuptial Agreements in Watsonville
Prenuptial agreements have changed a lot since the 1970s. Back then, there was a tangled mess of laws and rules in this area, so only super-rich couples who anticipated a divorce bothered with prenuptial agreements.
The Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act changed all that. The UPMAA streamlined the procedures and simplified the rules. So, today’s premarital agreements put your marriage on a more solid foundation. Anyone who has been married before should at least consider a prenuptial agreement.
These pacts are not ironclad. If you signed an unfair prenuptial agreement, the attorneys at Miranda, Magden & Miranda can work to overturn it, based on one of several legal grounds.
What to Expect in a California Marriage Dissolution
The 1970s was also the beginning of the no-fault divorce revolution, a movement that began here in California in 1969. Back then, divorce was an acrimonious process which required couples to air their “dirty laundry” for everyone to see. Today, if your marriage has hopelessly broken down, it is easier to move on. Fault is usually not relevant at all.
Most California divorces begin with a temporary hearing. Do not let the “temporary” label fool you. At this hearing, the Santa Cruz County judge often makes critical decisions that are difficult to undo. Without aggressive representation from the start, it is difficult to uphold your legal and financial rights during the rest of the process.
That process usually includes a discovery period. The parties exchange information about the financial and emotional issues in a divorce, like property and parenting time divisions. Armed with this information, many parties reach a settlement rather quickly.
If the case continues, in some counties, it will probably go to mediation. A third-party mediator, who is usually an unaffiliated California family law attorney, works with the parties to craft a settlement on which everyone can agree. If both sides participate with open minds, mediation is successful about 75% of the time.
A handful of divorce cases go all the way to trial. Generally, a judge hears these trials without a jury.
Some Post-Divorce Issues in Santa Cruz County
The judge’s order may say “Final” at the top, but it is not set in stone. Families change, so their decrees need to be modified.
Common divorce modifications include parenting time changes, financial support changes (either up or down), and residential relocations. Many times, these areas overlap.
Even if the modification is 100% agreed, you still need a Watsonville divorce lawyer. Informal side agreements are often unenforceable in family court, even if they are in writing. Unless a lawyer has the judge change the decree, one party can unilaterally go back to the way things were at any time. Then, the other party may be in trouble for violating the court order.
Count on a Dedicated Lawyer
Regardless of your family’s configuration, a good lawyer can make it stronger. For a confidential consultation with an experienced divorce attorney in Watsonville, contact Miranda, Magden & Miranda LLP. Convenient payment plans are available.