In California, a legal separation will not end a marriage or domestic relationship. However, it will allow the two parties involved to legally separate and live apartwith clarified obligation toward one another and while still retaining certain rights, such as child custody and certain assets that require a marital relationship. If you are thinking of separating from your spouse, it is important to work with a Salinas family lawyer that can protect your rights.
The legal separation process is a complicated one, particularly when issues such as child custody, property division, or spousal support are involved. A family law attorney can help you understand what you are entitled to, and advise on the things you should and should not do during the period of separation.
The legal separation process starts when one spouse files the separation petition with the court. Along with the petition, you will also have to file a Summons. If there are children involved, you will also have to file additional paperwork.
After the respondent receives the paperwork filed with the court, they have 30 days to respond. Within their response, they can confirm or deny any of the allegations made within the petition. If the respondent does not answer, the petitioner can ask the court for a default judgment.
During the legal separation process, property division and custody issues must be resolved, just as they are during divorce. You and your spouse can reach an agreement on these issues but if you cannot, a judge will make the final decision.
The petitioner must fill out and serve the respondent with a Declaration of Disclosure Form, Income and Expense Declaration, and a Schedule of Assets and Debts or Property Declaration form. These forms may be served to the respondent at the same time the original petition is served, or within 60 days of filing the petition. These forms allow the separating parties to fully disclose what they own and what they owe, so assets and debts can be divided fairly.
The majority of divorce and legal separation cases settle outside of court after the two parties have negotiated with each other. Through negotiation, both sides can reach an agreement that is fair for them, without the need for a potentially lengthy and costly trial. Many people do not know how to successfully negotiate with their spouse, but a family lawyer will know how to help you secure a fair settlement.
If the case ends in a settlement, an agreement is drafted and submitted to the court for final approval. Many times, people do not even have to appear in court after they settle. If you and your spouse cannot agree to the terms, you will have to go to trial, where a judge will make the final decisions.
After the legal separation has been finalized by a judge, any orders issued become legally binding. A party can appeal these decisions but until an appellate decision is made, they must continue abiding by the orders. In certain instances, one party can also seek a post-decree modification from the court.
When one party fails to comply with the separation orders, the other party can petition the court to enforce it, which may include a number of penalties for the non-compliant spouse. When there is a significant change in circumstances, one party can also petition the court to modify the agreement.
Thank you Miranda and team for the excellent service provided. Miranda is a compassionate, understating, extremely knowledgeable and professional attorney. Her team was always on top of everything making my legal process less stressful. I could never thank Miranda and her assistant Ingrid for holding my hand throughout this difficult process (literally). Miranda is one of the BEST immigration lawyers ever! I would definitely recommend her.
They represented my custody case and handled it like it is their own case and they are best in Monterey County.
The entire team at MMM are superstars! I appreciate all the time and prep that went into my original case many years ago. And now recently, I asked for some help on a follow-up custody matter that I felt I could handle myself but just needed their expertise to properly represent all the important details. They are knowledgeable, extremely thorough, and prepared me for every possible scenario. I can't thank them enough!
My partner and I sought legal advice on bringing my fiance' to the United States with this office after having called a few immigration attorney offices around Monterey County. Having never sought legal advice before it was a refreshing experience in which we both really felt that Patricia listened intently to our goals and needs, and then not only gave us thorough advice, but also she really showed a lot of empathy with our situation and all the challenges we faced in what we trying to do. I would definitely recommend this office for anyone who is unclear about what..
Working with Patricia was a professional encounter unlike any other, an absolute 5-star experience. From the first moment, we walked into our consultation until the moment our case was closed and my husband walked away with his permanent resident card Patricia was communicative, professional, and thorough. Her team contacted us every step of the way providing valuable process and law changes we would not have been able to catch if we tried to navigate this endeavor alone. Patricia answered our endless question stream with thoughtfulness and care, calling us countless times to ensure we were clear on every piece of..
Last year, I had just moved in the area and needed a family law attorney for a custody case. The process of finding/choosing an attorney could be daunting. However, when I went in for my first consultation with Levi my stress level was immediately mollified. He was personable, which made me feel comfortable to discuss my personal matters freely. I had a lot of questions of the legal process that would take place and he took the time to explain everything with meticulous detail. More importantly, when I called Levi he returned my phone calls in a timely/professional time frame...
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