Filing for a divorce can be one of the most stressful and challenging times in a person’s life. Dividing assets, determining custody and visitation, and allocating spousal and child support are all incredibly difficult decisions that must be made between the spouses, and sometimes disagreement on these issues require a judge to make the final determination during a divorce. At Miranda, Magden & Miranda, we understand how difficult the divorce process can be for separating spouses and provide personalized, empathetic legal advice to our divorce clients. If we can not come to terms with the other side during a divorce, we are not afraid to take your issues to court for guidance or final determination of your issues.
Under California law, a person who wishes to file for divorce must reside in the state for at least six months prior to the divorce and three months in the county where the divorce is filed. A Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage is filed with the county courthouse to begin the process. California is considered a “no fault” state, which means that one spouse does not need to prove a specific reason why the divorce needs to be granted, only that the couple suffers from irreconcilable difference that has led to a breakdown of the marriage. You do not need permission or consent from your spouse to be granted a divorce in California.
California is a community property state, which means that during a divorce a couple splits the property they acquired during the marriage (marital property) equally. All property that was brought into the marriage, and certain exceptions to property acquired during the marriage, are kept by the original spouse owner. Exceptions to the community property division of assets include gifts, property received through inheritance, and any profits derived from separate property during the course of the marriage.
When a couple separates, the court may allocate one spouse alimony, otherwise known as spousal support. Factors considered when determining spousal support include the length of the marriage, the needs of each spouse, the age and health of each spouse, the income earning capacity of each spouse, contributions to the household, marital assets and debts, any history of domestic abuse, and whether one spouse helped the other receive an education, training, or a professional license to bolster the other spouse’s career. Spousal support typically ends after a reasonable period for the supported spouse to become self-sufficient, when one spouse dies, or the receiving spouse remarries.
Child custody and support are two of the biggest factors that can affect a divorce. Unless the parents agree on terms, child custody and support are determined by the courts. Child custody is determined by a number of factors, including the health, safety, and welfare of the children, any history of abuse, whether the parents will continue to support a healthy parent/child relationship, and overall on what is in the best interests of the child. Once custody is determined, child support is calculated through a series of complicated worksheets to determine which parent owes and how much is awarded each month for the child’s needs.
If you are considering a divorce in Monterey County or the surrounding area, you need an experienced family law attorney by your side to help advise you as to all of the issues you might face during the divorce process. Call the office or contact us today at Miranda, Magden & Miranda to schedule a consultation for your case.
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