There’s much to think about when you’re considering divorce: division of property (including the marital home, investments, and business interests), spousal support, possible relocation, child support, child custody and visitation. Proper preparation, research and having the right lawyer can help to prevent a long, traumatic battle for all involved.
The first thing to know is that California is a “No Fault” state, meaning that it isn’t necessary to “prove” that the divorce is the fault of either spouse. One spouse only has to file a petition for the Dissolution of Marriage, which will then be served to the other party. [Writer’s note: Can the actions of one spouse affect the terms of the divorce in California? For instance, could infidelity be used as a basis for lowering spousal support? If so, that may merit another article. If not, we should probably add a sentence onto the end of this paragraph letting people know that such things don’t have any effect on the divorce.]
From that point, divorces in California come in two forms: contested and uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on all terms of the divorce and do not require the court or a trial to divide assets, determine child support or custody, or argue spousal support. In general, uncontested divorces are preferred as they will save you time, a great deal of emotional hardship for all parties involved and, finally, will require less money spent on legal fees.
Of course, total agreement isn’t always a possibility. In that case, you have a contested divorce, in which a court and trial are necessary to determine the conditions of the divorce. In these situations, preparation and a skilled legal team can make the difference between a smooth trial and a future of emotional and financial hardship. In a best-case scenario, good lawyers and mediators can help you reach a settlement that both parties agree upon without having to go to a trial, even in a divorce that began contested.
While friends and family, with the best of intentions, may attempt to advise you on legal matters, your best option remains to find qualified legal representation in the interest of avoiding a messy, complicated divorce.
Divorces with Children Involved
Divorces are complicated and emotionally draining already; divorces where children are involved can become vicious affairs. It’s often difficult for parties to agree on child custody, visitation and child support, and those issues can bring about immense amounts of hardship and anger on all sides. No one will feel the effects of a conflicted, messy divorce more than the children.
When going through a divorce, it’s always necessary to keep the well-being of your children in mind and do what is best for them, even if that means setting aside your own desires. We implore you to give careful consideration to what your children need and want during your divorce in order to make the transition as easy as possible for them.
At the Law Offices of Glenn R. Wilson (FamilyLawFresno.com) we have a proven reputation (See our reviews on Yelp, Google, Etc.) for aggressively representing our clients in a manner that places the children as our primary consideration.
By Connor Douglas Johnson