When a relationship breaks down and you have filed for divorce, there is a lot more at stake than just the ending of your marriage. In California, it is possible for you to file for divorce on your own, but consulting an experienced family law attorney might be something you want to consider, especially if you and your spouse may be in one of the following situations:
- Owning marital, or community, property
- Have children
- You or your spouse do not work and have an independent source of income
If you and your spouse accumulated property or assets during your marriage, California treats this as “community” property. This means that during a divorce, those assets are subject to equitable distribution, meaning each spouse must get a distribution of the assets that is equal in value.
When there are children involved, you may find yourself involved in a child custody dispute, or a battle over who will pay child support, and how much. While some couples can come to an agreement about child custody and child support, others are more hostile and combative, which can lead to child support and custody hearings. Drawing on the expertise of a family law attorney during this time will be beneficial to your case, especially if it has to be litigated in front of a family law judge.
Lack of Independent Source of Income
If you, or your spouse, are not working and unable to be self-supporting immediately after the divorce, you may find yourself paying alimony or requesting alimony from your spouse. Again, some couples can come to an agreement on this while others cannot. If the situation is contentious, it is best to hire a family law attorney experienced in handling divorce and all of the issues that surround obtaining one so that you are well-prepared for any court hearings that may occur.
Even if you and your spouse can come to an agreement on things such as child support, child custody, or alimony, it is still smart to have a legal representation when you and your spouse write and sign an agreement stating who will do what and who will pay what to whom.
A family law attorney is well-versed in the law surrounding the writing of child custody, child support, and spousal support agreements, and you can be sure that your agreement will be enforceable in California family court in case your spouse does not follow the agreement.
Get an Initial Consultation
If you are filing for divorce and unsure of what to do next, or if you are involved in a contentious divorce where one of the aforementioned situations applies, consulting with the experienced attorneys at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin will help give you peace of mind and the ability to navigate the divorce process with knowledge, confidence, and a professional legal team that is supporting you every step of the way.
For an initial consultation, we welcome your call to our office at 209-522-2211.