Seal Beach Divorce Law: Family FAQs
When you are facing any type of family law matter, it’s vital to seek legal counsel from a reliable and experienced professional. Your Seal Beach family lawyer can answer any questions you might have about your case and guide you through the procedural steps of the family law system of Seal Beach. We’ve compiled some of the most common questions we hear from new Seal Beach clients about the fundamentals of family law and our answers for your reference.
Q: How Long Does a Divorce Take in Seal Beach, CA?
A: Divorce is a complex and time-consuming process. Depending on the length of the marriage, the number of children the divorcing couple has, and their ages, among other variables, divorce can take a very long time to finalize in the Seal Beach, CA family court system. The swiftest timeframe for obtaining a divorce decree is six months from the date the divorce petition was filed.
Q: Do I Really Need to Hire a Seal Beach Divorce Attorney?
A: Hiring an attorney to guide you through your divorce proceedings is highly advisable, especially if your spouse retains legal representation. Your attorney can help ensure a reasonable and equitable divorce under California laws and handle procedural requirements on your behalf to keep your case moving. Ultimately, hiring an attorney equates to investing in peace of mind and security during your divorce proceedings.
Q: What Is Divorce Mediation?
A: Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method that can save both divorcing spouses a great deal of time and money. A court-appointed mediator will act as a neutral third party who will answer the couple’s legal questions and keep negotiations on track as the divorcing spouses negotiate the terms of ending their marital contract. This process not only saves time and money but also leaves the final decision of the divorce terms in the hands of the couple, not a judge.
Q: What Does the Court Consider During Property Division Determinations?
A: California is a community property state, meaning all property a couple obtains during their marriage is equally shared property of both spouses. This means that during divorce, all the marital assets and property the couple owns that meets the criteria for community property will be subject to division during their divorce proceedings. Anything that qualifies as one of the spouse’s separate property, such as assets they owned prior to their marriage, inheritances, and gifts, would remain the separate property of the owner following the divorce in most cases. An experienced Seal Beach, CA divorce attorney is a great resource for specific questions about California property division in divorce.
Q: Will the Court Determine a Child Custody Arrangement?
A: If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse cannot reach a mutual agreement during divorce mediation concerning custody of your children, the decision may wind up in the hands of a California family court judge. The California court system has a duty to ensure all child custody agreements align with the best interests of the children subject to those agreements. Family court judges will weigh numerous factors when they must make child custody determinations, such as the income levels of the parents, where they intend to live following their divorce, and the children’s day-to-day needs.
Q: How Much Could I Receive in Child Support?
A: If the court determines child support payments are necessary, the amount paid and the payment schedule will vary from case to case based on multiple factors. The level of custody each parent retains, the income levels of the two parents, and the needs of their children are just a few of the fundamental factors a judge will consider when deciding an appropriate child support arrangement.
Q: How Does the Court Determine Alimony and Spousal Support?
A: Alimony or spousal support consists of payments made from one divorcing spouse to another, typically for a predetermined amount of time. If you and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement in place, then it likely has some clause concerning spousal support in the event of divorce. Spousal support exists to help a lower-earning spouse or a spouse who gave up working during their marriage financial assistance while they acclimate to single life. In some cases, alimony may be indefinite. It is possible for an alimony recipient to terminate their eligibility to receive further payments by performing some specific actions, such as remarrying or obtaining a certain level of income.
Q: How Can a Seal Beach, CA Family Law Attorney Help With Domestic Violence Issues?
A: If a divorce case or other family law matter involves domestic violence of any kind, an attorney can help their client secure restraining orders and/or protective orders as needed so they can continue the divorce process safely. Domestic violence has a very strong bearing on child custody, child support, and spousal support determinations in the California family court system.
Q: What Is Joint Custody?
A: When divorcing parents each retain custody rights over their children, this is known as joint custody. Joint custody does not always entail a perfect 50/50 split of physical and legal custody between the parents. Physical custody refers to where the children live and spend their time; legal custody refers to parents’ ability to make major decisions for their children. In some divorces, parents may split legal custody 50/50 but have a 70/30 or 60/40 physical custody arrangement based on the kids’ best interests. The California court system aims to disrupt children’s lives as minimally as possible in custody determinations, and it may be in the children’s best interests to live with one parent for more time per week or per month than the other.
Q: Will I Need to Sell My Home?
A: Many California divorce cases involve the sale of the marital home and division of the proceeds. In some cases, the court may decide that one spouse may retain ownership of the family home. In other cases, the divorcing spouses may negotiate who will remain in the marital home and who will move out. A Seal Beach, CA divorce attorney is a great resource if you want a better idea of what to expect when it comes to your specific case.
These are just some of the most common family law questions our team hears from new clients. Divorce and other family law matters can be incredibly challenging without professional legal representation. Law Offices of Stacy L. Campuzano is ready to answer questions about your specific family law situation and provide comprehensive legal counsel in the most complex Seal Beach, CA divorce cases.