Archive for Family Law

Preparing For Divorce in California

If you are contemplating getting a divorce in California, consider contacting san ramon divorce lawyer. Whether you and your spouse are essentially in agreement on the terms of ending your marriage, or you expect to have many disagreements, this law office can help you prepare for and execute the legal procedures.

To begin the process, there are residency requirements. You must be a resident of California for at least six months and the county for three months. The first step in a divorce case is to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court. The other party is served the papers and given an opportunity to respond. If the spouses are in agreement about property division, child custody, and child support, a divorce will be granted by the court. If there are disagreements and they can’t be worked out, the case will go before a judge. A final divorce decree won’t be granted for six months. Irreconcilable differences are the usual grounds for divorce.

There are a number of things to keep in mind as you prepare for divorce. We can give you advice and assistance so you can bring in the necessary documents to the office. California is a community property state, so all common property and debts are divided equally between spouses. This doesn’t include the separate assets or debts. It will simplify matters and save time and money if you collect all information about common assets and debts. If one party is thinking about asking for spousal support, information about age, length of marriage and ability to earn a living must be available. Clients also need to organize their thoughts about child custody and support.

A San Ramon divorce lawyer can assist you in finding resources and forms if you want to do some of the work yourself, or this law office will guide you through each step to make the divorce as fair and stress-free as possible.

10 Important Divorce Laws In California

1. Residence: The spouse who is filing for divorce must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing. The spouse must also reside in the county he or she is filing in for at least three months.

2. Meditation: If the judge sees that there is a possibility of reconciliation with the couple, the judge can order mediation. The divorce proceedings will be halted for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, the divorce process will begin if there has been no move to reconcile.

3. Property: Any property that the couple shares will be divided equally unless there is some other type of agreement. A divorce attorney in San Ramon can draw up papers to determine who will receive what property in the divorce.

4. Alimony: The judge may award alimony to either spouse depending on the living situation as well as the length of the marriage.
5. Name Changes: The last name of the spouse can be changed after the divorce.

6. Child Custody: A divorce attorney in San Ramon can represent either spouse in the child custody aspect of the divorce. Parents will be awarded joint or sole custody depending on the desire of each parent as well as that of the child if he or she is of legal age to make the decision. Any history of abuse will be factored in.

7. Child Support: The mother or father could be ordered to pay child support for minor children. A minimum amount will be ordered unless one parent can prove the other parent is making more money than originally declared.

8. Grounds for Divorce: Either spouse may file for divorce if there are irreconcilable differences or if there is incurable sanity within the marriage.

9. Expedited Divorce: The state does allow couples to file an expedited divorce if they have been married for less than five years. Joint debts are not to exceed $6,000.

10. Waiting Period: After the initial petition is filed, the spouse must wait six months to complete the proceedings.

How To Get A Divorce In California

Several things happen right away when a couple files for divorce in California. Several temporary restraining orders go into effect. One stipulates that both parties are prohibited from taking their minor children out of the state unless they have the permission of the court or the written permission of the other spouse. Another stipulates that if one spouse is planning on buying an unusually expensive item, like a car, he or she must inform the other party and explain the reasons for the expense to the court. Neither spouse can cancel or change their insurance policies or transfer their property. Rupprecht Law can help with this difficult situation.

To file for a divorce in the first place, the couple must have been living in California for six months and in the same county for three months. The two grounds for divorce in California are irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity. Divorce forms can be bought from the clerk of the superior court of the county the party lives in. The attorneys at Rupprecht Law will then prepare a petition and a summons, which will need to be filed by the clerk. This filing generally involves a fee. Copies of the petition and summons and a response, which is blank, can then be served on the other spouse by a person 18 years old or over who isn’t the petitioning spouse. The other spouse will then have 30 days to respond.

After the petition and summons are filed, the spouses will need to cope with disclosures, temporary orders, and agreements. If the spouse doesn’t file a response, the petitioning spouse will need to ask the judge to make a judgment. Also, if no agreement can be reached, the spouses may need to go to trial and be subject to the judgment of the court. The lawyers at Rupprecht Law are experts at easing their clients through these ordeals through their combination of skill, compassion and tenaciousness. Spouses who are considering divorce should arrange a consultation right away.

What Are My Options To End Marriage or Domestic Partnership In California?

The State of California passed Assembly Bill 205, also known as the California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003. This gives registered domestic partners the same rights and responsibilities as married couples under California State law. However, federal law does not recognize domestic partnerships, which mean that these couples are still denied the rights and responsibilities that are offered to couples of the opposite sex.

Terminating A Domestic Partnership

There are two different options for terminating a domestic partnership in California. Filing a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State can be done if the couple meets the following requirements:

  • The domestic partnership lasted five years or less
  • No children were born or adopted during the domestic partnership
  • Neither one of the partners is pregnant at the time of termination
  • Neither partner owns any real property
  • Neither partner is renting or leasing any building or land
  • Community financial obligations do not exceed $5,000 (excluding automobile loans)
  • Community property is worth less than $33,000 (excluding automobiles)
  • Neither party has separate property totaling $33,000 or more (excluding automobiles)
  • Both partners agree to waive financial support excluding what is outlined in the property settlement agreement

If the couple does not meet the above requirements, they must file a Petition for Dissolution of Domestic Partnership with the California Superior Court. The proceedings are very similar to filing for divorce in California.

Filing For Divorce In California

Couples who wish to obtain a divorce in California must be a resident of the county for three months where they are filing the petition and a resident of the State for at least six months. There are only two grounds to obtain a no-fault divorce:

Irreconcilable Differences: The marriage has irretrievably broken down.

Incurable Insanity: One spouse has been diagnosed with incurable insanity by a licensed psychiatrist or medical professional.

All property and assets acquired during the marriage must be divided equally. The couple must come up with a parenting plan regarding child custody and visitation. The family court will make the final decisions if the couple is unable to reach an agreement. Either spouse may seek temporary or permanent alimony. When determining child custody arrangements, the court will consider what is in the best interests of the children.

When To Consult a Family Law Attorney

It is highly recommended to consult a family law attorney for advice when seeking a divorce in California or terminating a domestic partnership. California State law says that all registered domestic partners agree that the family court has the right to terminate the relationship, divide assets and property jointly between the couple and determine the child custody and visitation schedule pertaining to any children the same sex couple had during the partnership.

Protecting Your Assets In A Divorce

When a couple decides to seek a divorce, each spouse should have a divorce asset protection plan. There are a variety of ways to protect your financial future, some of which include the following:

Prenuptial Agreement: When one spouse has a larger amount of assets to protect, they can request that the other spouse sign a prenuptial agreement before the marriage.

Postnuptial Agreement: The couple enters into this agreement after marriage in case of divorce or death. One spouse may wish to ensure that his or her children from a previous marriage will be taken care of.

Separate Property: Make an itemized list of all property and assets that were acquired prior to the marriage. Have this notarized and kept in a secure place. Never comingle any money received through an inheritance or a gift with joint marital accounts.

Videotape Personal Property: Make a videotape of all personal property acquired during the marriage. This could include paintings, sculptures, jewelry, furniture or family heirlooms.

Joint Accounts: If the spouses have joint checking, savings, credit card or investment accounts, these should be closed immediately unless an automatic temporary restraining order prevents it.

Automatic Temporary Restraining Order: A divorce attorney in San Ramon can help you obtain a temporary restraining order prohibiting either spouse from:

  • Hiding or destroying assets
  • Modifying the beneficiaries on life insurance policies, pension plans, retirement accounts or wills
  • Removing the spouse or children from dental, health or vision insurance policies
  • Transferring or selling assets acquired during the marriage
  • Further spending of marital money for non-marital purposes
  • Taking out a loan using community property as collateral
  • Removing items from a safe deposit box and given to a third party to hold

In addition to the above, each spouse must notify the other of any proposed large expenditures within a certain time period before incurring the expense.

Legal Advice From a Divorce Attorney In San Ramon

Most couples get married because they expect to be together forever. However, the statistics indicate that nearly half of all marriage in the nation will end in divorce. Therefore, it is important to consult a divorce attorney in San Ramon for professional legal advice.

Getting A Divorce When You Own A Business

Divorce can be stressful. When business ownership is involved, it becomes even more challenging. In California, a business started during a marriage is generally considered community property and must be valued and divided equally between both parties in a divorce. If a business was owned by one spouse prior to the marriage, the courts must determine how much if any of the business is community property and how much is separate property that would remain with the original owner. When entering into any divorce proceedings, it is best to have an experienced attorney on your side. Rupprecht Law firm is one choice for an experienced San Ramon divorce attorney.

When a couple owns a business together and decides to divorce, there are several options available for handling the business. A more challenging option would be to continue running the business together after the divorce. In a successful business, the couple may not want to sacrifice the income. However, maintaining a business relationship with someone that you no longer want to have a personal relationship with can be particularly difficult.

Another option would be to determine the current value of the business, sell it, and divide the profits equally. While this seems fairly straightforward, there are issues in determining intangible costs involved, such as reputation of the business and the projected profitability based on various factors. Often in this case, the courts will determine the value of the business and act accordingly, particularly if both parties can not reach an agreement on their own. A San Ramon divorce attorney would be particularly valuable in helping to navigate this scenario to reach a reasonable solution.

Finally, one spouse could buy out the other spouse’s share in the business. In this case, value is determined and payment arrangements can be made as necessary. Again, a San Ramon divorce attorney could make this process run more smoothly.