Frequently Asked Questions
Can you help me with matters other than a divorce?
No. I am a very capable attorney, but I specialize in divorce cases only. I will give you the best possible service in your divorce case.
How do you start a divorce case?
A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed in the county where you live.
Will you be the one handling my case?
Yes. I personally handle all cases from beginning to end. Your case will never be handed off to another attorney.
What is community property?
Community property is acquired by the parties between the date of marriage and the date of separation. This can include homes, businesses, stocks, frequent flyer miles, furniture, vehicles, etc.
Can I be liable for debt in my spouse's name?
If the debt was incurred between the date of marriage and the date of separation, you will actually be responsible for paying one half of it. It is a good idea to get a copy of your credit report when you file to see if joint accounts exist.
How do I obtain custody and support orders?
After a divorce case has been filed, a party can file for a Motion for child support, spousal support, attorney fees, restraining orders, etc. by filing an Order to Show Cause.
Can I file a divorce if I'm still residing with my spouse?
Yes. It is not necessary to live in separate residences to file a divorce.
Can My spouse and I resolve the case ourselves and bring the agreement to an attorney?
Absolutely yes. This is a wonderful approach. The divorce action will be filed. The parties will exchange Disclosure documents and a Stipulation for Judgment will be prepared and submitted to the court. If one party is not represented by an attorney, that person’s signature will be notarized on the Judgment.
How soon can I re-marry?
The parties’ marital status cannot be terminated any sooner than 6 months after the Respondent was served with a copy of the Petition and Summons or has appeared in the action.
Can the marital status be terminated if the property issues have not been resolved?
Yes. Under California Family Code Section 2337, the court can bifurcate the marital status before the other issues have been resolved. This is common if the property issues or other issues such as permanent support or custody have not been resolved. A party can file a Motion pursuant to California Family Code Section 2337.
Can a child custody or child support order be permanent?
No. You can not have a child support order or child custody order be permanent. It can usually be modified up until the child is 18 years old.
How many hours does it take you to resolve a typical divorce case?
A typical divorce takes approximately 10-12 hours if there is an agreement. This includes meetings with client, preparing and filing Petition and Summons and possibly UCCJEA form if there are children. Having the other party served. Preparing my client’s disclosure documents. Negotiating and preparing a Stipulation for Judgment along with all of the other documents necessary to conclude the case. If a case becomes contested, it can take many more hours along with Court fees to resolve.
I do my best to reach agreements. My law practice is much more rewarding to me when parties are able to settle. Sometimes, settlement is more difficult if the other party and or attorney is unreasonable or wants to keep the case going to punish the other party or collect more fees. Most attorneys bill by the hour because divorce cases are often times unpredictable. I always expect something to go wrong. That is one of the reasons to hire an experienced attorney rather than a paralegal. You can always email me if you have questions.