Divorce is one aspect of family law where almost everyone needs a family law attorney. Very few people ever “want” a divorce, although that’s often what is said by one spouse to the other. Circumstances may make a person feel they have little choice but to obtain a divorce if they want to change their life or the lives of their children for the better. Consultation with a Sacramento Divorce Lawyer can help you decide whether or not divorce is the best decision for your family.
Divorce affects over half of American families, and the statistic may be higher if you include the blended families which often exist because of a prior divorce in subsequent relationships or marriages. Divorce is a family law reality that must be faced when a relationship is no longer sustainable due to conflicts of personalities, financial problems, marital fidelity issues, health and/or substance abuse problems, or value differences between parents where children are concerned.
Until approximately thirty years ago, a spouse had to prove grounds for divorce, or “fault.” Fault grounds in divorce cases were normally adultery, cruel treatment, or abandonment. A significant amount of fraud occurred when two people just wanted a divorce, but couldn’t obtain one unless they lied about a fictitious affair or other circumstance, that legislatures around the country, including California, passed “no-fault” divorce statutes. Essentially, if you ask for a divorce, you will eventually get one. The petitioner (person who files) must only plead that there is a conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship in order to obtain a divorce. Your spouse cannot stop you from getting a divorce, but if there are children, or there is significant marital property, long and costly disputes can slow down the process.
Although many couples separate today long before they file for divorce, they may reside together when the decision is made, and they may need to plan before one spouse has the resources to set up separate housekeeping, which could nearly double living expenses. This need is even more important when children are involved, as the one parent’s new residence could affect the school district the children attend (or force the parents to incur tuition), carpools, daycare, and medical care needs of the children. This type of planning with your family law attorney is a key element of divorce strategy, and possibly a safety issue in certain divorces.
You may have certain rights to any property (personal and/or real) that was acquired during a marriage, but the facts of how the property came into the marriage determine the exact extent of your rights. A consultation with an attorney is necessary to discuss these rights. Contested property in a divorce can make the divorce more expensive. This is one of the most important topics in any divorce where the parties own a home, stocks or securities, have retirement accounts, and/or many motor vehicles. Debts are also community property.
The most important issue in any divorce involving children is the care, custody, and control of those children after the divorce is over, and what type of contact the children will have with the parent with whom the children do not primarily reside. Children are society’s greatest future resource, and this is why the California’s Family Code uses the term “conservator” for the people who have custodial and/or possessory rights to a child. Child custody, if disputed between parents, is possibly the most difficult issues in many divorces. Child support is almost always owed by the person who does not have primary conservator ship to the person that does have primary conservator ship, but there are exceptions.
If you are looking for legal assistance with your divorce, contact an Experienced Sacramento Divorce Attorney at The Law Office of Bowman and Associates, APC. for your free initial consultation today.