The end of a marriage (of any duration) is never easy: even if the dissolution of the marriage is something that emotionally benefits both parties, the untangling of the legal and financial affairs of a couple can be complicated and messy. California is one of only a few states that are considered “community property” states. This means that the property that a either spouse earns or brings in during the course of the marriage is considered the property of both spouses at the time the marriage is dissolved. Even if only one spouse works during the marriage, the other non-working spouse is entitled to a one-half interest in those earnings.
A California divorce can be further complicated if the divorcing spouses have one or more children in common, if state or federal pensions or retirement plans are involved, or if one spouse or both are or were members of the military. Papian & Adamian, your Los Angeles family law attorneys, are committed to helping you sort these and other divorce-related issues out so that your divorce can be finalized quickly.
Issues to Be Settled in a California Divorce
Once a petition for divorce has been filed by one spouse or the other and the court has determined that it has jurisdiction (that is, the power or authority) to hear the petition, there are several issues that the court must resolve before the divorce is granted:
- Division of Property: One of the chief duties of a divorce court is to divide the property that the parties earned or received during the course of the marriage. The presumption is that each spouse owns a one-half interest in such property. The court must do this unless the parties themselves can come to an agreement as to how their property should be divided that may be different than the 50/50 division that the law otherwise contemplates.
- Child Custody and Visitation: If the divorcing parties have one or more children in common, then some sort of parenting plan that spells out who will bear primary responsibility for raising the child, where the child will go to school, how medical decisions regarding the child are to be made, and what visitation schedule will be followed to ensure each parent gets an appropriate amount of time to spend with the children. Like with the division of property, the parties are free to reach their own agreement and schedule. In addition, the court will order that child support be paid in accordance with state laws.
- Alimony: Also known as spousal support, one party in a divorce may be entitled to a temporary award of support from the other party. The duration of an alimony award can depend on the length of the marriage as well as the skills and resources of the spouse receiving alimony: namely, how long would it reasonably take for the spouse receiving alimony to become self-sufficient and no longer require spousal support.Any one of these issues can have far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for you and/or any children you may have. What is more, once orders are entered it can be difficult to secure a change in such orders without demonstrating that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the order was first entered.
Contact Your Los Angeles Family Law Attorney By Calling Papian & Adamian
Divorces are usually unpleasant, but they can be made more bearable and can be resolved more quickly and with better outcomes with the assistance of Papian & Adamian, your California divorce law firm. Call our firm and schedule a free consultation by dialing (818) 649-1411 and let us show you the difference our experience and advocacy skills can make.