Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce
Over the years of being a family law attorney in Beverly Hills, California, I have been asked a lot of questions, but the list below captures the most frequently asked questions during consultations. Please contact our office if you have any additional questions, or if your question does not appear on this list.
How long does it take to get a divorce processed?
- In California there is a 6-month minimum.
- If you think your divorce is especially complex and want the status determined, we can discuss options in a free 30 minute consultation.
What are the differences between legal and physical custody?
- Legal custody is the decision making for a child’s wellbeing. Such as which school to attend, what doctor to see, and medications to take, to name a few. On the other hand, physical custody is which parent the child lives with the majority of the time.
Can I hide community assets from my spouse?
- No, there is a fiduciary duty between you and your spouse which prohibits hiding of any funds, property, income, assets, etc.
How is child custody decided?
- The best interests of the child must be evaluated to determine which parent should have custody of the child. There are other factors which will be evaluated as well, such as, if there has been any abuse by either parent to any member of the family, documented or alleged, drug or alcohol abuse, and other factors that may have an effect on the child’s well-being or development.
I have child support arrears, do I have to pay them?
- Yes, child support arrears will not go away. In California the obligation to pay child support arrears is not discarded until it is paid in full. For example, if you owe $10,000 in child support, you must pay that off, even if the your child is no longer a minor.
Is a summary dissolution faster than regular dissolution?
- There is still a 6 month minimum, but with summary dissolution either one of the parties can stop the proceeding without notice to the other party.
I am the breadwinner in the household, will I have to pay my spouse support?
- There is no such thing as a guarantee when it comes to legal proceedings. However, if you pay for all the bills, provide your spouse with medical insurance, cars, necessitates, vacations, gifts, and things of the sort, you should be budgeting to pay some support. The exact amount will come down to a few considerations, but support is more than likely on your horizon.
Can I go through the divorce process without an attorney?
- To be candid, yes, you can go through the divorce process without an attorney. Anyone can go through any legal proceeding without an attorney. Is it a good idea to do so? No. Divorce proceedings, as well as any legal proceeding, is better left to attorneys. We spend an additional three years in school to learn the theories behind the law, how to best represent clients, and go through mock hearings and divorces to learn the best way to handle a case. Please always consult with an attorney before initiating or responding to any divorce or legal proceeding.
My ex lives in a different state, how do we get divorced?
- When a party to the divorce lives in a different state things may get complicated, especially if children are involved. However, if you live in California and your spouse lives in a different state you can file for divorce in the county you live in (assuming all residency requirements are met), then the divorce proceeding starts here. (Things may be different if a child is involved and lives out of state, contact our office to discuss the differences.
My spouse cheated one me, does that mean I do not have to pay spousal support?
- California is a no-fault divorce state. This means that the reason behind obtaining the divorce cannot be pleaded, except for the standard “irreconcilable differences.” Therefore, even though your spouse is to blame for the dissolution of the marriage it will not impact how much of the community estate or how much support they will receive.
If you have a question that does not appear on this list please contact our office to schedule a free 30 minute consultation. For your convenience we have offices in Beverly Hills, Anaheim, Newport Beach and Pasadena.
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