Divorce

Family Law Attorneys Guiding People in Orange County

Orange County Divorce AttorneyDivorce may be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. If you are going through this process, you should seek representation from a knowledgeable Orange County divorce lawyer, who will be both aggressive in advocating for your interests and compassionate regarding your concerns. At the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz, we make every effort to help divorcing spouses negotiate out-of-court agreements, but we are not afraid to fight for your rights in court if that is what it will take to get you a fair resolution. We can handle all of the matters that may arise in relation to your divorce, such as property division, child custody determinations, and more.

Representation During a California Divorce

Divorce in California is called a Dissolution of Marriage. A spouse seeking a divorce does not need to establish that the other spouse was engaged in any wrongdoing. In fact, California is a no-fault divorce state, which means any person can seek a divorce from the other regardless of the reason Furthermore, a resident of Southern California may seek a divorce due to “irreconcilable differences,” which denotes that the marriage has broken down, and there is no chance of reconciliation.

Once one spouse files for a divorce, the other spouse has 30 days to file a response. After the petition for divorce has been filed, one of the spouses may request temporary court orders regarding child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal support, or domestic violence. The next step is discovery, a process in which the spouses exchange information that is relevant to the divorce. Once this is complete, the spouses may be able to reach a settlement that is satisfactory to both of them. If they cannot agree, however, the case may go to trial.

In order to obtain a divorce in California, certain residency requirements must be met. At least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six continuous months and a resident for three continuous months of the county where the petition is filed. If you and your spouse have separated and live in two different counties, you may file for divorce in either of those two counties. The earliest that a court may grant a divorce under California law is six months after the non-filing spouse is served with the petition or appears in court. However, in many cases, the process takes much longer.

The community property rules used in California mean that any assets obtained by the parties during marriage are subject to equal division at divorce. Furthermore, any debts incurred during marriage are considered community property debts, and each party is to assume their equal share at divorce.

In many situations, a court will order that one spouse pay spousal support to the other spouse following a divorce. If a marriage has lasted less than 10 years, spousal support generally will extend for half of the length of the marriage. For marriages that last at least 10 years, spousal support may last for a longer period unless the spouse paying support shows that the recipient spouse does not need it. Since spousal support is intended only to help the recipient spouse become self-supporting, it is usually not awarded for the rest of the recipient’s life.

Explore Your Options with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Orange County

The decision to seek a divorce may lead to many unforeseen complexities, especially when children are involved. With over 20 years of experience, the Orange County divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz can make the process smoother for your children and you. We serve people in many Southern California cities, including Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, Dana Point, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Orange, Irvine, and Newport Beach. For a free appointment with a divorce or child custody attorney, call us at 949-735-9266 or contact us online.