Temecula Divorce Attorney
For most people who end their marriages, the divorce process is one of the most challenging experiences of their lives. Even when spouses reach the mutual decision to end their marriage, the formal legal process of dissolution is more complicated than they may initially expect. If you plan to divorce in Temecula, the right attorney on your side can have a tremendously positive effect on your experience.
Legal Representation for Temecula, CA, Divorce Cases
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Schwartz & Godbey have years of experience representing clients in the Temecula family court system. We understand that every marriage is unique; therefore, every divorce will entail unique issues. Our firm believes in providing client-focused representation in divorce, helping each client better understand their rights, options, and the proceedings that are likely to influence their lives for years to come. If you are preparing for a Temecula divorce, we can offer the legal representation you need to approach the situation with confidence.
Why Should I Hire a Divorce Lawyer?
Divorce is more complex than many people realize. It is more than just ending a marriage; it is the formal legal process of establishing separate property ownership rights over the couple’s marital property, determining custody and support for their children, and other legal proceedings. Attempting to navigate these issues without legal representation is very risky and often leads to less-than-desirable results for most people. Moreover, the average person with no practical experience in the family court system is likely to make mistakes in handling their case, which can pose very serious problems for them in the future.
Hiring a Temecula divorce lawyer allows you to approach your case with clarity and confidence. Instead of attempting to manage all of your case’s procedural requirements on your own while simultaneously handling your career, household, and personal affairs, you can have your legal team address your legal proceedings on your behalf. Your attorney may also reveal legal options you were unaware you had, such as the opportunity to explore alternative dispute resolution to save time and money on your divorce. Ultimately, you are most likely to reach a positive outcome to your divorce case when you have an experienced Temecula divorce attorney representing you.
How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in California?
It’s natural to be concerned about the potential cost of your attorneys’ fees in a divorce. Ending your marriage is likely to pose significant economic challenges for your foreseeable future, and investing in an attorney may seem like an additional expense on top of an already strenuous and expensive ordeal. However, while most Americans believe that attorneys are prohibitively expensive, this isn’t necessarily true. When you choose the Law Offices of Schwartz & Godbey to represent you in a divorce case, we will provide transparent billing information, so you know exactly what our services will cost through the entirety of our case. We also look for ways to save our clients money by streamlining their proceedings.
Remember that while you may be concerned about expensive legal fees, the reality is that attempting to handle your case alone can be far more costly in the long run. Therefore, carefully review a prospective attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their representation and consider your choice to hire a Temecula divorce attorney as an investment into your own future.
California Property Division in Divorce
One of the most contentious issues in Temecula divorce is property division, the process of dividing a divorcing couple’s marital property according to state law. California is one of nine US states that enforces a community property law, a statute that many find overbearing and unfair in some situations. The community property law states that all of a couple’s marital property must be divided equally in divorce, no matter the underlying reason for the divorce.
Property division requires both spouses to submit financial disclosure statements. These are sworn statements that include each spouse’s property ownership records, claims on separate property, and records of their shared accounts. Therefore, it is crucial to be thorough and accurate in your financial disclosure statement to ensure a fair division of marital property. Any deliberate omissions or inaccuracies can have serious legal consequences, up to and including contempt of court or even criminal prosecution for fraud or perjury.
Your Temecula divorce attorney will help you gather the records you need to establish your separate property ownership rights and clearly outline your marital assets and debts. “Separate” property generally includes anything a spouse owned before marriage, gifts they received during the marriage, and inheritance from family members. In addition, all income earned by both spouses during their marriage, real property purchased during their marriage, and all assets and debts acquired during the marriage typically qualify as marital property because they are subject to 50/50 division under California’s community property law.
Child Custody and Child Support Determination
If you and your spouse have children together, determining custody of your children is likely to be one of the most emotionally stressful aspects of your divorce. The Temecula family court has a legal duty to preserve your child’s best interests, and the court’s determination as to what best serves their best interests may not entirely align with your expectations. As long as both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are fit parents, it is vital to separate your conflicts from your shared responsibilities as parents.
Your Temecula divorce lawyer will help you make the most robust possible case for custody, helping you gather the evidence you need to prove you are a fit and reliable parent capable of providing your child with a safe and nurturing upbringing. Most child custody determinations result in one parent assuming a larger share of parental rights and responsibilities than the other, making them the “custodial” parent. In addition, this parent can expect to receive child support from the noncustodial parent.
The court determines child support based on the anticipated cost of a child’s basic living expenses and evaluation of each parent’s income and parental rights. However, it’s important to note that child support determinations are flexible, and it is possible to request reasonable changes to your child support order in the future if you experience unexpected life events that influence your ability to pay.
Spousal Support/Alimony in Divorce
When one divorcing spouse earns substantially more income than the other, the divorce process may include a spousal support determination. Spousal support, also known as alimony, entails monthly payments intended to provide a lower-earning spouse with the financial assistance they need to maintain a standard of living similar to what they had while married. Every alimony agreement will include specific terms and conditions, including clear definitions of terminating actions that cancel a paying spouse’s alimony obligation and the length of time alimony payments must continue.
Alternative Dispute Resolution for Your Temecula Family Law Case
It’s common for most people to imagine heated court battles when they think of what divorce may be like, but the reality is that most American couples divorcing today choose alternative dispute resolution to avoid the stress and expense of litigation. Collaborative divorce and divorce mediation have become the preferred methods for handling divorces in the US. These forms of alternative dispute resolution can potentially help you save time, money, and stress when it comes to finalizing your divorce.
All that is required for you to take advantage of the benefits of alternative dispute resolution is that you and your spouse must agree to try the process. Even if the two of you fight about everything, it’s important to be practical when resolving your divorce, and alternative dispute resolution benefits both of you. Not only can you finalize your divorce more quickly and save money on legal fees, but you are also more likely to reach a more agreeable resolution to your divorce case than you would through divorce litigation.
You can think of alternative dispute resolution as a private settlement negotiation for your divorce. Your Temecula divorce attorney can provide valuable guidance throughout this process and help you take full advantage of the benefits this option provides. Most couples who choose alternative dispute resolution can finalize their divorces in much less time than litigation typically requires.
What to Expect From Temecula Divorce Lawyers
No matter what your divorce case entails or how you expect the process to unfold, the best asset you can have as you begin divorce proceedings is a Temecula divorce attorney. The right attorney can make every aspect of the divorce process easier, from assisting you in gathering the evidence, records, and other materials you need to produce for the court to helping you address unexpected legal issues as they arise in your proceedings.
The team at the Law Offices of Schwartz & Godbey understand the emotional stress and financial pressure an impending divorce can cause, and our goal is to help you through this difficult situation as seamlessly as possible. When you choose our firm to represent you in your Temecula divorce case, we’ll carefully review every detail of your situation to provide legal counsel tailored to your unique needs and goals. If you are ready to discuss your divorce with an experienced Temecula divorce attorney, contact us today and schedule a consultation with our team.