Joshua Tree Divorce Attorney
When two individuals enter a legally binding marriage, it is done so with the intention of spending the rest of their lives together. Unfortunately, not every marriage is made to last a lifetime. Sometimes, couples simply grow apart and decide to end their marriage through divorce.
The entire divorce process can be quite complicated, and certainly not something you want to go through alone. Emotions run high and valuable assets are at stake. Because of this, it is crucial to find a qualified divorce lawyer who can help ensure your interests are protected.
Representing Divorce Clients of Joshua Tree, California
At The Law Offices of Athina K. Powers, we understand how complex and emotional the divorce process can be. We also know that no two divorces are alike, which is why we take a unique approach to every one of our divorce cases. Our goal is to provide our clients with the individualized attention they deserve to achieve the best possible outcome in their divorce.
Whether you face a highly contested divorce or a more relaxed uncontested divorce, we can help. We have experience handling all divorce cases, including child custody, property division, spousal support, and more. We will maximize our ability to help you through this challenging time in your life.
Do I Need a Divorce Attorney?
Although it is technically possible to file for divorce without the help of an attorney, it is not recommended. The divorce process is complicated, and even seemingly simple cases can quickly become complicated.
An experienced divorce attorney will be able to help you:
- Understand the divorce process and what to expect. A good divorce lawyer will be able to explain the process to you and help you understand what to expect at each step. The average person is not familiar with family law and going through a divorce without an attorney can be confusing and result in you not getting what you are entitled to.
- Negotiate with your spouse. A divorce lawyer will be able to negotiate with your spouse on your behalf. They are trained in negotiation and will be able to get you a better result than if you tried to negotiate on your own. People who attempt to represent themselves in divorce often end up feeling overwhelmed and frustrated when making careless mistakes or leaving out key information that could have resulted in a better settlement.
- File the necessary paperwork. There is a lot of paperwork involved in a divorce, and it can be confusing. An experienced divorce lawyer will know what paperwork needs to be filed and when it needs to be filed. This can save a lot of time and frustration.
- Represent you in court. If your case goes to court, you will want an experienced family law attorney by your side who knows how to present your case in the best light and get the results you are looking for. From examining evidence to cross-examining witnesses, a good lawyer will know how to get the job done without putting you through undue stress.
What Issues Make Up a Divorce Case?
Each divorce case is different, but certain issues are common in most cases. These include:
- Property division. All property that was acquired during the marriage must be divided between the two spouses. This includes both assets and debts. Common assets include the family home, vehicles, savings accounts, and retirement accounts.
- Child custody. If any minor children are involved in the divorce, a custody arrangement will need to be made. This will determine where the children will live and how much time they will spend with each parent.
- Child support. The non-custodial parent will be responsible for paying child support to the custodial parent. The total amount of child support will be determined by a number of factors, including the income of both parents and the needs of the children.
- Spousal support. One spouse may be required to pay spousal support (also known as alimony) to the other spouse. The amount of spousal support that is paid will be determined by the length of the marriage, the incomes of both spouses, and the standard of living that was established during the marriage.
What Are the Different Types of Divorce?
There are two main types of divorce: contested and uncontested.
In a contested divorce, the two spouses are unable to come to an agreement on one or more of the issues in the divorce. This can include child custody, property division, spousal support, or any other issue. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement, the case will go to trial, and a judge will make the final decision.
An uncontested divorce is one in which the two spouses can agree on all of the issues in the divorce. This means that they have reached an agreement on all issues. Once the agreement has been reached, the divorce can be finalized without going to trial. Common methods of reaching an agreement include mediation and collaborative law.
Common Myths About Divorce
There are many myths about divorce. Some of the most common include:
- Divorce is always messy and contentious. While some divorces are indeed messy and contentious, this is not always the case. Many couples can divorce amicably and without any drama. Mediation is a common way to achieve this, which is when the two spouses meet with a neutral third party to help them reach an agreement.
- You will always end up in court. If you can reach an agreement on all issues in your divorce, you will not have to go to court. Court is only necessary if you are unable to reach an agreement and the case goes to trial.
- You need to have a reason for getting divorced. California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you do not need to have a reason for getting divorced. You simply need to state that the marriage has irreconcilable differences, and that is the extent of what you need to say.
- You must be separated for a certain period of time before you can get divorced. In some states, you must be separated for a certain period of time before you can get divorced. However, this is not the case in California. You can file for divorce as soon as you want, and there is no minimum period of separation.
- All of your assets will be split 50/50. California is a community property state where all assets acquired during the marriage will be split evenly between the two spouses. However, some exceptions to this rule can apply, such as if the asset was acquired before the marriage or if one spouse inherited it.
- Getting divorced will be expensive. While some divorces can be expensive, this is not always the case. If you reach an agreement on all issues, the cost of the divorce will be much less than if you go to trial. The legal fees from divorce attorneys also vary, so it is important to have an open conversation about fees before hiring an attorney.
- It will take a long time to get divorced. The amount of time it takes to divorce varies. However, in general, it can only take a minimum of six months if the case is uncontested. If the case is contested, this can lengthen the amount of time, but it is still possible to get divorced relatively quickly.
- I will never be able to see my kids again. If you have children, it is important to remember that you will still be their parent after the divorce. You will still have a relationship with them, and you will still be able to see them regularly. Visitation schedules can be worked out between the two parents, and there are many resources available to help divorced parents maintain healthy relationships with their children.
Possible Defense Strategies in a Divorce Case
If you are facing a divorce, it is important to understand the possible defense strategies that your spouse may use against you. Some of the most common include:
- Fault. In some states, your spouse may try to prove that you are at fault for the divorce. However, this is not possible in California because it is a no-fault divorce state.
- Income. Your spouse may try to prove that you have a higher income than them in order to get a larger share of the assets. However, this is not always the case, and the court will consider both incomes when making a decision.
- Assets. Your spouse may try to hide assets to keep them for themselves. However, the court will consider all assets when making a decision, and hiding assets is considered fraud.
- Child custody. Your spouse may try to prove that you are an unfit parent to get custody of the children. However, the court will consider both parents when making a decision, and they will not automatically assume that one parent is better than the other.
Get Support From The Law Offices of Athina K. Powers Today
If you are facing a divorce, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. The Law Offices of Athina K. Powers has extensive experience handling divorce cases, and we can help you navigate the process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and begin the necessary process to protect your rights.