family law

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James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys

Divorce FAQ

Answers from a San Bernardino Divorce Attorney

Have questions about an impending divorce? Need counsel on a family law issue like custody or modification? The San Bernardino divorce lawyer James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys is here to answer your questions. Check out the section below or give our firm a call at (909) 344-5704

Q: What Type of Divorce Best Suits My Situation?

There are different avenues you can take if you and your spouse are pursuing a dissolution of marriage in California. Your case may be able to reach a resolution outside the court through uncontested divorce or mediation. Some couples need the court to get involved. To learn which option best suits your specific situation, let an experienced divorce attorney evaluate your case. Our firm is here to provide a free case review.

Q: If We Don't Agree On All Issues, Can We Still Pursue Uncontested or Mediated Divorce?

The word "uncontested" does seem to imply that you and your spouse must agree on all the issues. Even if you and your spouse do not agree on all the issues at the outset, uncontested divorce means you will at least try to come to an agreement so that the court doesn't have the final say. Similarly, mediated divorce means that you and your spouse will meet to discuss the issues outside the court with the help of an unbiased third party (the mediator). Mediation only works if you and your spouse are willing to work together to come to a resolution.

Q: How Does the Court Determine Child Custody?

Family law cases involving children always focus on the best interests of the child. Keeping this in mind, the court might take the following factors into consideration when determining custody: the child's age, any special health needs of the child, which parent sends the most time raising the child, each parent's criminal history (if any), each parent's employment history and earning capacity.

Q: How Does the Court Determine Spousal Support?

Courts in different California counties use a slightly different metric for calculating spousal support, but they all generally follow the same basic guidelines.

Factors that judges use to determine spousal support can include the following:
  • How long the union lasted
  • The basic needs of each party
  • Each party's earning capacity
  • The age and health of each party
  • Each party's education and work history
  • The court will likely issue a temporary order until divorce proceedings are finalized.

Q: How Does California Divide Property in a Divorce?

In the United States, some states divide property by way of equitable distribution and others divide by community property. California is a community property state. This means that all property is categorized as separate or community property. In the event of divorce, spouses keep their separate property while the community property is divided equally.

Q: Are There Any Advantages to Separation Over Divorce?

Some people do choose legal separation rather than a legal divorce. There are a number of reasons for this. Some couples want to retain the benefits of marriage, like health benefits and retirement accounts, but want to live apart. For couples in this type of situation, legal separation may be the way to go.

However, if you wish to remarry, you cannot do so unless you obtain a legal divorce first. Divorce cancels the legal union entirely, which is the only way to pursue remarriage.

Q: What if I Need to Change a Divorce Agreement?

This happens quite frequently. If you have previously entered into a divorce or separation agreement and your circumstances have changed, you could potentially petition for a modification of orders. To see if you qualify for a modification, We invite you to reach out to our firm now.

Q: How Much Do You Charge?

Because each family law case is so different, we encourage anyone in need of pricing information to contact our firm for a free case review. Share the details of your case with us today and we can begin to work on providing you with an estimate of the legal services you may need to navigate your situation.

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