Dana Point Divorce Lawyer

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Dana Point Divorce Attorney

In most divorces, many issues need to be resolved. Untangling the lives of the two spouses can be a complicated process. The longer those lives were built together, the more challenging it can be. That’s why, if you’re faced with a divorce, it makes sense to rely on a Dana Point divorce lawyer. Working through these challenging issues can be much easier with the help of an experienced attorney.

It’s important that you work with the right team when you’re going through a divorce. At Cianci Law, PC, we strive to provide that kind of support. Our knowledge of these areas of law is extensive, and our team includes Certified Family Law Specialists. We also recognize the emotional stress and burden that this process creates, and we treat our clients with the sensitivity that they need.

Best Dana Point Divorce Lawyer

The Role of a Dana Point Divorce Lawyer

There are a number of different functions and roles that a Dana Point divorce lawyer will take on, depending on the direction that the divorce takes. One of the primary roles is as an advisor to their clients. This often begins before the divorce is even initiated, as your lawyer can help you prepare for the process and give you advice regarding your options.

From a legal standpoint, the divorce process is initiated by one spouse filing a petition for a divorce with the court. The other party will then be served papers and have the opportunity to respond.

It’s important that you handle the paperwork and filing process properly, and a lawyer can help you do so. It’s their job to ensure that paperwork meets the expectations of the court throughout the divorce process. They can also ensure that the steps involved in the process, such as ensuring that a valid party serves the papers, are followed properly.

Negotiating an Agreement

Many couples will then try to prevent the divorce from going to a court trial. They will often attempt to work out a negotiated separation agreement that addresses the important aspects of the divorce.

Going to trial is likely to extend the process and be more costly than if some level of agreement between the spouses is reached. However, even a negotiated settlement will need to fit the parameters of the law, so a judge will review whatever is agreed upon between the spouses to ensure it meets the expected standards.

Working with a lawyer when attempting to negotiate an agreement between divorcing spouses can be critical to the process. They can ensure that whatever is agreed to meets the parameters of the law and is fair to you. This includes working to draft a final agreement that will likely be accepted by a judge without significant alterations. However, their assistance in these agreements extends beyond only the legal requirements involved.

A lawyer can also play a critical role in the negotiating process. Some legal requirements will need to be followed, in particular, financial disclosures. They help ensure that these are done properly. At Cianci Law, PC, due to our extensive experience with these kinds of negotiations, we understand the subtle things that can help the process go smoothly.

Setting Expectations

Our attorneys also understand the range of likely outcomes that these negotiations can produce. This can be especially helpful in assisting you through the process emotionally. One of the most important elements of working through a divorce is having proper expectations set.

The courts will generally want to see that both sides are treated in a way they deem to be fair. We can help you understand what that means for your situation. Knowing the likely range of outcomes for your separation agreement can often make it easier to negotiate.

Another important thing that a skilled family law lawyer should help with is the emotional stress of the situation. We take care to recognize the sensitivity of these important issues and treat them and you with appropriate care and compassion.

The Possibility of Trial

While we try to help our clients in Dana Point find an agreement that works for both sides, there are some cases when that’s not possible. When the situation is too contentious and complicated, it may be necessary to bring the situation before the courts. If that happens, we are prepared to represent our clients and make the strongest case that we can on their behalf.

The Major Elements of a Divorce

Divorces are often complicated and can touch on many different aspects of family law. The more entwined a couple’s lives have become, the more difficult and complex the process of untangling them can be. That’s why it’s critical that you work with a lawyer who understands the nuance of family law and divorce from not only careful study but also significant experience. Generally, divorces will need to resolve a few primary concerns.

Property Division

The division of property in California follows basic, simple rules. However, the process of adhering to those rules can be complicated and challenging. California operates under community property rules, and the property that is divided in the divorce will need to be split equally. This differs from other states that require equitable distribution but not a precise 50-50 split.

The process requires a determination to be made regarding what property will be considered community and what property will be considered separate. Community property is generally property that was acquired during the marriage, regardless of who earned it. Separate property is usually property that was owned by one party coming into the marriage, gifts, or inheritance. However, it’s important to realize that separate property may sometimes become community property when the two are intermingled.

The process of determining these categories can often turn contentious, particularly when something that may appear to be separate property is community property because of the way it’s been used in the course of the marriage. However, once the pool of community property is agreed upon, it will need to be valued.

The division of property is not required to be equal in any terms other than overall value. For instance, if the couple has a house together, they don’t need to split the house 50-50. Rather, if one party wants the house, the other will need to receive assets that equal its value. However, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be situations in which some property, such as a house, may need to be sold and the proceeds split evenly.

Spousal Support

In California, spousal support is generally designed to help the spouse receiving the support reach a point of being able to support themselves. There may be some exceptions, particularly in situations where health and age are factors, but generally, “rehabilitative alimony” is the goal.

Spousal support is not automatically granted during divorce, and it is not always guaranteed. If both spouses have similar incomes and abilities to support themselves, neither party may need to pay spousal support. Spousal support may be awarded when there is a larger income disparity between the spouses.

When deciding on the amount of spousal support that will be paid, a variety of different factors are considered regarding each spouse, including:

  • Age and health
  • Income from many possible sources
  • Ability to earn a greater income
  • Responsibility to any children involved
  • The standard of living established in the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • Contributions to the marriage

Child Custody

One of the most difficult and emotionally draining parts of a divorce is the issue of child custody. Most parents want to spend as much time with their children and have as much influence on their lives as possible. However, for most people, a divorce means less time with their children. This reality can often mean that intense emotions are involved, and it’s easy for this to be a particularly contentious aspect of the process.

There are two kinds of custody decisions that will be made regarding the children involved. One type of custody is physical custody, which is primarily concerned with where the child will live and the time that will be spent with both parents. The other form of custody is legal custody, which concerns how important decisions about raising a child will be made. This includes issues like religious upbringing, medical treatment, and education choices.

Either type of custody may be joint, in which the parents have an equal share of custody, or sole, in which only one parent has full custody. However, just because one form of sole custody is awarded does not mean that the other won’t still be shared. For example, sole physical custody may be agreed upon, along with joint legal custody. Whatever custody decision is made, though, must be shown to be in the best interests of the child.

Child Support

While there are a few circumstances in which someone may be able to deviate from California’s child support guidelines, most of the time, the amount of child support paid is determined by a complex calculation. Often, a noncustodial parent will pay a custodial parent child support, but parties with joint custody may need to make payments as well. A parent who spends less time with their children and has a considerably higher income than the other parent will likely need to pay more.

A child’s financial needs are also taken into consideration when determining child support payments and amounts. If a child has more financial needs, payments will likely be larger. For example, a child may be disabled and require more expensive medical care.

Dana Point Family Law FAQs

Q: Is There a Waiting Period to Divorce in California?

A: There is a waiting period to finalize a divorce in California. In some states, there is a required period of separation before either spouse can file divorce papers with the courts. California does not have this kind of waiting period. As long as residency requirements are met, either spouse may file divorce papers at any time. However, California does have a waiting period after filing, as six months will need to pass before any divorce can be finalized.

Q: Can Divorce Orders Be Modified After the Divorce Is Finalized?

A: Divorce orders can be modified after the divorce is finalized. After a divorce is finalized, a significant change in circumstances can warrant a change in the divorce order. Most commonly, this impacts child custody or child support. It is possible to seek these kinds of modifications, but you will need to first petition the court. If the court agrees, a hearing where both sides are heard will be scheduled. It’s important to work with a lawyer so that your position is properly represented before the court.

Q: How Can I Minimize the Cost of a Divorce?

A: You can minimize the cost of a divorce in a few different ways, but the most effective is by making the process shorter and smoother. This means avoiding the hassle and challenges of trial. It also means negotiating a separation agreement without significant conflict. These objectives can sometimes be difficult to achieve. However, working with the right Dana Point family lawyer can often accelerate the process.

Q: How Long Does a Divorce in California Take?

A: A divorce in California could take just over six months at minimum due to the waiting period. In other situations, a divorce could drag on for years. Typically, the more contentious a divorce is, the longer the process will take. One of the important functions of a divorce lawyer is to encourage the process along and try to ensure that all parties remain focused on the proper objectives.

Creative Family Solutions Can Represent You Through Your Divorce

We recognize how difficult divorce can be. Although we’ve seen many of our clients be better off afterward, the process can be immensely challenging. Divorces are complicated and involve some of the most important issues in your life. This adds emotional stress to the already complicated legal process.

At Cianci Law, PC, we understand that working with clients through a divorce means acknowledging the emotional realities of the situation while offering comprehensive legal help. That’s why our team includes Certified Family Law Specialists, ensuring you get the highest quality legal help available. However, we also offer an approach that’s sensitive to your particular needs. If you’re facing a divorce, contact our team for help.


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