Palm Desert Divorce Lawyer

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Palm Desert Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is seldom an easy choice, especially when the marriage involves children or is a marriage of long-duration. Dissolving a marriage can be an agonizing and stressful process for both spouses. The process generally means the end of affection and the emotional connection coupled with dividing community property. The superior court will need to resolve complicated issues ranging from child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support and domestic violence. Addressing the division of community property brings up hostility between the parties and futile responses that need to be set aside in order to reach a conclusion in a timely manner. There is no doubt that figuring out what to do with the house, pension/retirement, bank accounts and other assets and debts is emotionally draining and difficult to accomplish, but emotions need to be put aside. Hiring a Palm Desert Divorce Lawyer can help take the emotion out of the decision-making process by receiving straight-forward advice from a legal professional who is not connected to the personal property involved in the case. Also, Palm Desert Child Custody Lawyers can advise litigants on what is usually the most emotional issue, which is child custody and visitation.

Community Property Versus Separate Property

The parties and the court need to identify what is community property and separate property. Family Code Section 770 defines separate property. “Separate property of a married person includes all of the following: 1) All property owned by the person before marriage; 2) All property acquired by the person after marriage by gift, bequest, devise, or descent; 3) The rents, issues, and profits of the property described in this section.” Family Code Section 760 defines Community Property; “Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state is community property. In fact, all property is presumed to be community property. Therefore, it is the burden of the spouse claiming a separate property interest to provide evidence that the property is in fact separate property. Family Code Section 771 states, “The earnings and accumulations of a spouse and the minor children living with, or in the custody of, the spouse, after the date of separation of the spouses, are the separate property of the spouse.

Grounds for Divorce

Family Code Section 2310 makes it very easy to state the grounds for divorce. The parties need to plead that the grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences, which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage or permanent legal incapacity to make decisions. Most litigants state irreconcilable differences for the grounds of divorce. Since California is a no-fault sate, it is irrelevant that a spouse cheated during the marriage. In fact, if the spouse that didn't work during the marriage commits adultery while the working spouse remained faithful, California law makes it irrelevant that one spouse cheated. The court would have to divide the community property equally as though the adultery did not happen.

Residency Requirements in California

Family Code Section 2320 discusses the residency requirements in California. “A judgment of dissolution of marriage may not be entered unless one of the parties to the marriage has been a resident of this state for six months and of the county in which the proceeding is filed for three months next preceding the filing of the petition.” If either party has not met the residency requirement, filing a legal separation may be necessary until the residency requirements are established.

Family Law Form Packets Riverside Superior Court

The Riverside Superior Court has family law form packets that self-represented litigants can use. These forms help sort through the maze of forms and judicial council forms that are required of litigants going through the court process. When litigants are on a strict budget, filling out these forms themselves can help them save a lot of money since lawyers' fees can add up. Litigants do have a limited scope option in many cases that can help them save money. For example, a family law litigant can fill out their own paperwork, but still have a lawyer represent them in court. California law allows attorneys to appear in court on a client's behalf on a limited scope basis. This is also known as unbundled representation, which has become a very popular and cost-effective way to provide legal services.  Prior to this law going into effect, attorneys would have to completely substitute in on a case. Substituting in on a case can be an expensive option since family law attorneys generally charge a retainer from which they deduct from the interest on a lawyer's trust account. There are many cases that require lawyers to substitute in, but there are plenty of cases that necessitate a lawyer's help on limited issues. Thus, helping the clients save on legal fees.

Palm Desert Child Custody Lawyer

Family Law Code Section 3170 requires that parents going through a Riverside County Divorce with children or Paternity Action attend mediation or Child Custody Recommending Counseling (CCRC) services. Riverside County is a CCRC jurisdiction. The staff will try to develop a parenting plan for these family law cases. Tackling legal custody and physical custody is an important task. These counselors prepare a recommendation report for the judge regarding child custody and visitation. Reports are still submitted when the parties come up with an agreement, and the judge can sign orders in the courtroom. There are counties that do not submit recommendations to the court. However, when jurisdiction resides with the Riverside Court, parties should expect to see these recommendations. Preparing for the CCRC appointment is very important. Parents should consult with Palm Desert Family Law Attorney Joseph Torri prior to attending mediation/counseling. Parents should also attend online courses designed to develop a parenting plan that truly reflect the best interest of the child or children prior to attending mediation. Also, parents should view the Riverside Parent Orientation Program Video prior to the CCRC appointment. Parents should arrive 30 minutes early to the appoint, and shouldn't bring children unless it's requested from someone from the court. If there is a serious dispute between the parents with regard to child custody and visitation, the court may order a child custody evaluation. Family Code Sections 3110 through 3118 cover issues relating to child custody evaluations. The court can also order an Evidence Code Section 730 evaluation. These evaluations allow the court to collect more information the family and the relationships at issue in order to create a parenting plan that surrounds the best interest of the child or children. Parents living in Palm Desert, La Quinta, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs and Indio should expect to have their case heard at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, California.

Palm Desert Child Support Lawyer

The custodial parent may have a need for child support to help cover the expenses and maintain the lifestyle that the child is accustomed to. Filing a request for order for child support is the procedure parents can use to get into court for orders from a judge. The court will generally use the child support guideline to calculate the amount. Two huge factors in determining child support are the amount of time with the child or children that each parent has and the income of each parent. However, there are circumstances when the court can deviate from guideline. Family Code Section 4057(b)(3) states, “The parent being ordered to pay child support has an extraordinarily high income and the amount determined under the formula would exceed the needs of the children.” Also, child support can be ordered if a parent committed an act of domestic violence and the court issues a domestic violence restraining order containing child support orders. Having legal representation when dealing with their family law issue is critical. Schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Joseph Torri to see what it would take to represent your needs.

Free Initial Consultation

Our law office would like to hear your concerns about the family law issues that are arising. Contact us anytime for an initial complimentary consultation. We generally answer the phone during non-business hours within reason, and we will get back to you promptly if we are unavailable. Addressing family law issues promptly is critical. Our office will advocate for a fair outcome if you allow us to earn your trust.

Regain Peace of Mind

Our family law attorneys understand how difficult it is when one parent unjustifiably withholds children from the other parent or communicates a desire to move away with the children to another state or county. Obtaining child custody orders from the court will prohibit a parent from taking unjustifiable action. Also, our divorce attorneys know how important it is to divide community property, and to establish or defend against spousal support and child support. Rely on us to zealously argue for a fair and just outcome.

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