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Divorce Law in California

How to Find a California Divorce Attorney

California divorces often make headlines because of large community property settlements and celebrity mis-marriages. For example, you likely know that Elizabeth Taylor was divorced many times.

But did you know that Miss Taylor was actually married 8 times, divorced 7 times, but only had 7 husbands? (She actually married Richard Burton twice and was widowed once.) That sounds like a fun cocktail party joke.

But, if you are considering divorce, it’s no joke and this article is meant for you. Do you have questions and concerns about any of these topics?

  • California divorce law requirements and offerings;
  • What you need to know about divorce;
  • Whether it’s in your best interest to hire a California divorce attorney;
  • How to find and select a California divorce lawyer; and
  • How to prepare to work with your attorney.

California Divorce Law Requirements and Offerings

We’ll highlight the main points of what you need to know, but it’s always in your best interests to get good legal advice from a qualified California divorce lawyer who has analyzed the facts of your individual situation.

  • To file for divorce in California, either you or your spouse must have been a California resident for at least six months prior to filing divorce.
  • In addition, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the county in which you’re filing for at least three months prior to filing divorce.
  • There are two grounds for divorce in California:
    • Irreconcilable differences, which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage and
    • Incurable insanity.
  • If you don’t have a prenuptial agreement providing otherwise, all marital property will be divided 50/50.
  • Spousal support may be ordered and child support is based upon the Income Shares Model.

What You Need to Know About Divorce

In this section, we’ll highlight the aspects of divorce that will help you this most and keep your legal fees down.

  • Each divorce is composed of two parts, the legal divorce and the emotional divorce. Consult with a therapist to handle the emotional aspects and a divorce lawyer to handle the legal aspects.
  • Be willing to compromise. Both you and your spouse will have to give up things you want.
  • Make a list of questions and contact your divorce attorney no more than once a week.
  • Provide all requested materials in a timely manner.

Is it in Your Best Interests to Work with a California Divorce Attorney?

Even experienced attorneys, hire lawyers who focus their practice on divorce when they themselves are going through divorce.

  • What if one mistake cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars?
  • What if one mistake cost you time with your children or the support they need?

It’s important to note that if you give up your marital rights or custodial rights, you will not be able to get them back. It is indeed in your best interests to work with a California divorce attorney.

How to Find and Select a California Divorce Attorney

Since Ms. Taylor’s divorce attorneys are not likely available, many folks use Google or another search engine and enter “How to Find a Google Divorce Attorney”.

You can also ask the bar association or friends for referrals.

After you’ve found several attorneys, there are 4 keys to selection.

  • Make sure your attorney is licensed to practice law in California.
  • Look for an attorney who focuses his or her practice to divorce, matrimonial, or family law.
  • Focus on attorneys who will collaboratively work with your spouse’s attorney to get you more of what you want. “Sharks” will cost you and your family more emotionally and financially.
  • Chat with each potential attorney and ask about what you can expect in regard to the process, fees, and resolution time. Choose whomever you feel most comfortable with.

How to Prepare to Work with Your California Divorce Lawyer

Here’s your divorce preparation checklist:

  • Consider reconciliation.
  • Consult with a therapist.
  • Gather financial documents.
  • Draft a divorce “wish list”.
  • Note all questions.

While your divorce may not make national headlines, we recognize that it’s incredibly important to you and your family. We wish you the best and respectfully suggest that you work with the qualified California divorce attorney of your choosing.

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