Your Top 10 FAQs Answered About Family Law in California

Your Top 10 FAQs Answered About Family Law in California

Family law deals with issues like divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. If you are going through a family law issue in California, you likely have many questions about the process and your rights. Certified Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger answers the top ten questions we’re asked at our California practice about Family Law matters.

Of course, we can only provide the barest facts in an article. More complete explanations and answers to other questions are available in a complimentary consultation. Contact The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger to schedule your consultation.

Top 10 Family Law FAQs

Review these common questions clients routinely ask Attorney Judy Burger during initial consultations at her offices.

1. What is the process for getting a divorce in California?

To get a divorce in California, you must file a petition for dissolution of marriage with the court. You will need to serve your spouse with the petition and wait for their response. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on all issues, such as child custody and property division, the court will schedule a trial to decide these issues for you.

2. How is child custody determined in California?

California courts determine child custody based on the best interests of the child. The court will consider factors such as the child’s age, health, and relationship with each parent. Generally, the court prefers frequent and continuous contact with both parents as long as it is in the child’s best interests.

3. How is child support determined in California?

California law provides guidelines for determining child support. The guidelines take into account the net disposable income of each parent and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. Other factors, such as the child’s needs and the standard of living before the divorce, may also be considered.

4. What is spousal support in California?

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is financial support paid from one spouse to the other after a divorce. Spousal support can be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances of the case.

5. How is spousal support determined in California?

California law requires the court to consider various factors when determining spousal support, including the length of the marriage, the standard of living before the divorce, and the age and health of each spouse. The court has discretion in determining the amount and duration of spousal support.

6. How is property divided in a California divorce?

California is a community property state, which means that property acquired during the marriage is generally divided equally between the spouses. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and the court may consider factors such as the length of the marriage and the economic circumstances of each spouse.

7. Can I get a restraining order in a family law case?

Yes, if you are a victim of domestic violence or harassment, you can obtain a restraining order to protect yourself and your children. The court may issue a temporary restraining order, followed by a hearing to determine whether a permanent restraining order is necessary.

8. Can I modify a child custody or support order?

Yes, if there has been a significant change in circumstances, such as a job loss or relocation, you can petition the court to modify a child custody or support order. The court will consider the child’s best interests when deciding.

9. What is mediation in a family law case?

Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps the parties in a family law case reach a mutually acceptable agreement. It can be voluntary or court-ordered and can be a cost-effective alternative to litigation.

10. Do I need a lawyer for a family law case in California?

While you are not required to have a lawyer for a family law case in California, it is highly recommended. Family law cases can be complex and emotional, and having a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer can help protect your rights and interests.

Seasoned Family Law Representation in California

Family law issues in California can be challenging and emotional, but understanding your rights and the legal process can help alleviate some of the stress. If you have questions about a family law issue in California, contact The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger, with eight offices across the state to serve you.

 

Overcoming Common Property Division Obstacles During a Divorce

Overcoming Common Property Division Obstacles During a Divorce

A property division can be fraught with obstacles during a divorce. Partners can accumulate assets of significant value over the years, and dividing them equally is virtually impossible. California Certified Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger has extensive experience helping divorcing couples divide their property equitably and with the least rancor.

She shares the benefit of her experience in these tips for overcoming common property division obstacles during a divorce.

Common Obstacles to Dividing Property in a Divorce

Divorce can be difficult enough, but adding complex asset divisions into the mix often stretches tempers and emotions to the breaking point. Such divisions are never easy because they involve more than easily sectioned assets. Some of the most common obstacles to dividing property in a divorce include:

  • Family or Jointly-Owned Businesses – Determining who keeps the business, how it is divided, or other related questions is often complex.
  • Common Property—The home and other common property are often a serious point of contention in divorce property divisions.
  • Sentimental Property – A favorite book collection or family heirloom can cause negotiations to reach an impasse.
  • Digital Assets – Music collections and even the right to use online consumer awards can cause a breakdown in property division negotiations.
  • Retirement Benefits—Joint investments and retirement accounts can be real sticking points when determining an equitable property division.
  • Marital Debts – Couples can disagree more about debts than assets, and creating an arrangement to cover debts can be the hardest aspect of a property division.
  • Small Children – Younger children and custody considerations add several layers of additional concerns when dividing assets and marital properties.

Tips for a Smoother Property Division During Divorce

How can you help the property division process go much smoother? Follow these tips:

Don’t Be In a Hurry

Property divisions take time, and more complex assets and issues will require even more. Resolve to be patient and allow the process to play out. Critical factors, such as business valuations, asset valuations, and other processes, require time to be completed. Trust Attorney Judy L. Burger to work diligently with the best resources and leading experts to get the facts you need before serious decisions can be made.

Start With Short-Term Solutions

Begin by keeping things on an even keel. Make sure both households stay afloat for several months. Keep the rent, mortgages, car payments, and other bills current while everything else is being figured out. Focus on caring for yourself and your family, especially if children are involved. Seek amicable arrangements to keep life going steady for a while.

Focus on Needs and Interests, Not Positions

Avoid starting off with solid pronouncements like “I demand the house and the children every weekend.” Focus instead on your needs and interests and those of your family. What does everyone need to live on? How can you maintain a good relationship with the children? How will their needs best be met?

Get Seasoned Legal Guidance

Negotiating the minefields of divorce and property divisions without a seasoned family law attorney is like braving uncharted shoals hidden by large waves – you’re asking for disaster. A Certified Family Law Specialist like Judy Burger has the recognized expertise for navigating complicated divorce negotiations and property divisions.

She can guide the negotiations and offer strategic counsel while representing your interests and those of your children. An experienced third party like her can prevent serious misunderstandings, emotional arguments, and other detriments to a favorable outcome.

CA Divorce & Property Division Guidance

Troublesome relations and complex asset divisions are no problem for Attorney Judy Burger. She has successfully guided numerous complex divorces and property divisions so families can move forward. Contact The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger in California for legal representation, mediation, negotiation, and litigation concerning divorce and complex property divisions.

Jointly-Owned Businesses and Divorce

Jointly-Owned Businesses and Divorce

When a couple decides to end their marriage, one of the most complex issues that they may face is the division of property. This can be especially difficult when the couple owns a business together. Jointly-owned businesses in California add another layer of complexity to the divorce process. What are your options for keeping or dividing the business? How does California law impact these decisions?

Certified Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger discusses the specific considerations that need to be taken into account during a divorce involving a jointly-owned business.

Community Property Laws in California

California is a community property state, which means that any assets acquired during the marriage are presumed community property and if found to be community property, must be divided equally between the spouses in the event of a divorce. This includes any businesses that the couple owns jointly. In California, the ownership of a business is determined by both the legal and economic interests of each party.

Legal Interest vs. Economic Interest

Legal interest refers to the ownership interest that is reflected in the legal documents of the business. Economic interest refers to the actual value of the business. In some cases, these interests may not be equal. For example, one spouse may have a greater legal interest in the business. Still, the other spouse may have contributed more to the business and may have a greater economic interest.

Valuing Jointly-Owned Businesses

In order to divide the business equally, it is important to determine the value of the business accurately. This can be a complex process and may require the assistance of a business appraiser or accountant. The appraiser will take into account the assets and liabilities of the business, as well as any future earnings potential.

Options for Dividing the Business

Once the value of jointly-owned businesses has been determined, there are several options for dividing it. One spouse may buy out the other spouse’s interest in the business. This can be done by paying the other spouse their share of the business in cash or by exchanging other assets of equal value. Another option is for the spouses to continue to co-own the business. This can be a difficult option, as it requires the spouses to continue to work together, despite the end of their marriage.

Protecting the Business

In some cases, it may be possible to protect the business from being divided during a divorce. This can be done through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that outlines how the business will be treated in the event of a divorce. It is important to consult with an experienced Family Law Attorney like Judy Burger to ensure that any agreements are legally enforceable.

Get Help from a Seasoned CA Family Law Attorney

Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process, especially when it involves a jointly-owned business. It is important to work with a seasoned family law attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of dividing a business during a divorce. Ending a marriage and severing a business relationship at the same time requires keen wisdom in human relationships as well as an encyclopedic knowledge of the law.

Judy Burger is a Certified Family Law Specialist who can guide you through the rocky shoals of divorce and help you with property division concerns over a jointly-owned business. She has solid working relationships with various professionals who can help her protect your interests and ensure that your rights are protected. These accountants, appraisers, business attorneys, real estate brokers, and other professionals work with her to help you get the most from any business division of property due to divorce.

Contact The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger today to learn more and schedule a consultation.

 

Is 50/50 the Best Custody Option for my Kids?

Is 50/50 the Best Custody Option for my Kids?

When parents divorce, one of the most important decisions they will make is how they will share physical custody of their kids. In some cases, parents may want to divide their time equally or “50/50.” This may seem like an equitable and logical choice. However, if you are considering this type of arrangement, you will want to know: Is 50/50 the best custody option for my kids? Continue reading

What do You do When You Think Your Ex is Hiding Divorce Assets?

What do You do When You Think Your Ex is Hiding Divorce Assets?

During your California divorce, you and your ex will be required to identify and disclose certain financial information to one another. Ideally, everyone will follow the rules and be honest about their assets. However, there can be situations when a party is not being financially forthcoming. If you are going through a California divorce and believe your former spouse has secret property, you need to ask: What do you do when you think your ex is hiding divorce assets? Continue reading

What is a Collaborative Divorce, and is it Right for Me?

What is a Collaborative Divorce, and is it Right for Me?

When a marriage is ending in divorce, couples have a choice about how to proceed with their case. Sometimes, divorcing parties will want to end their marital relationship with as little conflict as possible. One option for couples in this situation is to have a Collaborative Divorce. If you have never considered or heard of this divorce model, you may be wondering: What is a Collaborative Divorce, and is it right for me? Continue reading

5 Ways You Can Help Your Kids During Divorce

5 Ways You Can Help Your Kids During Divorce

Divorce can be a stressful and painful experience for everyone involved, but it can be especially hard on children. As a parent, you will want to do everything you can to protect your kids during this difficult time. While you probably won’t be able to completely insulate your children from your divorce, there are measures you can take to support them during the process. Here are 5 ways you can help your kids during divorce: Continue reading

What is a "Private Judge," and Should I Use One During my California Divorce?

What is a “Private Judge,” and Should I Use One During my California Divorce?

In a traditional California divorce, one or both parties can file for divorce, and a county court judge will be assigned to oversee the matter. However, Californians also have another option—hiring a private judge to hear their case. If you are considering or are in the process of divorce, you may be asking: What is a private judge, and should I use one during my California divorce? Continue reading

Do California Divorce Courts Award Custody of Pets?

Do California Divorce Courts Award Custody of Pets?

When you own a dog, cat, or other pet, they are often more than an animal companion—they are like members of the family. Owners can form intense bonds with their shared household animals. Therefore, not surprisingly, the question of who gets the family pet can become contentious during a divorce. If you are involved in a California divorce and have a household animal, you may need to know: Do California divorce courts award custody of pets? Continue reading

Can In-law Gifts and Support be Considered During my California Divorce?

Can In-law Gifts and Support be Considered During my California Divorce?

Divorce can be devastating on multiple levels—especially financially. Getting through the process and back on your feet can take time. In this situation, it’s not uncommon for family members to help out by providing extra funds. Depending on the circumstances, someone’s family support could be a temporary measure or ongoing. Additionally, some family “gifts” operate more like recurring income. If you or your ex are getting supplemental financial assistance from family, you will want to know: Can in-law gifts and support be considered during my California divorce? Continue reading