Uncontested and Contested Divorce Lawyers in San Luis Obispo, CA
What is the difference between a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce? Uncontested divorces are when spouses agree on all issues, including child custody, child support, asset division, and alimony. A contested divorce occurs when the spouses cannot agree and must proceed through the entire divorce procedure for a court to determine the ultimate judgment. To help with your divorce filing, consult with a reliable uncontested and contested divorce lawyer in San Luis Obispo, CA, today.
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means neither spouse must show the other’s wrongdoing. When preparing for a divorce, it’s essential to consider the assets and child custody arrangements that will be made for both parties. Both parties must reveal all details about their earnings, expenses, assets, and liabilities. They must also agree on child support, spousal support, and the division of property and assets. That’s why it is crucial to enlist and seek an attorney’s help who will protect your interests and rights. Our experienced San Luis Obispo divorce lawyers will help you file for a divorce petition and guide you throughout the proceedings.
What is Contested Divorce?
The most challenging sort of divorce is one that is heavily contested. Disagreements might range from complete disagreement on everything to minor differences on a few points. The more the couple disagrees, the more difficult it is to divide their assets and child-rearing responsibilities. It is critical to have a qualified attorney by your side to ensure a just and fair divorce settlement that appropriately reflect your interests and intentions. Schedule a consultation with our San Luis Obispo contested divorce lawyer to get the legal assistance and representation you need today.
How to File for Contested Divorce in California
When you file for divorce in California, you will need to fill out the paperwork and negotiate with your spouse (or their attorney) to come up with an agreement on property and asset division, child custody, child support payments, alimony, and other aspects of your divorce case.
Without the help of a contested divorce lawyer, divorcing couples have a hard time reaching an agreement. As a result, the divorce proceeding gets dragged out and the stress piles up. If you decide to go to trial and leave the decision up to the court, you can’t control how the judge decides to settle your case. You have a better understanding of what’s best for your family, which is why it’s important to seek the help of our divorce lawyer in San Luis Obispo in negotiating with your spouse.
The contested divorce process in California usually entails the following steps:
- Petition Filing. One spouse must prepare and deliver the divorce petition to the other. They can file once the served spouse responds to the petition.
- Discovery. The court requires both spouses to produce information that the court will use to substantiate or refute various aspects of the case.
- Trial. Both spouses will present witnesses, answer attorney’s questions, and be subjected to cross-examination by the other party.
- Decision. The judge will determine who gets whose assets, how debt will be distributed, and who will be given custody of the children.
- Appeal. If either spouse is dissatisfied with the judge’s decision, they can seek an appeal.
What is Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is usually the smoothest, easiest, and most cost-effective option. It refers to a divorce case where the divorcing couple agrees on the division of marital property and the support and custody arrangements for their children.
However, even the simplest of marriages can encounter issues and complications in the divorce process. A skilled divorce lawyer in California can help you explore your legal options and determine whether an uncontested divorce is right for you.
Who is Eligible for an Uncontested Divorce in California?
A major source of conflict in the divorce settlement process is to determine who pays for spousal support and child support, and to calculate how much support should be provided. As such, divorcing couples who have no children and divorcing parents with few assets to split are suitable candidates for an uncontested divorce, provided you and your spouse agree on who gets physical custody of the children and how your assets are to be divided.
On the other hand, uncontested divorces are not ideal for marriages that have a lot of conflict. When one spouse is accused of concealing income or assets, or both sides attempt to detach the children’s affections from the other, it’s difficult to come to an agreement that works for both parties. In such cases, our contested divorce lawyer in San Luis Obispo, CA can negotiate with the other party and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
Another thing to consider is whether a marriage involved emotional or physical abuse, child abuse, and other acts of domestic violence. There’s a good chance that the abuser will persuade the other party to reach an agreement that benefits them more. It is not unusual for the victim of domestic violence to agree to a settlement that doesn’t have their best interests in mind just to avoid upsetting the abuser. That’s why it’s critical to have a competent San Luis Obispo divorce lawyer by your side to make sure that you and your children get the best outcome in your divorce case.
How Do I File an Uncontested Divorce in California?
In California, you can’t get divorced in one day. Whether the divorce is uncontested or not, it takes around six months to finalize a divorce. You can seek a bifurcated divorce in court if you wish to get a dissolution of marriage while still resolving other disputed aspects of your divorce. This allows you to remarry without legal obligations to your former spouse.
Even if your divorce is uncontested, it is still advisable for most couples to consult with an attorney. The paperwork might confuse you, and if you end up in court, you’ll want an experienced attorney on your side. If you decide to pursue an uncontested divorce in California by yourself, you have to:
- Complete the court forms;
- Duplicate everything at least twice;
- Have your documents evaluated by a reliable divorce attorney;
- Fill out the forms and submit them to the court clerk;
- Present the papers to your soon-to-be ex-spouse; and
- Fill out a Proof of Service form
Why Do I Need An Uncontested Divorce Lawyer?
There may be aspects of the divorce process that you and your husband overlooked that you must address. When you hire an attorney, they can assist you in resolving matters on which you cannot reach an agreement. Divorce might also bring to light issues like asset distribution and spousal and child maintenance that you were previously unaware of.
Going through the divorce process can be stressful and emotionally-charged, especially if you have experienced domestic abuse throughout your marriage. Our reliable San Luis Obispo uncontested divorce attorneys can provide legal guidance for your divorce filing. Schedule a consultation with us today.
Which Type of Divorce is Right for Me?
There are several factors to consider when deciding to file for divorce in California.
California law encourages parents to share legal and physical custody of their children, so long as it is in the best interest of the child. It is usually up to both of you to decide how you will divide your children’s time and costs. However, the agreement should be structured so that the child’s bond with their parents is preserved.
When deciding on custody arrangements, consider the following points:
- The most effective approach and arrangement for maintaining each parent’s bond with their child;
- Work schedules of both parents;
- How to split vacations, school vacations, and birthdays; and
- The child’s physical and psychological needs
Payments for child support in California are based on the essential care that parents must provide for their children. Under state law, parents have the option of paying a higher amount than the court recommends. This is based on:
- The number of children;
- Length of time devoted to the child;
- The earnings of the parents;
- Each parent’s tax filing status;
- The cost of health insurance;
- Uninsured healthcare expenditures and daycare; and
- Any particular needs that the children may have
Division of Marital Property
It might not be easy to define what exactly comprises marital property and what compensates independent property. All assets earned by a spouse during their marriage that are not regarded as individual property must be split equally under a community property state. If both of you have a lot of assets, it’s to your most significant advantage to get legal guidance from a reliable high-asset divorce attorney in San Luis Obispo before signing any divorce papers.
As with property division, all debts accumulated throughout the marriage are communal property. Credit card debts, mortgages, student loans, vehicle loans, and other types of loans fall into this category. Even debts incurred outside your awareness by your partner may constitute community property, and you could be held equally liable for it. Consult our uncontested and contested divorce lawyer in San Luis Obispo to get help with dividing assets and property in divorce.
Call Our Uncontested & Contested Divorce Lawyer in San Luis Obispo, CA!
Do you need to speak with an attorney in California concerning uncontested vs contested divorce? Even though an uncontested divorce appears to be straightforward, you should still seek legal advice. Our competent divorce attorneys at 805 Family Law Attorneys can prepare the divorce paperwork and evaluate your situation to safeguard your rights and interests for both uncontested and contested divorce. Our San Luis Obispo family law attorneys have the knowledge and experience to represent families in a variety of divorce cases.
Our uncontested and contested divorce attorneys in San Luis Obispo, CA, will fight for your family’s rights by delivering specialized, caring services that work hard to defend your independence, secure your children’s future, and prepare you for the years ahead. For families in Atascadero and San Luis Obispo County and the neighboring areas in California, we have over 20 years of legal experience handling contested and uncontested divorce, business divorce, military divorce, prenup and postnuptials, and other family law matters in California.