Santa Maria Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is a stressful and emotional process, and many divorces end with strong disagreements that cannot be resolved. In divorces involving abuse or adultery, tensions may be especially high. Even in amicable divorces, it is still important to hire an attorney to represent your interests and ensure that you get everything you need out of the divorce, including fair property division, alimony, child support, and other payments.
For help with your California divorce case, call the Santa Maria divorce lawyers at The Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today. Our attorneys represent husbands and wives in divorce proceedings, whether they are the petitioner or respondent. For a free consultation on your divorce case, call our law offices today at (805) 643-5555.
Divorce Issues in California
If you are seeking a divorce, it is important to talk to an attorney about your case. There are complex legal issues that make divorces quite complicated. Many divorces involve more processes and steps if there are children involved or if you have significant wealth, business investments, or other high assets. For help with any of the following issues, contact our law offices today:
When divorcing in California, the expectation is that you will split all marital assets 50/50. These “community property” rules guarantee that nearly any asset acquired during the life of the marriage is community property, and the total cost of all community property must be divided in half when you divorce. Many assets are protected from this division if they are “individual” or “separate” property that you owned before the marriage. Much of the battle with asset division is ensuring that each side keeps the assets they need, such as family heirlooms or pieces with sentimental value, but that each side fairly gets their share of the community property. This often involves debating which assets qualify as individual property.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
If you have high-value assets, investments, business interests, or independent wealth, it may be important to protect your funds. If you get divorced and have to lose 50% of your assets to your spouse, you could do serious harm to your portfolio or business. In many cases, the responsible thing to do is have a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement. These agreements are formed before the marriage (for prenuptial agreements) or after the wedding has already occurred (for postnuptial agreements). The terms of the agreement often define which property will be considered “community property,” and which will be set aside as “individual property” in case a divorce occurs.
After a divorce, you may be able to seek ongoing financial support from your ex-spouse. These payments may last longer if your marriage lasted for a long time or if you have a health condition that requires additional support. In many cases, alimony will be limited to a short period to help one spouse get back on their feet. Alimony is important for many spouses who did not work during the marriage or who gave up their jobs to be homemakers or stay-at-home parents, and it helps them take the time to get additional job training, look for a job, and become financially independent again. Talk to an attorney about the rules for paying or receiving spousal support in CA.
Divorcing with children is often more complex. Any time parents live separately, the California courts may become involved to determine who gets custody of the children, whether visitation is allowed, and whether both parents get joint custody. Joint custody is usually the default option in CA since courts and legislators prefer that children have both parents involved in their lives, if the parents are willing. However, abusive parents, parents with drug addictions, or parents who otherwise cannot care for their children may be barred from custody.
Child support orders are used to ensure that one parent does not bear the full burden of financially supporting their children. This is often a separate issue from alimony, and all child support payments should be used to support the children directly, not to support the parent. In many child support cases, the court looks at each party’s income and the amount of time they spend with their children to decide what is fair. Often, the parent with primary child custody is the one who receives child support, since they pay a greater share of expenses out of pocket.
Santa Maria, California Divorce Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
Our attorneys at The Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth represent people going through divorces and work to help them ensure that they get the funds they deserve, that they maintain custody of their children, and that their spouse helps support them as necessary. For help with your divorce case, contact our Santa Maria, CA divorce attorneys today at (805) 643-5555.