Do I need an attorney? The attorney’s job is to be sure that you know the full range of opportunities and risks under the law before you make decisions that will affect your legal or financial situation. A divorce lawyer can also protect you from being forced into a settlement or a bad position by your own emotions or an intimidating, powerful spouse. Many divorces can be handled effectively with only limited attorney services.
Do you offer free consultations? We offer an initial consultation for $95 which allows clients to get acquainted and get some information without making a major commitment of time or money.
How much does it cost for a simple divorce where both parties agree? It depends on the parties. The more items in dispute, the higher the fees will be. To keep costs down we have our experienced legal assistants do much of the work attorneys used to do but at a lower total cost.
How long does it take to get a divorce? Marital status can be terminated in a minimum of six months from the date the opposing party is served with divorce papers. Other orders can be obtained at any time.
Does California recognize “common law” marriage? No.
I’ve been married for 20 years and have three children. Can I get my marriage annulled? Not likely, unless you have a very special situation.
How do I get a divorce if I don’t know where my spouse lives? We can try to find the spouse or we could get a court order to publish a notice in the newspaper.
I just moved to California. Can I get a divorce here? You must be a resident of California for six months, and of the county in which you file for three months immediately preceding the filing of a divorce. However, if you need immediate protection there may be other ways to protect you.
I just got served with divorce papers. What should I do now? What if I don’t do anything? If you do nothing, you could lose your legal rights to support or property. To protect yourself, you must file answers and show up in court.
I have a quick question. Can you answer it over the phone? We have trained professional staff that can answer simple procedural questions but we cannot give legal advice over the telephone. Even simple questions are seriously affected by the surrounding facts and issues you may not think are important. You should give yourself time to explain your situation to an attorney who has experience in analyzing the essential information needed to be able to give you the correct advice.
What’s the difference between a legal separation and a divorce? The work needed for each is essentially the same. You do not need to wait for six months to get the judgment, but you end up being still legally married. Sometimes a separation agreement is a better choice if you want your marital status to continue after the property is divided.
Is there an attorney available now? Yes, we always have an attorney available during regular business hours.
I know nothing about getting a divorce. What do I do? What’s my first step? First, take some time to talk to an attorney about your options and your rights, and related risks.
How many lawyers do you have? Three at the moment, but we are rapidly growing.
Are the attorneys aggressive? Our attorneys can be aggressive if it will help the client’s case. However, we feel that being aggressive for the sake of being aggressive is sometimes not in the client’s best interest and certainly interferes when the parties are amicably trying to work through a very difficult situation with as little stress on the family as possible, especially the children.
Do you work evenings and weekends? Yes, if it’s an emergency. We also make home visits. However, if you are seeking an attorney, we think you should come to our office and see what we are like before making your decision. That way you can see the whole staff at work.
How much child support will I get? California support is based upon a federally mandated formula. While there are some deductions, the most important items are the incomes of both parties and the timeshare percentage each parent has the children. The family courts and most attorneys have a computer program that calculates support. The formula amount can be changed only when there are unusual circumstances.
I’m in arrears on my child support and need to pay it off. Can you help me even though you didn’t handle the initial divorce? Yes. Contact our office for more information.