How Do I File For Divorce?
In the state of California, filing for divorce is as simple as filing a Petition for Dissolution, paying a small filing fee, and having papers served on your spouse. Your family law attorney in Upland CA can help ensure all your paperwork is in order before filing.
Can My Ex Block the Divorce?
No, in California a divorce will proceed even without the participation of your ex. They cannot contest the divorce itself, but they can contest its provisions for support, child custody, and property division.
How Does Alimony Work?
Alimony is most often provided as a monthly payment from the high-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse. The amount should be sufficient to allow the supported spouse to maintain a lifestyle similar to that enjoyed during the marriage. When creating an alimony agreement, you need to cover:
- Amount of alimony
- Duration of alimony
- Payment schedule
- Cost of living adjustment
If you cannot reach a fair agreement on your own, you will have to go to court. A judge will base your alimony on the result of our alimony calculator but adjust the amount according to the specifics of your unique case.
How Long Does Alimony Last?
Contrary to popular belief, alimony does not have to last a lifetime. In fact, lifetime alimony is typically only awarded when couples have been married 10 years or more. In other cases alimony could last for half the length of the marriage, or for any other period the parties agree upon. Alimony could even be a one-time lump sum payment.
What If I Have Pre-Nup?
The purpose of a pre-nup is to have important divorce provisions spelled out before a couple even gets married. While this can be a useful planning tool, in practice pre-nups are frequently challenged in court. If you feel your pre-nup is unfair, consult with a family law attorney in Upland CA to discuss possible strategies for invalidating it.
How Are Retirement Accounts Handled in Divorce?
Spouses are entitled to half of the value of any retirement accounts funded with community assets. In the case of IRA accounts or similar, you may have the option of buying your spouse out of the account or splitting your account without tax penalty by following a specific process designated by the IRS.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
If you rely on the court to set your child support, they will base it on the Guideline Calculation with some adjustments for the unique circumstances of your case. You can get an estimate at our child support calculator. If you reach your own child support agreement, you will have the option of including special provisions like:
- Cost of living adjustments
- College or private school tuition
- Extracurricular activities
- Medical, dental, and vision expenses
What Are My Child Custody Options?
Child custody agreements cover both physical custody (physical care of the child) and legal custody (right to make legal decisions for the child). It is possible for parents to have joint legal custody even if circumstances prevent joint physical custody. Even when physical custody is shared, children do not necessarily have to split their time evenly between two households, particularly if this would disrupt their school activities or prevent them from enjoying a stable home life. Your family law attorney in Upland CA can help you develop a custody and visitation agreement that supports your child’s best interests.
What Are My Visitation Options?
When arriving at a visitation agreement, it is important to agree on whether the visits will be supervised or unsupervised, the duration of the visits, and whether the visiting parent will be permitted to take the child out of the home. Additionally, make sure you cover special events like holidays, vacations, and birthdays.
Can I Deny My Ex Visitation?
If a legally binding visitation order is in place, you cannot violate this order. Instead, you would need to secure a modification in order to deny visitation. You need to have a valid reason to do this, such as:
- The parent has developed a drug or alcohol problem
- The parent is involved in illegal activities
- The parent’s home is unsafe
- The parent or their new intimate partner is abusive
If you feel your children are in immediate danger, contact an attorney to secure an emergency protective order.
What If I’m Not Happy With the Provisions of My Divorce Decree?
If your divorce was settled in litigation, you may appeal the court’s decision if there are legal grounds to do so. If you are dissatisfied with a specific order such as an alimony order, you may be able to seek a modification to the original order, particularly if you have had recent life changes affecting your finances. Your family law attorney in Upland CA can help you determine what approach to take and advise you of your likelihood for success in altering your divorce orders.