Filing for a Dissolution of Marriage can be a painful and confusing process. Not only are you and your partner deciding to end your marriage, you are also trying to make very important decisions with someone with whom you no longer want to be in a relationship. Once you have made the decision to divorce, you now have to figure out how you are going to divide your assets, share time with your children, and quite frankly, move on! In California, all property is characterized as either Community Property or Separate Property. Community Property is property the couple has obtained throughout their marriage. Separate Property is property obtained by one of the spouses before the marriage or after the Date of Separation, or property that was acquired by gift or inheritance. Community Property is to be divided equally and Separate Property will remain with the possessing spouse. Who gets the house? Who gets the 2 carat diamond ring that the husband bought but the wife wears? How does school debt get divided? Who is going to get legal custody of our children? Who gets physical custody? Am I entitled to spousal support and child support? What about the business in my wife’s name that I helped her start by staying home to watch the children? Does it matter if there was domestic violence or infidelity? Believe it or not, this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the spider web of issues that is Divorce and one of the biggest mistakes people make is deciding to represent themselves.
Both married and unmarried or divorcing couples with children may bring a Petition for child custody and visitation. An individual can file a Petition with the Superior Court to obtain an order signed by a Judge by which both parties are legally bound. Violation of this order can result in both civil and criminal penalties for the disobeying party. The order can contain legal labels such as which party will have Legal Custody and which party will have Physical Custody. A party with Sole Legal Custody or parties with Joint Legal Custody are able to make legal decisions on behalf of the minor child such as education, health and religion. A party with Sole Physical Custody spends significantly more time with the minor child and a Right to Visitation may or may not be given to the “non-custodial parent.” Parties with Joint Physical Custody both share significant periods of physical custody; oftentimes as close to 50/50 as possible. The judge will consider the “best interests of the child” when making custody and visitation orders. Do you have an Order in place that is not workable? Final Orders may be modified if there is a change in circumstance. Is the other parent of your child not allowing you to exercise visitation? Did something happen where you feel your child may be in danger while in the custody of the other parent? Is the other parent associating with dangerous people while your child is present? Martina A. Teinert can help you achieve your goals and bring a resolution to your problems.
According to California Law, both parents are equally responsible to provide support for the minor child. This includes financial obligations. Even if one parent does not visit with the minor child, the “Custodial Parent” is entitled to receive financial assistance from the other parent. Even if the “Non-Custodial Parent” does not have a job, a judge may impute income so that the parent will be obligated to pay once he/she obtains employment. Sometimes, a judge will make a party submit job applications to prove that he/she is actively looking for jobs to help financially support his/her child.
Spousal Support, sometimes referred to as “Alimony,” is support provided by one spouse to another. Unfortunately, divorce may mean altering your lifestyle to adapt to the new financial changes. It may be difficult to support yourself after you have depended on your husband or wife for a long period of time. In situations where one spouse has decided to forego the job industry in order to support the needs of the couple’s children: It would not be fair to leave one spouse with no financial assistance when he/she has sacrificed their career for the benefit of the Community’s children. However, that spouse may be expected to support his/herself after a reasonable period of time. A ten-year marriage otherwise known as a “long term marriage” could mean lifelong financial support for one of the spouse’s until the party dies or re-marries.
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Vigil Defense handles Domestic Violence Restraining Orders and Civil Harassment Restraining Orders. A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is an Order signed by a Judge that prohibits a person with whom you were previously or are currently in a sexual relationship from contacting you in any way or even being within a certain distance from you. This also includes a familial relationship such as mother, son, father, daughter, aunt, uncle, grandparents. If someone has threatened or has actually used violence against you or is harassing you in a manner in which you fear for your safety, a Court may grant your request for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. A Civil Harassment Restraining Order will impose the same restrictions except that the ‘familial relationship’ between the Petitioner and Respondent does not exist. This can include a neighbor, a parent from your daughter’s baseball team, a friend. You may be able to obtain a Restraining Order on behalf of someone other than yourself such as a minor child or incapacitated person.
Vigil Defense, PC
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