ENCINO FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS
SERVING THE VALLEY & ALL OF L.A. SINCE 1985
When you need the help of an experienced family lawyer, turn to the team at Stolar Law Group. Since 1985, our firm has helped families throughout Los Angeles County navigate complex legal challenges, all while protecting their rights and best interests. Whether you wish to file for divorce, need help reaching a child custody agreement, or wish to make changes to an existing agreement to accommodate changes in your life, our Encino family law attorneys are here to help.
As your legal team, we are here to guide you and provide the answers you need every step of the way. We know that no two cases are exactly alike. Because of this, we seek innovative solutions designed to meet your family’s unique needs. Our compassionate team will be there for you from start to finish, helping you navigate complex situations and find resolutions to even the toughest of legal challenges.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FILING FOR DIVORCE IN CALIFORNIA
Whether you are the one initiating the action, or your spouse has already begun the process, there are some things you should know when filing for divorce in California. First and foremost, the best way to protect yourself and your rights is to work with an experienced divorce attorney. Although you do not need a lawyer to file for divorce in California, there are many pitfalls in attempting the process on your own.
This is especially true when there are complicating factors involved, such as minor children or stepchildren, shared homes, multiple real estate properties, family businesses, and more. An attorney has a thorough knowledge of the law and can help you navigate these and other challenges while simultaneously protecting your rights.
Below, we’ve provided a brief overview of some things you should know when filing for divorce in Encino or anywhere in L.A. County:
- No-Fault Divorce: California is a “no-fault” divorce state. This simply means that you do not need to prove that your spouse was to blame for the breakdown of your marriage to file for divorce. Instead, you may simply cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for a divorce, and this is accepted by the court.
- Child Custody: The main concern of any parent filing for divorce is the wellbeing of their children. When deciding child custody arrangements, the court also rules in favor of the child’s best interests. Note that the court’s opinion on what constitutes your child’s “best interests” may differ from your own, but it is possible to come to a custom arrangement with your child’s other parent (in some cases). Additionally, you should know that the court does not automatically favor the mother when it comes to physical or legal custody.
- Division of Property: California is a “community property” state, which means that all properties, assets, income, and debts accumulated during the marriage are considered to be “joint property” (with some exceptions, such as inheritances received by only one spouse). All joint property is subject to “equitable and fair” division. This does not necessarily mean that these properties will be divided 50/50 but, rather, in a manner the court deems “reasonable and fair.”
- Alimony/Spousal Support: You may request alimony, also known as spousal support, in California. The court will weigh a variety of factors when deciding whether to award alimony, as well as how much and to whom alimony will be awarded. Some factors used in this decision include the standard of life both spouses had during the marriage, the ability of the paying spouse to provide alimony, and the ability of the receiving spouse to earn their own income, among numerous others.
- Legal Separation: Unlike several other states, California does not require two spouses to be legally separated for any period of time before filing for divorce. However, you may still choose to be legally separated before filing or in place of filing for divorce. Legal separation differs from divorce in that neither party asks the court to terminate the marriage in a legal separation. However, you may still be required to go through many of the same legal processes—such as dividing assets and reaching a child custody arrangement—as you would with a divorce.
Whether your divorce is uncontested, or you and your spouse cannot agree, it is in your best interests to work with a skilled divorce lawyer, like those at Stolar Law Group. Our Encino family law attorneys have experience representing individuals from all walks of life, including military servicemembers, entertainers, executives, professional athletes, and their spouses. We are well-versed in the many nuances involved and can help you seek an ideal solution based on the unique factors of your case.