A few words about divorce…

For thousands of Americans every year, divorce represents an unexpected challenge that will impact them for the rest of their lives. If you are considering divorce, or have been served with divorce papers, it is important to start by remembering that the stress of the termination of a marriage can be minimized when managed the right way.
The Law Offices of Michele Cobin Friedlander wants to be the legal team that helps you through this difficult and often confusing time. When you choose to work with us, you will find that everything we do is meant to benefit you, from educating you about your rights, to offering tireless advocacy throughout the entire process.
Let’s discuss your options in detail – for a free consultation, contact Michele at our offices in Encino or Beverly Hills at (818) 986-1900

Uncontested or Contested Divorces in California

Let’s discuss your options in detail – for a free consultation, contact Michele at our offices in Encino or Beverly Hills at (818) 986-1900
Your divorce will fall under one of two types of divorce in California:
Uncontested Divorce: In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree completely with each important aspect of their divorce agreement, such as child support, child custody, property division, and all other matters. Due to the overall agreement, uncontested divorces tend to conclude quickly and at lower costs when compared to other forms of divorce.
Contested: If you or your spouse disagree with any aspect of the divorce agreement, it becomes a contested divorce. Other methods, including court intervention, will be necessary to finalize the divorce. While this may conjure up images of heated arguments, contested divorces can and often do remain civilized.
In either situation, it is crucial that you focus on your own best interests, and those of your children, if you share any with your spouse. The rest of the details will ultimately fall into place if you do, regardless of whether or not it is a contested or uncontested divorce. For excellent legal assistance, no matter what your particular situation, contact our office. Michele and her team will work diligently to help you get through this difficult time.

Is California a No-Fault Divorce State?

California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that couples do not need to establish fault for the divorce to be granted. In California, either party can file for a no-fault divorce if they are “irreconcilably” or permanently separated after attempting all possible means of reconciliation. When filing a petition for dissolution of marriage (divorce), neither spouse must prove that the other person was at fault or responsible for the breakup. If spouses wish to settle matters outside of court, they may do so through MEDIATION and NEGOTIATION.
Do I Have Any Alternatives to Divorce?
The end of your marriage will likely involve a typical divorce process, but this is not always the case. There are useful alternatives you should consider if you want to minimize stress and avoid certain confrontations.

Three divorce alternatives our law firm can help you utilize are:

1. Divorce mediation: The goal of mediation is to keep your divorce out of the courtroom as much as possible, which can provide substantial savings on costs. A neutral third-party mediator – a divorce attorney trained specifically in mediation – will sit with both you and your spouse to provide legal assistance, but not necessarily directly influence either of your decisions.
2. Collaborative divorce:  Each spouse retains their own divorce attorney and agrees to meet up for routine discussions outside of the courtroom. All four parties agree to do their best to come to an amicable solution and avoid litigation. If an agreeable conclusion is not reached, both collaborative divorce lawyers must not represent either spouse in the following court case.
3. Legal separation: If the finality of divorce does not work for you or your spouse for any reason, you may want to seek legal separation instead. When you are legally separated, you will still need to abide by any established rules – such as visitation or spousal support – but you will not technically be married. Another benefit of legal separation is that it does not dismantle any benefits gained through marriage, such as tax advantages or shared health insurance.

Documents for Filing for Divorce in California

Preparation is key to making your family law matter conclude expeditiously. Beginning the process without knowing what to expect or what your goals are can get you tied up in an impersonal legal system and add needless court dates to your calendar. Having a professional help you plan ahead and prepare the paperwork will save you unnecessary headaches and help you avoid stumbling blocks.
If you are filing divorce papers in California, the forms you will need are:
Divorce petition: You won’t get far with the divorce court system if you don’t follow their instructions and use their specific and approved divorce petition forms. You can download and print out a form straight from the California Court’s website and fill it out carefully with your attorney. In your petition, you need to say why you want to get a divorce – you can be detailed or stay vague by citing “irreconcilable differences” – and what you want out of it in terms of child custody, child support, property division, spousal support, for example. Make your intentions and wishes clear to prevent any misunderstanding during this crucial early stage.
Financial information: As part of a divorce, you need to disclose your personal finances both to the court and your future ex-spouse to determine how both spousal support and child support are to be fairly calculated.

The Law Office of Michele Cobin Friedlander is Here for You

When we take on a divorce, child custody, or any other family law case, we act as if we are representing ourselves. Our clients know us as effective, focused, and understanding above all else. Our family law firm has been providing Southern California with high-quality divorce representation for many years.
Come see what Michele Cobin Friedlander can do for you by contacting us at (818) 986-1900.

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