Divorce

Divorce Attorney Orange County

Divorce

If you believe your marriage is heading toward a divorce or the process has already begun, Kaufman Steinberg can help. Our experienced divorce attorneys have represented many spouses and partners in the divorce and separation process, and we understand this can be a stressful and emotional time for you. We will take time to listen to you, learn about your situation, and understand your needs and goals. We will give you honest advice and fully inform you of the law because you need to make informed, educated decisions on how to proceed. Kaufman Steinberg will zealously represent you and protect your rights and interests during the divorce process, whether it’s resolved through negotiation, mediation, or litigation.

Our family law attorneys have been recognized for their excellent work by leading family publications and legal publications. You can trust Kaufman Steinberg to protect your rights and interests during a divorce, equitable distribution of assets, alimony, child support, custody and visitation, paternity issues/disputes, and family violence restraining orders. Our divorce lawyers will aggressively defend you through every stage of the litigation process to achieve your goals. We make it our top priority to provide you with the highest quality legal representation possible.

Beginning a Divorce Case

If you’ve decided to end your marriage or domestic partnership, or if your spouse or partner has already made that decision, think about what you want to do in the future. Though a divorce is the end of a marriage, it’s also the beginning of your new life. Think about your new goals, then talk to us, and we will work together with you to obtain the best possible outcome for you and your family.

In California, either spouse or partner can end the marriage:

  • Even if the other spouse/partner doesn’t want a divorce, the process can’t be stopped. Refusing to participate in the case will only result in a default judgment against the uncooperative spouse/partner, and the divorce will proceed without your participation.
  • As a “no-fault” divorce state, California law does not require a showing the other party did something wrong or caused the couple to split. To start the divorce process, all one spouse/partner needs to claim is that there are “irreconcilable differences” causing the breakup of the marriage.

Just because there are “no-fault” divorces in California doesn’t mean a divorce will go smoothly. There are any number of issues that could create disputes, and if not resolved, which may result in litigation, including:

  • Child custody and support
  • Spousal/partner support or alimony
  • Division of assets and debts, including family-owned businesses

“No-Fault Divorce”

The most common way to end a marriage is by filing for a “no-fault” divorce. In California, the parties do not need to allege any fault, such as adultery, abuse, or abandonment; instead, one party typically alleges irreconcilable differences. After filing for divorce and serving the Petition, however, the parties must wait at least six months before a judgment can terminate their marital status.

Which court will hear your family case? California law requires family law cases to be heard in the Superior Court of the county where one of the parties resides for at least three months. 

Establishing Child Custody and Child Support 

Normally the family court system prefers that there be shared joint legal and physical custody for children, but a judge will make a different order if the parents agree or it’s shown to be in the best interests of the child. A child support payment schedule is normally used, but a judge may agree to deviate from the norm depending on the facts of the situation. Normally, assets and debts are equally divided based on what’s considered community (divided up between the spouses) and separate (belongs to only one person). Whether an asset or debt is separate or community (and who gets what) can be a contentious issue.

In family law, it’s common for one party to want a child support payment. The family law system was built around a family unit where both parents were present and functioning as equal partners raising their children, but there may be cases where only one parent plays an active role in their children’s day-to-day lives. In these situations, courts will adjust child support amounts consistent with the parties’ respective custodial time with the children. 

Getting a divorce or a legal separation can be a traumatic, emotional time. With an understanding, a compassionate attorney by your side, giving you advice based on years of experience in divorce cases and aggressively defending your rights, and protecting your interests, the process will be manageable for you and your children. Kaufman Steinberg attorneys counsel clients through the divorce process, help them obtain the best possible outcomes and prepare them for their futures.

Kaufman Steinberg divorce lawyers have a thorough understanding of divorce laws and proceedings. If you have questions or concerns about divorce law and the legal process or need legal representation in a divorce or separation action, contact family law attorney Kaufman Steinberg today. As Orange County Divorce Attorneys, we can discuss your situation, applicable laws, how they may apply in your case, and your best legal options.

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