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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca408-395-8822
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
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Mediation and Litigation

California divorce attorney, California divorce lawsYour life is on the verge of significant change. You and the person who you have spent the last chapter of your life with are going your separate ways, bringing on a multitude of emotions. Excitement, anger, grief and happiness are all expected throughout the divorce process. Anxiety from the unknown will also keep many people up at night, especially leading up to the mandatory settlement conference.

What Is a Mandatory Settlement Conference?

A Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) is a judge-ordered meeting to try to reach an agreement between two opposing sides. It is not required of every divorce, as default cases and those that can come to an agreement will not find any use in an MSC. This session is for divorcing couples who are unable to agree on divorce terms and have not found full relief in alternative methods, such as mediation. Along with their attorneys, both parties will meet in one session, or multiple sessions, if needed, to reach an agreement on complex matters. A “pro tem” or temporary judge will oversee the discussion and will attempt to help the couple reach a final agreement. If MSC does not resolve the controversy, then a trial will commence the following week, and the judge will decide the terms of everything left undecided.

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Posted on in Divorce

California divorce laws, California divorce attorneyAfter years of working and saving for a future for yourself and your family, you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage. During the divorce process, most clients immediately understand that the assets need to be divided. Assets include everything from debts to the money in the bank account, to the house and the items in the junk drawer (provided that it is not trash hiding in that collect all drawer). Assets also include that retirement plan on which you have been diligently working.

Who Gets the Retirement?

You earned the retirement, so naturally, you are hoping that you are the one who gets to keep the retirement plan. The reality is, retirement is an employment benefit, just like any income earned. Additionally, any profits obtained during the duration of the marriage up until the date of separation are a part of the community property. As you may know, California is a community property state, meaning that everything valued to be community property is divided equally between the two parties at the time of the dissolution of marriage.

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Posted on in Divorce

California divorce judge, California divorce attorneyIf you choose to proceed with court litigation in your divorce matter, the judge assigned to your case will make the decisions pertaining to your divorce matter. While it is true that judges do not have the sentimental connection to the items in question, there is still a responsibility to make the wisest decision possible given the information at hand. Let us discuss what some of the elements are that are used in a divorce decision-making process.

Child Custody and Visitation

First and foremost, a judge will determine what is in the best interest of the child. The default solution for “best interest” is often joint legal custody, meaning that both parents must still make the legal decisions together. It is most commonly in the best interest to have involvement from both parents, so they will also generally lean towards joint physical custody. Some of the reasons that a judge may choose to do sole custody are:

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California divorce lawyer, California family law attorneyAlthough you may have decided that the marriage is over and divorce is the best option, your spouse wants to keep trying to make the marriage work.  How do you divorce if your spouse does not agree?

California Law

First, California is considered to be a “no fault” divorce state. What this means is that neither side has to prove that the other side did anything wrong. “Irreconcilable differences” is one of the two legal grounds for divorce in California. The only other ground for divorce in California is incurable insanity. “Irreconcilable differences” means that the two sides simply cannot get along.

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California divorce laws, California divorce attorneyIn California, all property that was obtained during a marriage is known as “community property.” During a dissolution of marriage, also known as divorce, this property must be divided equally between the two parties. However, there is another aspect of property that must be taken into consideration. This is known as “separate property.” What is this and must it also be disclosed during dissolution proceedings? Let us explore the realm of separate property and asset division.

What Is Separate Property?

First, let us discuss how property is actually defined. Property in and of itself is anything that can be bought and sold, such as a house, car or boat. It can also be anything of value. For instance:

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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408-395-8822
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