Call for a free initial consultation
Law Offices of Benita Ventresca408-395-8822
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
Offering Limited Scope Service
Mediation and Litigation

Los Gatos divorce lawyer limited scope representationA divorce can be costly in many ways. For example, your out-of-pocket living expenses will go up, at least in the short-term, as you pay for a separate residence and all the costs associated with moving and furnishing your new home. You may also be thinking ahead to years of child support payments and other child care costs, as well as saving for retirement as a single person rather than as a couple. 

In order to net the highest value from your division of property and minimize the cost of the divorce proceeding itself, you might consider handling some aspects of the divorce yourself. Rather than pay for a “full service” attorney for both spouses, you might want to consider limited scope representation, also known as unbundled legal services.

Typically, a divorce lawyer will handle all legal aspects of your divorce from start to finish. This commonly includes:


Los Gatos divorce attorney pet ownership85% of people with a dog, cat, or other animal companion reportedly think of themselves as pet “parents” rather than “owners.” However, divorce laws across the United States are just starting to catch up with this way of thinking. 

Illinois was one of the first states to enact legislation that specifically addresses the issue of pets in divorce. A law that took effect at the beginning of 2018 empowered Illinois judges to grant sole or joint “custody” of a pet as part of a divorce settlement and are directed to consider the well-being of the pet when making such decisions.

California has now jumped on the pet wagon with a new law that takes effect in January 2019. Rather than treat pets like a car or a piece of furniture, something that has only a financial value and must be awarded to one spouse or the other, judges will now handle family pets more like they handle child custody. 


Los Gatos summary divorce attorneyOnce you have made the difficult decision to file for divorce, you probably want to complete the process as quickly as possible. Below are a few facts to help you understand the timeline for a California divorce:

Residency Requirements for Divorce

Before you can get a divorce in California, you must have been a resident of the state for at least six months, and a resident of the county in which you file for divorce for at least three months.

Waiting Period After Filing for a California Divorce

The first step in the divorce process is for one spouse to file a petition for dissolution of marriage in their county court. The petition must then be served upon the other spouse. California law requires that a minimum of six months pass between the date when the petition was served on the other spouse and the termination date of the marriage.


CA divorce lawyerIf you are in the midst of a divorce, you are likely to be experiencing a great deal of chaos as you adjust to your newly-single life, and you may be struggling to make ends meet. Along with the legal costs involved in divorce, you may need to address issues such as finding new living arrangements, paying moving costs, and adjusting to living on a single income. However, with proper planning, you can begin your life after your divorce on the right foot. During divorce, you should be sure to address the following financial issues:

  • Check your credit report - If possible, you should pay off any joint credit cards and close the accounts, or make sure that if credit cards remain in one spouse’s name, the other spouse is removed from the account. Close any joint bank accounts, and check to make sure any issues with creditors have been resolved. If necessary, obtain credit cards in your name to begin establishing your own credit history.
  • Complete the division of property - Finish dividing your community property, following the decisions made in your divorce settlement. Be sure to update or refinance loans or home mortgages appropriately. Pay close attention to the division of retirement accounts or pensions, making sure to follow the proper procedures to distribute these finds without being subject to taxes or penalties.
  • Update insurance plans - You may need to remove your ex-spouse from your health insurance coverage or obtain your own coverage under a new plan. If necessary, you may be able to receive temporary COBRA coverage. You should also make sure to remove your ex as a beneficiary of life insurance or retirement plans.
  • Understand your taxes - When filing your tax return for the previous year, you will need to determine whether you should file jointly with your ex-spouse or separately. You should also update your income tax withholding to reflect your new marital status and claim the appropriate exemptions, ensuring that you do not owe taxes when filing next year’s tax return.
  • Create a budget - To ensure that you will be able to maintain financial stability following divorce, take complete stock of your income and expenses and create a workable plan going forward. Make sure to account for child support or spousal support which you will pay or receive, mortgage or rent payments, household expenses (including food, gas, and utilities), and anything else that affects your day-to-day financial situation.

Contact a Los Gatos Divorce Lawyer

By taking steps to fully understand your financial situation during your divorce, you can plan for success in the next stage of your life. At the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca, we can advocate for your interests during divorce and help you complete the process efficiently and effectively. Contact our Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney at 408-395-8822 to set up a free consultation.



CA family lawyerThe end of a marriage can be an emotionally difficult time for everyone involved, but teens often struggle to adjust to their parents’ divorce. Teenage children of divorcing parents may experience issues such as depression, academic difficulties, behavioral problems, substance abuse, and involvement in sexual activity.

As a parent, you want what is best for your children, and you can help teenagers cope with the changes in their lives in the following ways:

  • Listen to their concerns - Teenagers are likely to worry about the future, so you should encourage them to talk to you about their feelings. Offer them love and support, letting them know that it is okay to feel sadness, anger, or grief, and helping them express these feelings in a healthy manner.
  • Maintain a consistent routine - A sense of consistency is beneficial for children, so sticking to regular schedules for activities can help them maintain a sense of normalcy as they are going through changes to their lives. Try to make sure that both parents continue to participate in activities with them as you did prior to your break-up.
  • Encourage a relationship with the other parent - It is important for children to maintain a good relationship with both parents, so you should encourage them to communicate and maintain a close bond with the other parent and avoid criticizing or undermining your ex in front of them.
  • Keep children away from conflict - Parents should do everything they can to keep children from being involved in any arguments or disputes during or after divorce. Never try to make your children choose between you and your ex or ask them to spy on the other parent.
  • Avoid oversharing - When discussing your divorce with your children, be honest, but talk to them in an age-appropriate manner. Avoid laying blame for the divorce or providing too much detail. While it may be tempting to confide in them about your own emotional issues or your dating life after your divorce, do not rely on them for emotional support.
  • Seek professional help - If children experience negative effects at school or at home as they adjust to their new reality, it can be beneficial for them to work with a therapist or counselor who can help them understand how to deal with the emotional issues they are experiencing.

Contact a Los Gatos Family Law Attorney

During and after your divorce, you will want to be sure to protect your children’s best interests and help them come to terms with the changes they are experiencing in their lives. If you need help addressing the legal issues that must be resolved as you work to finalize your divorce, the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca can answer your questions and help you reach a favorable outcome. Contact a Los Gatos, CA divorce lawyer at 408-395-8822 to set up a free consultation.

Google Map Marker

Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

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

Phone Icon

Call us for a free initial consultation


Conveniently located in downtown los gatos and
close to highway 280, 85 & 880


Back to Top