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Los Gatos divorce attorney for adulteryThe end of a long-term relationship is rarely easy or simple, but it can become much more complicated and difficult if one partner has committed adultery. In these types of divorce cases, the other spouse will likely feel wronged, and they may believe that because their partner’s actions led to the breakdown of their marriage, decisions should be made in their own favor. However, it is important to understand the actual role that infidelity may play in the legal process of divorce and how it may affect the decisions that are made.

Infidelity and the Legal Aspects of Divorce

During the divorce process, both spouses are treated equally, and in most cases, the reasons for the end of the marriage will not play a role in the decisions made. Spouses should be aware of how infidelity may be addressed when handling the following issues:

  • The divorce petition - California is a “no-fault” divorce state, and when one spouse files for divorce, the only “grounds” that may be stated for ending the marriage are “irreconcilable differences” or a permanent inability by one spouse to make decisions due to a mental or physical disability. In the vast majority of cases, a divorce will occur because of irreconcilable differences, and rather than blaming one spouse for the end of the marriage, a divorce petition will simply state that the marriage has broken down beyond repair.

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Los Gatos divorce lawyer for hidden assetsThe divorce process can be very complicated, and it requires spouses to navigate a variety of legal and financial issues as they work to dissolve their marriage. While you are dealing with the stress of separating your life from your spouse, the emotional trauma that comes with the end of a long-term relationship, and the fallout from contentious disputes over child custody and other issues, it can be easy to neglect what seem like the smaller details of a divorce. However, it is also important to protect your rights, and if you are worried that your ex is attempting to hide assets and unfairly influence the financial decisions in your divorce, you will want to understand your legal options.

Addressing Concerns About Hidden Assets

California is a community property state, which means that divorcing couples are required to divide marital property equally. However, some spouses may try to hide assets to avoid having to divide certain pieces of property. A spouse may do this in an attempt to punish their spouse because they blame them for the end of the marriage, or they may believe that they are entitled to a greater share of assets based on the income they earn or their contributions to the relationship.

Regardless of the reasons for hiding assets, doing so is illegal, and a spouse could face penalties if these activities are discovered during the divorce process. A spouse may be required to pay fines or cover the other spouse’s attorney’s fees in legal proceedings related to concealed assets. In some cases, a spouse may even forfeit the rights to a concealed asset, resulting in the other spouse receiving a greater share of the marital estate.

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Posted on in Divorce

Los Gatos divorce mediation lawyerWhile the divorce process can be a challenging experience for both parties, the end of your marriage does represent an opportunity to move forward in your life. Recognizing this, many couples will look to complete the divorce process as quickly as possible. In the state of California, the court requires a six month waiting period prior to the dissolution of a marriage. While this waiting period will hold true regardless of how you pursue your divorce, there are a number of ways in which you can simplify the divorce process and alleviate the stress of the dissolution. 

Understanding Divorce in California

In the state of California, the divorce process begins with one spouse filing for a petition for divorce. It is important to note that in order to file for divorce in California, a person must reside in the state for a minimum of six months, and they must be a resident of the county in which they are filing for a minimum of three months. According to California law, a minimum of six months must pass between the date the other spouse is served with the petition and the date in which the divorce decree or judgment is entered in court. 

Strategies for a Faster Divorce Process

While the six month waiting period is required in all California divorces, it may be possible to simplify the divorce process and ensure that all issues will be addressed by the end of this period. One way of doing this is through jointly filing for a summary dissolution. In order to qualify for a summary dissolution, spouses must meet a number of criteria. The duration of the marriage must be five years or less, the spouses must have no children together, and both spouses must sign an agreement that specifies how community property will be divided and states that neither party will receive spousal support

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Santa Clara County divorce and child custody attorneyIn the state of California, thousands of couples get divorced every year. While a divorce can be emotionally challenging for spouses, the divorce process can be especially traumatizing for their children. Recognizing this, courts in California make decisions on child custody based on what is in the child’s best interests. According to state law, child custody is broken into two different types of custody: legal and physical custody. If you are awarded legal custody of your child, you will have the legal right to make critical life decisions for them. If you are awarded physical custody, you will be granted time during which the child will stay with you. To achieve success in your child custody case, you will want to focus on the following: 

  • Your Goals: The way you approach a child custody case will depend on what you want to achieve during the divorce process. If you are seeking sole legal custody or primary physical custody, it is likely that you will need to resolve these aspects of your divorce in court and demonstrate why you should be the sole or primary caretaker of your child. If you believe that you and your spouse are both capable parents, you will likely be able to develop a parenting plan and joint custody agreement outside of court through negotiation or mediation

  • Cooperating With Your Spouse: While you and your spouse may be ending your marriage, you are still both parents of your child. By working together with your spouse to resolve disputes throughout the divorce process, you can develop the foundation of a new co-parenting relationship that will allow you to cooperate as you parent your children. The overwhelming majority of studies show that children benefit greatly from a continued relationship with both parents, post-divorce. 

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Posted on in Mediation

Santa Clara County divorce mediation attorneyIf you have made the difficult decision to end your marriage and pursue a divorce, you will be facing a lot of questions about how your life will change and the legal issues that you will need to address. As you proceed with the divorce process, one important question you should ask yourself is whether you can use divorce mediation to reach a divorce settlement. When you use mediation, you and your spouse will work with a neutral mediator to discuss and resolve all of the issues in your divorce, including child custody, spousal support, community property, and financial matters. The mediator will serve to facilitate the conversation and help you remain professional and focused as you work to reach a mutually agreeable divorce settlement. 

The Benefits of Mediation

The long-term and short-term benefits of divorce mediation cannot be understated. Not only can divorce mediation expedite the divorce process, ensuring that you and your spouse can move forward successfully into the next chapter of your lives, but mediation can also result in significant financial savings. Perhaps most importantly, divorce mediation will provide you with an increased level of control and flexibility in making the critical decisions in your divorce. 

When a divorce is resolved in court, a judge will ultimately make decisions on issues such as child custody and the division of community property. Mediation, on the other hand, will give you and your spouse full control over the decisions made. If you and your spouse have children together, the mediation process can serve as a foundation for how you will work together as co-parents in the coming years.  

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