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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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Los Gatos, CA parenting plan attorneyDivorce has a major impact not only on the separating spouses, but also on their children. Because children do not necessarily have a say in their parents’ decision to divorce, it can be hard for them to understand how the divorce will affect them and what their lives and relationships with both parents will look like throughout the divorce process and after it is finalized. Divorcing parents need to work together to establish a clear parenting plan that reduces uncertainty for their children and makes sure that their needs are met.

Important Considerations for Child Custody and Visitation

There is a tendency for some to think of child custody as a question of “who gets the kids,” but this is an oversimplification that does not fully account for the children’s best interests or the fact that in most divorces, both parents continue to share responsibility for their children’s well-being. When you and your spouse are negotiating your parenting plan, you should consider a number of factors, including:

  • Your children’s education and extracurricular activities. You and your spouse will need to determine which of you will contribute to the choice of your children’s schools and their involvement in extracurricular activities. You should also account for where the schools and activities are located and when they take place to decide which of you may be responsible for transporting your children on a regular basis.

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Los Gatos divorce attorney for hidden assetsIn the state of California, the divorce process is governed through the California Family Code. When it comes to the assets owned by divorcing spouses, Family Code Section 2100 states that both parties must present an accurate and honest statement of their assets and liabilities. This disclosure should be completed during the early stages of a divorce, and all assets owned by the spouses should be included, regardless of whether they are community property or separate property. Unfortunately, many divorcing spouses attempt to leave certain assets out of this disclosure in order to avoid including these assets in the property division process. If you are getting divorced, you should be aware of some of the most common types of hidden assets and the steps you can take if you believe your spouse is withholding assets during the divorce process. 

Common Methods of Hiding Assets 

In some cases, a spouse may make an oversight or error and accidentally fail to disclose property. However, there are many cases in which one party will attempt to conceal certain types of property to avoid having to divide or share these assets with their former partner. A divorcing spouse may hide assets by withdrawing money from marital accounts and depositing it in a secret account or transferring it to a friend or family member with the intent of reclaiming it after the divorce is complete. Spouses may also provide incorrect or fabricated information on income or asset disclosures, or they may purchase valuables, collectibles, real estate property, or other assets without informing the other spouse.

Addressing Hidden Assets

If you suspect that there are certain assets that your spouse has not disclosed during the divorce process, you have a number of options. In some cases, you may be able to resolve these issues by discussing them with your spouse. If your divorce has been amicable and respectful, your spouse may have simply made a mistake when they failed to disclose the asset in question. 

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Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney for disclosure of assets and liabilitiesThe divorce process can be complicated, especially as it pertains to the division of marital property. In a California divorce, couples are required to fully disclose their assets and liabilities. The state’s policies are based on preventing community property from dissipation prior to the divorce and ensuring that the shared estate is equitably divided between the two parties. Unfortunately, a spouse may look to hide or devalue assets during a divorce. If you are pursuing a divorce, you should speak to a qualified attorney regarding the disclosure of assets and liabilities.

Chapter 9 of the California Family Code defines the disclosure of assets and liabilities. 

Examining Disclosure of Assets and Liabilities 

In the state of California, community property is defined as assets or income earned or purchased during a marriage while the spouses are living together. It is important to note that anything acquired prior to the marriage, after the couple has separated, or given to one spouse specifically as a gift, is known as separate property. California state law only requires that community property be divided during divorce. 

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Los Gatos child custody attorney for divorced fathersChoosing to end a marriage or long-term relationship is never easy, and the divorce process can become much more complicated when parents need to determine how to handle custody of their children. Throughout the United States, there is a widely held misconception that single fathers are at a disadvantage in these cases and that they will only be able to secure custody rights if there is egregious behavior from the mother of the child. However, this is simply not true, especially here in the state of California. The state’s laws have recognized that fathers play an important role in children’s lives, and fathers and mothers should be treated equally in child custody cases. If you are a father who needs to address custody issues, you will want to work with an experienced attorney who can help protect your parental rights and your children’s best interests. 

Child Custody Laws in California

In the state of California, a father has the same rights as a mother when it comes to custody of children following a divorce or separation. In fact, a provision added in section 3020 of the California Family Code explicitly states that a parent’s sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation should not be considered when determining how to reach a decision about child custody that will meet children’s needs. 

Under California law, child custody comes in two forms: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody will determine where the child will primarily reside, whereas legal custody will define parents’ rights to make significant decisions for the child involving topics ranging from academics to religious beliefs. According to section 3080 of the California Family Code, it is presumed that it is in children’s best interests for parents to have joint custody. In some cases, legal custody may be shared equally, while one parent may have primary physical custody, and in other cases, children may spend equal or near-equal amounts of time with each parent.

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