Divorce Lawyers in San Jose, CA — Representing the Best Interests of Our Clients
No one gets married with the intent to divorce. Unfortunately, it happens more than one might expect. In fact, it’s one of the primary focuses of many family law legal offices in California. If your marriage has fallen apart and it’s time to go your separate ways, California has removed many of the hurdles that other states impose. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be an easy process. This is particularly the case in contested divorces, but even marital dissolutions where both parties are in agreement can run into significant hurdles. For this reason, it’s important to have a divorce lawyer in San Jose, CA on your side.
At Argyris Mah, LLP, you’ll work with a California family law attorney who will advocate tirelessly for your best interests. Perhaps you’re facing a simple divorce with minimal assets and no children, or there may be major disagreements over child custody arrangements, marital property, etc. Regardless of the situation, our team of legal professionals is here to help. The divorce process is typically a stressful endeavor that can drag out, but our law firm will strive to simplify the process on your behalf. This is a difficult time, so let our San Jose divorce lawyers assist. Contact us today for a free consultation.
How Can San Jose Divorce Lawyers Help?
If you’re ready to get out of your marriage or your spouse has filed for a divorce, a family law attorney in San Jose can prove invaluable. No one thinks about how complex marital dissolution can be — particularly since most couples don’t anticipate divorce — so they’re often blindsided when that time comes. Fortunately, California has taken some steps to simplify the process. For instance, it’s possible to file for a no-fault divorce in our state. This means “irreconcilable differences” is the only necessary component for filing. Still, divorce lawyers in San Jose, CA can help in a variety of ways.
For instance, around half of all couples who divorce have children with their soon-to-be former spouse. This means child custody, a parenting plan, and child support issues are definitely going to come up. And since California has specific laws regarding these issues, a simple agreement between the parents is not always enough. Even when no children are shared, though, there are still issues regarding spousal financial support, community property division, separating bank accounts, and more. Without an attorney on your side, you could easily be blindsided with undesirable outcomes in these and other areas.
At Argyris Mah, LLP, our San Jose divorce lawyers understand what you’re going through. In addition to the difficult personal issues you’re facing, you also have to worry about complex legal matters, untold amounts of paperwork, seemingly arbitrary laws, and sometimes even lengthy litigation to resolve important matters. Our family attorneys can handle these issues and more so you can focus on getting back to a sense of normalcy in your life. We provide the personal attention each of our clients deserves. Let us take charge of your divorce case and help you better understand your rights and options.
What Issues Come Up in California Divorce Cases?
We’ve already briefly touched on a few of the most serious issues faced in divorce. However, it’s important to understand that dealing with these issues is not a simple task. It’s essential that you fully understand the complexity of each issue. Doing so will help you recognize that a do-it-yourself approach is typically not ideal even for a seemingly straightforward marital dissolution. The following are the four most important issues that arise during divorce — along with some of the complexities that many people do not expect.
When a couple gets a divorce, either individual can request spousal maintenance payments. This is money paid from one spouse to another to help them maintain a certain level of living. Temporary payments are often ordered during the divorce process, and a judge can assign long-term payments as part of the final judgment. The amount and length of payments will depend on the family dynamic. For instance, did one spouse stay home with the children? This could affect their ability to seek gainful employment. Various considerations will go into this court decision, but an attorney can help you make a case in your favor.
Child support payments may seem like common sense, but the complexities of state law can make things difficult. In California, a variety of considerations are taken into account before a support order is issued. This includes the combined income of both parents, the disposable income of the higher-earning parent, how often each individual will have the child in their custody, and various other factors. In some situations, the lower-earning parent could even end up paying child support. Clearly, things can get complicated. Put simply, you can benefit from a San Jose divorce attorney if you have children from your marriage.
In most cases, courts hope that an arrangement can be reached that allows joint legal custody between parents. This means both individuals will be involved in making important decisions for a child. However, this type of joint custody is not always seen in the best interest of the child. Additionally, courts will typically want one parent to have primary physical custody so the child can have a sense of normalcy in one place. However, this can leave the other parent and the family members who love their child with fewer rights. There could even be times when sole custody is awarded to one parent. This is why it’s so important to have an experienced legal professional on your side.
Even the simplest divorce cases aren’t really simple. However, things do get easier if no children are involved. This is also true if both spouses have their own income. Even in this situation, though, property division can complicate matters. California is a community property state, and this typically means marital assets are divided down the middle. However, it’s not always easy to separate property that was acquired before or after the marriage — particularly if assets become commingled. In such a situation, even property acquired before a marriage could end up divided. This is why you need legal representation on your side who will support your best interests. Contact Argyris Mah, LLP today for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions for Divorce Under California Law
If you’re going through a divorce, you’ve no doubt got plenty of questions. Our San Jose family law firm can help answer many of these during a one-on-one free consultation. However, there are also a few basic questions we can answer here. These are some of the most common things our attorneys are asked by clients.
“What is a legal separation?”
A legal separation does many of the same things a divorce does, but the couple involved maintains their marital status. Issues of child custody, debt, property division, spousal maintenance, and child support can all be decided on by a judge. A couple may choose this route over divorce for religious, personal, or financial reasons. For instance, staying married may be necessary for one spouse to stay on the other’s health insurance plan. A family law attorney can help you figure out the specifics of a legal separation and how to move forward.
“What are prenuptial and postnuptial agreements?
A prenuptial agreement is a pre-marital contract stipulating what will happen in the case of a divorce. If you want to create such a document, it’s important to speak with a family law attorney. You can’t include everything you might want in such an agreement, so it’s important to have a legal professional who can ensure your contract remains within the confines of the law. A postnuptial agreement is similar, but it is signed after a couple is married. A prenuptial agreement is assumed valid under California law, but a postnuptial agreement will need to be established as valid in court.
“What are the residency requirements for a California divorce?”
For a couple to file a divorce case in California, at least one of the spouses must have legal residency in the state for at least six months. Additionally, they must have lived for three months in the county where they’re filing. This means anyone seeking a divorce in San Jose will have had to live in Santa Clara County for at least three months before filing.
“Who gets child custody in a California divorce?”
Child custody decisions will always come down to what’s in the best interest of the child. Considered factors include the child’s age, living arrangements, past behavior of parents, the child’s preference, and other issues. Even if the divorcing couple creates their own parenting plan that covers custody issues, a judge may decide that it’s not in the best interest of the child. Let a family law attorney at Argyris Mah, LLP help with these decisions and fight for what’s best for your child.
“Will you have to pay child support?”
In most cases, the higher-earning spouse will have to pay child support to the other parent. However, there are some instances where this might not be the case. This typically occurs if the higher-earning spouse has primary physical custody of their children and doesn’t earn much more than the other parent.
“How long does a divorce take in California courts?”
It will take at least six months to get a divorce in California. This is true even if you have the most experienced law firm on your side with a primary legal specialization in divorce. A summary dissolution can be handled in six months when the spouses are amicable. However, the length of a divorce can go much longer if there are significant issues and disagreements involved.
“What if there are accusations of domestic violence?”
If domestic violence existed in a relationship, it can have a huge effect on divorce proceedings. Domestic violence victims will likely not be required to provide spousal support, and evidence of intimate partner violence can have a major effect on child custody and support. Judges may even take such violence into consideration when dividing community property. There’s typically also the need to request restraining orders in these cases. If you faced domestic violence in your relationship — or if you’ve been wrongfully accused — you need a San Jose divorce attorney on your side to deal with these complex matters.
Can You Get Divorced Without a Divorce Attorney?
It doesn’t take much to get married in California legally, and if you were to believe do-it-yourself legal websites, divorce wouldn’t be difficult either. In fact, many of these sites promise to provide all the necessary documentation to dissolve your legal relationship, divide the marital estate, and even handle issues as important as child custody. The critical thing to remember, however, is that most legal professionals warn against using these types of DIY legal services. They often focus on a best-case scenario where both parties are in agreement. However, it only takes one spouse to throw this assumption out the window.
That’s because it’s very rare that both parties to a divorce will agree on everything. Perhaps they’ve reached an agreement on child custody arrangements, spousal support, marital property division, and everything else they’ve discussed thus far. However, there might be a disagreement over child support payments. If even one matter isn’t agreed upon, it can result in a drawn-out legal battle. In such a situation, you want an experienced team of San Jose family lawyers on your side. However, what happens if this is a truly amicable divorce? Could you really benefit from a divorce attorney at that point? The answer is yes.
That’s because California law doesn’t always work how you’d expect. If two individuals agree on everything from child support to marital asset division, you’d expect the courts to approve the divorce agreement. In reality, this isn’t always how things play out. Those who don’t have experience in such matters may inadvertently include an arrangement that is not allowed under California law. A judge may also believe that agreements involving child custody or spousal support are not completely fair. This is why — even in an amicable divorce — you should have an experienced attorney review your case to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer in San Jose, CA Today
The parties involved in divorce proceedings have a tough road ahead of them. If you’re going through this situation, you understand this fact more than most. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll receive a fair outcome. Marital dissolution can be complex, and if you fail to plan appropriately or treat these proceedings with the seriousness they deserve, you may find yourself in a problematic scenario. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this alone. Scheduling a case evaluation with a San Jose family law firm can help you better understand your situation and the ideal path forward.
At Argyris Mah, LLC, we understand the issues that you’re going through. Living in a community property state can make things difficult, and without a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, many important decisions may be left to the courts. This is why you need an experienced legal advocate on your side. We can represent you through divorce negotiations in order to avoid prolonged litigation. However, we can also fight for your best interests in court if an agreement cannot be reached on every issue. Put simply, our divorce lawyers in San Jose, CA are here to help regardless of your situation.