California Divorce FAQ
Get Answers from Claery & Hammond, LLP
California's divorce and family laws can be confusing, and in the midst
of stressful legal proceedings you likely have a number of questions about
your rights and options. At Claery & Hammond, LLP our lawyers are
dedicated to providing clients with the aggressive advocacy, knowledgeable
legal counsel, and attentive representation they deserve, and we can assist
you and your family during this difficult time. We are experienced in
all type of divorce and family law cases, and can ensure your rights and
interests are protected throughout your proceedings. To learn more, please
call our offices today and read on for helpful answers to some common
questions about divorce and family court cases.
What is collaborative divorce?
Unlike the traditional idea of divorce in which couples square off in
court in a heated battle,
collaborative divorce allows couples to work together to restructure their lives. This method
saves divorcing couples money and time, and enables them to resolve the
matters of their divorce in a peaceful manner without court involvement.
Is a mother automatically awarded custody?
It is a common misconception that mothers are more likely to win
custody of the children; in reality, the family courts do not favor one parent
over the other. Rather, the judge's main concern is which situation
is in the best interests of the children, and a number of factors will
be considered before a custody ruling is made.
How is property divided in divorce?
In the state of California, any property or assets acquired during the
course of the marriage are considered to be community property, and are
thus subject to equitable distribution. Any community property shared
by the couple will be divided equally by the divorce court. To learn how
property division laws could impact your assets, discuss your situation with a knowledgeable
How is child support calculated?
Child support is often an important issue in a couple's divorce agreement, and is
meant to help cover the costs of raising the child, including medical
expenses, food, clothing, shelter, and education. Although some couples
can work together to determine how much support will be paid to the parent
with primary custody, in other cases a couple cannot come to an agreement
and the court must intervene. In such cases the judge will use state guidelines
to determine how much support is appropriate. Some of the factors considered include:
- The number of children the couple has together
- Whether either parent is supporting children from other relationships
- Each parent's income and any potential income
- The amount of time each parent spends with the children
- The cost of health insurance
- The cost of sharing any uninsured medical expenses
- Each parent's tax filing status
- Any additional forms of income received by the parents
Am I eligible to receive spousal support?
A spouse can seek
spousal support, also known as alimony, as part of their final divorce judgment, and this
support can be awarded for a short period of time to help them get back
on their feet after the divorce, for the rest of their life, or for a
specific purpose, such as to help them obtain an education or employment.
The judge will consider a number of factors to determine the appropriate
amount of support to be awarded, including the age and health of both
spouses, the length of their marriage, each spouse's needs based on
the standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage, and the balance
of hardship between the spouses.
What is visitation?
Under California law, noncustodial parents have the right to
visitation with their children, though these rights are under the discretion of the
court. Visitation enables the noncustodial parent to spend regular time
with their children in order to maintain these important relationships.
If the other parent does not follow the visitation order, you can seek
court action to enforce the terms or have them modified to provide you
with more visitation time.
Do I have any legal rights as a grandparent?
The California family courts recognize the important role grandparents
play in the lives of children, and if you are being kept from proper contact
with your grandchildren, an attorney can help you take legal action. You
can file for visitation with your grandchildren so that you are able to
spend regular time with them, and if granted, you can seek court enforcement
if the parents do not follow this order. Contact our team today to learn
grandparent's rights and how you can fight to protect your relationships with your precious
Can I seek a restraining order as a victim of domestic violence?
If you are suffering abuse at the hands of a relative, a
restraining order can provide you with the protection you need. There are four main types
of restraining orders that are typically issued in situations of
Emergency Protective Order (EPO): Law enforcement officers can request to have a judge issue this order
to provide the victim with immediate protection from the abuser. These
orders last up to one week, and during that time the judge may order the
abuser to stay away from the victim and their children and leave the residence.
A victim can then seek the protection of a temporary restraining order.
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO): To seek the protection of a TRO, the victim must fill out paperwork at
the courthouse and speak with a judge about their situation and why the
order is necessary. If granted, the order will last for three weeks, but
can later be changed into a permanent order that lasts for one to three years.
Criminal Protective Order ("No Contact" Order): This order may be issued by the district attorney's office after pressing
charges against the abuser. Under a No Contact order the abuser cannot
be in contact with you in any way and all communications must be through
Civil Harassment Order (CHO): This type of order is not used strictly for incidences of domestic violence,
but can be used to stop threats, harassment, stalking, and more.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, please contact our offices as
soon as possible to discuss your options to take action against your abuser
to protect yourself and your loved ones from further harm.
What are the differences between physical custody and legal custody?
There are two main types of custody awarded by the court: physical custody
and legal custody. Physical custody is awarded to one or both parents,
and refers to the right to have the child live at their residence. Legal
custody may be shared or awarded to only one parent, and is the right
to make all decisions for the child's life, including for their health,
education, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities.
Enlist Skilled Counsel for Your Case
Regardless of the circumstances you face, you should be confident that
your attorney has the experience and legal knowledge needed to effectively
represent your case. At Claery & Hammond, LLP we understand that the
outcome of your proceedings will have significant implications upon your
life, which is why our firm works tirelessly to promote our clients'
interests and protect their rights.
With so much riding on your case, you deserve to have exceptional advocacy
for your case;
contact an attorney from our offices to discuss your unique situation!