Divorce Attorneys in Fremont
Experienced Divorce Lawyers Serving Alameda County, CA
When it comes to divorce, every case is different. At Samra Dhillon & Associates, we use our extensive knowledge and experience to help clients manage the unique circumstances they face as they navigate the dissolution of their marriage. No matter how complex your case is, our Fremont divorce lawyers will do everything possible to help you achieve your goals.
When you join us for a free consultation, we can help you understand your legal rights and options. It is also important to us that you have realistic expectations as you begin this journey. For example, if you require alimony, child support, or both, we can help you accurately determine how much you should be receiving. Alternatively, if you are being required to pay, we can help you understand how the law works and how much you will be expected to pay.
How Our Fremont Divorce Attorneys Can Help
The decision to divorce always requires people to make some very challenging decisions, potentially resulting in severe conflict. A divorce officially begins once one spouse files the necessary forms.
From there, the spouses must work toward an agreement on various issues, such as property division, spousal support, and child custody. If they can agree on all the terms of their divorce, they will not need to appear before a judge. Those who cannot reach an agreement will have their matter decided for them by the court.
Our Fremont divorce lawyers are here to help with all divorce-related issues you may be facing, including:
- High-asset divorces
- Separation and annulment
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Property division
- Spousal support and alimony
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
Uncontested Vs. Contested Divorce in CA
One of first - and most important - decisions you'll make during your divorce is whether to file for a contested or uncontested divorce.
If you and your spouse agree on how to dissolve your marriage, you can file for an uncontested divorce. This typically involves drafting an agreement with your spouse detailing the terms for your divorce. If a court deems the agreement equitable, the terms of that agreement will be used in the divorce decree finalizing your divorce.
However, if you disagree on any aspect of your divorce, such as how to distribute property, take care of child custody or support, or on the necessity of spousal support, you'll need to file for a contested divorce instead.
During a contested divorce, the parties may take part in several hearings in court. The court can use these hearings to issue temporary orders for matters such as child custody and spousal support, dictating how those matters are handled while the divorce is ongoing.
Ultimately, contested divorces culminate in a trial. At the trial, both parties have the opportunity to present evidence supporting their case to the court. They may also call forth witnesses if they desire. The court then uses the information presented in the trial and throughout the divorce to decide what would constitute an equitable outcome for the case, and drafts a divorce decree to finalize the divorce.
What Does the Divorce Process Look Like in California?
Generally, a divorce starts when one party - the petitioner - files a petition for divorce with their county court. The petition includes the petitioner's proposed terms for the divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the petitioner often attaches the divorce agreement they created with their spouse to the divorce petition.
The other party - the respondent - then has the opportunity to respond to the petition. If they disagree with the terms of the petition, they can file a response stating such, and their own preferred terms for the divorce. This typically initiates a contested divorce.
However, if the respondent agrees with the petition for divorce and the terms set forth in it - which is often the case with uncontested divorces - they can instead waive their right to respond to the petition. This enables the court to move forward using the terms presented by the petitioner and resolve the divorce more quickly.
If the divorce is contested, the court may hold hearings and establish temporary orders before holding a trial, as mentioned earlier. If the divorce is uncontested, the court may proceed using the terms of the petition. Both parties must fully disclose their separate and personal property holdings as part of the divorce process.
Eventually, the court will issue a divorce decree that finalizes the divorce for the parties.
California & Community Property
California is one of the few states in the U.S. that utilizes community property laws. In a California divorce, the parties must distribute marital property - typically, any property acquired post-marriage, with the exception of property intended explicitly for one person such as an inheritance - equally.
As a result, many Californians end up taking on some unexpected marital debt, or having to give up property they assumed was separate during the divorce. Having an experienced property division lawyer by your side can help ensure you obtain an equitable outcome in your divorce.
How High-Asset Divorce Works in California
High-asset divorces tend to look a little different than the average divorce case.
With more valuable assets and liabilities at stake, parties may wish to hire expert witnesses, such as forensic accountants and asset appraisers, to ensure that neither party attempts to hide any assets, and an accurate value is established for all marital assets each party possesses.
Additionally, child and spousal support obligations may be more substantial in a high-asset divorce, since the supported child or spouse's quality of life during the marriage is taken into account when calculating spousal and child support obligations.