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Riverside Lawyer Representing People in Divorce Proceedings
Typically, people enter into marriages with the expectation that they will be together for the rest of their lives. In reality, though, many marriages end in divorce. Dissolving a marriage can be an emotionally and legally complicated process, and it is not uncommon for divorce proceedings to become contentious. If you are considering ending your marriage or were recently served with legal papers instituting a divorce proceeding by your spouse, it is critical to retain an experienced attorney as soon as possible. For more than a decade, Riverside divorce attorney Tashfeen Haq of Haq Law Firm, PC, has helped people protect their interests in divorce cases, and if you hire him, he will work tirelessly to help you pursue a just result. Mr. Haq regularly represents people in divorce proceedings and other family law matters in Riverside and San Bernadino.
Obtaining a Divorce Under California Law
Parties that want to obtain a divorce in California must meet the residency requirement. Specifically, either the person seeking a divorce or their spouse must live in California for at least six months before the divorce petition is filed.
California law allows for no-fault divorces, which means that a party can obtain a divorce without establishing that their spouse led to the downfall of their marriage. Thus, in most cases, the petitioner will assert that irreconcilable differences that cannot be repaired caused a breakdown of the marriage or that their spouse suffers from a legal incapacity that is permanent and renders them incapable of making decisions.
The courts will not finalize a divorce until a minimum of six months have passed since the responding spouse is served with the initial pleading or enters an appearance, whichever occurs earlier. In many instances, though, it takes longer for a divorce to become final due to disputed issues.
Property Division in California Divorce Actions
California, unlike the majority of states, is a community property state. In other words, any property that either spouse obtains during the marriage is deemed the property of both spouses and is subject to equal division in divorce actions. Notably, there are a few exceptions to the community property rule, such as property explicitly defined as separate in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement or gained via a descent, bequest, devise, or gift. Separate property includes any property either party acquired before the marriage, income or profits derived from separate property, and income earned after the date of the parties’ separation.
Generally, the courts distribute community property equally between the parties in a divorce action but do not disturb any separate property. In many cases, though, an asset will be made up of both separate and community property, making it challenging to assess both the value of the property and property rights. In such instances, the parties may need to hire forensic accountants to evaluate what part of the asset is community property.
Spousal Support in California Divorces
Spousal support is intended to mitigate the financial burden one party experiences after a divorce due to a lack of income or insufficient means to cover the cost of their needs while the divorce is pending or after it is final. In California, either party in a divorce action can seek spousal support, but the courts will only grant such a request if they deem it appropriate. In evaluating a request for spousal support, the courts will look at multiple factors, including the length of the marriage, the age and health of each party, the standard of living established during the marriage, each party’s earning potential, and what they each contributed to the marriage. Spousal support may be paid in a lump sum or may be granted on a temporary or permanent basis. In some cases, the courts will impose a rehabilitative support obligation.
Talk to a Trusted Riverside Divorce Attorney About Your Options
The decision to end a marriage often not only impacts people emotionally but also affects their finances and property rights as well. If you intend to seek a divorce, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney about your options. Tashfeen Haq of Haq Law Firm, PC, is a trusted Riverside divorce attorney who takes pride in helping people navigate the delicate process of ending their marriages, and if he represents you, he will advocate zealously on your behalf. Our office is conveniently located in Riverside, and we frequently represent people in divorce actions and other family law matters in Riverside, San Bernadino, Corona, and other cities throughout Southern California. You can reach our firm by calling us at (909) 234-9789 or by using our online form to set up a confidential and free consultation to discuss your case.