Divorce Attorney - Property Division Attorney | Burns Law

Divorce Lawyer in Los Angeles

Why You Need A Los Angeles Divorce Attorney and How We Can Help

While no one gets married with the intention of getting a divorce, half of modern marriages do not last forever. When you visit our law office for divorce in Los Angeles, we will stress that divorce is often a good thing, removing two individuals from a toxic situation so they can flourish on their own. 

Nevertheless, going through a divorce is going to make you feel sad and stressed.  If children happen to be part of the equation, the situation can be even more upsetting to everyone. 

Despite the emotional turmoil you may be experiencing, it is still important to think clearly so that you walk away from your divorce with your finances and other related areas intact. From the division of property to child support payments, these areas require the expertise of a skilled family law attorney you can trust, which is why you should contact Burns Law.

Why Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?

By hiring an attorney to litigate your divorce, your rights will be well-protected throughout the process. Depending on the dispute, you can come away from the experience with the best possible agreement. 

For example, if there are questions as to whether custody should be sole or joint, having a legal professional working on your case can make all the difference. You will also be able to ensure your asset and property division lawyer will not give in to the other side and allow you to lose out on valuables such as real estate and businesses that will be needed post-divorce.

Filing for Divorce

When you are ready to file for divorce from your spouse, it must be done so based on the state's residency laws. In California, this means you must file for divorce within the county in which you have lived, and you must have lived there for at least the previous three months. Along with this, you must also have resided in California for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. 

Should you not meet these requirements, you still have the option of filing for a legal separation, so keep this in mind. Should questions arise about residency and other areas, always speak to a legal professional that is well versed in managing divorce disputes.

A Community Property State

Since dividing up a couple's assets is usually one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce, it will serve you well to avoid doing this solo. Due to California being a community property state, this means the property acquired by you and your spouse during the marriage is usually divided equally between both parties upon divorce. 

However, questions and disputes almost always arise as to whether certain assets were obtained during the marriage or separately by a spouse. 

If you believe your spouse is trying to obtain property during the divorce to which they are not entitled, let your lawyer handle the matter on your behalf.

Child Custody

Along with disputes about assets and property, child custody is also one of the most hotly-contested areas in divorce hearings. 

Since the court will always do whatever it believes will best benefit the child, it is crucial you keep your cool while your divorce plays out. Acting out could lose you custody of your child and also restrict your visitation rights should things get out of hand. 

Typically, courts will look at which spouse has the best means to provide for the child's physical, emotional, and financial needs when determining custody agreements. However, if you and your spouse can reach an understanding on your own, this can greatly influence the court's decision.

Support Payments

While child custody can sometimes be contentious in these situations, so too can support payments applying to both a spouse and children. Again, the court will look at not only the custody agreement in these matters but also the financial standing of you and your spouse. 

You and your spouse’s financial history is important. If you are the spouse who has primarily supported your family over the years, chances are you will be expected to continue making financial contributions to your ex-spouse. 

Once the court makes a decision in this area, it can be quite difficult to amend it. Therefore, you should always work closely and candidly with your attorney from Burns Attorneys. If you are not forthcoming regarding assets and other financial information, the ruling issued by the court could be difficult for you to comply with on a long-term basis.

Marriage Dissolution

In some situations, it may make more sense for you and your spouse to not get a divorce but to instead become legally separated. 

Separation can have many benefits, such as allowing the two of you to live apart from one another and move forward with your lives. 

However, it can also be extremely beneficial to you from a financial perspective, especially if you believe support payments and the dividing up of property would create a severe financial hardship for yourself. By becoming legally separated, you can avoid the burden of child support and spousal support payments. Make sure this process is done properly through the court. 

Do What is Best for You

Since almost any divorce is complex in many ways, always work with an attorney that is well-versed in California divorce law. Dedicated legal professionals will have your best interests at heart. Ultimately, your goal after a divorce is to come out of it unscathed as much as possible financially as well as personally. Therefore, make sure whatever support and custody agreements that are reached are ones you can live with in the coming years.

Rather than wind up on the losing end of your divorce proceedings, meet with a Los Angeles divorce attorney from Burns Law. Clients turn to time and time again, and we can assure you that you and your family will have peace of mind with a successful adoption. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Property Division

When you are going through a divorce, property division between you and your spouse is often hotly debated and very contentious. Any divorce attorney will tell you that property division and child custody are the two issues that turn the ugliest in divorce court. 

It’s important to consult a property division lawyer in LA since who gets what will determine the standard of living each of you will be able to enjoy post-breakup. 

Your property division will depend on whether or not you and your ex-spouse had a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement. Whether or not you and your ex-spouse had any sort of agreement regarding the division of property, you should contact an attorney to ensure that you get fair treatment during this period.

During a divorce, both parties involved must work a separation of property. Due to the heightened emotions involved during this time, many rely on a legal divorce advisor to facilitate the process. In most cases, married couples move into a home together. After the divorce, there are a few outcomes for property, including:

  • The property can be sold resulting in split equity
  • One partner may petition to keep the house; conditions apply if child support is needed
  • Ownership is fairly debated during the negotiation process

To avoid penalties, the judicial department of California requires a form to be filled out. It discloses all the individual separate and community properties. During the asset and division process, the parties will have to follow the following steps to be sure of their asset status:

  • Create a full list of your assets
  • Determine if the assets are separate or community property
  • Do proper evaluations of the assets
  • Divide the assets equally if community assets

Annulment Versus Divorce

An annulment is a less expensive legal procedure that cancels a marriage and is different from going through a divorce. You can get a civil or religious annulment. The religious annulment will be conducted by the church both parties identify with. However, it will not terminate the legal marriage. To legally end the marital status, both parties must get a civil annulment through court. While both options end the marriage, it is up to you and your partner to discuss how you would like to proceed with the process.

If you suspect that you do have grounds for an annulment, you should seek the counsel of a lawyer. Annulments can additionally end marriages that should not have been issued, in cases of bigamy or incest. Reasons for filing and qualifications vary per state, such as:

  • Spouses were tricked into marrying
  • One or both spouses were underage
  • A spouse is already/currently married
  • Mentally impaired at the time of the marriage
  • Marriage remains unconsummated
  • Serious misrepresentation or fraud

Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders

Many reasons constitute a divorce. An unfortunate scenario involves cases of domestic abuse, where a restraining order must be issued. 

Regardless of who the abuser is, having a restraining order in place gives you important legal recourse should they continue to harm you. While going through a divorce, trying to manage getting an order of protection may be an added stressor. It is best to hire a legal professional to guide you through the legal process. 

You should not wait if you are in immediate danger of domestic violence. Instead, call 911 and have the police petition a judge for an Emergency Protective Order. If the situation permits, work with your lawyer to petition for a temporary restraining order. Choosing this route allows you to document an official detailed report of how your abuser acted toward you. A few weeks following the issued temporary order, you will return to court. The judge can turn the restraining order into a more permanent solution.

Divorce FAQs

Dividing property is by far the most stressful part of a divorce. Most spouses do not have prenuptial agreements, nor do they agree on how to effectively split their belongings. Before consulting with a legal professional, you must be wondering what dividing property during a divorce entails, and if you have any chances of getting a portion of the property. We answer the most frequently asked questions if you are having trouble dividing your assets.

What is Community Property?

Community earnings include the total revenue acquired during your marriage and all the things acquired with that revenue. Additionally, all the debts incurred during your union are considered property debt. 

What Is Separate Property?

Separate property includes inheritances and gifts given explicitly to one of the spouses, and individual injury awards allocated to one spouse. It also involves the proceeds showing the pensioner’s entitlement to receive any of the things mentioned above before marriage.

If you acquired assets through separate means, then these remain as your independent property. If you have a business, it’ll only be considered separate property if you founded it before getting married.

Who Gets to Stay in The House After A Divorce?

When children get involved, the spouse who spends most of the time with them stays in the marital home, as it’s better for the children’s mental health. Additionally, the parent who provides the kids primary care can also remain in the house. In instances where you don’t have kids and the house belongs to only one of the spouses, that spouse has legal ownership of the premises. 

If the house is in both of your names, you can only kick your spouse out if they abused you and you have a restraining order from a judge. Otherwise, you will need to see a property division mediator to decide who gets the house or if you have to sell it.

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