Santa Rosa Divorce Attorney Proudly Serving All of Sonoma County
Divorce is one of the most sensitive areas of Family Law. Emotions are high and one may feel angry, discouraged or confused. Disputes between spouses can involve money, property and of course, common children, biological or step. We believe that Divorce and other family law issues are best handled by attorneys who understand not only the California Divorce laws but also the personal turmoil and uncertainty that clients in this situation are experiencing. Contact a Santa Rosa Divorce Lawyer at Li & Lozada today. We can guide you through the whole process from first thought of separation or divorce, to petition, mediation and court. Our goal is to get you through the rough times so you can move on to happier times with the least amount of stress, pain, and aggravation.
If you’re looking at a divorce or separation in your future, you’re not alone. Residents of the Santa Clara and Sonoma areas are in the same situation, as the numbers of such incidences don’t seem to be dropping. In a recent article in the Press Democrat, it was reported that:
“The number of married couples filing for divorce in Sonoma County has dropped 15 percent over the past five years…but experts say the statistic is misleading and doesn’t take into account an overall decline in marriage.
More couples than ever are living together and having kids out of wedlock, for a variety of reasons. And they call it quits just like their married counterparts.”
Compassionate Advocacy When You Need it Most
The Li & Lozada Law Group has helped thousands of these residents to make it through their divorce or separations quickly and confidently. Our firm understands that this will probably be a person’s most difficult time of life. A listening ear, firm resolve, and copious experience are needed to help someone through it. The attorneys at Li & Lozada look forward to being that advocate. Don’t delay in calling our office today.
We look forward to helping our clients understand the different types of divorce: No-fault, Uncontested, Simplified, and Limited Divorce.
Simplified Divorce Proceedings
No-Fault Divorce occurs when one or both partners choose to end a marriage without a valid reason or accusation. If a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed, the court must move forward with termination of that marriage without due cause.
The only explanation that is needed is Irreconcilable Differences, which simply means that the couple can no longer make their relationship work. There is no further proof needed.
An Uncontested Divorce arises when both people in the marriage reach a mutual agreement on all areas of their divorce, including financial issues, child visitation, child support and custody, the division of property, spousal support, etc.
There is no formal trial and no appearance in court is required. Although this is a simple and fast route to take, it is imperative that an attorney is consulted throughout the process. Neglecting to hire an attorney could result in a loss of rights that one or both parties were unaware they had.
Simplified Divorce can also be referred to as Summary Dissolution. It’s an uncontested, no-fault divorce that occurs without any conflict arising between the spouses. Spouses must represent themselves in court and have lived in California for at least 6 months.
There are several other requirements to qualify for this type of divorce and little to no assets must be held by either party. Spousal support will not be granted and there’s no process in which assets are divided. This type of divorce is sought in rare cases where the marriage was quick and each partner’s life wasn’t melded with the other’s.
A Limited Divorce is similar to a legal separation in that the couple is given time to divide assets and determine custodial issues before the divorce is final. Each party must live separately and refrain from sexual activity with each other or others. The marriage isn’t dissolved and each person’s marital status remains unchanged.
Protect Yourself and Your Rights at All Stages
Although each type of divorce is varied, each requires different paperwork be filed and steps taken in order to see it concluded. The assistance of an attorney is vital, to make sure your rights are protected. When the event of a divorce is concluded, certain changes to that divorce agreement are mandated by the state and can’t be changed without more time, money, and effort on behalf of the person looking to modify the agreement. For this reason, a person’s rights and interests must be protected during the initial proceeding. The attorneys at Li & Lozada understand the importance of these protections during this crucial time frame.
This is also the time when tensions are high and people aren’t thinking the clearest. Questions about the future can cause immense stress, loss of sleep, and overall poor health. This isn’t the time, however, to weaken your decision making faculties. Decisions must be made that will forever affect your life and the lives of any children involved. You need a solid plan and determination as you move through this trial. The attorneys at Li & Lozada can be that sound confidant, who will detail you on your rights and the best steps to take in protecting them.
Considerations in Divorce
There are several different factors that arise from a divorce, where decisions must be swiftly and strategically made:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- Division of Assets
- High Assets/High income to be divided
- Domestic Violence Issues
- Order of Protection
- Wills/ Living Wills
- Health Insurance
- Grandparent Visitation
- College Education
- Residence/Equity in the Marital Home
- Home Furnishings
- Retirement Benefits
- Business Assets
- Life Insurance Beneficiaries
- Documents Needed to Establish Divorce Decisions
Amazingly, this is just a small list of the many factors that are determined during a divorce proceeding. The list is daunting, at a time when you’re already dealing with so much. The help of an attorney at the Li & Lozada Law Group can make all the difference in successfully moving through this life-changing process.
The number one concern we see amongst clients embroiled in a divorce is the well-being of their children. When custody is determined during a divorce proceeding, many times those decisions are long-lasting. And any attempt to make changes to them is time-consuming, all the more stressful, and expensive. Which is why it’s imperative that you have an attorney representing you in determining the matters directly relating to your child.
The attorneys at Li & Lozada have represented countless families in ironing out their custody issues. We fight for the absolute best scenario for them and their children because when it comes to child custody, we take each matter personally. Working as a former Prosecutor in the Sonoma County District Attorneys Office, Attorney Michael Li protected the rights and well-being of children for decades. Serving in the community as a Deputy Sheriff, as well as a Detective and Criminal Investigator for the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office, Attorney Paul Lozada protected children and their interests for years. Each has a solemn commitment to a child’s welfare and security. They look at each custody case with this same focus and loyalty.
Best Interest of Your Child/Children
Keep in mind that a judge’s number one priority in a California custody case is to determine what is in the best interest of the children. Your job is to show that you are a loving, responsible, and stable parent and that you can offer a safe and supportive home for your children. In order to show that this is the case, the following steps should be taken:
- Spend as much time as possible with your children now. Utilize all of your custodial time with them, to demonstrate that you want to spend time with them. Skipping appointments or leaving them in daycare all day should be avoided.
- Be dependable when it comes to your time commitments by picking up your children for appointments, sports practices, school, etc.
- Be flexible when it comes to your child’s schedule. If possible, rearrange your schedule to accommodate last minute or abrupt needs of your child.
- Keep a clean personal record. Avoid an arrest or something on your record that could show a personal deficiency. Apply this to your driving record as well.
- Create a safe and healthy home life for your children. The Judge in your custody case will want to see that you can offer this for your children.
Your spouse may attempt to accuse you of creating an unsafe environment. So we recommend you do the following:
- Make sure that you do not let anyone around your children who can be deemed dangerous. It’s also a bad idea to invite a new partner to live with you or stay overnight right after your separation.
- Keep weapons locked away and your home childproofed.
- Avoid inappropriate or loud gatherings.
- Avoid corporal punishment.
The attorneys at Li & Lozada can provide more specifics on these guidelines and help you to get your life in the most optimal position to meet them. It’s crucial that you take immediate steps to render the most advantageous child custody outcome.
The second issue that is most fretted about during a divorce proceeding is that of spousal support or alimony. There are two types of support: Temporary and Permanent. Temporary support is ordered while a divorce is pending, while Permanent support is ordered to provide a spouse with sufficient income for their basic needs and to ensure that their lifestyle can be consistent after the divorce is final. Receiving the financial support you need, or being ordered to turn over a large portion of income that you’ve come to count on are both life-changing occurrences. It’s so important to look to an attorney to make sure your financial security is protected.
In Family Law Matters, Experience Really Does Count
The Li & Lozada Law Firm has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to both of these actions. We’ll fight for your financial security so you can focus your efforts on getting through this emotionally taxing time.
California case law requires that both spouses become self-supporting within a reasonable amount of time. Spousal support is meant to bridge the gap between separating and becoming self-sufficient.
The time period in which support lasts is also determined by how long the marriage lasted in the first place. For marriages lasting less than ten years, the length of support is presumed to be equal to one-half of that time. For example, for a marriage that lasted ten years, the presumption is that the appropriate length of support is five years. If a couple is married ten years or longer, the lesser earning spouse will receive support as long as they need to and the other spouse is able to pay.
These specific rules must be adhered to and the court will use them finitely in determining spousal support. The attorneys at Li & Lozada have worked in and out of the California Court system for years on end. We’re familiar with its requirements and guidelines. We have relationships with the staff inside and use these advantages to see that the issue of spousal support is determined fairly and accurately.
In California, the Superior Courts of Solano counties have adopted a spousal support guideline called the “Santa Clara Guideline” that is a formula for use in temporary spousal support. Alameda and Contra Costa counties have adopted the “Alameda Guideline” formula. The guideline states that the paying spouse’s support is presumably to be 40% of his/her net monthly income, reduced by one-half of the receiving spouse’s net monthly income. If child support is an issue, spousal support is calculated after child support is calculated.
This can be a complex formula and determination. Don’t risk your financial future trying to attempt this alone, without representation. The attorneys at Li & Lozada stand ready to be your fierce advocate.
Contact an Experienced Santa Rosa Divorce Attorney Today
There’s no situation that is too trying or complicated for our attorneys when it comes to a divorce scenario. Reach out to our offices today to receive the best divorce representation in the Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Sonoma, Healdsburg, Cotati, Sebastopol, Cloverdale, Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, or Napa area.
We offer complimentary and confidential consultations and are here to help you get through this most difficult time. Our attorneys are experienced and compassionate. Let our knowledge of California Divorce Laws help you obtain the favorable outcome you deserve.