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If you are contemplating a divorce, having a skilled Beverly Hills divorce attorney at hand throughout the process can make this significant life transition more manageable. No matter the complexity or nature of your divorce, the trusted Beverly Hills family law attorneys at Fernandez & Karney, are here to assist you and your family.
A married couple wishing to permanently separate and legally end their marriage must obtain a divorce. A divorce is a legal order from the local family court system in which there are negotiated agreements or court orders regarding the following:
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Division of marital assets and debts
Once a judge rules that a divorce is final, the previously married couple has no legal ties to one other and may marry other people if they so choose.
How Our Beverly Hills Divorce Lawyers Can Help
A divorce is among the most emotionally and financially demanding occasions of one’s life. This is especially true when children, significant assets, or high-profile reputations are involved, or spouses cannot reach an agreement.
Our experienced divorce attorneys in Beverly Hills will manage your legal burden so you can focus on your path to a better and brighter future. At Fernandez & Karney, we are:
- Caring, compassionate, and client-focused
- Dedicated and determined to meet client goals and expectations
- Trial-ready and successful when negotiating and litigating essential divorce issues
Contact our Beverly Hills office today to learn more about divorce proceedings in California. Fernandez & Karney’s professionals can address your questions and concerns regardless of where you are in the divorce process.
California is a No-Fault Divorce State
Many states, including California, are no-fault divorce states. In a no-fault divorce state, spouses may choose to divorce one another without placing blame on the other. Instead, a spouse may petition for a divorce due to irreconcilable differences and an irremediable breakdown of the marriage.
While no grounds must be asserted for a California divorce, it is wise to hire a reputable divorce attorney. The top-rated Beverly Hills divorce attorneys at Fernandez & Karney are ready to assist you.
Dispute Resolution in a Beverly Hills Divorce
Fernandez & Karney has extensive experience in all areas of divorce dispute resolution. Whether you choose a collaborative divorce, in which everyone’s wishes are considered without the need for a court battle or traditional courtroom litigation, our attorneys are prepared to represent you.
Our divorce lawyers in Beverly Hills will fiercely advocate for you and your children’s best interests.
Divorce Issues in Beverly Hills
Divorce law encompasses the process of divorce itself and the surrounding circumstances. That is why it is vital to retain a well-rounded Beverly Hills divorce attorney like those at Fernandez & Karney. We can serve as your trusted legal advisors as you navigate the range of legal issues that arise with a divorce.
Our Beverly Hills attorneys have years of experience in Los Angeles, CA, divorce cases and are prepared to assist you with all of your divorce-related family law matters. Our divorce-related practice areas include the following and more:
- Asset protection
- Domestic & international child custody
- Domestic violence, including restraining orders
- Child support
- Complex property division
- Spousal support
Contact our Los Angeles County family law office today to learn how we can help guide you through the complexities of your divorce. From domestic partnerships and military divorce to celebrity and high-net-worth situations, we are here to assist you in comprehending your rights and helping you achieve your best possible results.
Property Division in a Beverly Hills Divorce
California is a community property state. In a community property state, marital assets are identified, valued, and the net worth of the estate, minus any debts, is divided equally between the spouses.
Property not considered marital in a community property state includes property set apart by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and separate property. Separate property is identified as:
- Property owned by a spouse before marriage
- Rents, profits, or other money earned from a spouse’s separate property
- Gifts or inheritance to one spouse alone
- Property bought with a spouse’s separate property
- A spouse’s income or property acquired after the date of separation
The date of separation in a divorce is the date a spouse made their intentions clear and known financially, physically, or otherwise about a divorce. This may be the day a spouse moved out or informed the other spouse about their plan to divorce.
Marital and separate assets tend to commingle or mix over time, especially in long marriages. This makes them especially difficult to identify and split. An experienced Beverly Hills divorce attorney will determine if a financial or business expert will be needed to trace any property origins.
Spousal Support in a Beverly Hills Divorce
Spousal support awards in any case ultimately rely on one spouse’s need for financial support and the other spouse’s ability to pay support. Without crossing that initial barrier, the court will not consider any alimony award.
California allows two types of spousal support. One is temporary support. This is support paid by one spouse to the other during the pendency of the divorce. Temporary support terminates at the final divorce order.
California’s child support guidelines are used to calculate temporary spousal support. There is no set formula for calculating permanent spousal support. Instead, the court reviews all the circumstances of the marriage along with several statutory factors.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Each spouse’s age and health
- Each spouse’s income
- Each spouse’s household contributions
- Whether one spouse left a career to rear children or promote the career of the other
- Whether one spouse contributed to the education or training of the other spouse
- The length of the marriage
The purpose of permanent spousal support in California is not for a spouse to rely on support for their lifetime. Instead, a spousal support award is to allow a spouse the opportunity to gain valuable skills or training and become self-sufficient. Only in extreme cases is spousal support for the lifetime of a spouse.
Spousal support can be modified unless the spouses previously agreed otherwise. It cannot be modified or extended once its fixed duration has expired.
Modifications of spousal support are permitted by the court when a substantial and material change in circumstances has occurred since the last order. Spousal support terminates upon the death of the supported spouse.
Child Custody and Visitation in a Beverly Hills Divorce
While California family courts prefer parents create their child custody and visitation agreements, this is not always possible. The courts enter child custody and visitation orders on behalf of parents based on the best interests of the children.
The best interests of the children are statutory considerations, such as:
- The child’s health, safety, and welfare
- Whether either parent has a history of abuse against the child or the other parent
- The nature and amount of contact with both parents
- Whether either parent has a history of illegal use of controlled substances, alcohol, or prescribed medications
- Any other factor the court deems relevant
In California, any domestic abuse must be considered in a child custody award. However, it is only one of many factors in a custody order. Unless contact with a parent is against a child’s best interests, even a parent with a history of abuse is likely to be awarded child visitation.
There are two types of child custody in California. These are legal and physical child custody. Legal custody includes the right to decide a child’s:
- Religious upbringing
- Elective surgeries
- Other significant matters
Parents may share legal custody jointly, or one parent may hold sole legal custody. While they need not agree on every decision about a child’s welfare, disputes could land them back in court.
Physical child custody pertains to where a child resides. Parents may have joint or sole physical custody. A non-custodial parent will have visitation according to an agreed or court-ordered plan absent extraordinary circumstances. To learn more about child custody cases in Beverly Hills, contact an experienced Beverly Hills child custody lawyer.
Child Support in a Beverly Hills Divorce
California has a statutory guideline for the courts to determine monthly child support obligations. In a divorce, child support is meant to eliminate any disparities in living situations between households for children.
Child support calculations take the following and more into account:
- Both parents’ incomes
- The amount of time each parent spends with the children
- Health insurance costs for the children
- Mandatory union dues paid by either parent
- Other child support obligations of either parent
The child support guideline is considered correct except in cases where the calculations produce an extremely unfair result. The court may deviate from the guideline at that time with an explanation.
Child support typically continues until a child turns eighteen or nineteen if still attending high school. Parents may agree to extend support past the legal age for other reasons like higher education or special needs.
Let a Beverly Hills Divorce Attorney Handle Your Divorce
Every divorcing spouse should have the benefit of experienced legal counsel. Whether your divorce is contested or agreed upon, it is always prudent to have a professional third party offer you advice and counsel.
Fernandez & Karney’s Beverly Hills divorce attorneys have the knowledge and resources to manage any size of marital estate and the ability to offer creative solutions to spousal disputes. Let our attorneys take the weight off of your shoulders by:
- Handling all of the legal aspects of your divorce, from paperwork to negotiations and litigation
- Protecting you from mistakes and omissions in final orders that could significantly impact your future
- Reviewing your divorce documents for enforceability
- Avoiding unnecessary delays in your proceedings
Speak with a Beverly Hills divorce lawyer at Fernandez & Karney in Beverly Hills about your circumstances. We will tailor a divorce strategy unique to your goals and begin your case right away.
A Beverly Hills Divorce Lawyer Can Help With Your Annulment
While annulments are legal decrees used to dissolve marriages, they are different from divorce. An annulment declares a marriage void and returns the spouses to their legally single status. It is as if the marriage never happened.
In a divorce, spouses are legally divorced. The marriage is ended instead of lawfully non-existent.
Marriages may be annulled for the following reasons in California:
- The marriage involved incest
- There was bigamy in the marriage
- One spouse forced or defrauded the other to get married
- One spouse was physically or mentally incapacitated when the marriage occurred
- One or both parties were under the legal age for the marriage to be valid
- The marriage happened when at least one party was already married or in a domestic partnership
- One or both parties were under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the marriage
As with a divorce, annulments free both parties to marry other people. The court may rule on custody, financial support, and property division in an annulment when appropriate.
Annulments are only used under special circumstances, and it may be easier to obtain a divorce. Be sure to seek qualified legal representation before attempting to annul your marriage in Beverly Hills.
Fernandez & Karney’s attorneys can help guide you through each step of the annulment process and ensure that you qualify.
Work With a Top Beverly Hills Law Firm for Legal Separation
Just like an annulment differs from a divorce, a legal separation is also different. For one, a legal separation does not end a marriage. However, each lawyer at our Beverly Hills family law firm is well-versed in the nuance of legal separation in family law cases. We have the skills and experience to represent you through this unique process.
A legal separation is recognized by the court as a separation, not a divorce or annulment. When both parties are legally separated, neither can marry another person as the parties are still considered married under the law.
Not living in the same home or being separated from each other for a long time does not mean you are legally separated in most states. Some states, though, will look at the date the parties are permanently separated when dividing assets and property.
Contact the Best Divorce Attorney Beverly Hills Today to Explore Your Options
If you wish to end your marriage to your spouse, you may wonder if you should get a legal separation, a traditional divorce, or an annulment. Whatever you decide to do is a personal decision, but a Beverly Hills divorce lawyer can help you weigh your options.
Keep in mind that not all options are available to everyone. For instance, the eligibility for annulment is quite limited.
If you and your spouse choose to part ways, you must determine if you would like to legally separate or divorce. Keep in mind that some states have residency requirements for filing a divorce.
California, for example, requires you to maintain residency for six months prior to getting a divorce. However, you may choose to legally separate during that six-month period.
Fernandez & Karney Has Certified Family Law Specialists
No matter which course of action you take, the best way to start your divorce proceeding, annulment, or legal separation is to consult with a Certified Family Law Specialist. Fernandez & Karney’s Certified Family Law Specialists can advise you on your legal rights and give you the best idea on how you can proceed.
If you are ready to move forward and set the foundation for your new life, contact Fernandez & Karney today to schedule a free consultation. Home to some of the best divorce and family law attorneys in Beverly Hills, we have what it takes to meet all of your divorce, family law, and separation needs with compassion, transparency, and, most importantly, success.