Before You Hire A Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

Contact A Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer Referral Service

When you're going through a divorce and looking for Los Angeles divorce lawyer, remember that you don't have to hire the first attorney you find. Choosing the right divorce lawyer to assist you through your divorce is perhaps the most important decisions you'll make.

There are lots of lawyers out there, and many advertise themselves as "family law" or "Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer". Within the area of family law, there are even further specialties, such as child custody law, guardianship, and an area of the law involving Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), which are special orders required to divide certain types of retirement benefits during a divorce.

los angeles divorce lawyer

Getting a divorce in Los Angeles

In addition, there are many financial aspects and documents needed during a divorce, including:

  • Financial disclosure requirements between spouses

  • Restraining orders

  • Alimony and how to calculate the right amount

  • Child support and how to calculate it if your divorce is filed in California.

  • The division of property and assets

  • The division of retirement benefits between spouses.

There are specific laws that affect all these issues which are frequently updated, so you'll need to find a pre-screened Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer that's familiar with the current rules in California.

Summary Dissolution

There's also a summary dissolution option, a simpler form of divorce in California. A couple must comply with the following conditions to apply for a summary dissolution:

  • Being married for just five years

  • Have no children born or adopted together and not currently expecting a child) during or before marriage.

  • Do not own land or any real property

  • Do not lease any land or buildings other than the current place of residence (and do not have a one-year lease or purchase option).

  • Have less than $41,000 (excluding cars) of property acquired while married

  • Own less than $41,000 separate property each (property owned before marriage, obtained as a gift or by inheritance, acquired after separation but before you are divorced or specified in a prenuptial agreement as separate property)

  • Have less than $6,000 (excluding car loans) in debts incurred after marriage

  • Agree that no partner will ever obtain spousal support

The couple must then draw up and sign an agreement separating property and debts, if these conditions are met.

How to Split Assets During a California Divorce

California is what is considered a condition of community land. This implies that they are considered a single party for the purpose of property ownership when two individuals get married. Thus any properties or assets received or gained by either party during the marriage are considered community property and are shared by both partners. Likewise, any debt accrued during the marriage by either party is often called community property.

Suppose you have lived in a non-community property state at some point during your marriage. In that case, one important thing to remember is that California would recognize any property that would have been deemed community property if you were residing in California at that time as community property for state divorce.

If you have property or properties that you owned before your marriage, or if during your marriage, you receive a gift or inheritance, that is separate property and is owned only by you. Purchases made with separate assets are separate assets as well. For example, if you inherit $10,000 from your grandmother's estate and use it to buy something even if you purchased it during your marriage, the purchase is a different property.