Answering Your Family Law Questions

FAQs

If you are considering a divorce or have a family law issue, it is very likely that you will have questions about your situation. If we cannot answer your questions here, feel free to contact Terre Family Law to schedule a consultation.

How Long Does A Divorce Take?

The length of time it takes to complete a divorce depends on the facts of your specific case. If you and your partner are cooperative and already know how you want to proceed, the divorce process can be as short as a few days or weeks. However, contentious or complex divorces can take years to complete. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help minimize the expense and time of a divorce while protecting your best interests throughout the process. At Terre Family Law we try to be as efficient and cost effective as possible in completing your divorce.

How Is Marital Property Divided In California?

As a community property state, California considers marital property to be "community" or "separate." Generally, community property includes all property acquired during the marriage, except gifts or inheritances. Separate property, on the other hand, is property acquired before the marriage, after separation, or gifts or inheritances received during the marriage. The court divides community property equally between the parties, while allowing each party to retain his or her own separate property. The question of whether property is marital or separate can often be complex, especially if assets have been commingled.

How Is Child Custody Determined?

In California, judges may not give custody preferences to a parent based solely on his or her gender. When deciding custody issues, the court takes several factors into account in order to determine which parent best represents the best interests of the child. These factors may include the preference of the child (if of sufficient age), the quality of the relationship between the child and parent, the presence of child abuse or drug and alcohol abuse, and other factors.

Can I Get A Modification To A Divorce Judgment?

Divorce orders concerning child custody, child support and spousal support can be modified if there is a change in circumstances. A court may grant a modification of your custody order if the needs of the child change or you need to relocate because of a job. Additionally support orders can be adjusted if your income significantly increases or decreases or you obtain or lose a job. An attorney can help you obtain a modification or challenge a proposed modification.

Do I Have To Pay My Own Attorney's Fees?

If you are unable to pay your attorney, California courts have the authority to order your partner to pay some or all of your attorney's fees and litigation costs in certain cases.

Am I Entitled To Spousal Support?

If you are a dependent spouse, you may be entitled to spousal support . However, the court has fairly wide discretion and will consider such factors as these when deciding whether to award spousal support:

• The length of the marriage

• The earning capacity and marketable skills of each party

• The ages of the parties

• The standard of living established during the marriage

• Whether a party took time off work to raise children or perform domestic duties

The court will consider several other factors. Consequently, it is advisable to have the assistance of an experienced lawyer to help you achieve the best possible result.

Learn About Your Options

To get your family law issues addressed, contact Terre Family Law today at 707-867-0404 or by email to discuss your case. We serve clients in Santa Rosa and throughout Sonoma County.