How Long Does a Divorce Take in California?

How Long Does a Divorce Take in California Fresno CA Divorce LawyerHow long does a divorce take in California? The answer to that depends heavily on the level of cooperation between you and your spouse.

The more amicable you and your spouse are, the quicker and cheaper the entire process will be. That said, you should keep in mind that even the most amicable of divorces cannot be legally finalized until at least six months after the date the petition is served.

What Can Make My Divorce Take Longer?

While the minimum amount of time for a divorce is six months, the process can take longer if certain issues arise. These issues typically stem from non-cooperative partners when dealing with the following:

The issues above are important to your divorce case, and you should fight to get what you deserve. That said, however, the more cooperative you and your spouse are when it comes to settling these issues, the faster your divorce will finalize.

If you and your spouse cannot agree, you will need to litigate your case in court. Litigation is a time-consuming and expensive process that relies on waiting for an opening on the court’s calendar, as well as paying for attorney and court fees.

Make a Reasonable Settlement Offer

If you want a quick and easy divorce, you must be willing to cooperate with your spouse. The best way to demonstrate this is to take the initiative and make a reasonable settlement offer.

Make sure your offer is well thought out and consistent with the goals of the divorce. Doing this should kick start negotiations which could fast-track an earlier settlement.

But what happens if your spouse is not willing to cooperate and turns down your reasonable offer?

What If Your Spouse Is Uncooperative?

What can you do if your spouse is being unreasonable? One option you have is to file an attorney fee motion.

The purpose of an attorney fee motion is to punish any spouse that’s unwilling to cooperative and causing unnecessary attorney fees. The motion hits the uncooperative spouse with a monetary sanction in an attempt to dissuade them from continuing their unreasonable conduct. While this motion is not used nearly enough in divorce cases, it is a great tool you can utilize to help get your divorce back on track and closer to finalization.

Cooperation Is Key to Fast Resolution

If the parties involved in a divorce are Vengeful or vindictive, this will only slow the entire process down. The court does not take too kindly to such spouses. If you show the court that you’re willing to cooperate, your resolution goals will be much easier to achieve.

Consult a Fresno CA Family Law Attorney Today to Learn More

How long does a divorce take in California, and what can you expect during the process? At the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks, we can help you understand your options, as well as ensure that your divorce is as stress-free as possible. Consult with our experienced Fresno family law attorney today.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

What Is Collaborative Divorce Fresno CA Divorce AttorneyDivorce is tough, no matter how you slice it. But a collaborative divorce can make things a lot easier, both on you and your ex. What is collaborative divorce, and how what are the benefits of going this route?

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

In a collaborative divorce, both interested parties voluntarily take part in the process in an effort to reach agreements, without taking things to court. With negotiation and mediation, both parties can walk away from the divorce knowing that they resolved issues on their own accord. This often means that both parties have an equal say on life-changing decisions, rather than leaving that up to the court.

What Are the Benefits of Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce can make the entire divorce process much less stressful for you and your ex-spouse, as well as for your children. In addition, you can also enjoy the following benefits:

  • Saves money. You don’t have to pay fees associated with fighting things out in court.
  • Saves time. You don’t have to worry about waiting for open spaces on the court’s calendar to settle your issues through litigation.
  • Avoids the courtroom. You can settle your issues in an informal setting and on your own time, which means you don’t need to waste vacation days or miss work.
  • Allows you to maintain control. You can work alongside your ex-spouse to negotiate a divorce settlement that benefits your family.

How Can You Make Collaborative Divorce Work?

The most important step to make any collaborative divorce work is to make an agreement with your ex-spouse to settle all your issues without the court. You and your ex must take the threat of litigation off the table. This usually means that you’ll need to involve other experts, such as a family law attorney and a mediator, to help you settle any issues that may arise.

Equally as important is an agreement with your ex to handle all decisions in ways that serve in your children’s best interest. Do not actually involve your children in the process, but handle every issue with the goal of reaching a settlement that puts your children first.

You and Your Ex Want a Collaborative Divorce. Now What?

If both you and your ex both agree that a collaborative divorce will benefit your family, your first step is to contact an experienced family law attorney. Meet with your attorney and lay out your goals and wants of the divorce. If any issues do arise, your attorney can bring in a seasoned mediator that’ll help you settle the disputes without the court.

When a Collaborative Divorce May Not Be the Best Option

Since collaborative divorce involves an agreement between both parties, typically these types of divorces do not work in marriages where one side has more say than the other. Which usually means that marriages that involved emotional or physical abuse or dishonesty cannot benefit from a collaborative divorce. This type of divorce will also not work if one spouse is alienating the children from the other spouse.

Contact an Experienced Fresno CA Collaborative Divorce Attorney

At the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks, we can help you through the collaborative divorce process. Contact us today to learn more.

How to End Spousal Support in California

How to End Spousal Support in California Fresno Alimony AttorneySpouses ordered to pay spousal support are often understandably resentful of the court-ordered obligation. After all, a significant portion of their earnings is going to their ex-spouse. But are there ways to end spousal support? Below, we examine when and how to end spousal support in California, and what factors the court will consider.

Is There a Valid Reason for Spousal Support to Continue?

Alimony serves some legitimate purposes. It’s unreasonable for a high-earning spouse to exist a marriage and leave the other low-earning spouse suddenly financially responsible for the entire family or themselves. During the marriage, spouses agree to a division of responsibility within the home. Typically, one spouse works more to provide for the family financially, while the other spouse may only work part time or not all all in order to tend to day to day needs of the home.

That said, things get murky when the low-earning spouse refuses to work though they possess the ability and opportunity to do so. In such cases, spousal support could seem like a reward for the lazy spouse. Whether the other spouse is lying about their income or willfully unemployed, there are valid reasons for ending spousal support.

How to End Spousal Support in California in Short-Term Marriages

A short-term marriage is usually defined as a marriage that lasts for less than ten years, from date of marriage to date of separation. In most short-term marriages, the duration of spousal support should last exactly one-half the length of the total marriage. For instance, in marriages of eight years, spousal support would not last for more than four years. But keep in mind that the one-half rule is not set in stone, and is more of a general principle than a strict rule.

You may end spousal support earlier if your ex-spouse’s income increases or if their need for support decreases. In addition, you can request spousal support to end if your income or ability to pay decreases.

Other external situations may call for the termination of spousal support:

  • Decrease in the living expenses of your ex-spouse.
  • Your ex-spouse receives an influx of money, like an inheritance.
  • Your ex-spouse cohabits with a non-marital partner.
  • Increase in your living expenses.

How to End Spousal Support in California in Long-Term Marriages

In the past ten years or so, California’s laws for spousal support for long-term marriages (usually ten or more years long) have become more more relaxed. It’s no longer the case where a long-term marriage meant a lifetime of spousal support for the higher-earning spouse. In fact, much of what we discussed above also now applies to long-term marriages as well.

From our experience, shorter long-term marriages still typically follow the one-half duration principle for spousal support. For instance, the court more than likely will follow the one-half principle for a ten year long marriage, which means five years of spousal support. Though longer long-term marriages are more complicated regarding spousal support length, you don’t need to fear paying support for the rest of your life.

Speak to a Fresno Alimony Attorney Today

To learn more about how to end spousal support in California, contact a Fresno alimony attorney at the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks today.

Understanding How Temporary Spousal Support in California Works

Temporary Spousal Support in California Fresno Alimony AttorneyTemporary spousal support is an order that comes during divorce proceedings and ends once divorce terms are agreed upon. California law allows the court to order a spouse to “pay any amount that is necessary” based on the supporting spouse’s income and the supported spouse’s needs. The goal is to maintain the standard of living both parties have been accustomed to before the separation occurred. But how does temporary spousal support in California work?

Alimony issues can be complicated, and the court considers many factors before granting or denying said support, as well as the actual amount paid. We’ll examine those factors below.

How Does the Court Calculate Temporary Spousal Support in California?

In California, calculating the amount of temporary spousal support paid relies on three main factors:

  • First, the court will examine the gross monthly income of both you and your spouse. Income adjustments such as child support, taxes, and union dues, are taken into consideration when determining incomes.
  • Second, the court will look at you and your spouse’s tax-filing statuses, such as head of household, single, married and filing jointly or married and filing separately.
  • Lastly, the court will then use the provided numbers to calculate the amount through the “Santa Clara County Guideline.” While you should note that using these factors aren’t necessarily final, they will give you a good idea of what you can expect a judge to decide.

In order to get the most accurate estimate of temporary spousal support, speak to an experienced Fresno alimony attorney.

When Will the Court Deny Temporary Spousal Support?

Under California law, the court may deny temporary spousal support if one of the following factors is determined. The spouse requesting support:

  • Holds adequate separate property
  • Earns their own livelihood
  • Possesses sufficient community property
  • Is not awarded child custody

Your attorney can help you review the factors in your case and explain what to expect.

Can Temporary Spousal Support Become Permanent?

Temporary spousal support will end the day the terms of a divorce are finalized. However, beyond that, the court may order a spouse to pay long-term spousal support as well for an indefinite period of time. The duration of such payments relies heavily upon the length of marriage. Basically, the longer a marriage lasts, the longer spousal support must be paid.

For instance, for marriages of 10 years or less, the duration of spousal support is usually one-half of the length of marriage. So, a marriage of 8 years would translate to 4 years of spousal support. In contrast, for marriages of 10 years or longer the duration of spousal support is much more complicated, involving many more factors the court must consider.

Contact a Fresno Alimony Attorney Today

If you are going through a divorce or separation and have questions about temporary spousal support in California, contact the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks for a free consultation.