Experienced No-Fault Divorce Attorneys in Los Angeles, California
At WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC, our Los Angeles family law attorney knows California is a no-fault divorce state. This means our family law codes do not require spouses to prove the other party did something wrong, such as adultery or cruelty, to pursue a divorce.
Instead, the grounds for divorce are based on irreconcilable differences, meaning that the couple has experienced a breakdown in their marriage with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.
The fact that California is a no-fault divorce state simplifies the divorce process by eliminating the need to prove fault grounds. Still, it does not eliminate the need to address other legal and financial aspects.
Our Los Angeles County divorce attorney can help you address other vital issues, like property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support, that still need to be addressed and resolved during proceedings.
We understand each divorce is unique and that not all details apply to each marriage’s dissolution. Here, we discuss the crucial points that may need to be considered, agreed upon outside the courtroom, or litigated inside the courtroom.
How is Property Divided During a No-Fault Divorce in California?
California follows community property laws regarding property division in a divorce, including a no-fault divorce. This means marital property is generally divided equally between the spouses.
Here are key points about how property is divided during a no-fault divorce in California:
- Community Property Principle
California is a community property state, meaning that property acquired during the marriage is generally considered community property and is subject to equal division between the spouses.
- Separate Property
Property acquired by either spouse before the marriage, after the date of separation, or through gifts or inheritances is typically considered separate property and is not subject to equal division.
- Equal Division
Marital assets and debts are typically divided equally between the spouses. This includes real estate, personal property, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and other assets acquired during the marriage.
- Division of Debts
Just as assets are divided equally, marital debts are divided equally between the spouses. Both community property and separate property can be used to satisfy marital debts.
- Exceptions to Equal Division
While the general principle is equal division, there may be exceptions based on factors such as the needs of each spouse, the earning capacity, and health. The court has the discretion to deviate from an equal division if it determines that an equal division would not be fair.
- Marital Agreements
Spouses may have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that outlines how property should be divided in the event of a divorce. If valid and enforceable, the terms of such agreements will be considered.
Whether you and your spouse can negotiate the division of property through mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods to reach an agreement outside of court or if you require a judge to make property distribution decisions for you, our Los Angeles no-fault divorce attorney will represent your best interests throughout the legal process.
Is One Spouse Always Ordered Spousal Support During a No-Fault Divorce in California?
In a no-fault divorce in California, spousal support is not automatically ordered for either spouse. The decision to award spousal support and the amount and duration of the support are determined based on various factors and are at the court’s discretion. The goal is to achieve a fair and equitable outcome, considering both spouses’ financial needs and circumstances.
These factors include the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of each spouse, their needs and obligations, the standard of living during the marriage, and the ability to pay support.
How is Child Custody and Support Determined During a No-Fault Divorce in California?
In California, child custody and support are determined based on the child’s best interests. Unlike the division of property, child custody and support matters are not directly influenced by the fact that California is a no-fault divorce state. Instead, these issues focus on the well-being and needs of the child.
Here are key points regarding child custody and support determination during a no-fault divorce in California:
- Child Custody
The guiding principle in determining child custody is the child’s best interests. Courts consider factors such as the child’s age, health, emotional ties with each parent, and the ability of each parent to provide a stable and supportive environment.
When considering these details, California recognizes two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody involves decision-making authority over essential aspects of the child’s life, while physical custody refers to where the child will live.
Courts often favor joint legal custody, allowing both parents to participate in major decisions affecting the child. Joint physical custody, where the child spends significant time with both parents, is also common when it is in the child’s best interests.
If one parent is awarded primary physical custody, the other parent is typically granted visitation rights. Parenting plans outline the visitation schedule and may address holidays, vacations, and special occasions.
California has child support guidelines that consider factors such as each parent’s income, the number of children, and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. The goal is to ensure the child receives financial support consistent with the parent’s income and resources.
Both parents’ incomes, including wages, bonuses, and other sources of income, are considered when calculating child support.
Child support orders typically include provisions for the child’s healthcare and childcare costs. Parents may be required to share these expenses and the basic child support amount.
Child support orders can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a change in income, employment status, or the child’s needs. Child support orders are legally binding, and failure to pay can result in enforcement measures, including wage garnishment, suspension of licenses, and other legal consequences.
Contact Our Family Law Attorneys in Los Angeles, California Today
If you have questions about how your California no-fault divorce will impact child custody and your financial standing, contact our skilled family law attorneys in Los Angeles County at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC, by calling (310) 552-3505 to schedule a free consultation today. We can help provide solutions that produce results.