Attorney Frank J. Prainito knows how to protect your rights in a divorce. This is a challenging situation, and unforeseen hardships can result when a divorcing spouse fails to carefully consider all of the consequences and life changes that may accompany the dissolution of the marriage. Child custody, division of property, spousal support, child support, and visitation are all serious considerations to address, among others. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help you make the right decisions in your case. Contact Riverside Divorce Lawyer Frank J. Prainito to understand the full scope of your options.Divorce, Legal Separation, and Annulment
California is a no-fault divorce state, so the spouse seeking the divorce need not prove that the other spouse is guilty of any wrongdoing. At a minimum, the spouse seeking the divorce need only state that the marital partners cannot get along (irreconcilable differences), and the divorce will be granted. If the other spouse fails to participate in the divorce case, a default judgment can be made against them, and the divorce can still be granted. To start a divorce case, the spouse seeking the divorce must file a petition with the court asking for a divorce. The spouse responding to the petition for divorce must answer the petition, either by agreeing to the divorce and working out a settlement on issues like child custody and property, or by going to trial and asking a judge to decide the issues.
Legal separation, another way of ending a marriage, is similar to divorce in that debts and property are divided and custody issues are resolved, but the marital status remains unchanged. Neither party is free to remarry after a legal separation.
Annulment is a legal recognition that the marriage was not legally valid. Some grounds for annulment are a spouse’s age at the time of the marriage (under 18), a prior existing marriage, an unsound mind (that is, an inability to understand the nature of marriage and its obligations), fraud, force, and physical incapacity (inability to consummate the marriage). Moreover, a marriage is never legally valid if it is bigamous or incestuous. There are time limitations on filing for an annulment, so promptly getting advice from an attorney is a wise course of action.California is a Community Property State
California is one of nine states that use the community property system when dividing property in a divorce. A divorce attorney can advise Riverside residents on the complexities of this system. It provides that property belonging to a spouse going through a divorce is classified as community, quasi-community, or separate property. It will be allocated in different ways depending on its classification.
Community property is defined as property acquired during the marriage, as well as one-half of a spouse's income, whether it is held in a joint bank account or not. Community property must be divided equally between the spouses by law. Quasi-community property is property acquired outside California that would be community property had the spouses lived in California. Quasi-community property may be treated as community property in the event of a divorce, but it is not community property until the divorce.
Separate property includes property acquired before the marriage or after a separation or divorce. Gifts and inheritances are also separate property. Separate property is owned by the party who earned it and is not divided in a divorce. Federal law sometimes affects what is considered separate property. For example, Social Security retirement benefits are separate property and are not divided in a divorce, but a state pension is community property and will be divided between the spouses under California law.Contact a Knowledgeable Divorce Lawyer in the Riverside area
With comprehensive and sophisticated legal counsel, you can make informed decisions for your family and you so that you can move on smoothly from a divorce. Frank J. Prainito represents people who are going through a dissolution of marriage in Riverside, San Bernardino, Redlands, Victorville, Fontana, Ontario, Indio, Moreno Valley, Riverside, Temecula, Palm Desert, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Burbank, as well as other cities in San Bernardino, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties. He also can assist you if you need a child custody lawyer or guidance in another type of family law matter. Call Riverside divorce attorney Frank J. Prainito at (951) 530-8655 or contact us online to get answers to your questions and put a vigorous advocate on your side.