San Diego Divorce Lawyers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Starting a divorce?
Good prior planning prevents poor performance. You should start your case by developing the right plan. With the right plan, you give yourself the best opportunity to achieve your objective, and you will likely reduce costs of litigation and over all stress on yourself and your children.
How do I get to talk to an attorney?
All you need to do is contact our office at (619)234-3838 or email us by clicking this link to request an initial consultation.
What’s the initial consultation?
Our consultations are only $75 and entitle you to one-on-one time with an experienced family law attorney. This does not require you to hire our firm but in the event you do retain our services the same day as your consultation; we will apply the $75 initial consultation fee as a credit toward your retainer.
How much does it cost?
The Men’s Legal Center attorneys charge $75 for an initial consultation and $295 per hour once we are hired. We require a retainer up front and the amount of the retainer is determined at your initial consultation, after analyzing your case.
When am I officially represented by one of your San Diego divorce lawyers?
Once you sign a retainer agreement with the attorney you interview with and pay the retainer fee, we are your attorney of record.
Can I represent myself and is retaining a San Diego divorce lawyer necessary?
Unless you have absolutely nothing to lose, make sure to consult an attorney and assess for yourself if going it alone is a prudent choice. Handling a divorce case requires analyzing your particular facts, knowledge of the law, knowledge of the court system, strategic thinking, and an ability to separate emotions when making critical decisions.
What is the difference between Legal Separation and a Divorce?
At the end of a Legal Separation, you are still married. At the end of a Divorce, marital status is terminated and your status is returned to “single.” Other than the difference in marital status, the processes are identical. It is also important to note that a Legal Separation is not a mandatory step in the process of Divorce.
How long does it take to get a Divorce in California?
The soonest a married person can become single in the state of California is six (6) months from the date the petition for divorce is served on the other party. However, it can take much longer if the matter is contested. You may have the opportunity to bifurcate the action and have your marital status terminated while continuing your divorce action on all the other matters. To complete the remaining issues you will need to settle out of court or litigate the issues at trial and this can take months or even years. We know this process is very difficult emotionally and, therefore, we make it our goal to try to bring closure to cases as expeditiously as possible.
Should I move out of the family residence?
The answer is “NO,” unless ordered by the court or determined as a sound strategy after consulting one of our San Diego divorce lawyers. Please call us today and schedule a consultation before making a decision to move out of the family residence.
How does the court decide children custody in the State of California?
The court uses the best interests of the children standard. The court usually determines that it is in the best interests of the children to have frequent and continuous contact with both parents. Additionally, the court likes to establish a parenting plan that promotes stability for the children. Depending on your facts, a court-ordered parenting plan can range from having the parents sharing the children equally to only allowing one parent to have very limited time with the children.
Can my “ex” move away with our children if I am not granted custody?
While relocating children is rarely in their best interests, it is possible for your ex to move away with the children. There are requirements that must be met first in order for such a move to take place.
How do I protect my custody and visitation rights?
Do not remove yourself from your children’s life because of a divorce. You need to continue spending time with your kids. The more time you spend parenting your children, the higher your chances are to maintain that role during and after a divorce.
How much will I have to pay for children support?
Below is a link to a children support calculator. Please note these are only approximations. The attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center are adept at calculating and exploring all possible variables that can be present in your case, that affect the final children support amount. Examples of these variables include health insurance, medical needs, hardships, and other considerations.
Are all the decisions made in my divorce judgment final?
Orders in a final judgment can be modified prospectively in the areas of children custody, visitation, and support. Modifications of the orders in the final judgment can be sought when one of the parties circumstances change. If you feel your circumstances have changed, you should have an attorney analyze whether your judgment should be modified. Contact the Men’s Legal Center to set up an initial consultation to meet with one of our San Diego divorce attorneys.
How does the property division aspect of our divorce work?
California is a community property state, which means that property, earned or acquired during marriage, will be divided by the courts as evenly as possible. Identification, characterization and valuation of assets can be a complicated process that should involve the help of an experienced San Diego divorce lawyer.
Is mediation the right path?
Mediation can be a very effective option in a divorce if both parties are willing. Mediation tends to be more useful in issues of children custody and visitation. While it may be an effective option, it is important to consult an attorney before making any decisions to mediate, negotiate, or litigate your case.
Am I responsible for my “ex’s” credit card debt in a divorce?
Normally all debts incurred during marriage are considered community property debt and both parties are equally liable, but there are exceptions. Contact the Men’s Legal Center to have an experienced attorney explain this analysis to you.
Do all San Diego divorce cases go to court?
No. There are other options available to complete a San Diego divorce case including mediation and collaborative divorce. However, these approaches are often unfamiliar to the parties and should be explained by an experienced San Diego divorce lawyer.
Overall, divorce is a difficult situation for all parties involved, and if you are ready to take the steps necessary to dissolve your marriage, you need to seek the help of San Diego divorce lawyers who have been fighting for the rights of fathers, husbands, and non-custodial parents for decades.
Contact the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation at (619) 234-3838.