When a new client asks us to handle their divorce, they typically have lots of questions about what to expect from the process. While each case is different, here are some general rules for what to expect from your California divorce.

What can I Expect If…

My Spouse and I have Children from Our Marriage?

If you and your spouse are on the same page regarding physical custody, legal custody, and visitation rights, then you can generally expect these issues to be resolved according to your mutual agreement.

However, if the parents have different ideas about custody, or if one spouse wants to keep the other from seeing the couple’s children, you may need to go to court to resolve your differences. When deciding custody disputes, the California courts focus on serving the best interests of the child. You will need to work with your divorce attorney to develop a compelling case to obtain your desired outcome.

One of Us is Self-Employed or Owns a Business?

In the context of a divorce, the biggest factor that differentiates self-employment from ordinary, W-2 employment is the ability to accurately and reliably establish the self-employed spouse’s income. Establishing income is important for a variety of reasons, including child support and alimony.

When one spouse owns a business, this can also create complications with regard to:

  • calculating income,
  • determining community and separate property, and
  • identifying hidden assets.

Self-employment and business ownership do not change any of the major substantive issues with going through a divorce – they just add layers of complexity for arriving at a fair settlement or court order.

We Co-Own a House?

If you and your spouse co-own your primary residence or other real estate, determining who gets the house will be part of your overall division of community property. Under California law, any property acquired during the marriage is considered jointly owned by both spouses. This includes the family home.

If the couple has sufficient assets, one spouse may get to keep the house in exchange for giving up rights to other property. However, if the home is the couple’s only significant asset, it may need to be sold in order to effectuate an equitable property division. There are other options as well, and we can advise you on what makes sense for your situation.

Either My Spouse or I Chose Not to Work while We were Married?

If only one spouse worked during the marriage, that spouse may be required to pay spousal support (alimony) to the other for a period of time following the divorce. As with other issues, if both spouses are on the same page, establishing spousal support can be fairly straightforward. If they aren’t, a judge will establish the amount and duration of spousal support owed.

Contact Sarieh Law for More Information

Sarieh Law provides experienced representation for divorce and other family law matters in the greater Orange County and Los Angeles areas. To learn more about what to expect from your divorce, call (714) 542-6200 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.