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About Divorce And Legal Separation

Divorce is a way to end both short-term and long-term relationships under the law.

A divorce (also called dissolution of marriage or dissolution of domestic partnership) ends your marriage or domestic partnership. Depending on the facts of your case, other issues may arise such as child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, division of property, business valuations or restraining orders. Going through a divorce can be a stressful task for anyone, and a divorce is not reversible, unless one intends to re-marry the same party again. Under the law, anyone in California is entitled to a divorce, as long as “irreconcilable differences” exist. It is worth noting that California is a “no-fault” state, and as long as one has irreconcilable differences with the other party, a reason for the action is not needed. Similar to divorce law, legal separation divides the property of the parties and sets forth support and custody orders. Both dissolution and legal separation matters are covered by the Family Code; the main difference is that in a legal separation case, marital status is not terminated.

Support Matters

In a legal separation or dissolution proceeding, the court may order one party to pay the other spousal support. Various factors are considered such as the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, whether there are any minor children to care for at home or the history of the marriage. After spousal support is ordered, the payee can ask the court for an order to enforce the support order. Either spouse can also ask the court to change or modify the support amount if circumstances may change. Contact Sunnen Law today to discuss your unique situation in more detail.

Division Of Property

In many cases, the property will need to be divided, arising from a divorce or separation. Property includes community property or separate property. Community property is property owned jointly by a married couple. This includes property that was purchased during the marriage, including earnings, real or personal property, any debts acquired during the marriage. Separate property includes all property owned by a spouse prior to marriage, property obtained by a spouse after a legal separation or any property received as a gift or inheritance. Dividing property can become complex and can play a huge factor in a divorce proceeding. Depending on the value of the estate, experts may be hired to help value such property. These experts can be useful for mediation or settlement conferences and can testify at trial.

Addressing Tax Debts In Divorce

Debts can be a significant issue for married couples as well as couples facing divorce. Whether one is considering divorce, in the middle of a divorce, or has tax debt after a divorce, it is important to have a clear understanding of the rights and obligations under the law. Under current federal and state taxation laws, a spouse who was unaware of mounting or unpaid tax debts, tax fraud or tax liability may be relieved of any obligations before or after a divorce. If your spouse accumulated financial debts, including tax debts without your knowledge, our firm can assess your case and help you protect your rights to avoid unnecessary tax obligations. Like many things involving taxation law, it is important to have an experienced practitioner who can apply the facts to the law under the Internal Revenue Code and work to obtain relief through the administrative process. Most importantly, parties that are considering this avenue of relief should be aware that one does not need to be divorced for the innocent spouse doctrine to apply.

Changing Your Name After Divorce

Name changes can be done during your dissolution proceeding within the family law court. However, if you did not change your name at that time, you can petition the civil court and ask for a name change. Be sure to talk with Sunnen Law about this topic during your dissolution if you have not already. During your initial consultation, Sunnen Law will assess the needs of your case. Contact our highly skilled family law attorney in San Diego to schedule your initial consultation today.

At Sunnen Law, we handle all aspects of dissolution and legal separation cases, including:

  • Establishing child support orders
  • Establishing child custody orders
  • Modifications of pre- or post-judgment child support orders
  • Modifications of pre- or post-judgment child custody orders
  • Division of property
  • Establishing spousal support orders
  • Enforcing spousal support orders
  • Modifying spousal support orders
  • Litigation from filing to trial

Get Legal Advice About Divorce Today!

The goal of our firm is to make sure that you are dealt with fairly, regardless of which side of the equation you are on. Call us at 619-255-9551 or email us to request an in-person consultation as soon as possible.