Frequently Asked Questions Related to Divorce in Irvine
Obtaining a divorce can be confusing, so it is only natural if you have questions about how to divorce in California. Michel & Rhyne is a dedicated law firm committed to communication and client satisfaction. We are careful to answer all of our clients’ questions from the very first consultation and also keep them informed of the progress of their divorce. The following are some of our most commonly fielded questions involving the divorce process in California:
- What is divorce? Divorce is the legal dissolution of your marriage. This means you and your former spouse are no longer legally married and may marry someone else if you choose.
- How does a divorce begin? The divorce process begins when a petition for divorce and other related paperwork is filed in a California court. To file, at least one spouse must be a resident of the state for the preceding six months, and also a resident of the county in which divorce is filed for the preceding three months. There is no real advantage to filing first; it simply begins the whole divorce process. An Irvine divorce attorney can help make sure your divorce petition is filed properly.
- What are the grounds for divorce? California is a no-fault divorce state. One spouse’s wrongdoing is not grounds for divorce. Most divorces are filed on the grounds of irreconcilable differences—substantial differences between spouses that lead to the breakdown of marriage. While not grounds for a divorce, fault can play a role in the ultimate marriage dissolution.
- What issues are dealt with in divorce? As noted above, divorce brings your marriage to a legal end. This means the legal ties of marriage must be severed and, where children are involved, new legal relationships must be fashioned. The issues dealt with include property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support.
- How is child support determined? Courts in California follow a set of guidelines in making child support determinations. These guidelines take into consideration factors such as the relative income and earning potential of either spouse, as well as the amount of time either spouse spends with the child.
- How is child support enforced? Child support orders are often effectuated by way of wage garnishment. In this arrangement a certain amount of money is withheld from every paycheck a parent earns and is redirected for a child’s support. Parents who willfully neglect their child support responsibilities can be held in contempt of court and punished with an expensive fine or even jail time.
- What are your fees? Our fees in a given divorce vary depending on length and complexity. We follow a strict policy of discussing our fee arrangement with clients at the very first consultation. Typically we can provide clients with a fairly accurate estimation of our costs, though issues can arise throughout the representation that must be billed accordingly. A portion of the estimated fees are requested to be paid up front when a retainer agreement is signed.
- What should I bring on my first visit? Coming prepared to your first meeting gets your divorce off to a strong start. You should bring all of your financial information, including:
- Pay stubs from the last three years
- Tax returns from the last two years
- Financial account information
- An inventory of all personal property, assets, and debts
- A copy of a current Will if one exists
Trusted Legal Representation for Your Divorce
You might be wondering, “How do I get a divorce in California?” But the better question is “Who can help me?” Our attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience representing clients in divorce. We worry about your legal and financial interests so you do not have to.
Talk with an Experienced Irvine Divorce Attorney
Contact Michel & Rhyne for more information about how we can protect your interests in your Orange County divorce.