If you are going through a divorce, we understand it can be confusing and overwhelming, especially when there are children involved. For a Palm Desert divorce attorney who can help you through the process and protect your rights, contact a Riverside divorce attorney at Heath Baker Law today.
You can call us at 951-222-2228, or reach out online to schedule an appointment. We are here to help you with all your questions regarding divorce, prenuptial agreements, child custody, visitation rights, and other issues pertaining to your unique situation. We are open now to in-person appointments, or we can converse over the phone and meet online if you prefer.
Navigate Divorce with Less Stress and Greater Peace of Mind
At Heath Baker Law, our Riverside divorce attorneys want your divorce to be as quick, smooth, and minimally impactful as possible, given the gravity of the process. It’s been our experience that divorce works best when we can agree on matters out of court, but there are times when litigation becomes necessary. In those instances, we have your back to protect your legal rights and ensure your children and finances are properly cared for.
The experienced legal team at Heath Baker Law understands the subtleties of California law when it comes to divorce and custody issues. We represent clients primarily in Riverside, Palm Desert and San Bernardino counties, but we also have a limited court presence in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange counties.
Most of us would love to never visit the court. But as life goes on, we encounter various circumstances that force us to take the help of the legal system. There are several reasons that can push you to take legal action. It may be a family dispute, property dispute, divorce, or something else.
Today we will walk you through the things you need to know before filing for a divorce. When filing for divorce in Palm Desert, the first thing you need is a qualified Palm Desert divorce lawyer. Choosing a divorce attorney might be the most critical decision you have to make in your divorce process.
Divorce Practice Areas We Specialize In Palm Desert
Every divorce is different. That’s why we take the time to understand the issues surrounding your divorce so we can better assist you with the process, including any necessary litigation. Our Palm Desert divorce attorneys have years of experience working with:
- No-fault divorce
- Uncontested divorce
- Contested divorce
- Move out orders
- Financial discovery
- Division of property and debt
- Division of shared business ventures
- Same-sex divorce
- Domestic violence concerns
- Fathers’ rights
- Disabled parents’ rights
- Obtaining a hearing date
- Setting court dates in contested cases
- Litigation documents and expert witnesses
- Payment of attorney and related fees
We work with every client to find the least time-consuming and most hassle-free divorce process that also works with their budget. We know finances are a prime concern in any divorce.
Spousal support is the legal term for what is commonly known as alimony. Each case of spousal support is unique, depending on the length of the marriage, the age and health of the partners, partner earnings, potential for future earnings, current debts, and child custody arrangements.
While we strive to make sure your divorce is as stress-free as possible, we also work to make sure your disposition in the divorce is feasible for you, whether you are paying or receiving spousal support.
There is no more potentially contentious issue in a divorce than custody of the children. At Heath Baker, we encourage our clients to first attempt to work out a child custody agreement using mediation. This process uses a neutral third party who specializes in divorce disputes. The concerns of both parents and the children are taken into consideration to find an agreement that works for everyone.
Sometimes mediation doesn’t work to resolve child custody disagreements, in which case we represent our clients in family court. In every instance, the best interest of the children involved is our prime concern.
Child Support Modifications
Child support modifications can occur during the divorce process or after a divorce has already been made legal. This happens when one or both parents undergo a major change that necessitates an adjustment to a previously agreed-upon child support arrangement. An example of when this is necessary is when a parent is diagnosed with a serious illness or when their income changes significantly due to job loss or a new job.
Visitation is a part of the child custody agreement. While one parent may have primary physical custody, visitation may be granted to the other parent on weekends, holidays, and other scheduled occasions. Visitation rights can be complicated, as they involve the child and parents’ schedule, as well as possibly grandparents and other family members. We are skilled at helping parents work out visitation rights that make sharing custody or co-parenting easier for everyone.
Move Away Orders
A move away order legally allows one parent to move out of state with their child. The court may approve move away orders for good faith reasons, such as a lucrative new job or remarrying. They are not typically approved, however, when moving away is intended to diminish or sever contact between a noncustodial parent and a child. As with all our divorce-related legal help, we try to make move away orders work when they are in the best interest of the children in question.
Grandparent Custody Rights
California law protects grandparent custody rights. We help grandparents and their families petition for partial custody, full custody, and visitation, as the case may warrant. We also assist when grandparents wish to be involved in a child’s education, religion, and healthcare.
Legal Document Preparation
Preparing documentation related to a divorce can be one of the most time-consuming and stressful aspects of the entire process. Like everything else with divorce, when children or extensive property division are involved, documentation becomes even more complicated.
It’s essential that all legal documents pertaining to the divorce be completed properly. This is one area where working with a seasoned divorce attorney will really make a difference. You’ll save time and headaches while you avoid potential mistakes that could delay your divorce by weeks or months. Even if you are trying to do most parts of your divorce yourself, such as through mediation, it’s worthwhile having a divorce lawyer look over your documents.
Common contention grounds in divorces
Some issues are more common than others when it comes to disputes. Let us look at the most common grounds for disputes in a divorce:
- Child support: Divorces become much more complicated when there’s a child or children involved. One of the most common issues of dispute is child support. It is the amount of money and resources that each parent is expected to provide until the child/children reach adulthood.
- Child custody: Child custody can be even more complex than child support. Very few parents would be okay with separating from their children. But as divorces go, one parent gets the primary custody of the child. If both parents do not agree on this, the divorce can drag on for a long time.
- Military divorce: Divorce laws are different for military personnel and veterans compared to civilians. Military personnel often have an upper hand in the divorce, especially if their spouse is accused of infidelity.
- Spousal support/alimony: The most contested issue in a divorce, after child custody, is spousal support. If one partner is or has been dependent on the other spouse for financial support, they are legally required to pay spousal support even after the divorce. This is a highly contested issue, especially if the finances of both spouses involve complex income sources and assets.
- Father’s rights: Many fathers feel that the legal system is biased against them. Working with a competent lawyer can help fathers get their rights, especially in terms of child custody.
- Asset division: Commonly owned assets are ideally divided in half after a divorce. However, there can be many complexities in asset division. This is yet another ground for contention.
There are even more grounds for contention, but these are the most common issues.
What to know before filing for a divorce
You should know the basics of getting a divorce before filing for one. Let’s go through the fundamentals first:
There are two types of divorces — uncontested and contested. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses mutually decide to part ways and settle the terms on their own. In a contested divorce, both parties do not agree on fundamental issues like child support, property division, alimony, etc. The court has to then intervene and come to a decision.
Divorces can be wrapped up in a short time, or it can take several months. It all depends on how many contested issues the court has to resolve. Your divorce attorney also plays a key role here. A competent divorce lawyer will work through the complexities and try to arrive at a decision as quickly as possible.
The cost of getting divorced also varies greatly. The average cost of getting divorced in the country is $15000. But averages can often be misleading. The cost of a divorce depends on these factors:
- Divorce lawyer fees
- Duration of the court proceedings
- Settlement fees, child support, alimony, asset division, etc.
- Damages and compensations, if any
Now, let us look at some of the most commonly disputed issues in a divorce.
How to prepare for a divorce
The preparation for divorce involves both social, emotional, financial, and legal aspects. If you can work out things with your spouse, nothing can be better. However, that is not always how things work out.
Talking to your spouse
Divorces are never pleasant. However, if your spouse is cooperative despite the differences, you can work out things smoothly.
If you and your spouse agree to get an uncontested divorce, the proceedings will take less time and less money compared to a contested divorce.
However, spouses going through a divorce do not always sort things out among themselves.
Finding a divorce attorney in California
Finding the right divorce attorney makes a huge difference in the divorce process. If you are working with the right lawyer, navigating your way through the divorce would be much easier.
Here are some of the things to look for in your divorce attorney:
- Experience: One of the most important things for divorce attorneys is experience. An experienced lawyer would know the ins and outs of the legal process, even the loopholes in the system. If you want the verdict in your favor, finding an experienced lawyer is the most important step.
- Testimony: Look for reviews and testimonies from other people who have worked with the concerned divorce attorney. If they have had positive experiences, the chances of the lawyer being competent are high.
- Legal advice: When you meet an attorney for the first time, note what kind of legal advice they give you. A good lawyer would not want the case to drag on for a long time. They would also encourage you to resolve as many contentions as possible.
Contact Heath Baker And Speak To A Palm Desert Divorce Attorney Today! Free Consultations!
Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long or trying to manage your entire divorce on your own. Call Heath Baker Law today at 951-222-2228, or message us online to let us know how a Palm Desert divorce attorney can help you. We guarantee you’ll appreciate the peace of mind that comes with having us on your side.