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Do You Need to Hire a Divorce Lawyer?

Going through a divorce is never easy, and in many cases, it is one of the most stressful times in a person's life. In San Diego, the divorce process can be complex, and many legal issues can arise that require the guidance and knowledge of a divorce lawyer. As such, it is important for anyone who is considering a divorce or who has been served with legal papers instituting a divorce proceeding to understand when and why they should retain a San Diego divorce attorney to help them protect their interests. For your information, a link follows which has some preliminary information on opening a case and starting the divorce process in San Diego Family Law Court: https://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/sdcourt/familyandchildren2/divorceandpaternity/openingacase

When Do You Need a Divorce Lawyer in California?

It is smart for anyone who is contemplating ending their marriage or who is currently involved in a divorce action without legal representation to hire an attorney, even if their relationship with their estranged spouse is amicable. There are certain situations where it is especially crucial to hire a divorce attorney, however. Also, unfortunately, some cases start amicably and end up otherwise. It is a good strategy to “hope for the best and expect the worst”. This way you are prepared to go to court if needed and be prepared.

Property Division

For example, if your divorce involves complex financial issues, you should retain a divorce lawyer to help you protect your property rights and seek your community property division of the assets that were accumulated during the marriage. Under California law, property acquired during the marriage is considered community property, meaning that the asset will be divided equally by both parties unless exception in the laws. For example, an inheritance that was acquired by a spouse form date of marriage to date of separation is considered community property but may not be divisible in the divorce unless commingled or transmuted or cannot be traced. There is a presumption such assets are community but this presumption can be rebutted. This can include real estate, investments, and other assets. However, certain property may be considered separate property, such as property that was owned by one spouse before the marriage or after the date of separation.

Child Custody

Child custody and visitation issues are often the most contentious aspects of a divorce. If your divorce action involves a custody dispute and you and your spouse are unable to agree on a parenting plan, you may need a divorce lawyer to represent your interests in court. In San Diego Family Law Court, child custody decisions are made based on the best interests of the child. This may include factors such as the child's age, health, and emotional well-being, as well as the ability of each parent to provide for the child's needs. California law also recognizes that children have the right to frequent and continuing contact with both parents unless it is not in the best interests of the child. The bond of a child with each parent is also very significant as is stability. As the Judge’s have never met the child[ren] or the parents, the Judge’s rely on the Family Court Services Recommendation absent a legal emergency per Family Law Code Section 3064 or a Temporary Restraining Order. This applies in Family Law Court in San Diego and child custody orders can also be issued by a Judge in San Diego Juvenile Court in a dependency action. As you can see, this can become very complicated very quickly. A divorce lawyer can navigate this complicated legal process of determining custody and visitation arrangements and help you fight to protect your parental rights.

Spousal and Child Support

If you or your spouse is seeking spousal support (also known as alimony) or child support, you may need a divorce lawyer to help you make an informed and intelligent decision as to the amount. It is critical to know the “guideline” child and spousal support numbers for temporary [pendente lite] orders. For child support, a link follows which is no charge and approved by the San Diego DCSS for calculations: https://childsupport.ca.gov/guideline-calculator/ Under California law, spousal support may be awarded to either spouse based on factors such as the length of the marriage, the income and earning capacity of each spouse, and the standard of living established during the marriage. This is not a gender issue, in 2023, and both males and females are payees and payors of spousal support and child support or both. Spousal support may be temporary or permanent and may be modifiable if there is a change in circumstances. Orders imposing child support obligations are based on guidelines set forth by state law as above. The formula used in family law court [disso master] is different than the DCSS but there are within percentages of each other. A partial list of factors used by both programs are below:

  • Employment income
  • Self Employment income
  • Social Security received
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • New Spouse Income
  • Health Insurance
  • Child Support payable from another relationship
  • Spousal Support payable from another relationship
  • Required Union Dues
Speak with a Seasoned San Diego Divorce Lawyer

In most instances, it benefits people contemplating the end of their marriage to consult a divorce attorney as soon as possible. The seasoned San Diego divorce attorneys of Doppelt and Forney APLC possess the skills and knowledge needed to help people protect their interests in dissolution proceedings, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you seek your goals. You can contact us through our online form or call us at 800-769-4748 to set up a free and confidential conference.

Client Reviews
Dear Roy, I would like to thank you and all team members as well as office staff for helping me defend in this case. It has been a difficult time for me during the last couple of weeks, and now because of this success result, I am able to move forward with my new chapter of life, even a little late at this age!!! Again with much appreciation, I wish you all to continue to do the same with a big heart as it was with me, in helping those who are in need of your professional services. W.
Thank you for your time and energy on this case, you took so much of the worry away from me! I appreciate all of your help. I will use and recommend you to other in the future. T.S.
I want to take this time to thank you and your staff for an outstanding job with my case to terminate spousal, you are an excellent attorney Roy, and your staff is very professional and considerate to my questions and concerns of my case. Thank you very much again. T.Y.
I wanted to say how much I appreciate your help and advice in regards to my name change. Your assistance during this time has been invaluable. Thank you again. M.J.