Family Law & Divorce Attorneys in Irvine, CA
Experienced Divorce Attorneys in Irvine, CA: LV Law Offices
Family law can be complicated and intimidating, especially when pursuing the dissolution of marriage. Our skilled family & divorce attorney in Irvine, CA, Landon C. Villavaso, understands that you need guidance and answers on how your life is going to unfold when your marriage ends. We can help.
At LV Law, our Irvine divorce lawyer has dedicated his legal proficiency to helping individuals get through the divorce process successfully, no matter the composition of their families. Whether you have been married for two years or twenty and have six kids or none, our family law lawyers in Irvine can help you create the best circumstances available for your case.
Divorce Proceedings in the State of California
Divorce laws in the State of California operate in two capacities. First, California participates legally as a no-fault state. This simply means that neither party must provide evidence of wrongdoing, or establish that one person is more at fault than the other, as a reason for the marriage’s dissolution.
This reason for dissolution is described as irreconcilable differences. These are defined as the differences between a married couple that are so great they are unworkable, or insurmountable, for which California laws permit as grounds for divorce.
Next, is a law described as permanent legal incapacity. This is designated in divorces where one person is mentally incapable of making decisions within the marriage. This is not something that can simply be claimed by the other spouse. It must be established by a mental health professional who can provide the medical evidence necessary to support this claim in court while under sworn testimony.
Finally, in the State of California, both parties do not have to consent to marriage dissolution. If one spouse files for divorce, the other cannot prevent the proceedings simply by not cooperating. In these cases, where one spouse is being uncooperative, a judge can decide on the divorce through a default judgement, thereby ending the marriage without the other spouse’s involvement.
What’s the Difference Between Traditional Divorce and Collaborative Divorce?
Divorce in any capacity is difficult for families, and emotionally taxing for the couple. Choosing the right path of dissolution can certainly help ease the anxiety and sensitive toll the process takes during the proceedings.
In California, there are three forms of divorce that will dictate the processes that follow:
- Traditional divorce
- Collaborative divorce
Traditional divorce includes:
- One spouse filing for the dissolution of marriage
- Both parties hiring an divorce attorney
- Supplying records for review
- Conducting depositions
- Organizing a formal discovery process
- Settling the arrangement, or allowing a judge to do so
Mediation is a divorce solution that is usually successful for couples who want to end their marriage in the most amicable way available, avoiding litigation and courtroom appearances. Settling a divorce through mediation typically means the couple is aware of their marital differences and holdings, and simply want to move on without a lengthy or costly legal process standing in their way.
The benefits of mediation include:
- Assignment of a neutral mediator who fully oversees the agreements, and provides expertise on how to proceed without delay
- Conserves time, as the agreements are handled in meetings, instead of crowded court proceedings
- Saves money, as both parties are operating under the same understanding
- Provides open post-divorce planning opportunities for each person
- Allows spouses to move on with their lives swiftly, without courtroom delays
Mediation may not be right for all couples, leaving actual litigation as the only answer to complete an appropriate dissolution that each party can agree on.
Collaborative divorce includes a blended approach, taking components from a traditional dissolution, and the mediation process, including:
- One spouse filing for the dissolution of marriage
- Both parties hiring a divorce divorce attorney
- Both parties, and their divorce lawyers sign a written agreement to use cooperative methods to reach a solution that is beneficial to both parties
- If the process fails, both family attorneys must disqualify themselves from the case prior to the couple proceeding to litigation
What is the Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce?
The difference between legal separation and divorce is simple: Legal separation does not terminate the marriage or each person’s marital status. Both parties are still legally married after a legal separation occurs.
Only an actual divorce will:
- Terminate the marriage, deeming each person single
- Allow both parties to remarry after the finalization date
Why Would a Couple Legally Separate Instead of Fully Divorce?
There are legitimate reasons for individuals to retain their marriage status by becoming legally separated, including:
- Religious bases and reasons
- Retention of healthcare benefits
- Qualifying a spouse for military or social security benefits
- Family benefits
- Neither party is committed to pursuing an actual divorce without exploring their options together going forward
How Much Does a Divorce Cost?
There is no one-size-fits-all divorce rate. Depending on the circumstances associated with the divorce, and which type of dissolution you are pursuing, including whether the couple agrees on marital issues, the costs will differ greatly.
Key issues that will determine the length, costs and legal necessity involved in the dissolution of marriage include:
- Division of real, personal, and intangible assets
- Community or separate property ownership within the marriage
- Child custody and child support, including the child(ren)’s:
- Relationship with parents, and their ability to care for the juvenile(s)
- Location of school, home, and community ties
- Spousal support or alimony
The legal costs associated with marriage dissolution will be dictated by the nature of the divorce, and whether it is easily maneuvered or highly combative.
How Does LV Law Assess Financial Holdings for Marriage Dissolution in Irvine?
Assessing the value of assets is a common legal calculation that must occur when couples are pursuing marriage dissolution. Our highly skilled divorce & family lawyer in Irvine, CA, Landon C. Villavaso, gathers this financial information through different channels, including:
- 401(k) statements
- Bank statements
- Credit card statements
- Life insurance
- Real estate
In most family law cases, these financial holdings are easily accessible, but in complicated cases where individuals may try and downplay their assets to avoid including them in the dissolution, our proficient Irvine divorce attorney will employ skilled financial partners to uncover their complete assets, including professional valuation experts like:
- Forensic accountants
- Real estate appraisers
Dividing assets can be complicated, and while there is an equitable distribution property clause that applies in California, the phrase can be misleading. Equitable does not mean equal; It simply means fair. And in our courtrooms, that means the division of assets will be fair to each party.
What Other Professional Partnerships Does LV Law Employ to Help My Family Law Case?
In addition to our expert legal applications, and comprehensive representation that protects our clients’ rights and best interests, our divorce cases require a compassionate approach.
When we are involved in cases that include juvenile dependency, and extenuating circumstances concerning their care, because of:
- Spousal abuse
- Violence in the home
- Substance abuse
- Inability of a parent to supply proper care
We will employ professional Irvine family lawyers who can solidify our client’s claims through successful testimony, including:
- Mental health professionals
- Social workers
- Law enforcement officials
Your case will be evaluated from beginning to end during our first meeting to provide you with the confidence you need to proceed with your marriage dissolution without worry.
Contact Irvine Family Law Attorneys at the Law Office of Landon C. Villavaso Today for a Free Consultation
If you are considering a divorce in Irvine, California, and find the process complicated and overwhelming, you are not alone. At the Law Office of Landon C. Villavaso, our Irvine divorce attorney provides exceptional legal representation that allows our clients to look forward to successful results, instead of worrying about the process and the possible results. Call our office today at (949) 257-5188 to schedule a free consultation, and discuss your next steps. Our Irvine Family Law Lawyers can help you get the results you are looking for, so you can begin working on the next chapter of your life and the pursuit of happiness. Call us now and allow us to put your mind at ease.