Frequently Asked Family Law Questions
When dealing with such personal issues as
child custody and legal separation, you will need a compassionate and understanding
attorney who is well-versed in all areas of family law. Attorney Dan Hunter
at The Hunter Law Group has more than 45 combined years of experience
in family law. He can help you deal with all of the issues you may be
handling during this tough time and fight for the best solution for you
and your family. If you have further questions, do not hesitate to get
in touch with our firm today.
What is a legal separation? Is it different from a divorce?
Legal separation is not a divorce, but in a legal separation, the same issues still need
to be determined, such as division of property, child custody,
alimony, etc. In a court-recognized separation, any debts or assets accumulated
by the parties are now considered separate property. A separation is not
recognized by the law unless someone actually files for legal separation,
otherwise, a trial separation or living apart is simply a period of time
in the relationship.
While a divorce does not have to be agreed to by both spouses, both parties
must agree on the legal separation. Unlike a divorce, there is no six
month waiting period with a legal separation. Also, California residency
is not required before filing. The main difference between a legal separation
and divorce is that after getting a legal separation, the spouses may
What happens to my finances in a divorce?
Worried about the future of your finances? There are many different facets
to the divorce process, especially when it comes to assets, debts and
support payments. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, you
could be facing a variety of different issues, all of which could affect
your financial standing. Make sure to protect what is rightfully yours
and receive the spousal or
child support you deserve.
Find out more by
Will I lose my kids in a divorce?
This is typically the greatest worry that a parent can have when faced
with a divorce. In many cases, one or both parents can have custody over
their child or children. If one parent does not receive custody, they
are most likely eligible for
visitation rights. The court can create a schedule for both parents that is hopefully
suitable not only for the parents, but most importantly the children involved.
Click here to read more on the matter.
What are some reasons for getting a legal separation?
If one or both spouses hold religious or personal beliefs that prevent
them from getting a divorce, legal separation may be a solution. Legal
separation is also for those without plans for remarrying. It also can
be an intermediate step to getting a divorce, something that is in place
as you wait to fulfill the requirements for California residency. In this
state, to file for a divorce, one spouse must have lived in California
for 6 months, the other spouse for 3 months. There may also be financial
reasons for going with a legal separation instead of a divorce, such as
health insurance, Social Security, or some other finances that a spouse
will lose in a divorce. Consult with a Mission Viejo family law attorney
to find out if legal separation is a viable solution for you.
Can a pre-nuptial agreement help with child custody?
No, in a
prenuptial agreement, any issues that do not regard finances will not be binding in court.
A pre-nuptial agreement is not the place where child custody and visitation
rights can be outlined. The goal of California courts is preserving the
welfare and healthy relationships of your child, and they will not allow
any agreement between spouses to interfere with the child's rights.
What happens if I am the custodial parent and I want to relocate?
First and foremost in any family law situation is the welfare of your child.
If you are the custodial parent, and you want to move for a job or to
live in a better location, to successfully file a move-away petition,
you must prove that the relocation is greatly beneficial to your child
and that the move will be more beneficial than detrimental. The court
takes into consideration the age of the child, the relationship the child
has with their parents, how the move will affect the child, why the custodial
parent wants to move, how the non-custodial parent will be affected, and
more. You will need an experienced family law attorney to override any
challenges from the non-custodial parent and to help demonstrate to the
court that the move is good for your child.
Can I deny my ex visitation?
If the court has already issued your ex-spouse visitation rights, it is
in your best interest not to deny him or her the rights. Violating a court
order, such as one giving your ex-spouse rights to visit your children,
can have serious consequences and lead to criminal contempt. However,
for cases in which you may strongly believe that your child should not
be spending time with your ex because of safety or health concerns, you
should contact a family lawyer about your options to petition a modification.
What if my wife moves away with my kids?
In order for a custodial parent to move to another state or country, he
or she must file a move-away petition with the court to obtain permission
first. When your wife files this petition, the court will consider several
factors before allowing her to do so including the impact it will have
on you and your relationship with the kids. During this time, you also
have the right to present your reasons for why she should not move the
children away, which the court may take into consideration in their decision.
If your wife attempts to move away without such a petition, you should
contact a lawyer and take measures to ensure that her side of the custody
agreement is enforced.
Can I still get custody if the child is not biologically related to me?
Custody is determined based on a number of factors, but biological relation
is not necessarily one of them. If you are a legal parent of the child,
meaning that you adopted the child as your own while you were still married
to your ex-spouse, you have legal grounds to petition for child custody
and the court will view you as a parent with the same claim as the biological parent.
Are there alternatives to divorce?
If one or both spouses wish to end a marriage in the state of California,
they have one of three options. Whether choosing to pursue an annulment,
legal separation or divorce, even if just one spouse wishes to separate,
the other has no power to stop it from happening. There are certain methods
of divorce that can make the process a smoother one, including mediation
or seeking an uncontested divorce.
Find out more about these alternatives by
Mission Viejo Family Law Attorney on Your Side
Having the right legal counsel can lessen stress, ensure a fair result,
and help you strive toward a peaceful solution for the future, hopefully
one that is best for your family. Protect your family's future with
skilled and passionate legal support from The Hunter Law Group. With over
a decade of experience, family law
attorney Daniel Hunter is prepared to protect your family and is dedicated to working toward
the best resolution. To start the process of building a successful future
for your family, fill out a case evaluation and
contact The Hunter Law Group today!