Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions regarding family law? At Negley Law, APC, we are committed to helping our clients through their legal issues. Whether you are considering filing for a divorce, have questions regarding child custody and visitation, or need a modification to your child support, our team could help you.
We understand that you will have many different questions on your mind during this time and so we have come up with some common questions which you may be facing.
- How long does a California divorce take?
- Why does the court award alimony (spousal support)?
- After a divorce is final, can the amount of child support be changed?
- What matters should be covered by a legal separation agreement?
- What is community property?
- How is child custody determined?
- Do I need a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement?
- Will I have visitation rights?
- How do I get a restraining order?
If you would like to discuss your case with a member of our team, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our office for a free consultation. Call us today at (805) 464-7315.
How long does a California divorce take?
From the date of filing the minimum amount of time is six months as the law provides for a six month cooling off period during which some couples change their minds. In an uncontested divorce where both parties agree, the final settlement agreement can be completed in a very short time. Many divorces take longer and in some cases, where many issues are highly contested, a divorce may take more than a year. Working with a Ventura divorce attorney who is adept in dispute resolution and problem solving can speed the process.
Why does the court award alimony (spousal support)?
The court must also look to determine what is fair. In some cases one spouse stayed home to raise children or set aside their own further education to assist the other to complete an education or succeed professionally. This can result in a disparity of earning potential. Spousal support may be awarded to allow the lower income spouse to see to raising the children, complete their education or raise their job skills.
After a divorce is final, can the amount of child support be changed?
As children mature their needs can change, the other parent's income may go up or down, or your income may change. If there is a significant change in circumstances either parent may petition the court to increase or decrease the amount of child support to be paid. Modification to child support is most easily accomplished by mutual agreement between the parents but in the case of a dispute, could be resolved through mediation or in a court trial.
What matters should be covered by a legal separation agreement?
A legal separation generally deals with the same issues as in a divorce. The difference is that both parties remain legally married and cannot remarry unless the union is dissolved.
The agreement usually includes:
- Division of debts and assets
- Income tax matters
- Child support
- Separate maintenance (spousal support)
- Child custody and visitation
What is community property?
This is any property which the couple accumulated after they married until the time they separated. Community property includes cars, homes, bank accounts, retirement accounts, furniture, pets, loans, and credit card debts. Gifts and inheritances received before or during the time of the marriage are considered separate property. A knowledgeable divorce lawyer at Negley Law, APC can explain the law and help you to determine which is which. In the case of complex financial matters such a business or other asset which may have existed before the marriage and both parties contributed to its growth since then, outside experts such as appraisers and accountants should be called upon.
How is child custody determined?
One of the most difficult decisions a couple will have to make during a divorce is determining who will have custody of the children. Both parents want was is best for their children, but it can be difficult to see eye-to-eye on these types of decisions. The two main types of child custody are legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to making decisions on behalf of the children's upbringing. This type of custody could be shared by both parents or could be the sole responsibility of one parent. Physical custody refers to which parent the child lives with. Again, this type of custody could be shared equally between both parents or the child could only live with one parent. A parenting plan could be formulated in order to determine how much time the children spend with each parent.
Do I need a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement?
Before you get married or even after you get married, one thing you will have to consider is whether to create a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement. Many people believe that they only need to create a prenuptial agreement if they are multi-millionaires, but nothing could be further from the truth. Creating a prenuptial agreement before you get married could help you cut down on future conflict and help you prepare for any eventuality. If you are already married, you could create a postnuptial agreement in case you ever decide to divorce.
Will I have visitation rights?
When one parent has sole physical custody of the children, the other parent will most likely be granted visitation rights. The court will act according to what they believe is in the best interests of their child, not according to the parent's desires. As long as the court does not think that visiting the parent will be harmful, they will allow them to spend time with that parent. If, for whatever reason, the court believes that visitation rights may not be in the best interests of the child, they could rule for supervised visits or no visits at all. If you have more questions regarding visitation, you can contact a member of our team.
How do I get a restraining order?
Under California law, there are numerous types of restraining orders. The emergency protective order, known as the EPO, allows the person taking out the restraining order to be immediately protected. The order only lasts for five days but is a good way to protect yourself as quickly as possible. Another type of restraining order is a domestic violence temporary restraining order. The type of order can last for three weeks but could be lengthened to up to three years. A no contact order is a criminal protective order. This means that the individual is not allowed to contact the victim in any way, whether through phone, email, or physical contact. A civil harassment restraining order could be taken out against someone who was accused of a type of non-violent abuse. This includes stalking, and harassment, and threats.
Contact Our Divorce Firm!
Contact a Ventura divorce lawyer from our office if you still have questions regarding your case. We understand how emotionally difficult these cases can be and so will do everything possible to help you through this time. Should you choose to work with us, you will be able to have peace of mind knowing that throughout your case, we will be fighting tirelessly for your family's best interests. Our founding lawyer, Attorney John J. Negley, is an experienced legal professional who has handled countless cases in Ventura. If you would like to contact our team for a free case evaluation, contact our office today.