California divorce is “no-fault,” which means that either spouse can request a divorce even if the other has done nothing wrong. Therefore, it is impossible to stop a determined spouse from obtaining a divorce. Many people then try to delay the proceedings as long as possible, but that strategy can have serious legal consequences. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact of divorce and to try and move forward if reconciliation is not possible.
Alternatives to Divorce
If you are determined to save your marriage, you may suggest a legal separation as an alternative. In a legal separation, property is divided and finances separated. Issues of child custody, support and visitation are determined. However, neither party is free to remarry. As such, this can have a significant psychological impact on reconciliation. It is important to remember that, if you have a judgment for legal separation, reconciliation may not affect the legal separation judgment.
It is important to consider the factors that led to the decision to divorce. For example, if the family is stressed by financial problems, divorce may not be the solution and credit counseling or other financial counseling [even bankruptcy] may be preferable to divorcing over money issues. Especially in the months immediately following a divorce, most people experience greater financial challenges as they establish individual households or lose the spouse’s financial contributions. Consulting an attorney can help you determine the likely financial impact of a divorce on your family’s finances.
Is the divorce decision related to a single triggering factor, such as infidelity? Or has the relationship been in a steady decline? One critical factor in avoiding divorce is to recognize that things will probably never be “like they used to be.” Something in the relationship needs to change and, unfortunately as above, if one party wants the divorce, they will obtain it.
Minimizing the Impact of Divorce
One of the most common reasons to fear divorce is financial. More responsibility and less income can pose a real challenge and many find it hard enough to live in one household and share expenses financially and having two separate households only increases expenses. Therefore, when facing divorce, it’s important to minimize the financial impact. There are several ways a knowledgeable attorney can help you achieve that goal.
Spousal support provides for the dependent spouse even after the divorce. Funds may be earmarked for education or living expenses and may only be granted for a limited time or as a permanent order. The goal of spousal support is to have the supported spouse being able to self support within half the duration of the marriage.
The property settlement divides all assets and liabilities of the marital estate. As a rule, the court attempts to divide these one half between both parties but there are exceptions and this can make an enormous difference in the outcome of the case. It may be necessary to obtain accurate appraisals, especially on items such as antiques and collectibles or business assets. Don’t forget about stored family heirlooms or irreplaceable items of sentimental value. You can avoid future disputes and disappointments by making sure the property settlement is accurate and complete.
Child support will help provide the custodial parent with a financial contribution for the support of children and this is calculated by computer programs.
In many cases, a dependent spouse can request that the other party pay all or some of their attorney fees.
Delaying the Proceedings
Unless you have a legitimate reason for temporarily delaying the final decree, you can face serious legal consequences for delays and litigating unreasonably.
The wisest thing you can do is to contact a San Diego divorce attorney to protect your interests and advise you. For a free consultation about divorce or other family law issues, contact us online or call our office at 858-312-8500.