Bay Area County and California State Website Links – Divorce

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Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Divorce Alternative – Legal Separation

legal separation won’t end a marriage or domestic partnership. Unlike divorce or dissolution, in cases of a legal separation, the marriage or domestic partnership remains unbroken, prohibiting the parties from remarriage or entering a new domestic partnership.

Legal separation is an option for couples that do not wish to divorce but want to separate their finances and property.

The grounds for legal separation are the same as those for divorce. To file for legal separation, one party must reside in the county where the papers are filed at the time the case is started; however, there is no required length of residency. Our Walnut Creek legal separation lawyers can guide you through all the ins and outs of the process.

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Divorce Alternative – Annulment

With an annulment, the court determines that a marriage or domestic partnership is not legally valid. Marriages or domestic partnerships that are incestuous or bigamous are never valid. Others can be declared “void” or “voidable” because on one of the following:

  • of force, fraud, or physical or mental incapacity;
  • one of the spouses was legally too young to marry or enter a domestic partnership; or
  • one of the spouses was already married or in a domestic partnership.

More information about the grounds for an annulment, as well as time limits for filing for an annulment, are available from the California Family Code, sections 2210 et seq. Annulments are very uncommon. If you ask to have your marriage or domestic partnership annulled, you will have to go to hearing with a judge. To file for an annulment, one party must reside in the county where the papers are filed at the time the case is started. Again, there is no required length of residency.

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Shorter Marriage? You May Be in For a Smoother (and Cheaper) Divorce!

Shorter Marriage? You May Be in For a Smoother (and Cheaper) Divorce!

Not all marriages are created equal, and neither are all divorces. California law allows for an expedited divorce process, called a “summary dissolution” under certain specific circumstances.

To qualify for a summary dissolution, all of the following must be true:

  • You were married for 5 years or less;
  • You have no children that are a product of your marriage;
  • You do not own any real estate, and your lease ends within one year;
  • Your community debts do not exceed $6,000;
  • Your community assets do not exceed $45,000 (do not include any vehicles);
  • Your separate assets do not exceed $45,000 (do not include any vehicles);
  • You waive any rights to spousal support;
  • You have an agreement regarding asset and debt distribution and assignment.

If these circumstances apply to you, you can achieve your divorce with less court filing fees, much less paperwork, much more cheaply, with significantly less acrimony, and within the statutory 6-month waiting period. We suggest you consult with an attorney to make sure your situation falls squarely within these, (and other) guidelines, and that you move through the process as efficiently as possible.

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Division of Assets in a Divorce: Why Consulting an Attorney is in Your Best Interests

Division of Assets in a Divorce: Why Consulting an Attorney is in Your Best Interests

When you divorce, state law requires you and your partner to divide the marital assets in a manner that is reasonable and acceptable to both parties.  In the best case, both parties will cooperate and be fair about the division of assets.  In the worst case, one or both parties may contest particular assets, claim an asset is separate property, or hide assets.

Whether you and your spouse have a contentious or amicable relationship, it’s often a smart idea to consult with a Family Law Attorney when you are dividing your assets. Your attorney can help you understand the difference between separate property and community property, mediate between both parties, or represent you in front of the other party’s family law attorney so your best interests are served.

Dividing the Marital Assets

The first step is for both parties to make a list of marital assets. Unless otherwise stated in a premarital agreement, marital assets are divided equitably. While not a complete list, some of the most common marital assets include:

  • Family home
  • Cars
  • Boat
  • Bank accounts
  • Vacation home or property
  • Investments
  • Securities such as stocks and bonds
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Valuables
  • Jewelry
  • Collectibles
  • Furniture Household Items

California is a Community Property State

In a community property state such as California, assets are generally split 50/50. However, in some cases, it may be in your best interest to negotiate a different settlement. Rather than think in terms of the present monetary value, you should consider short and long-term financial goals. An experienced Family Law Attorney can guide you to divide your assets in a way that protects you now and in the future.

Separate Property versus Marital Property

Generally speaking, separate property is not included in the division of assets. Separate property can include:

  • Property that was owned by either partner prior to the marriage
  • Inheritance acquired before or after the marriage
  • Third party personal gifts
  • Monies earned from a personal injury settlement

An exception to this case is if the separate property is co-mingled with your spouse. If this happens, an argument can be made that the separate property is now marital property and your spouse has rights to it.

Marital property is anything else that was purchased or acquired during the marriage. Marital property is generally divided equitably during the division of assets.

If you are unsure whether your property is separate or marital, consult a Family Law Lawyer.

Hiring a Forensic Accountant in a Divorce Case

If your spouse is not forthcoming with his or her assets, you may want to consider hiring a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant may investigate, acquire, and analyze information that can help you come up with a fair and just settlement. He or she can also represent you in court.

In Need of a Family Law Attorney in Walnut Creek?

Mendes Weed, LLP has experience in Family Law matters and can help you with your divorce proceedings. If you need assistance with your division of assets or want someone to represent you in front of your spouse or his or her attorney, please contact us.

Disclaimer: The tips and materials provided in this email are for informational purposes only, offered as public service. No information in this email should be considered legal advice or used as a substitute for legal advice. For legal advice, you should contact an attorney directly.

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SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Preparing for Life After Divorce

Preparing for Life After Divorce

Divorce is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life.  Whether you wanted the marriage to end or not, you are most likely going to experience an entire gamut of emotions. The thought of ending ties with someone you thought you were going to spend your life with is something with which you must come to terms.

Divorce Considerations with Children

If you and your ex-partner have children, you may undergo an entire new set of feelings and emotions. Whether you have sole or split custody, being a single parent is stressful, taxing, and complex. The sooner you prepare yourself for life after divorce, the better you and your children will be.

Put Yourself First

There is a popular saying, “If Momma ain’t happy, no one is happy.” The same holds true for dads. Before you can successfully take care of someone else, you need to take care of yourself first. We are useless in the workplace or to our family if we are not taking care of ourselves.

Suggestions for Taking Care of Yourself

The first steps to preparing a “Post-Divorce You” is to come to terms with the divorce.  Realize you will have your good days and your bad days, and allow yourself plenty of time to grieve. At the same time, work on yourself in these positive ways:

  • Seek therapy for your mental well-being.
  • Stick to a regular sleep regime and get at least 8 hours of rest.
  • Eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and protein.
  • Start or continue an exercise routine.
  • Make time for friends.
  • Pick up a new hobby or join a new club.
  • Surround yourself with positive support role models.
  • Focus on the positive, find something to be grateful for each day.

Take Care of the Kids

Your kids are counting on you, and you need to be a strong support model to take care of them. Depending on the ages of your children as well as other factors, some kids handle divorce better than others. Here are some ways you can help your children cope with divorce:

  • Talk to them in age-appropriate wording.
  • Share only necessary details.
  • Listen to their concerns and address them without providing false hope.
  • Avoid talking badly about their other parent.
  • Continually remind them how much you love them.
  • Offer them counseling or someone neutral to engage with.
  • Start new traditions.

Divorce is not the End

When you come to peace, you will realize that divorce is not the end; it was a chapter in your life and now you have a second chance to live a different life. Make the best of this chance by taking time for yourself and working on things or choosing new activities you never had the chance to do before.

Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

If you have a great divorce lawyer, he or she has your best interests in mind.  When you are going through a divorce, or if you have already signed papers, you want to know your divorce attorney is on your side.

If you need representation for your divorce, are already divorced and need a new divorce lawyer, or have questions, Mendes Weed, LLP is here to help.

We have offices in Walnut Creek, San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose.

Call us at (925) 390-3222 or contact us on our website.

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667