California Divorce, Spousal Support, Child Custody and Support, Collaborative Practice Overview
Divorces in California can be emotionally taxing and very complex. Our office handles family law matters such as dissolution of marriage (divorce), spousal suport, child support, child custody, as well as others. Our attorneys will agressively fight to protect you during your dissolution or legal separation so that you can move on with your life.
At The Law Office of Joel Carash, we believe that our clients should be fully informed on all aspects of the law that impact their cases and that they should be actively involved in making decisions about how their matter is handled. Our attorneys will guide, counsel and help you understand your choices and will work with you to achieve the best possible result as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
If you are going through a custody battle, marital dispute, child or spousal support issue, or you simply have questions related to a family law-related issue, please contact The Law Office of Joel Carash today to schedule a consultation.
Hiring a Divorce Lawyer
At the Carash Law Firm, we are very sensitive to those going through a marital breakdown. Our office has handled hundreds of contested divorces with aggressive competence, diligence, and personalized attention. Hiring an attorney early in the process often prevents the mistakes that occur when parties to divorce represent themselves before the court. We know this because we handle many cases where individuals have tried to handle their divorce themselves and later came to us when they could no longer navigate their way through the legal system. Getting legal help early in the process can help avoid mistakes, as well as the delays and stresses that accompany those mistakes.
Division of Marital Assets
California is a community property state, meaning all assets acquired during the marriage -- including increased value of assets brought to the marriage -- are included in the “marital pot.” Our divorce attorneys are experienced in the valuation and division of assets in the divorce property settlement, and we often work with forensic accountants and other professionals to value pension plans, stocks and stock options, homes and other real estate, and business ownership interests.
Spousal Support (Alimony)
The court may order monthly payments by one spouse to support the other spouse pending a divorce or legal separation. Formerly referred to as alimony, spousal support may continue after the conclusion of the divorce, depending on factors outlined in § 4320 of the California Family Code. Spousal support is awarded in addition to any child support.
Either spouse may be ordered to pay spousal support to the other. For couples married less than ten years, the typical length of spousal support to be ordered is one-half the length of the marriage. In long-term marriages (ten years or more), permanent alimony can be awarded (until the supported spouse’s death or remarriage), depending on the circumstances.
In awarding permanent spousal support, the judge must consider many factors, such as: each party’s income and earnings; earning capacity; age and health of the parties; obligations and assets of each party; duration of the marriage; needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage; education, job skills or occupation of each party, etc.
During a divorce, parents can be confused about the legal aspects of custody law. As experienced family law attorneys, we can fully explain your rights in helping you and the other parent shape a workable, flexible and creative custody agreement that serves the interests of both the children and the adults. We are experienced in negotiating work schedules, school and activities, family holidays, vacations, weekend custody, and any other obstacles to agreement.
Legal custody (California Family Code § 3003) is generally shared by both parents even if the children live primarily with one parent. It refers to the ability to make decisions concerning the health, education and welfare of a minor child.
Physical custody (California Family Code § 3004) refers to the actual living arrangement of a child. Often, one parent has primary physical custody — the child resides with and is under that parent's supervision most of the time — while the other parent has visitation rights. If the child resides for significant amounts of time in both parents' respective homes, both parents are said to have joint physical custody.
Child support is usually paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to contribute to the cost of upbringing of the child or children. The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child resides the majority of the time. If the child resides an equal amount of time with each parent, the parent with the lower income may still be entitled to child support.
Under California child support law, child support is determined under statewide guidelines. This formula is based on gross incomes of the parents, the amount of time the child spends with the non-custodial parent, the cost of childcare, and certain other factors, such as health insurance and other children living with either parent.
In the case of child support modifications, the loss of a job, the evolving needs of growing children, and other events can bring about the need to make changes in the amount of child support after a divorce. If you feel that your financial situation has changed significantly and that a modification is in order, our attorneys will work hard to achieve a workable solution for all concerned.
High Net-Worth Divorces
At the Carash Law Firm, our attorneys are familiar with handling high net worth cases. Any divorce involving a spouse or spouses who have many assets can be complex and time-consuming. That is why we believe it is so important to work with a divorce attorney who can ensure these assets are protected.
Whether going through a contested of uncontested divorce, when a great deal of assets or property are involved, a lawyer will play a crucial role in helping to protect his or her client's assets. High net worth cases don't have to take so much time and legal counsel as to exhaust part of the income/assets you have worked so hard to earn. At our firm, our California divorce lawyers have the experience and expertise to provide knowledgeable legal counsel that can avoid unnecessary time and expense.
If you are involved in a high net-worth divorce, it is likely you have many concerns regarding the financial components such as property division, child support and spousal support. At the Carash Law Firm, we offer experienced legal guidance to people experiencing these complexities. We have the resources you need to fully address your financial concerns and help you move forward with your life.
We have substantial experience handling large estates, significant assets, successful businesses, professional practices and other high-value property and assets.
Collaborative Practice and Collaborative Divorce Law
In family law matters, a process known as collaborative practice exists where a divorcing couple, together with trained professionals – attorneys, child specialists, divorce coaches, and financial specialists – works as a team to resolve disputes respectfully and without going to court.
The collaborative practice approach to divorce begins with a commitment by both spouses not to take their divorce into the courtroom, and instead come to an agreement voluntarily which is best for both of them. Because it relies on confidential meetings which encourage transparency, honesty, and open communication, the collaborative model allows the couple to discern which arrangements regarding division of property, child custody, child support, spousal support, and visitation will be most beneficial, and choose them.
The collaborative family process offers the parties the ability to keep their discussions private, communicate more effectively about their concerns and goals, and to use a wider range of options than might be available if the parties went to court. The parties also learn to work cooperatively during and after the process. Collaborative family processes discourage the often destructive and divisive war created by litigation. The goal is to approach conflicts in a healthy manner so that parties are not immediately polarized against each other, triggering denials and defenses and other counter-productive actions. We offer our services as it relates to Collaborative Practice to assist individuals who may be going through divorce. Please contact our office for additional details on this process. Joel Carash is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Sacramento Collaborative Practice Group, San Joaquin County Collaborative Practice Group
Contact The Carash Law Firm to Schedule a Consultation
Please contact the Carash Law Firm today to set up a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys. You are also welcome to contact us via telephone at (209) 466-3344, using the form to the above right, or by using the "Contact Us" link.