Resolving areas of disagreement in a Carlsbad divorce case is one of the most important contributions our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists can provide to our clients. As San Diego divorce and family law attorneys with decades of experience, we can share one of the least known and most important keys to successfully completing a divorce:
The cost of your divorce and the time it will take to complete are directly tied to the number of issues on which there is disagreement with your former spouse and your ability to resolve them.
If both parties agree upon every issue needed to be contained in the “Separation Agreement” they could simply file for simple divorce under California law, and complete the termination of their marriage quickly and in a cost-effective manner.
What happens when the parties simply can’t agree upon issues during a divorce? Resolving areas of disagreement in a Carlsbad divorce will require leveraged negotiation, mediation and/or litigation of the matter(s) before the Judge.
In many cases the most principled area of disagreement in divorce cases centers on the children and how time with each child will be divided between their parents. However, there can be significant challenges with the valuation of business interests such as a closely held business ownership, or the marital interest in a professional practice.
If the issues involve children, we focus upon what is in the best interest of each child. That differs and is as unique as the child we are discussing. California law does not “penalize” a parent for most behaviors (such as infidelity), and absent extreme circumstances such as drug or alcohol abuse, physical or emotional abuse (domestic violence), mental health issues or criminal activity, California’s Courts would prefer to see that the children spend equal amounts of quality time with each parent.
Another common issue when resolving areas of disagreement in a Carlsbad divorce involves support payments. The State of California clearly establishes the responsibility of each parent to provide for the financial needs of their child(ren). This extends to housing, food, clothing and health care. There are specific guideline calculations for child support under California law. While the Court will require the guideline calculation as a starting point. In many cases child support payments can vary from the guideline number based upon the unique circumstances surrounding your case.
Spousal support which used to be referred to as “alimony” is designed to level the financial playing field between the former spouses. The Judge has many factors to consider based upon California family law when determining the amount of spousal support. Spousal support is often negotiated between the parties or resolved through mediation.
Based upon our decades of experience, when our attorneys encounter areas of principled and genuine disagreement (as compared to someone who is emotional and simply wants to take it out on the other party), the key is to find common ground and agreement upon the specific issues at hand. If there is a valuation involved, it is important to establish an independent value for the property, vehicles, collections, assets, business ownership or professional practice before the asset can be properly divided.
One key to remember as you approach any divorce: As these cases proceed further and further into litigation the couple loses more and more control over the outcome. Cases which must be decided in open court are almost never in favor of one party or the other, and both former spouses often come away disappointed and unhappy with the Judge’s or Magistrate’s orders.
There are several tools available to help the parties to reach agreement without the need for a Judge to decide the case.