Areas We Serve
Divorce and Family Law Firm Serving Various Locations in Southern California
Areas we serve include:
- Westlake Village
- Thousand Oaks
- Newbury Park
- Agoura Hills
- Oak Park
- Woodland Hills
- West Hills
- Lake Sherwood
- Santa Paula
- Santa Clarita
- Simi Valley
- Stevenson Ranch
Our experience in family law allows us to help our clients in the most efficient way possible. Our lead attorney, Richard Ross, is a California Board Certified Family Law Specialist, and has personally invested the time and effort to become certified as an expert in family law.
If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important that you understand how California state law could impact your case. As the final decision is likely to impact your life, both personally and financially, for years into the future, it could not be more important that you have highly professional legal representation managing every detail of your case. Your interests and rights are the focus of everything we do, whether in mediation, arbitration, in the collaborative divorce process or in court. Our cases are carefully prepared and supported by the necessary documentation or witness statements or testimony.
Child Custody, Visitation, Child Support, Spousal Support and Property Division
Some of the most commonly contested issues in divorce are those related to child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support and property division. As this is a community property state, certain property (and debt) will be considered to be jointly owned. The assets you brought into the marriage should remain yours alone, and not subject to the community property law. The distribution of the property can vary, and there are a number of alternatives in how to split bank accounts, property and other assets. In many cases, a negotiation with the opposing attorney to arrange the split of assets and bills can be a better choice than taking the case to court. We have exceptional skills in negotiation and coming to a compromise that is acceptable to our clients, and helps him or her to avoid the need for a court decision.
There are some cases in which it will not be possible to arrange a settlement without a trial. When one party simply refuses to negotiate or takes a stance that includes unreasonable expectations, litigation may be the only choice. Often your soon to be ex or his or her attorney can be the problem. You can be confident that we are highly skilled in court, have a great deal of experience, and present a case professionally and persuasively.
We operate with a team approach, and several of our staff or other professionals could be involved in getting your divorce or other family law matter resolved. We believe that calling upon the varied skills of our team can benefit our clients. We have a number of professional resources to call upon to assist in supporting a case, including forensic accountants, private investigators, child specialists, vocational evaluators, and others. These are highly respected professionals that can present testimony to support your divorce case. Of course, we would not involve them without consulting with you first and getting your agreement to use the professional resource.
Our lead attorney has a background in psychology and interpersonal relations, giving him a great depth of insight into how to manage difficult negotiations between parties that cannot communicate effectively. Well-known and respected throughout the legal community, the firm offers legal services in all family law legal matters. You can expect professional representation, responsive and compassionate service, and a zealous protection of your rights and interests.
Contact Richard Ross Associates and get more information about our divorce lawyers and our service to the communities.
I heartily recommend him to anybody in need of a well qualified, results-oriented, family law specialist.
“I would not hesitate to, again, retain the legal services of Richard Ross.”
Our family and our dignity have been restored.
“Mr. Ross and his supportive, competent staff put their hearts into their work and literally turned our lives around.”
The results far exceeded my expectations.
“The entire staff at Richard Ross Associates really helped me through my divorce and they were with me the whole way.”
Extremely thorough and professional!
“Richard has helped me through a very difficult divorce and I can't say enough good things about him.”
Polite, caring, and quick to respond.
“Richard Ross is a subject matter expert in the field of family law.”
This is very important: If you have separated from your spouse before one of you has filed for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, avoid agreeing to and placing into effect a temporary parenting plan arrangement regarding the children unless you will be able to live with this arrangement after the divorce papers have been filed. Once you begin a parenting plan that seems to be working, it becomes the "status quo." It is very difficult to convince a mediator or judge to change the status quo, especially if it is working or appears to be working and is not detrimental to the minor children.
If you have not received a judgment dissolving your marriage before the end of the year, you may file an individual tax return under the status of "married, filing separately" or a joint tax return with your spouse. You should consult your accountant as to the advantages of these options. You may obtain special information booklets regarding tax information for divorce or separated individuals from your local IRS office or read the IRS booklet online.
To file an action for divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, a person must have resided in the state of California for six months and in the county where the action is filed for three months prior to filing the petition in court. This is true of either the petitioner or the respondent - either person can meet the test and allow a filing. If your spouse meets the residency requirement, you can file even if you do not meet it yourself.
The court can and usually will order you to move out of your residence if your spouse convinces the court that you have been violent toward your spouse or threatened your spouse. You could be given ex-parte notice to be in court the next day because your spouse is seeking an order to make you move out and stay out. You can be ordered to leave immediately and not return even if your spouse is not on the property title or lease agreement! Once you are ordered to leave, it is not likely that you will be allowed to return.
Before you get a divorce, photocopy all relevant financial documents that you can obtain and store them off-site with a trusted friend or relative. Do not store them in the trunk of your car where they can easily be found and removed by your spouse. There may be both personal and strategic reasons not to tip off your spouse that documents are being reviewed for a possible dissolution proceeding. Make copies of documents that you find in the residence and return the original documents to their original location as soon as possible so that your spouse won't notice that they are missing. It is often advisable to make the photocopies when you are sure your spouse is away for an extended time, such as during a workday. It is advisable to gather as many relevant financial documents as possible while they are still available and before they have been removed or destroyed by your spouse. This will significantly reduce the cost of divorce litigation if the documents do not have to be recovered later. It will also permit us to get a true picture of all community assets and debts as soon as possible.