Calabasas Divorce Lawyer
Highly Qualified Divorce Lawyer in Calabasas
Our family law firm in Calabasas, CA has exceptional qualifications to bring to the table to serve you in legal matters involving family law and divorce. Our lead attorney, Richard Ross, is certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization as a Specialist in Family Law. There are only a number of Calabasas divorce attorneys that have taken the steps to gain this certification, as it involves extensive added training, time, energy and the process of maintaining certification. We feel that our qualifications and credentials allow us to better serve our clients in any divorce, whether a simple uncontested divorce or a complex matter of asset protection / high-asset divorce.
Is It Worth Getting a Divorce Lawyer?
Yes, it is worth getting a divorce lawyer for specific circumstances that include family concerns. It should be in your best judgment to reach out to an attorney if:
- There are problems concerning abuse
- Your spouse is unrelenting and caught in a lie
- Your spouse retained another attorney
- Your divorce involves children or difficult financial matters.
Our goal is to achieve the most positive result possible for our clients, whether through the application of collaborative law, by negotiations with the opposing attorney, or at trial. When possible, we will engage in the processes that could help you to avoid taking your divorce to trial. Whether you are currently considering a divorce, or have another family law matter to resolve, we offer our legal services to assist you. We have over 40 years of experience in these matters, and can advise you what to expect and how long the process is predicted to take to come to a final resolution.
Divorce in Calabasas: Contested and Uncontested
There are those couples that are basically amicable, and are able to work out the details of their divorce, including the issues of child custody, child support, property division and spousal support with the assistance of counsel. There are others in which every detail is hotly contested and will require a skilled litigator to bring to resolution. In either case, we have the knowledge and skills to serve you. Under state law, the property (and bills) accrued during the term of the marriage are presumed to be community property and, therefore, equally shared.
There are other influencing factors that could come into play, such as when one party earns a far higher amount in income than the other, and a certain standard of living has been enjoyed during the term of the marriage. No divorce is completely cut-and-dry. You have certain rights and should always have your own attorney protecting these rights. The settlement must be measured against California state community property laws and reviewed thoroughly. An unfair settlement or verdict can make life extremely difficult financially, and the skills of your legal counsel will have much to do with how the matter is resolved. We pay attention to detail, and carefully evaluate all of the factors that could make a difference to our clients.
Our cases are prepared with a painstaking attention to these details, and often with supporting evidence from experts that we call upon for these matters, including forensic accountants, child experts and others. When one or both parties own a great deal of property, such as business interests, stock and bank accounts, retirement accounts, real estate, works of art or other similar assets, the issue of property division becomes more complex. Sorting out these matters and reaching a fair settlement can be a longer process. If there are unreasonable demands, it may be necessary to take the case to trial for litigation.
More Than 40 Years of Experience at Trial
Our 40 years of experience at trial allows us to have great confidence in case preparation and presentation. You will have a legal professional working for you that is very familiar with the court system, case preparation, case presentation and the law, both in state statutes as well as past court decisions that could impact the outcome of your divorce. Call upon our firm for information about how we can help you get your legal matter resolved, whether a divorce, legal separation or other family law matter.
There is often a better, faster result by engaging in a non-adversarial process such as collaborative divorce. This newer process for resolving difficult matters in a divorce often leads to a more reasonable settlement that is more likely to be adhered to, and not require further legal action such as an appeal or a post-decree modification. Both parties are involved in the process, and the settlement is worked out with the help of the attorneys present, and all parties agree to pursue a settlement outside of court. Even in cases in which there are issues in contention, with skilled assistance, it may be possible to avoid a trial.
If you are considering divorce, contact our Calabasas divorce attorney for more information.
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.