Malibu Divorce Attorney

Board Certified Family Law Specialist

When facing a divorce or family law matter, it's crucial that you protect your rights to your assets and your children through every phase of the process. At Richard Ross Associates, our lead Malibu divorce attorney, Richard Ross is a Board Certified family law specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Board Certification means that an attorney has fulfilled the continuous education requirements, successfully passed a written specialist examination, demonstrated a superior level of skill in their specialty field and in the courtroom, and has been favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges who are familiar with their work.

Whether your case is simple or complex, the outcome of your family law matter can have a significant impact on your finances and your personal relationships for many years to come. When dealing with issues revolving around child custody, spousal support, asset and debt division, you want things to turn out favorably and you want the outcome of such matters to be in align with your goals. It is well known that family law matters have a reputation for having significant emotional and financial repercussions for the parties involved.

At Richard Ross Associates, when it comes to our clients' reputations and their emotional and financial wellbeing, we want to do everything possible so they can avoid the pitfalls associated with divorce or other contentious family law matters such as child custody and paternity, or valuation of a family business.

Family Law Cases We Handle

Most people that walk into our office are concerned about their futures and how their family law proceedings will impact their personal and professional lives and those of their children. Whether you’re a victim of domestic violence, wanting to protect your parental rights throughout the divorce process, or you need to establish paternity so you can seek child support, or if you wish to move-away with your child or contest such a move, we're here to offer you the knowledgeable guidance and support you need to not only gain control of your situation, but to give yourself the greatest opportunity to reach the goals and success that are so important to you.

Are you filing for divorce? Or, do you need assistance with another family law matter? We help clients in a vast array of family law proceedings including:

Over 40 Years of Legal Experience to Offer You

Not only is our lead attorney, Richard Ross a California Board Certified family law specialist, be he has over 40 years of legal experience to offer you. Whether you need to obtain a restraining order in a domestic violence case, petition for a modification for child support or spousal support, or file for divorce, we can answer all of your questions,  explain the do's and don'ts of divorce, and guide you every step of the way.

Divorce is complicated enough, you don't want to take your chances with an inexperienced or uncompassionate divorce lawyer who won't give your case the full attention it deserves. We are 100% committed to listening to your goals and concerns and tailoring a plan of action that will help you reach your unique goals and reasonable expectations, whatever they may be.

If you are looking for experienced divorce representation in Malibu, we urge you to contact a divorce attorney from our office. Whether your matter can be resolved out of court, or if we need to litigate on your behalf, we stand ready to defend your rights every step of the way.


  • 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.