Oxnard Divorce Lawyer
Family Law Expert in Oxnard, CA
Searching for an Oxnard divorce lawyer with uncommon skills? At Richard Ross Associates, we have over 40 years of experience, both in negotiations and at trial. Our founder, attorney Richard Ross, is one of the few California Board Certified Family Law Specialists in the area. His level of training and insight into every aspect of family law can be of great benefit to you if you are planning to divorce, whether uncontested or contested. Your rights and interests should be protected by an attorney with great insight into state law, and the various alternatives in arranging a settlement that makes sense.
Matters regarding child custody and child support, as well as property division and spousal support must all be resolved. These matters could be determined through the application of collaborative law, through negotiations, or in court. Avoiding litigation can save you time and money, but is not always possible, as one party may be unreasonable in his or her demands and will not compromise. In either case, our firm provides professional representation. Every case is given the full attention of the firm, and clients are served on a personal, one-on-one basis.
Understanding the Divorce Process
State law regarding community property and access to children must be measured against the actual situation in your divorce. The process begins by the filing of a divorce petition. The other party then files an "answer," which is a statement of his or her demands. At this point, an "order to show cause" can be filed which asks the court to make a decision regarding temporary custody of children and support that will be imposed over the period of getting the marriage dissolution finalized. If necessary, a restraining order can also be issued if there is a threat of domestic violence or abuse to one of the parties.
The process then moves forward to the discovery phase. During this period, there will be an exchange of documentation on all financial matters, including income, assets, debts, and expenses. Those marriages with children will require that the parents attend mediation. In recommending counties such as Ventura, the mediator is appointed by the court, and issues a report to the court regarding his or her recommendations regarding child custody. In some cases, the process of mediation is not successful in sorting out child custody, and at that point the judge will become involved, and these matters will be decided by a family law judge.
There are various options to resolve child custody and property division that will not require a trial. Our firm can pursue an alternative to trial as the first part of the process. If it is not possible to resolve the conflicts and matters in contention, the case will move forward and a mandatory settlement conference, and then a trial will take place in family court. Family court is part of the Superior Court system, and addresses matters such as child custody, child support, divorce, legal separations, annulments, paternity, domestic violence and spousal support.
Hire an attorney with a high level of skill & experience.
Every divorce is different. Some are fairly simple, as the two parties have few assets and no children, or agree on these matters, and can get the divorce wrapped up quickly. Others involve asset protection / high-asset divorce issues, and are extremely complex. Marriages with a great number of assets, including business interests, bank accounts, stock accounts, retirement accounts, valuable works of art, multiple properties and other assets will be more complex to sort out. If both parties are willing to come to an agreement through negotiations or the collaborative law process, a trial can be avoided. If not, the court will make the decisions regarding the split of assets with regard to the unsettled issues. Contact the firm for information about high net worth divorce. Our experience in this area can be of great value, and our litigation skills could be a significant factor in the final outcome at trial.
Contact our firm for more information about divorce or other family law legal matter.
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.