Thousand Oaks Divorce Lawyer
Experienced Divorce Attorney Serving southern California
Divorce is never easy, even when both parties are generally amicable and able to communicate. There are many issues that must be fully resolved, including child custody, child support, spousal support and property division. If both parties cannot come to an agreeable decision on any one of these issues, reaching a settlement can demand a high level of skill in negotiating with the opposing attorney to seek resolution.
At Richard Ross Associates, our lead and founding Thousand Oaks divorce attorney, Richard Ross, is Board Certified as a Family Law Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization. His training and knowledge of all aspects of family law is far beyond what most Thousand Oaks divorce lawyers can offer.
When Should I Hire A Lawyer For Divorce?
Hiring a divorce attorney in Thousand Oaks to negotiate on your behalf to advocate for you and children, can provide you with helpful well thought out legal suggestions and representation, ensuring that you're better secured throughout and after your separation.
With 40 years of family law experience, you can be confident that when you choose Richard Ross Associates, your case will be handled by a divorce attorney that has a great depth of knowledge and insight into the process, as well as extensive trial experience. Our family law firm takes on both simple and highly complex cases, and offers compassionate, professional guidance to each client.
Each case is carefully evaluated to determine the best course of action in seeking a settlement or successful verdict if necessary. In many cases, there can be a better, more reasonable resolution to marriage dissolution through the application of collaborative law. Whether you were married a short or long duration or are concerned about asset protection / high-asset divorce, our firm is prepared to assist you today.
Navigating the Legal Complexities of Property Division
There are often complex matters to resolve related to property division in Thousand Oaks. For those couples who own a home, retirement accounts, stock accounts, and other assets, these issues are usually of great concern, and rightly so. As California is a community property state, the determination of what property is community property and what property is separate property must be sorted out carefully. Even in divorce cases in which there are prenuptial agreements in place, such an agreement could easily be challenged in a divorce.
When there has been any comingling of funds, or one party invested in the upgrade of a property owned by the other, or other similar situations could impact whether the court will view the property as community property. A full evaluation of the financial situation of your marriage is one of the critical points in the process of managing a divorce case. If you believe there are hidden assets or that your spouse has spent money carelessly, our divorce lawyers can review your situation and advise you about how to proceed. Our goal is to achieve the best possible settlement for you.
Thousand Oaks Child Custody, Child Support and Visitation Attorneys
A marriage with children has the added issues of child custody, child support and visitation to resolve. Each family has unique dynamics, and the best interests of the children must be protected and will be the fundamental of any decision when the California court is involved. The quality of life that was enjoyed by the children during the term of the marriage should be maintained when possible. The earning capacity of each parent will be reviewed.
For example, one parent may have raised the children while the other attended university and gained a degree. The value of the professional degree and the facts regarding the past care of the children will be evaluated in a contested divorce. If one parent took on the duty of raising the children, this factor could influence a decision in a litigated divorce; however, these arrangements can be made without the need for a trial through a collaborative divorce, an effective process to bring issues of child custody and support under control and resolved more fairly and usually with less stress. Our Thousand Oaks child custody lawyer has the experience and insight to manage every detail of your case, in or out of court.
How Our Thousand Oaks Divorce Attorneys Can Help
Our Thousand Oaks divorce attorney has gained a reputation for our high quality work in family law, from a simple uncontested divorce to highly complex litigated cases. Whether the case will be resolved at trial or has the possibility of resolution through negotiations, you can be confident that you will be represented by a qualified legal expert.
Our knowledge of family law and experience in a range of cases throughout our years in practice can be of great benefit to you if you are filing for divorce in the Thousand Oaks area. Our trusted firm can review your situation and advise you about how California state law could impact your case in all of the critical issues.
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.