Topanga Divorce Attorney
Over 40 Years' Legal Experience and Board Certified
Divorce and family law are some of the most complex and difficult areas of legal practice, particularly because they involve highly sensitive emotional matters pertaining to finances and children. Whenever you are confronted with a family law matter, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced Topanga divorce lawyer.
At Richard Ross Associates, you benefit from having a Board Certified family law specialist working by your side, fiercely advocating for your rights. Not only is attorney Richard Ross Board Certified in family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization, but he has over 40 years of legal experience to offer you. When you come to our firm, you gain immediate peace of mind knowing that your case is in the hands of an accomplished, respected family law attorney who is exceptionally good at what he does.
While divorce and family law matters are governed by California's state laws and cases pertaining to issues surrounding divorce, child support, spousal support, asset & property division, and debt division, much is left to the discretion of a judge, especially when it comes to matters involving child custody, spousal support, and move-away cases. Since a judge has a great deal of authority to make decisions in your family law case, you cannot afford to hire an inexperienced or uncompassionate attorney.
Support Through Contested & Collaborative Cases
At Richard Ross Associates, our legal team is well-aware of the sensitive and volatile nature of family law proceedings. It doesn't matter if your divorce involves significant assets, or very little, if you anticipate a friendly, out of court divorce or a fiery contested divorce, your divorce attorney's knowledge and skills are vital to achieving the outcome you desire. We've seen family law cases move smoothly and we've encountered unexpected complications when the other party or his or her attorney failed to act reasonably. In effect, we have learned that not only are family law proceedings somewhat unpredictable, but as Topanga divorce attorneys we must be prepared for whatever complications we are confronted with.
Whether your situation goes smoothly or if all efforts at diplomacy have failed and litigation is the only solution, our legal team stands ready to provide you with the outstanding and passionate caring representation you need and deserve during this difficult time. Our firm handles all types of family law cases, including but not limited to:
- Child Custody
- Domestic Violence
- Paternity Actions
- Out of Court Divorce
- Business valuations
- Child and spousal support
- Retirement benefits
Searching for a divorce attorney in Topanga?
Often the fear of loss actually keeps people from filing for divorce or legal separation when they would be much happier if they parted ways with their spouse. At Richard Ross Associates, we understand the various fears and concerns our clients have and strive to calm these fears by informing our clients, explaining divorce do's and don'ts, and answering all of their questions.
Through many years of experience, we have come to learn that the more we educate our clients, the more confidence they gain in their decisions and the less worry they experience. By arming yourself with knowledge about California's laws and your rights and responsibilities, you can effectively strategize and direct your efforts so they facilitate your goals and don't unintentionally hinder them.
To obtain further information about divorce or another family law matter, we urge you to contact our office to speak with a member of our legal team. Devoted to helping you achieve your goals, everything we do is centered on your satisfaction and achieving the results that you desire.
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.