Divorce & Family Law Attorney in Woodland Hills, CA
Filing for divorce in Woodland Hills? Call upon a specialist.
At Richard Ross Associates, we have qualifications beyond the usual. Richard Ross has 30 years of experience and is a California Board Certified Family Law Specialist. This credential can only be gained through engaging in further education beyond what most family lawyers have done. Only a small percentage of attorneys are Board Certified. We believe that our experience and credentials make our firm better qualified to serve our clients, whether in divorce or in another family law matter.
If you are currently considering a divorce or legal separation, or are certain that your marriage must come to an end, contact our firm for information about the process, what you can expect, and how state law could impact your finances and custody of your children, as well as matters related to property division. Our firm offers individualized service, and will spend the time, energy and focus on your case that is necessary. Whether you are still communicating well with your spouse, or you are involved in a bitter situation in which neither party is prepared to compromise, our firm can help.
Our Woodland Hills divorce lawyer will carefully evaluate the details of your case and advise you how to proceed. We can attempt to resolve the issues such as child custody, property division and spousal support with a non-adversarial approach by employing the processes in negotiations or collaborative law. We can also engage in discussions with the opposing attorney to negotiate a resolution so that a trial can be avoided. This is not always possible, and if your case must be taken to court for a decision, we carefully prepare and are professional in our presentation of the facts engage in discussions that support the case for our client.
Family Law Attorney in Woodland Hills, CA
There are a number of legal issues that demand assistance from a qualified Woodland Hills family lawyer. Family law legal matters include issues such as establishing paternity, post-divorce decree matters such as a request for one parent to move-away with the children, a petition to the court for a modification to an existing court order, such as changing the amount of spousal or child support, child custody or other matter. We have decades of experience in all of these matters as well as many other family law issues and can help you immediately. Divorce is a traumatic situation, even when the spouses are not involved in a terrible dispute.
Facing a future as a single person can be very stressful and worrying about children and finances makes the situation even more difficult. In filing for divorce, you want to make sure that you have a competent legal professional working with you to guide you, and to help you avoid the pitfalls. There are definitely do's and don'ts if you are filing for divorce, and we do everything possible to protect your rights, and to help you to pursue a settlement that is fair and just. Each case is unique, and the situation must be evaluated to determine how to best move forward for you. If you are the victim of domestic violence, immediate action must be taken to gain the protection the law can offer. Any type of domestic violence is dangerous and is likely to escalate.
Domestic Violence – Divorce and Protection Under the Law
If you are the victim of domestic violence, contact our firm so we can discuss your situation with you on a confidential basis, and help you to get a restraining order. If your spouse violates this order, an arrest will be made. There are also cases in which a person is falsely accused of domestic violence and is now forced to defend against the accusation. As many of these cases are based upon the testimony of one person who claims the abuse is taking place, without firm facts to support the claim, whether police calls, testimony from witnesses or other data, these accusations can be challenged. It is important that action is taken at once, as unfortunately, being completely innocent is not enough. Admissible evidence and testimony must be accumulated quickly.
When a spouse or former relationship partner makes false accusations of abuse with the goal of gaining an advantage in the divorce or child custody process, and these actions are proven to be an attempt to discredit the other person, a fine can be imposed and the court is likely to treat this matter very severely. Our firm can help in either case. No matter what family legal matter you are facing, we have the qualifications, training and experience to protect your rights and to fight for justice for you and your children. We take our duty to our clients extremely seriously, and we know how important the outcome will be. Our family law firm will work long hours in case preparation, with the goal of achieving a fair divorce settlement, or resolving your family law issue with the least amount of stress to you.
Contact us for more information about divorce in Woodland Hills, and to get an attorney in family law on your side.
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.