Divorce and Dissolution

Compassionate Family Law Attorneys Serving Colusa and Lake Counties and Beyond

The divorce attorneys at Hinely Law have assisted many people in Colusa, Yuba, Lake, and Sutter Counties with understanding their rights during a divorce proceeding and with ensuring that their voice is heard. A divorce is one of the most emotional, stressful, and life-changing events that you can go through. As you adjust to your new life, we can ensure that the proceedings are handled in a smooth and thorough fashion. Many people believe that they can navigate a divorce without legal assistance. Unfortunately, issues often arise that involve complex legal aspects, such as spousal support or child custody, and it can be challenging to know the right option for your future. If you are contemplating a divorce or currently involved in a divorce proceeding, our Colusa and Lake County divorce lawyers can assist you.

Filing for Divorce (Dissolution of Marriage)

Although many people use the term divorce to describe the end of a marriage, California laws refer to it as a Dissolution of Marriage. Like many states, California has specific requirements regarding how spouses can end their marriage. First, people seeking a divorce in California must meet a residency requirement. One of the parties must have been a resident of California for at least six months before the petition is filed, and they must have lived in the county where the petition is filed for at least three months.

Next, you must specify the basis for your divorce. California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you do not need to prove that the other spouse is culpable in some way when requesting a divorce. Instead, the parties can cite irreconcilable differences that have caused an irremediable breakdown of the relationship.

One way to promote a smooth process is to create a plan with the assistance of an experienced divorce lawyer in Colusa or Lake County. This can save you time and stress as you file documents with the court, attend hearings, and determine certain issues like child support or spousal support. California is a community property state, which means that generally assets obtained by the parties during the marriage are shared property, unless the parties agree otherwise in writing or in a verbal stipulation in court. The court will divide these communal assets in half. Each spouse will retain ownership of any separate property, which are assets that they held prior to the marriage or that were gifted to them specifically in certain situations.

Other issues that the spouses should contemplate include spousal support and child support. Courts have clear guidelines that must be followed when it comes to determining whether an award of spousal support or child support is appropriate. Once the divorce is filed, there is a mandatory waiting period of six months before it can be finalized.

Understanding the Requirements for a Summary Dissolution

California also offers a streamlined procedure for obtaining a divorce, called summary dissolution. Our Colusa and Lake County divorce attorneys can help you determine whether you are eligible for it. In addition to meeting the same residency requirement, the marriage must have lasted five years or fewer, and neither spouse may own real estate. Additionally, the couple cannot share any children, either biological or adopted, and the woman cannot be pregnant at the time of the filing. Excluding cars, the couple’s community property must be worth less than $38,000, both parties must agree to forgo spousal support, and the spouses must reach an agreement regarding the division of their assets and debts.

This last step is sometimes difficult to achieve, particularly if the couple accumulated shared assets or shared a home for many years. Since there is no hearing or trial involved in a summary dissolution, the burden to agree about the division of assets rests entirely on the parties. It is also important to note that a summary dissolution proceeding does not entitle the parties to request a new trial or to appeal any judgment from the lower court regarding the petition.

Protect Your Interests by Retaining a Divorce Lawyer in Colusa or Lake County

A divorce is difficult enough as it is. Trying to navigate California’s legal system with its numerous procedural requirements on your own can make it even more stressful. At Hinely Law, we pride ourselves on aiding Northern California residents with understanding their rights during a dissolution proceeding. From offices in Lake and Colusa Counties, we have handled a wide range of family law matters, which means that we are prepared to tackle any issue, no matter how complex it may be. We serve people throughout Colusa, Lake, Sutter, and Yuba Counties, and we provide a free consultation so that you can learn more about how we may be able to assist you. To set up your appointment, call us now at (530) 458-2950 or contact us online.