Family Law Attorney In Montecito, California
For many people in California, family law issues are the first (and sometimes, only) time that people enter a court of law. Throughout Montecito and the surrounding areas, family law issues including divorce and child support frequently occur and often necessitate the hiring of an attorney who is familiar with California law, which governs various things including the right to marriage, divorce, child support, and child custody.
The term, “family law”, refers to court procedure, case law, and regulations addressing how family issues are handled and resolved. While family law issues can be tackled with or without a lawyer, emotions often prove overwhelming when these issues are involved and as a result, the assistance of a knowledgeable family law attorney is often necessary.
The Role of Prenuptial Agreements in Montecito
Prenuptial agreements are a type of contract that two spouses enter into before marriage. The terms of prenups in Montecito, as well as the rest of California, often have different goals. This is why spouses should make sure to be represented by their own legal counsel when navigating prenuptial agreements.
For these agreements to be valid, the requirements must be in writing as well as signed by both people anticipating marriage. Additionally, for prenuptial agreements to be valid, both parties must enter the agreement voluntarily, have full knowledge of the agreement’s terms, and the agreement must not be too one-sided or give one party substantially more power than the other.
Marriage Law in California
Under California law, both individuals who enter into a marriage must be of sufficient age, consent to the marriage, and have sufficient capacity to provide this consent. Following the Obergefell decision by the United States Supreme Court, it’s no longer a requirement that spouses be of different sexes. Additionally, for consent to enter into a marriage, both spouses must freely enter into the marriage and not be forced to do so. The spouses must also not make any mistakes involving the union. Provided that these elements are satisfied, consent to marry will be found to exist.
California law also addresses how marital licenses in the state must be obtained. A couple must obtain a marriage license from the clerk of the appropriate county before marriage. A California marriage license is valid for only 390 days. As a result, a couple needs to get married shortly after receiving a marriage license.
After a marriage occurs and the associated certificate is signed, the license must be sent back to the corresponding county clerk’s office at most ten days after the ceremony.
At Land Legal Group, our family law attorney in Montecito, CA also focuses on the following practice areas:
- Same-Sex Divorce
- Prenuptial Agreement
- Spousal Support
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Children’s Law
- Domestic Violence
- Father’s Rights
- Grandparents Rights
Divorce Requirements in Montecito
When it comes to filing for divorce in Montecito, one spouse must have been a resident of the state of California for six months. One spouse also must live for three months in the county where divorce is filed. If spouses do not satisfy these residency requirements, it’s possible to file for legal separation instead of divorce.
California also implements a waiting period for divorce. A divorce decree cannot be finalized until six months after either the divorce paperwork is provided to the spouse who does not file for divorce or the respondent’s first appearance in court, depending on which is first.
If a judge believes that a reasonable possibility for reconciliation between the spouses exists, this judge might stop proceedings for at most, 30 days.
Community Property Laws in California
California’s community property laws are distinct from many other states. One reason California’s property laws are unique is that the state takes the “community property” stance that all marital property should be equally divided among spouses.
Community property laws state that all assets owned by a married couple are subject to an even split following divorce, which includes:
- Any physical property acquired during the marriage using income earned during the marriage
- Income gained by either spouse in the course of a marriage
- Debts of any kind incurred during the marriage
Child Support Guidelines in Montecito
Each parent has a legal duty to financially support their child. California law requires child support based on both parents’ income levels as well as the amount of time that each parent spends with the child.
The legal duty that parents have to financially support their child continues until the occurrence of one of three events: the child graduates from high school, the child reaches the age of 19, or the child is legally freed in some way like joining the military or getting married. Courts can also require both parents to continue supporting a disabled adult child if the child’s disability leaves the child unable to care for himself or herself.
When it comes to considering the net income of parents for child support, courts consider income after taxes, requisite dues and contributions, and existing child or spousal support. Some of the various costs that courts take into consideration when deciding support include monetary needs for things like food and housing, health insurance, and back payments.
When a Family Law Attorney in Montecito Is Necessary
The issue of whether a family law attorney is vital to your situation is influenced by many unique factors in your situation. While many people decide to forego an attorney in getting married, you might decide to retain the services of a lawyer before marriage so you can create a prenuptial agreement.
People routinely benefit from obtaining a lawyer’s assistance when it comes to navigating issues of divorce. If you have a child or children with the person you’re divorcing, you might also need the assistance of an attorney for issues of child custody and child support. Additionally, if you decide to modify the terms of an existing custody or visitation agreement, you might need the help of an attorney.
Contact an Experienced Montecito Family Law Attorney For a Free Consultation
Even the simplest family law matters have the potential to become complex as well as contentious when both sides strongly disagree with one another. Fortunately, a compassionate family law attorney can help navigate these issues as well as provide zealous representation in a court of law. Contact Land Legal Group today to schedule a free case evaluation.