Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Will My Divorce Cost?
That is a question we often hear. It is easiest to explain if you imagine the process progressing along a spectrum. The work on the front end of the spectrum (filing the initial paperwork and completing the preliminary declarations of disclosure) is easy to estimate in terms of a range of time that will be required. Those assignments can take anywhere from 2 hours to 10 hours in more complex cases and if business entities are involved, perhaps a bit longer. The work required at the end of the spectrum is also fairly predictable.
In most cases, we draft the Judgment and prepare a Marital Settlement Agreement and that can range in time anywhere from five (5) hours to fourteen (14) in more complex cases. The less predictable aspect of the dissolution process is that which occurs in the center of the spectrum. For example, in many cases, once the declarations of disclosure are done, we can start to discuss settlement options. In other cases, one or both parties may want to file motions for temporary orders for support, custody, a parenting plan, payment of expenses, use of an asset, domestic violence restraining orders, and so forth.
Whether discovery is required, whether temporary orders will be part of the process in your case and whether your case will settle amicably on one or more issues, but go to trial on one or more issues are unknowns from the outset. These unknowns will clearly affect the cost of the dissolution process in every case. Ultimately, the attorney is only one part of a many part equation. Kara sometimes explains to prospective clients that they are better equipped to tell her this information, because they themselves have a better understanding of the disposition and expectations of the other party, at least at the outset. The reasonableness of the other party in combination with the complexities involved in their specific circumstances will always play a role.
Kara works closely with her clients go thoroughly discuss and explain options and remedies to find out what the best approach from her client’s vantage point.
Is There A Benefit To Filing First?
In some instances, there is most certainly an advantage. For example, one party may reside in Orange County and the other party may live in Northern California. The party that files first will determine the court that will have jurisdiction over the case. There are various important nuances to this that depend upon the case. In limited cases where the parties reside in the same county, there may be some additional advantages, which are best explored in a consultation.
I Want Sole Custody, How Can I Get It?
I find that this is a very confusing issue for many parents who mistake custody for parenting time. First, you need to understand the difference between custody and parenting time. Legal custody relates to the decision-making rights of parents such as school choice (public or private), healthcare issues, therapy and other health care-related issues. Parenting time relates to the child’s actual weekly schedule – where the child will be spending his or her time from Sunday through Saturday. If there are material reasons for asking for sole custody, the parent must be prepared to support the request with evidence.
As a general rule, studies show that it is very important to a child’s overall development and growth to have a relationship with both parents and that schedule is usually arrived at taking into consideration the daily schedules of the child and both of the parents, among many other considerations.
I Want An Amicable Divorce. Can You Help?
We want you to have an amicable divorce wherever possible. It is the job of the attorney to do his or her best job in navigating you through the divorce process with the least amount of conflict and expense. With that said, some cases require fewer steps and others require more steps and this simply depends upon the nature of your case. You know the other party in your divorce better than anyone. Whether the process can be amicable is dependent upon you, the other party, and the other party’s attorney. Our office makes every effort to make divorce a seamless transition, attempting to settle our cases expeditiously while making sure not to take shortcuts where taking a shortcut would be inappropriate.
Can I Change My Court Order?
Certain court orders can be modified. A consultation will allow Kara to help the client decide their options for modifying existing orders. There are certain threshold tests that must be satisfied depending upon the type of order that you are seeking to modify.
My Ex Does Not Follow Court Orders, What Can I Do?
You have options. Whether it is having an attorney reach out and explain the law, write a letter on your behalf, file an enforcement motion with the court, or file a motion for contempt, Kara can help discuss your needs and goals to help resolve your family law matter.
How Much Support Will I Pay?
Support is dependent upon a number of factors. By providing some rough numbers, Kara can give you a rough estimate of support payments, so a client can then tailor their legal solutions and plan accordingly.
How Much Support Will I Receive?
Kara can estimate support based upon rough numbers with the understanding that the output will also be a rough estimate. Sometimes, it is fairly straightforward, and other times it can be quite complex. Having an attorney who is a Certified Family Law Specialist is critical to make sure you are getting all the information and support you need.