Napa Divorce Lawyer

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Napa Divorce Attorney

Going through a divorce is an inherently stressful experience for anyone. The end of a marriage can be tumultuous and confusing, especially if you do not have legal support to guide you along the way. The legal team at the Carroll Law Office understands the complexities that divorce cases can involve. Our lawyers have decades of combined experience representing clients in a range of family law cases. See why you can trust us as your Napa divorce lawyer.

Napa Divorce Lawyer

Achieving Results for Clients in Napa County, California

While it is possible to legally end your marriage without an attorney in California, navigating the courts can be difficult. This could be especially true if your estranged spouse is not willing to negotiate or not responsive to your plea for a divorce. Certain aspects of your marriage could add additional layers of complexity to reaching a divorce agreement, including:

  • The types of property you own and share together as a married couple.
  • Whether or not you have minor children with your spouse.
  • The length of time you were married.
  • Having a high net worth or significant amounts of wealth.

On top of these aspects, having an estranged spouse who is noncommunicative or has become hostile can make coming to a divorce agreement nearly impossible without guidance from an attorney. The Carroll Law Office has experience representing clients involved in complex divorces and can help you reach an ideal outcome for your divorce case. Clients in Napa County and surrounding areas trust us for our in-depth knowledge of California divorce law.

Common Reasons for Divorce in California

It is safe to assume that most couples do not enter a marriage with the intent of later divorcing. So, why do people divorce? According to a report from the National Library of Medicine, couples involved in a study about causes for divorce reported these top five reasons for their divorces:

  1. Lack of commitment by one or both individuals.
  2. Infidelity or extramarital affairs.
  3. Excessive arguing and conflict.
  4. Marrying at too young of an age.
  5. Financial struggles and hardships.

Other reasons cited in the report are substance abuse, domestic violence, and health problems. In some instances, couples can face multiple challenges in their marriage, as listed above. Whatever reason you have for deciding to proceed with a divorce, it is important to understand the steps involved in the dissolution of a marriage in California.

Divorce Basics from the Carroll Law Office

A divorce is essentially the termination of a marriage contract. In order to end a marriage in California, there are certain actions you must take. Before you can complete these steps, you must establish that you are legally eligible to file for divorce in California.

As long as you or your partner has lived in California for a minimum of six months and in your or your spouse’s current county for a minimum of three months, you are eligible to file for divorce. If your or your spouse’s residency does not meet these requirements, you must wait to file for a divorce in California. If you can confirm that you meet the residency requirements, these are the steps you can expect to take in order to proceed with your divorce:

  1. File forms and pay fees to initiate divorce proceedings with the court. The fees you will have to pay depend on certain aspects of your financial situation. California does provide the option to apply for a fee waiver if you are not able to afford the cost of the fee.
  2. Serve court papers to your estranged spouse. Serving court papers officially notifies someone that a court case that involves them has been initiated.If you are having trouble serving your estranged spouse, consider hiring an attorney who has experience with divorce cases in which one party is not willing to cooperate. A knowledgeable attorney like the attorneys at Carroll Law Office can provide options for helping you successfully serve the court paperwork.
  3. Submit a financial disclosure to your estranged spouse. If you are the party who initiates the divorce by filing forms in the first step outlined above, the court will require you to share your financial information with the other party in your divorce case. They will also be required to share their financial information if they file a response or if they want the court to approve a divorce settlement they agree upon with you.For your financial disclosure, be prepared to obtain financial records like pay stubs, bank account balances, tax returns, loan documents, and records of your monthly expenses like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and other bills. It is important to be thorough and not try to hide assets, as this could later be used against you in your divorce case proceedings.
  4. Work toward a divorce agreement. Because a marriage is essentially a contract, ending a marriage involves determining how property will be divided and how custody of any children you have with your estranged spouse will be shared.California is considered to be a community property state, which means assets obtained or accrued during the course of the marriage are generally split 50/50 by the court. Separate property, which is property owned or obtained outside of the marriage, is typically not subject to division during a divorce.If you come to an agreement about the terms of your divorce on your own, you might not be required to divide the property in half. You and your estranged spouse can separate property in nearly any way you see fit or agree is fair.If you and the other party cannot come to an agreement — or if they are not willing to negotiate — the court will decide the terms of your divorce according to community property laws. This means the property and assets you and your spouse obtained during your marriage will be divided 50/50 with some exceptions.
  5. Submit the final forms. In order to finalize your divorce, you must submit final paperwork. This includes your divorce agreement, whether that agreement was decided by the court or you reached the agreement in collaboration with your estranged spouse. A judge will then review your forms and sign a judgment to officially dissolve your marriage.

Navigating the process of divorce on your own can be intimidating. Additionally, knowing what property you own counts as community property and what qualifies as separate property can be unclear. This may be especially true when assets or property obtained outside of the marriage were commingled or shared during the marriage. Working with the legal team at Carroll Law Office can help simplify your divorce case.

FAQs

Q: What Is the Average Cost of a Divorce Lawyer in California?

A: The average cost of a divorce lawyer in California varies significantly depending on the individual circumstances of each divorce case. No two divorce cases are exactly the same. Therefore, the costs will change from one case to the next. Because your life will most likely be impacted significantly by a divorce, it is advisable to think of hiring a divorce attorney as an investment in your future.

Q: How Do I File for Divorce in Napa County?

A: To file for a divorce in Napa County, you must file initial paperwork at the Clerk of the Superior Court in Napa County. This is just the first step in the divorce process. Ending a marriage in California involves multiple steps that you must take in order to legally obtain a divorce. It is advisable to work with an attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you work toward finalizing your divorce as quickly and easily as possible.

Q: How Much Is a Simple Divorce in California?

A: The cost of a simple divorce in California will depend on the circumstances of the parties involved in the divorce. In general, a simple, uncontested divorce will be less expensive than the cost for a complicated divorce involving courtroom litigation. Being willing to come to a divorce agreement with your estranged spouse can shorten the time it takes to finalize your divorce and potentially keep the costs lower by allowing you to settle your divorce terms without the court.

Q: Is Everything Split 50/50 in a Divorce in California?

A: Yes, property is typically split 50/50 in a divorce in California when the court determines the terms of the divorce agreement. California is considered a community property state, which means assets, property, and debt that were accrued during the time a couple was married are divided in half upon divorce.  Divorcing couples also have the option to come to the terms of their divorce agreement on their own if they can agree outside of court.

Contact Our Napa Divorce Lawyers Today

The lawyers at the Carroll Law Office have the knowledge and understanding of family law in California to provide legal guidance for your divorce. We recognize that ending a marriage is not a pleasant experience for most people. We can work diligently to ease your concerns through every step of your divorce. Contact Carroll Law Office divorce lawyers in Napa County to request a consultation today.

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