Dissolution of Marriage Overview

Most clients who are in the middle of divorce proceedings are more concerned about child custody issues than any other matter. Here at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, one of our biggest concerns is assisting our clients with issues related to child custody and visitation.

We understand that dissolving a marriage can be one of the most stressful things an individual will ever experience. At Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, we have attorneys who are experienced in California family law to provide professional assistance for you. You’ll find our attorneys to be compassionate about your situation while also giving you the guidance you need to make the tough decisions that are ahead.

Since divorce is emotionally draining, many of our clients have discovered they are unable to deal with the legal aspects of marriage dissolution. At a time like this, it’s crucial to remain level-headed in order to make sound decisions, as the choices you make now can affect you and your children for some time to come. That’s why it’s so important to have an attorney from Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox on your side – to help explain how the law operates and what your rights are so you can make prudent decisions.

What Legal Issues Are Addressed During Divorce?

California law requires judges to address certain legal issues before they can render a dissolution of marriage. For couples without children, these issues are: jurisdiction and grounds, property division, and spousal support. When minor children are involved, a judge must also consider child custody, visitation, and support. There may be underlying sub-issues in each one of these categories that will be decided based upon the totality of the circumstances. In making these determinations, judges use California law and case law to render a decision.

Jurisdiction and Grounds

  • Meeting the Residency Requirement: According to California law, at least one of the parties shall have lived in the state for six months and in the particular county where the petition is filed for a minimum of three months.
  • Grounds: California is a no-fault divorce state, which means the only criteria required is that the parties have irreconcilable differences or that one of them is insane and cannot be cured.

Spousal Support

Several factors play a role in whether spousal support is awarded along with the amount and duration of that support. These factors include the age, level of education, and opportunity for each to provide his or her own support. A judge might also consider whether there has been domestic violence and the fact that one of the parties is cohabitating with a member of the opposite sex. Judges may also use any other criteria that is unique to the case as long as it appears to be “just and equitable” to do so.

Property Division

The property of married couples in California is deemed to be community property. This type of property consists of everything a husband and wife acquires from their wedding day forward. This usually includes all assets acquired by either one. Property owned separately before the marriage is not considered as marital property when determining equitable division.

Most clients who are in the middle of divorce proceedings are more concerned about child custody issues than any other matter. Here at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, one of our biggest concerns is assisting our clients with issues related to child custody and visitation.

We understand that dissolving a marriage can be one of the most stressful things an individual will ever experience. At Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, we have attorneys who are experienced in California family law to provide professional assistance for you. You’ll find our attorneys to be compassionate about your situation while also giving you the guidance you need to make the tough decisions that are ahead.

Since divorce is emotionally draining, many of our clients have discovered they are unable to deal with the legal aspects of marriage dissolution. At a time like this, it’s crucial to remain level-headed in order to make sound decisions, as the choices you make now can affect you and your children for some time to come. That’s why it’s so important to have an attorney from Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox on your side – to help explain how the law operates and what your rights are so you can make prudent decisions.

Child Custody and Visitation

Child custody and visitation is based upon the best interests of the child. In most cases, the rebuttable presumption is that joint legal custody is in the best interest of the child. An exception can be whenever domestic violence is involved. Since this is one of the most hotly contested areas related to divorce, those who have minor children should seek guidance from one of our family law attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox.

Child Support

California uses a complex formula to determine the amount of child support that’s ordered. Some of the criteria considered in this formula include the cost of living, the income of the mother and father, and each one’s access to outside resources. Judges must typically adhere to the guidelines, and must spell out specific reasons for deviating from them in their ensuing child support order. Like custody, child support is also a volatile issue among divorcing parents, which is why you should seek advice from an attorney here at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox if you have questions.

Contact Us

Deciding to get a divorce can be emotionally and physically draining. At Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, we understand this and are here to help. Contact our office today for a free consultation if you are contemplating a marriage dissolution.