File for Divorce in Orange County
Get Legal Counsel for Contested & Uncontested Divorces in Orange County,
Los Angeles County & San Bernardino County
Although the dissolution of a marriage is something most people would prefer
to avoid, the Orange County divorce process offers some couples and their
children a fresh opportunity to build a happy and healthy home.
At Moshtael Family Law Orange County, our attorneys are dedicated to pursuing
efficient divorce solutions to mitigate the cost and emotional toll of
a high-conflict divorce that generates an unnecessary expense, stress,
and barriers to effective co-parenting.
Although certain issues in your divorce might need to be aggressively litigated,
we will try to resolve as many issues as we can through efficient and
effective negotiation to protect the wealth built during your marital
relationship and to protect your children from harmful animosity. Our
lawyers seek win-win solutions when possible, because highconflict contentious
divorces generally mean a lose-lose proposition.
Turn to a Team With an In-House CPA
Moshtael Family Law is especially suited to handle all of the issues mentioned
above since we offer the services of an in-house CPA. This means that
the team managing your divorce case will include a dedicated financial
professional who can:
- Handle the complex financial aspects of your divorce
Offer high-level analysis & detail-oriented focus on asset division, support,
business valuation, etc.
- Conduct a preliminary analysis of income for alimony, child support, etc.
- Provide tax and legal advice under the same roof
- Eliminate the need to pay separate retainers for a forensic accountant
- Evaluate your case & provide a solid case plan at the very start
Is divorce a serious consideration for you?
Contact us online or call today to discuss your options with the top divorce
team in Orange County.
Legal Representation for Contested Divorces
contested divorces entail resolving disagreements, animosity, and conflict do not have to
rule the day. High conflict divorces are emotionally and financially challenging,
so our law firm takes a problem-solving approach to settle contentious
issues that leave our clients in the best possible position once a judgment
of divorce has been entered. Although an uncontested divorce will be a
better option for most people, an array of complex issues can make this
type of simple divorce process unrealistic.
Certain issues tend to make divorce more complex and contentious, such as:
If you or your spouse agree on all issues relevant to your case, such as
division of community property and debts, spousal support, child custody/visitation,
and child support, your divorce might be able to proceed as an uncontested divorce.
This approach is less appropriate when you have children, a marriage of
long duration, or a sizeable marital estate.
The Uncontested Divorce Process in California
- Once the responding party receives the summons and petition for divorce,
he or she has thirty days to respond.
- If no response is filed, the divorce can proceed on a default basis.
- The responding party should file a response even if a settlement of all
issues is being discussed.
If you and your spouse do reach an agreement on all issues, these arrangements
can be incorporated into a
marital settlement agreement (MSA) and submitted to the court with documents necessary to obtain a
judgment. In this situation, your MSA will contain the terms and conditions
of your divorce.
Do you need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?
You should never agree to an uncontested divorce without obtaining legal
advice to protect your interests. An attorney also can prevent unintended
consequences, mistakes, and avoidable frustration by advising you of your
rights, reviewing the terms of the MSA, and properly drafting the MSA
and judgment paperwork.
Whether you need the full-scale representation of an Orange County uncontested
divorce lawyer will depend on the complexity of your situation and the
specific facts. Some of these factors include:
- If you have been married for many years
- If you have children
- If you have complex financial assets or debts
If your divorce involves any of these issues, you should probably retain
a lawyer to ensure you understand your legal rights, potential future
issues, and the consequences of not litigating your divorce.
Allegations a Spouse is Hiding or Diverting Marital Assets or Inappropriately
Running Up Marital Debts
hiding or diverting marital assets in a divorce does not necessarily mean you must navigate a “war
zone environment,” these issues can be complicated and/or emotionally
charged. Our experienced Orange County marital dissolution attorneys guide
our clients past emotional roadblocks that can derail the divorce process
to resolve difficult issues. This approach promotes stable and permanent
divorce solutions to prevent repeated post-judgment trips back to the
courthouse to pursue modification or enforcement of the judgment.
Contact Moshtael Family Law online or call to schedule your free case consultation today.
California Divorce FAQ
How long does a divorce take in California?
Every divorce is different, but California law imposes a six-month waiting
period from the time of filing for a divorce to be final. The actual duration
of your divorce process will depend on the issues involved and the extent
to which you and your spouse can reach agreements on these issues.
Uncontested divorces in California can be finalized in as little as six
months. These are cases where you and your spouse have no significant
property issues, no children, and no alimony issues.
Contested divorces in California could take a year or longer to be finalized.
These are cases where the divorce involves complex issues or a high degree
of conflict, such as a contentious high-net-worth divorce or a high conflict
Should I wait to file for divorce until I determine if I can reach an agreement
with my spouse?
The best practice is to file for divorce even if you are discussing a global
settlement of all issues. If the petition for divorce is filed and served
on your spouse, automatic temporary restraining orders (ATROS) take effect.
These orders provide protection if your spouse attempts to start liquidating
bank accounts or selling off property to insiders in sham transactions.
ATROS also prohibit the other party from taking your child and moving
to another state without your consent or a court order granting permission.
How do I pay for my divorce if I’m a stay-at-home parent or have
We represent many parties who focus their efforts during their marriage
on taking care of their home and children. In other cases, our clients
make substantially less than their marital partner because of efforts
to support their spouse’s education and career. Our attorneys routinely
seek an advance of legal fees from the other party when representing the
lower wage earner.
California law empowers a judge to order the higher-earning spouse to make
advances toward an economically disadvantaged spouse’s attorney
fees. The court also can order that some or all the lower-earning spouse’s
attorney fees be paid by the other party.
When we are retained to represent a spouse in this situation, we routinely
file for a Request for Order (RFO) hearing where we can pursue “pendente
lite” (interim) orders regarding relevant issues like attorney fee
advances, spousal support, child custody/visitation, temporary possession
of the family residence, and child support.
Can I pull my kids out of school if I decide to move out of the family home?
Parents should never pull their children out of school or the family home
without a written agreement with the other party or a judge’s order.
Courts value stability and try to mitigate the impact of the enormous
changes that affect children during the divorce process. If you unilaterally
remove your children from the family home or their school without the
other parent’s consent or permission from the judge, you will likely
be ordered to return the children if the other parent challenges your
decision. Further, courts view these types of actions very negatively,
so it could damage your position when seeking parenting time.
Can I move out of the family home if things have become tense and uncomfortable?
While it might be necessary to move out to protect yourself from domestic
violence or false allegations of abuse, there are risks associated with
taking this step. If you do not obtain temporary custody or visitation
orders from the court or a written agreement with the other parent, your
access to your children might become subject to the whim of an uncooperative
spouse. Further, your lack of contact after moving out might be creatively
interpreted by the other spouse as “disinterest.” The best
option is to speak with an experienced Orange County divorce lawyer about
your specific situation, available options, and the potential consequences
of vacating the family home.