Contested & Uncontested Divorces in California
Serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino & Beyond
Although the dissolution of a marriage is something most people would prefer to avoid, the divorce process offers some couples and their children a fresh opportunity to build a happy and healthy home. At Moshtael Family Law, our divorce attorneys are dedicated to pursuing efficient divorce solutions to mitigate the cost and emotional toll of a high conflict divorce that generates 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 divorce lawyers seek win-win solutions when possible because high conflict contentious divorces generally mean a lose-lose proposition.
Contested Divorce Legal Representation
While 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 a divorce more complex and contentious, such as:
- High net worth divorce
- Child custody timeshare disputes
- Contested spousal support (spousal maintenance, alimony)
- Custody cases involving parental fitness issues (e.g. substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse)
- Division of interest in a family business or professional practice
Allegations a Spouse is Hiding or Diverting Marital Assets or Inappropriately Running Up Marital Debts
While 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.
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. While many California divorces are uncontested, this approach is less appropriate when you have children, a marriage of long duration, or a sizeable marital estate.
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.
Whether you need full scale representation in an uncontested divorce will depend on the complexity of your situation and the specific facts. If you have been married for many years or have children, you should probably retain a lawyer to ensure you understand your legal rights, potential future issues, and the consequences of not litigating your divorce.
IMPORTANT:At the very least, 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.
Contact Moshtael Family Law online or call (714) 909-2561 to schedule your free case consultation today.
I thank them from the bottom of my heart, and I look forward to working with them in the future!- Emilie B.
He is truly OUTSTANDING and am so happy to have him on my case!!!- Emily K.
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He is intense, informative, practical, yet very aggressive in the courtroom.- Michelle L.