Why Should I Hire A Lawyer For An Uncontested Divorce?

uncontested divorce

People often think that divorce ends in drama and anger, but sometimes there are couples who can handle their separation with grace. In an uncontested divorce there isn’t much fighting for what belongs to whom and both spouses agree on the issues in relation to their divorce.

It is often thought that because you are able to process your divorce with no issues, you may not need a divorce lawyer. But even with the most amicable dissolution of a marriage, there are many factors involved in the divorce process that can be overlooked without the insight of a lawyer.

Why Would I Need a Lawyer for an Uncontested Divorce?

Regardless of how both spouses feel about the divorce, you can face financial or child custody issues later if you are not familiar with the legal system and complex divorce laws. Luckily an uncontested divorce is easier to maneuver through than a traditional divorce. There are still legal factors to consider when you qualify for an uncontested divorce, but there is generally less negotiations, court hearings, and going back and forth with paperwork.

Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in California

To have an uncontested divorce in California, there is specific criteria to be met:

  • One spouse must have lived in California for the previous six months, and the three pervious months in the county where the divorce is being filed
  • Both spouses must be willing and able to sign all necessary paperwork
  • Both spouses must agree on all the issues in settlement, like division of property, spousal and child support, and custody

DIY divorces might seem appealing, but those who choose the quick and easy route end up spending more time and money when attempting to fix what they caused by trying to do things themselves.

Let’s look at a few reasons why you need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce.

Expertise and Knowledge of the Law

With years of experience, a lawyer has handled all sorts of divorce cases, and knows the necessary legal documents and court process. Without proper information you can wind up paying more or receiving less for child support or alimony. There may be questions you have when attempting to do your own divorce, and with no legal counsel you may file paperwork incorrectly and prevent you from moving forward.

Divorce lawyers are able to take guesswork out of the process and stay up to date with the case as it progresses. Even when both parties agree on all matters surrounding the divorce, a divorce attorney can quickly and efficiently complete all forms and documents necessary while keeping you on track throughout the process.

To make sure your agreement is accepted, there is often specific language needed in the order for the judge to approve the settlement you are requesting. Those who decide to represent themselves often end up with an unnecessary longer process than those who use an uncontested divorce attorney.

Protect Your Rights and Properly Divide Assets

Unfortunately there are some people who sign divorce papers without consulting a lawyer and find themselves losing out on property settlements, alimony claims, and having to carry additional unforeseen debts.

A divorce may start out peaceful, but once money, property, and child custody matters come into play, emotions may flare and tension is created. While it may sound like a good idea to quickly get your divorce over with, there is the possibility of being taken advantage of in this situation. A divorce lawyer can properly make suggestions, protect your rights and help create a fair settlement that works for all parties involved.

With California being one of a few states that follow community property laws, the courts will divide your property and debts equally during a divorce case. With an uncontested divorce, you are able to decide on property division without having the courts involved. A lawyer will be able to review your property division agreement, and offer the best course of action to keep things fair and even.

Dedicated to Your Individual Case

Even the most straightforward divorces pose their own challenges, and while separating your life is hard, having to handle a divorce case on your own can bring on more stress. A trusted divorce lawyer will take your case and work tirelessly on it, giving you time to cope, have confidence in your case, and offer peace of mind that your divorce is being done correctly and documented properly.

Protect Your Interests with Azemika Law

At Azemika Law, we have been devoted to family law for 28 years. Our lawyers are here to represent you through your divorce and provide an easy and peaceful transition into your new life. We handle all types of cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody, abandonment, and adoptions. Serving all of Kern County, we look forward to assisting you when you need it the most.
We’re here to help. Contact us today for a consultation and find the right divorce attorney for you.

Why DIY Divorce Is A Bad Idea

DIY Divorce Is A Bad Idea

With so much access to information online, it seems easy enough to file a divorce and represent yourself in court. While online DIY might work for learning a hobby, handling your own legal matters can end in serious consequences.

Regardless if a couple is in agreement over everything or completely the opposite, the divorce process can be complicated and by failing to adhere to court procedures you can risk your property and custody rights.

Is a Lawyer Required for a Divorce?

It is not legally required for you to have a lawyer when filing for divorce, but depending on certain factors like property ownership or child custody, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney to aid in the process. An attorney will have experience and knowledge of the law to help better your position and are well versed with court proceedings to help your divorce be successful and peaceful.

DIY Divorce Dangers

When filing for divorce, it’s understandable that most want the process over with as quickly as possible. Forgoing the help of an attorney sounds like it could help you save time or money, but you can end up doing the opposite and put yourself in a worse position.

Financial Risks

When hastily agreeing to divorce terms in order to speed up the process, one might wind up choosing things that are not in their best interest. It’s crucial to not make any mistakes when it comes to important court documents, and not following the correct procedures can result in significant or unfair financial losses, a longer drawn out battle in court, and having to re-file everything with the help of an attorney later.

Issues to be dealt with during a divorce include shared property or debts, bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, and spousal support or alimony.

Child Custody and Support Risks

Without the help of an attorney, even if you do see eye to eye with your former spouse, you can be at risk of court orders that you don’t agree with. You can have previous agreements or be on the same page regarding important matters, but emotions and opinions can alter when it comes to actually filing your paperwork.

There are different child support and custody issues like equitable time with each parent, childcare expenses, educational or extracurricular necessities, special or medical needs of the child or the parent, where the children and parents will both live, and how work schedules can impact visitations. When you work with a lawyer, you can successfully come up with a plan that outlines custody, visitations, and other support agreements that will work for everyone involved.

Lack of Advice and Knowledge

Handling your own divorce means you may miss out on vital advice from someone who has legal authority and understands divorce cases thoroughly. Every divorce has different situations, and experienced divorce attorneys will be able to tackle anything from property distribution to child support with past experience and understanding of the law in your state. Missing deadlines, failing to agree about certain items, incorrectly filling out forms, or not providing the required documents can end up impacting your divorce and create more issues for you.

Additional Stress

It can offer you some peace of mind while you’re already going through such a difficult situation to have a trusted attorney working on your case. When treading in unfamiliar territory while already in a heightened emotional or stressed state, you are much more prone to accidents that could have been avoided if your case was in the hands of a lawyer.

Hidden Assets and Dissipation of Assets

In California, it is required by law that all income earned and debts acquired during the marriage is to be split 50/50 regardless of how it was earned, who earned it, or whether one spouse had much greater earnings during the marriage than the other.

When a marriage is ended with bitterness and resentment, it is often that a spouse believes they are entitled to more of the marital income and property than the ex spouse, leading them to attempt hiding assets or income from the court.

A lawyer has the resources to help you investigate hidden assets and understand how to use the law for a better advantage and hold your ex spouse accountable if this happens.

Protect Yourself in Divorce with the Right Lawyer

Finding a lawyer when going through such a difficult process can feel intimidating. At Azemika Law, we’re here to represent you with our practice that has been devoted to family law for 28 years. We handle all types of cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody, abandonment, and adoptions.

Serving all of Kern County, we are here to help you make informed decisions to provide an easier transition and successful outcome with your divorce case. 
Don’t take the risk with a DIY divorce, contact us to find the right experienced lawyer for you to make sure you feel confident and supported throughout your divorce process.

How To Prepare For Your Child Custody Hearing

child custody hearing

Getting divorced is a stressful situation to begin with and when you have children it can be that much more scary, upsetting, and worrisome. When you and your former spouse are unable to come to your own agreement, you both will need to attend a child custody hearing to have a judge decide what is in the best interest of your child.

Despite the emotions you may have at the moment, it can be extremely helpful to plan ahead and be prepared for your hearing to present a convincing case and increase your chances of having a custody arrangement that falls within your goals.

Below we can take a look at ways to build a persuasive child custody case.

Familiarize Yourself with the Law

Learning how the hearing process works can make you feel more confident before attending court. There are laws that come with custody and parental responsibilities, and unless the court says otherwise, you will share the parental responsibility with the other parent.

Your family law attorney can describe what usually happens in these hearings, and give you an idea of what to expect the day of. There are different types of child custody, and exploring your options of legal custody and visitations can be beneficial for both you and your child.

Providing Documentation

Your lawyer will tell you exactly what type of documentation you might need for your hearing. Common documents that can be helpful for your case are:

  • Call logs and text messages confirming that you and your child are in constant contact and able to get a hold of one another
  • Photographs of you and your children together
  • A visitation log that plans out when you will see your children, how much time you spend with them, how often you will speak to your children during visitations. A log can also help keep track of either parent’s cancellations, or when they have missed time with their children. 
  • Medical records for your children, especially if they have any diagnosed health conditions that proves they need access to regular treatment
  • Proof of regular child support payments
  • School documents like attendance, additional tutoring, and grade reports
  • Any supporting evidence you are comfortable with the other parent’s possession and time with your children

The goal with providing proper documentation is to ensure that you are always putting the best interest of your children first. Judges will look for clear proof that you will support, provide, love, and protect your children. It is also important to demonstrate that you and your former spouse will be supportive of your children having a healthy relationship with the other.

Courtroom Etiquette and Appearance

Even if you are in a heightened emotional state, it is important to have proper courtroom etiquette. Having emotional outbursts, making accusatory statements, or raising your voice can be counted against you and potentially hurt your case. Remember that this is about your child, and you want to stay focused on your goals.

It’s understandable to have things get under your skin, and running through some roleplay scenarios with your lawyer can help you stay cool and collected in the courtroom the day of your hearing.

While it is unfair that judgments can be made on appearances alone, it is important to dress appropriately to make the best first impression to the court. This does not mean having to wear the most expensive attire, but it simply should present you as a responsible adult and not call unwanted attention to yourself.

Manage Your Expectations

Your attorney will be able to educate you on the potential risks and rewards of going to court, and they will be advocating for you and help you make the most out of your time during your hearing. Typically, child custody hearings are less combative than other court cases, and are not heard before a jury. Your case will be presented in front of a judge, and they will be able to make an immediate decision. You do have the right to appeal the order if you disagree with the custody arrangement.

Seeking Help for Your Child Custody Case

It can feel overwhelming to go through this process when you care about your children and just want the best for them in the future. At Azemika Law, we’re here for you during this emotional time with our practice that has been devoted to family law for 28 years.

We handle all types of cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody, abandonment, and adoptions. Serving all of Kern County, we want you to have the best opportunity to achieve your goals and build a happy future with your family.
For representation, support, and guidance during your child custody hearing, contact us today to speak with one of our family law attorneys in Bakersfield.