Considering a divorce is a serious matter. You should make sure you discuss it over with someone whom you can trust. Unlike family and friends, a divorce attorney in L.A. County can provide an honest assessment of your unique situation.
Jeffrey L. Hoffer, a respected Certified Family Law Specialist, represents clients throughout the Los Angeles County area. He knows these are difficult times that require straight yet compassionate answers. He will guide you through your divorce, helping it go as smoothly as possible. Contact his law office to learn more, and in the meantime, here is an overview of divorce in Los Angeles County, California.
Divorce in Los Angeles County
Divorce terminates a marriage. According to California Family Code § 2300,
The effect of a judgment of dissolution of marriage when it becomes final is to restore the parties to the state of unmarried persons.
On the outset, it would seem looking at the statistics that Los Angeles County fares better than the United States with respect to divorce, but it's only because fewer get married. Statistics tell us that about 9% of the population aged 15 and older in Los Angeles County are divorced or separated. From this same age bracket, 49% have never been married while 40% are married and 2% are widowed.
These numbers contrast slightly with the national average that indicates 13% of the U.S. population of aged persons 15 and older are divorced or separated while 48.2% are married, 5.8% are widowed, and 33.1% have never been married.
In Los Angeles County, the highest percentage of divorced persons are aged between 55 and 64. This age reflects what's known as gray divorces. At this age, you have usually accumulated property and assets and have had children grow up and move out – these things and other factors make divorce more complicated at this age. So, even though there may be fewer divorces (due to in part fewer people getting married), the divorces may be more complicated.
Divorce Court in Los Angeles County
If you are thinking of a divorce in Los Angeles County, there are certain preparation you will want to make before going to court. But first thing's first: you must qualify to file for dissolution of your marriage or domestic partnership in Los Angeles County. To qualify, one spouse much have lived:
- in California for at least 6 months, and
- in Los Angeles County for 3 months prior to the divorce filing.
Divorce papers are filed with the clerk of the court at Los Angeles County Superior Court. To know which court in Los Angeles County, you can use Los Angeles County's filing court locator. If you hire an attorney, he will take care of the filing for you.
The fee to file the divorce petition (Form FL-100) and a summons is $435. You spouse must be served with the divorce papers upon filing them. This can be done by a friend, the sheriff, a relative, or a professional process server, but whoever serves the divorce papers to your spouse, he or she must be 18 years or older.
Divorce Issues in Los Angeles County
Issues that can arise during a divorce proceeding include things like
- property and debt division – California is a community property state and so the court will divide the couple's marital property equally unless it would amount to an inequitable or unfair situation;
- child custody and visitation – California courts use the best interest of the child standard to determine custody and visitation;
- child support – the court can order child support if it deems it necessary;
- spousal support – the court may also award alimony to a spouse if the situation demands it.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Los Angeles County
If you are thinking about a divorce in Los Angeles County, then you should think about speaking with an experienced family law attorney. He takes on each case with a determination to get the best results that reflect your best interests. Contact his law office today to learn more about his approach to family law and divorce in Los Angeles County.