Divorce FAQ - Frequently Asked Family Law Questions:
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At Arnold, Peterson & Criste our team of legal professionals and support staff will guide you through your divorce in a holistic and highly competent manner. Our strategies are sophisticated and tailored to your situation, whether your marital dissolution or other family law circumstances are adversarial or more or less amicable.
We know that you have many questions. This website exists to provide a free service to the public to answer them, as our contribution to the "Internet of Everything Divorce". Besides the huge and ever increasing volume of information we've placed on line for other attorneys and for self-represented parties, or those with divorce counsel who might have concerns that would benefit from expert matrimonial law feedback, Arnold, Peterson & Criste would be honored to provide you a Second Opinion on your matters to help inform and guide you, even if you live far from us in California.
For those who live or have cases pending that are close enough to Palm Springs, Indian Wells, and Palm Desert please contact our office to discuss your case! You are the persons for whom we most exist to serve.
Besides our Enlighten Divorce Blog™ , which contains hundreds of articles and famlaw legal analysis, and beyond the Frequently Asked Divorce Questions on this page, and our Practice Area pages that describe what you ought consider within certain practice specialty areas, we want you to know about some of the other resources provided by our Internet of Everything California Divorce website:
- We provide a Family Law Statutes page referencing 400 California statutes and Rules of Court, with many discussions and tips about best practices and nuances relating to those code sections that only the most experienced attorneys and judges know of and understand.
- We provide various California Judicial Council Forms, some of which are mandatory and others that are optional, that you will need or may want to use in your proceedings.
- We have begun to upload some of our Arnold, Peterson & CristeLaw Firm Library of discovery forms, requests for orders, motions, and other pleading samples that can be freely used as exemplars to be modified to fit your own circumstances, with more to come as we can find the time (i.e., during our evenings, weekends, and holidays -:) including explanations and litigation tips!
Index of Topics
- Preparing for Divorce
- Attitudes for De-Escalating Divorce Wars
- Mediation Alternatives to Adversarial Warfare
- Premarital Agreements
- Why Physical Separation Matters
- Selecting Your Family Law Attorney
- Attorney Fees in Divorce and Family Law Cases
- The Divorce Process
- What is Discovery in Divorce and Family Law
- Dividing Community Property and Residences
- Dividing Community Debt
- Fiduciary Duties
- Spousal Support
- Child Custody and Visitation
- Child Support
- How Collect Delinquent Support
- Modifying Orders
- Taxes and Divorce
- Domestic Partnerships
- Same Sex Marriages
Preparing for Divorce
- What are the warning signs that your spouse may be planning to cheat you in your divorce?
- What are the most common mistakes couples make that can jeopardize their rights in a divorce?
Why Physical Separation Matters
- Is 'legal separation' the same thing as 'physical separation'?
- Why should I consider a legal separation?
- What is meant by the term 'physical separation'?
- Why is the date of physical separation important?
- What is our date of separation?
- What do courts look at when determining the date of separation?
- How are funds in a joint bank account treated in legal separation?
- READ MORE about physical separation - click here!
- How much will my attorney cost?
- What If I want a family law second opinion?
- Are there any red flags that I should look for when hiring my attorney?
- Can I change attorneys in the middle of a divorce trial?
- Can I hire a new attorney with the money that my husband was ordered to pay my last lawyer?
- What should I do before deciding on an attorney?
- What is a family law retainer agreement?
- What happens to the fees that I give my attorney?
- What happens to the fees that I deposited if I fire my attorney?
- What are the general rules governing attorney fee requests in divorce and family law?
- If my parents regularly give me money, will that be considered when determining need for attorney fees?
- I owe my attorney so much money that they won't work for me anymore. What can I do?
- How do I get an order for attorney fees in a complex case?
- Tons of specific articles about requesting and opposing attorney fee requests in divorce and family law cases!
De-Escalating Family Law Conflict
- How do I decrease conflict in my divorce?
- What is a mindful divorce and why should I care?
- Are there financial benefits to a peaceful divorce?
- What are the emotional benefits of mindfulness?
- What is the key to a peaceful divorce?
- How can I manage the effects of my divorce?
- How do I mediate my divorce?
The Family Law Processes
- What are the deadlines that I need to look out for?
- Can I appear in Court by phone?
- How do I draft a family court declaration?
- Can I change a court-ruling in my divorce case?
- What are motions for reconsideration?
- How do I appeal my family court decision?
- What should I do if my "minute order" is wrong?
- Can I use emails as evidence?
- Can I get a certain judge off my case?
- Can I ever get a judge to reconsider the ruling?
- Can I remove an evaluator from my case?
- Can I change courts?
- When does making threats become extortionate, as opposed to merely "unethical"?
- Is my spouse allowed to track my car?
- Can I plead the 5th in a family law case?
- What is the time limit for filing a responsive or reply declaration?
- What should I do if my case is being transferred between different courts?
- What is a statement of decision?
- What are the time periods for filing set aside motions?
- Will the court enforce an agreement made out-of-court?
- My divorce case is still pending and I want to get remarried. What should I do?
Discovery Options in California Family Law
- What are Family Law “Form” Interrogatories?
- What are Special Interrogatories?
- What are Production and Inspection Requests?
- What is an example of a divorce production demand?
- What are Requests for Admission?
- How do I use Requests for Admission in my dissolution proceeding?
- Can you give me an example of a Request for Admission form?
- What is a family court deposition?
- How are depositions used?
- How can I get the information about my spouse's true income?
- Am I entitled to obtain discovery if I file a set aside motion before the matter is decided?
- How can I prepare for my spouse's deposition?
- How long can I be forced to participate in a family law deposition?
- I want to read more about family court depositions
Fiduciary Duties in Divorce
- I keep hearing about interspousal fiduciary duties. What is this about?
- What is the fiduciary duty of a managing spouse in a divorce?
- What should I do if my spouse is concealing assets?
- What should I do if I think that my spouse committed fraud on an income and expense statement?
- What is a preliminary declaration of disclosure?
- What is a final declaration of disclosure?
- Does my spouse have to disclose separate property assets during a dissolution proceeding?
Identifying Marital Property and Division; Residence Issues
- What is meant by “community property”?
- What is meant by “separate property”?
- What are “transmutations”?
- What are Family Code 2640 reimbursements?
- What are Watts charges and credits?
- What are Jeffries credits?
- If I was forced to leave the family home, does my spouse owe me?
- How do I use a marital balance sheet to divide property?
- When will our assets be valued?
- What should I do if marital assets were undervalued?
- What happens to property that I owned before marriage?
- I've been occupying the family home alone and paying all the bills. Does my spouse owe me for this?
- What happens if my spouse's name is on the deed of my home?
- How do we divide jointly titled property that was acquired before marriage?
- What happens to property that my spouse owned before marriage?
- My husband owned our residence before marriage. What are my rights?
- What happens if one spouse used an inheritance to buy our family home?
- What is "community property with right of survivorship"?
- Can I keep the family residence from being sold?
- What is the legal effect of a refinance?
- Do I have to return the engagement ring if we don't marry or if we later divorce?
- How are defined contribution plans divided?
- How are defined benefit plans divided?
- Are stock options community property?
- Are "books of business" community property?
- Am I entitled to my spouse's personal injury settlement?
- Are workers comp benefits community property?
- What can I do to protect my community interest in retirement benefits?
- How can I stop my spouse from liquidating our community pension?
- What methods are used for valuing businesses in divorce?
- When do social security benefits begin after a divorce?
- How are social security benefits treated in divorce?
Debts Before and After Marriage
- What are Epstein reimbursements?
- Do I have to pay off my spouse's credit card debt?
- How do I avoid my spouse's debt when we get married?
- Are my earnings during marriage liable for my spouse's pre-marriage debts?
- How are student loans divided in divorce?
- Must I pay any of my spouse's student loan if we divorce?
- Am I liable to pay for my husband's child support debts from his first marriage?
- Am I liable for my spouse's nursing home debt?
- Am I liable for my spouse's gambling debt?
- Am I liable for my spouse's pre-marital debt?
- Am I liable for a car accident that my spouse caused?
- Could I have to pay back community debt by myself?
- Am I liable for my spouse's business debt?
- Am I liable for my spouse's medical bills after we separated?
Taxes and Divorce
- How do I get my ex's tax returns?
- Is it possible to get my ex's tax returns without any pending motion to modify?
- What is "head of household" status for IRS purposes?
- Do I have to file a joint tax return if we aren't divorced yet?
- What are the tax consequences of child support & spousal support?
- What do I do if my ex-spouse keeps filing dependency of our children?
- How is temporary child support determined?
- What is California guideline support?
- Can child support orders be made retroactive?
- How long does my child support obligation continue?
- Can I recover uninsured health costs as additional child support?
- Are my social security benefits used for child support calculations?
- Are social security benefits income for purposes of support calculations?
- What is family support?
- What can I do if I was ordered to pay child support without my knowledge?
- Will my new wife's income be used to increase my child support order?
- How do I defend a request from my former spouse to set aside our former orders?
- Do courts "add back" depreciation in determining child & spousal support?
- If I get remarried, will that affect my support obligations?
- Is overtime considered in fixing child support?
- Is voluntary spousal support tax-deductible?
- What is the difference between permanent and temporary spousal support in California?
- How does domestic violence affect my spousal support obligations?
- How do I avoid temporary spousal support for domestic violence?
- What happens with bonus income when I pay court-ordered support?
- Do I need to tell my wife about my year-end bonus?
- If my spouse is living with a renter, does this affect my support obligation?
- Do I still have to pay spousal support if my ex is cohabitating with another person?
- What is the “marital standard of living” mean?
- How do I limit or terminate spousal support in the future?
- What Is a Gavron Warning?
- Do I give my tax return to my spouse or to the court?
How Collect Delinquent Support
- What is a real property lien | abstract of judgment?
- How do I enforce a support order?
- How can I collect on a family court support order?
- Why should I get a prenuptial agreement?
- Is a prenuptial agreement signed without an attorney enforceable?
- If I waived spousal support fees in a prenuptial agreement, is it valid?
Child Custody and Visitation Rights
- How do courts decide to award joint custody?
- Are my children allowed to choose a parent to live with?
- How do I start apply for child custody?
- How can I help my children after a Christian divorce?
- What is a 730 evaluation?
- When do grandparents have the right to child custody?
- What are the standards for a child testimony?
- How does my sister get custody of her grandson?
- Can children testify their parent preference during the custody proceeding?
- Could my spouse be drug tested?
- Can I request for my spouse to be drug tested?
Modifications of Orders
- What should I do if I am unhappy with the court's ruling?
- If I receive an income bonus, will that affect my child custody or child support order?
- Do I need to show the other party or the court my tax return statements?
- Can I obtain my ex's tax returns without a modification?
- How can I reduce or terminate a spousal support order?
- Is it possible to modify spousal support if my ex is living with another partner?
- Can I oppose a spouse's request to set aside a spousal support order?
- What is summary domestic partnership dissolution?
- Do I have any rights if I thought my partner registered our domestic partnership, but didn't?
- How long do domestic partners have to wait to dissolve a partnership?
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