If you have a legal issue impacting your family, the Law Offices of Ali Yousefi can help. Our law firm focuses our skills on you and your family. The benefit you receive when you choose us to represent you in your family law matter is that you will get top-tier representation, a no-nonsense approach, and attorneys who will fight tooth-and-nail to secure the best possible outcome for your case.
Whether your case involves an uncontested divorce or a complex divorce, we bring individual attention, knowledge, and commitment to achieving your objectives. Your questions will always be addressed immediately and the work on your case will be handled in the most cost-effective manner. We understand that divorce is a painful process and we are committed to being available and responsive to your questions and concerns.
Our law firm offers the following services in family law:
- Divorce (contested and uncontested)
- Child custody & visitation
- Asset & property Division
- Child & spousal support
- Restraining orders/domestic Violence
- Pre-nuptial agreements
Our family law lawyer can help with these and other legal issues that may impact your family. Contact our office today to see how we can help.
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either party can initiate divorce for any reason, such as irreconcilable differences. Even if you or your spouse decides to file for a divorce, this does not mean that you need to be at odds or even go to court. Often, we recommend that you and your spouse consider an uncontested divorce.
In an uncontested divorce, both parties work toward making important decisions, such as the division of property, spousal support, and child support, outside of court. By doing this, your divorce will generally be processed quicker and will reduce your potential fees or court cost. If you feel as though this option may work for you, we recommend that you contact us today at 650-409-9701 or contact us online to schedule a one-on-one consultation with our attorney Ali Yousefi.
In a contested divorce, the spouses disagree on some or all of the divorce issues. This may include disagreements about:
- The characterization of separate and community property,
- How to divide the community property,
- Child custody and support, and
- Spousal support.
If the parties cannot successfully negotiate, compromise, and agree to the terms of their divorce, the case will proceed to trial, and a judge will make these decisions for the parties. In a trial, both parties present arguments, evidence, and witnesses to support their positions. Fortunately, our office is available to assist you with a contested divorce.
How Long Does a Divorce Usually Take in CA?
The duration of a divorce in California can vary widely depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the level of cooperation between the parties, and the local court’s docket. In California, there is a minimum six-month waiting period from the date the divorce petition is served on the other party before the divorce can be finalized. This waiting period is mandated by state law and is meant to give couples time to reconsider their decision.
The actual time it takes to complete a divorce in California can extend beyond the six-month waiting period, especially if the divorce involves complex issues such as child custody, spousal support, property division, and if the parties cannot agree on these matters. It’s not uncommon for divorces to take several months or even years in more contentious cases.
If both parties can reach agreements on key issues, such as property division, child custody, and support, through mediation or negotiation, the divorce process can be expedited. However, if disputes arise and the case goes to court, it can significantly prolong the divorce process.
It’s important to consult with an attorney or legal professional who can provide guidance tailored to your specific circumstances and keep you informed about the estimated timeline for your particular divorce case.
Contact Our Skilled Family Law Lawyer Today
The Law Offices of Ali Yousefi can represent you if you’re facing a family law issue. Our attorney, Ali Yousefi, has received numerous accolades, including being named a Super Lawyer and one of the 10 Best Attorneys in California by The American Institute. Contact us today.
What Is Family Law in California?
Family law in California contains several different areas of law that impact a family. We describe some of the most common family law issues below.
Divorce and Annulment
Since marriage is a legal relationship as well as a romantic one, you must go through a legal process to end a marriage. This process is called divorce. In a divorce, a court decides the separate and marital or community property and splits the community property fairly between the parties. The court also decides on child custody, child support, and spousal support issues. Instead of having a judge decide, the couple can negotiate these terms with the help of their lawyers.
In an annulment, one or both parties believe the marriage was invalid when they entered it. The reasons a couple may qualify for an annulment include the following:
- A spouse was a minor,
- The parties were closely related, or
- The consent to marry was obtained by force or fraud.
If a judge grants an annulment, it would be as if the spouses were never married.
Child custody refers to each parent’s responsibility to care for and make decisions about their child’s life. In California, child custody cases establish a parent’s legal and physical custody rights. Legal custody involves the right to decide about significant issues in the child’s life. Physical custody consists of the time each parent spends with the child. Ultimately, any custody decision is based on the child’s best interests.
Parents must support their children. Child support is money or other benefits that a parent provides to meet the care and needs of the child. Typically, the parent with whom the child does not reside pays child support to the parent with whom the child lives. Child support, however, is based on each parent’s income, so there may be other arrangements as a court sees fit.
LGBT Family Law
LGBT family law encompasses a specialized legal practice focused on the rights and protections of LGBTQ+ individuals and families. This field addresses a range of legal matters, including marriage equality, adoption, surrogacy, parental rights, and relationship dissolution, all within the context of California’s progressive legal landscape. Our dedicated team provides expert guidance to ensure that all clients, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, receive comprehensive and tailored representation in matters relating to family and relationships. With a deep commitment to inclusivity and equality, we navigate the nuances of LGBT family law to deliver effective solutions that uphold the rights and interests of our clients and their families.
How is Property Such as a House Divided in a California Divorce?
In California, property division in a divorce is governed by community property laws. California is one of the few states that follows community property principles, which means that generally, all assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered community property and are subject to equal division between the spouses upon divorce. Here’s how property, such as a house, is typically divided in a California divorce:
- Community Property vs. Separate Property: The first step is to distinguish between community property and separate property. Community property includes assets and debts acquired during the marriage, while separate property includes assets and debts acquired before the marriage or after the date of separation. In general, community property is subject to equal division, while separate property remains with the spouse who owns it.
- Valuation: The value of the house and other assets must be determined. This is typically done through appraisals or assessments to establish the fair market value.
- Equity Division: If the house has a mortgage or other debts, those debts are also divided. The net equity (value minus debts) in the house is what’s subject to division.
- Agreement or Court Decision: Spouses can come to an agreement on how to divide the property, including the house. If an agreement is reached, it can be submitted to the court for approval. If spouses cannot agree, the court will make a determination based on California’s community property laws.
- Consideration of Factors: The court may consider various factors in deciding how to divide property, including the length of the marriage, the economic circumstances of each spouse, and any other relevant factors.
- Sale or Buyout: In some cases, the court may order the sale of the house, and the proceeds are divided between the spouses. Alternatively, one spouse may be allowed to buy out the other’s share of the house based on its appraised value.
It’s important to consult with an attorney experienced in California family law to navigate the complexities of property division in a divorce. Additionally, it’s important to note that property division can be highly case-specific, and outcomes may vary based on individual circumstances and the court’s discretion.
Do I Need a Family Law Attorney?
Most people benefit from hiring an experienced family lawyer. These cases can be emotionally overwhelming. Having an advocate on your side will help you stay focused and feel supported every step of the way.
You may worry about the expense of an attorney, and you typically cannot get a pro bono family law attorney unless a private attorney decides to take your case for free—but this is rare. Even though you might not be able to get a free lawyer, lawyers like Ali Yousefi strive to keep their services affordable. Contact our office today for a high-quality attorney serving San Mateo, San Francisco, and Sacramento. If you’re not in our service area, contact the California Bar Association and ask for an “affordable family lawyer near me.”