What is a Divorce Settlement in California?fz1208
It’s not a big secret that the vast majority of spouses won’t be able to reach an agreement on everything after they have decided to get a divorce. This means they will be forced to find a way to work through crucial issues and reach a compromise.
If a spouse refuses to cooperate, their divorce can end up in a long and expensive family court battle, but there are ways to avoid this and reach a divorce settlement.
In other words, it serves as an agreement between spouses for documenting their California divorce. These crucial issues are agreed upon in advance before their divorce is finalized in a family court.
Thus, divorce settlements are the end result of a dissolution of marriage in California when:
- Spouses are able to come to an agreement on important divorce matters, and;
- Without their case going to a family court trial.
The vast majority of California divorces end up being settled before trial. Family court divorce trials are very stressful and expensive.
In fact, the legal fees alone related to taking your divorce to trail are frequently enough for couples to realize they must find a settlement rather than going to a trial. Clearly, however, there are some divorce cases that will have to proceed to the trial stage.
In order to give readers a better understanding on California divorce settlements, our Los Angeles family law attorneys are providing a review below.
How Can I Reach a Divorce Settlement with My Spouse?
In order to reach a divorce settlement with your spouse in California, there are several different options:
- Work out issues alone with your spouse;
- Work out issues through divorce mediator;
- Use a collaborative law facilitator to reach reasonable agreement;
- Retain a divorce lawyer to represent you in litigation.
Since most people are unfamiliar with the California divorce process, the most common choice is to hire a divorce lawyer to represent their interest and potentially litigate important matters in a family law court.
There are some advantages for each option, but it actually depends on the specific issues you disagree on and details of your divorce case.
You could also purse a collaborative divorce, which is a process of resolving your differences out of court.
Regardless of the option you choose, the goal of every divorce is to find a reasonable agreement and to finalize the dissolution of marriage.
What Agreements Need to Be Made in a Divorce Settlement?
There are normally several areas in which spouses must reach an agreement before their California divorce can be finalized, including:
- Dividing assets and debts, including
- Bank accounts
- Retirement plans
- Insurance plans
- Home and vehicles
- Household items
If spouses are unable to reach an agreement about how to divide the assets, the family law court will be forced to make the decisions.
California is a community property state, meaning most property acquired during the marriage, will be divided equally in a divorce.
An experienced divorce lawyer can help you better understand what a reasonable settlement on assets and debts might look like. Also, in order to reach a divorce settlement, spouses must be able to reach an agreement on:
- Spousal support, which is also called “alimony.”
It should be noted that spousal support is one of the areas that prove difficult for spouses to reach an agreement, and courts are unlikely to award indefinite alimony.
Do I Have to Agree on Child Support and Custody?
In order to reach a divorce settlement in California when children are involved, spouses will need to reach an agreement about:
- Child support;
- Child custody, which is also called visitation time.
California has guidelines that are used by the family courts to help to determine how much child support is owed.
These same guidelines can help spouses understand how much child support a family court judge would likely order if they are unable to reach an agreement.
Spouses will also need to agree on a parenting plan as part of their divorce settlement, which details when the kids will spend time with each parent.
A parenting plan can also divide decision making powers on crucial issues such as where their child attends school, church, and doctors or dentist office they will receive services.
In most California divorces, a family court will approve any settlement arrangements reached by spouses, unless they decide the agreement is not in the best interests of the child.
Until these issues above are agreed upon, your divorce will remain pending. You can reach a divorce settlement before litigation starts or during the process.
Speak to a Family Law Lawyer in Los Angeles for Help With Divorce
A divorce settlement means you have reached an agreement with your spouse on all the divorce related issues and are now ready to sign the agreement.
A major part of any divorce settlement in California are the financial issues because they are the most common reason for a contested divorce.
The divorce settlement will lay out details of the financial issues, including the amount of money each spouse will receive. It will also cover other important issues related to the divorce, such as the division of property.
If you are want to seek a divorce settlement with your spouse, speak with a California family law attorney to review the details and options.
You have many options discussed above and you should try to remain on peaceful terms with your spouse, especially if you have children together.
Our California Certified Family Law Specialist are skilled negotiators and have experience dealing with divorce settlements.
Furman & Zavatsky are Los Angeles divorce and family law attorneys representing clients throughout Southern California, including LA County, Ventura County, Simi Valley, and the San Fernando Valley.
Our law firm is located at 15821 Ventura Blvd #690 Encino, CA 91436. Contact our office for a free case evaluation at (818) 528-3471.