Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I prevent my spouse from getting a divorce?

You cannot prevent a spouse from filing for a divorce. California is a no-fault state and the only requirement to get a divorce is to cite “irreconcilable differences.”

What should I do to get a custody order if I am unmarried to the other parent?

In order to get a custody order, you will have to file a parentage/paternity action. In a parentage action, the court determines who are the legal parents and make orders regarding custody and child support.

How can I get a divorce if I cannot find my spouse?

You can still file for a divorce action and serve your spouse with the petition and summons either through posting or by publication. You will need to get an order from the court allowing service by posting or service by publication.

I just lost my job, can I stop paying child and spousal support?

You will need to get a court order modifying your child/spousal support. Your loss of employment will be used as the “material change in circumstances.” Without a proper court order, your support order continues to be valid and enforceable until it is modified. Your support payments will continue to accrue notwithstanding the job loss.

What is the purpose of a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is used to modify California community property laws as they apply to you and your future spouse. With a properly drafted prenuptial agreement, you and your future spouse can negotiate property characterization and division, spousal support and any other provisions that are important to you. You cannot use a prenuptial agreement to set child support.

A postnuptial agreement is an agreement made after marriage for the same purpose.

What do I need to do to modify custody?

To modify a child custody order, you will need to file a Request for Order with the court. Depending on the circumstances of each case, the Court may hold an evidentiary hearing, and/or appoint a custody evaluator or counsel for the child (minor’s counsel).

Can I use mediation instead of filing for divorce?

Mediation is a mean to get a divorce. It is not in lieu of a divorce. You can use mediation to reach a settlement agreement with your spouse instead of resorting to litigation. Once you and your spouse have reached an agreement through mediation, the agreement can turn into a divorce decree.

Mediation is a process wherein a neutral third party helps soon-to-be former spouses discuss and settle all their disputes.

How does one calculate child support?

The court uses the DissoMaster software to determine California Guideline Child Support. Child support is based on each parent’s income and timeshare with the child(ren).

What are some other expenses or costs associated with child support?

In addition to child support, parents will have to share in the cost of daycare, extracurricular activities and medical out-of-pocket expenses for the children.

My former spouse is not complying with our divorce decree. How can I enforce the terms of the divorce judgment?

An experienced family law attorney can help you enforce your divorce judgment. Depending on the specific terms, there are many legal ways to enforce the terms of a Judgment such as a contempt action, a Request for Order, Income Withholding Order, a Writ of Execution…etc.