Knowledgeable Divorce Attorney in Monterey and Hollister Helps You Move Forward
Protecting your family’s future in Hollister, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, or Monterey County
Divorce does not have to be contentious and stressful. At Giuliano Law, we seek resolutions that support your goals while minimizing stress – especially on the lives of your children.
Litigated divorces are often emotionally and financially draining. A negotiated settlement is almost always in everybody’s best interest because it allows couples to make decisions instead of the court. We are strong advocates of the collaborative divorce approach. But, in cases where litigation cannot be avoided, we will vigorously represent you – giving you a voice and pursuing your best interests.
Here are some things to keep in mind about California divorce.
California is a community property state, which means that the income either spouse earned during the marriage, and any property bought with that income, are considered marital property and equally owned by each spouse or partner.
We are with you each step of the way
Divorce is about more than two people ending a personal relationship and dividing property. It is often first and foremost about the safety, security and well-being of your children. Child custody is one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. A skilled attorney from Giuliano Law will pursue what you want as parents and what the courts insist upon – the best interests of the child.
We will also work with you to resolve issues of property division, including your house, automobiles, jewelry, retirement accounts, electronic property such as downloaded music or videos, and any other shared property.
Choosing the right divorce lawyer
Keep the following points in mind when you select your divorce attorney:
- Experience: Does the lawyer have extensive divorce experience? How good of a negotiator is he? Does the law office handle collaborative divorce? At Giuliano Law, we have more than two decades of experience in California divorce and family law. We know what you are facing and how to help you deal with it – whether that involves skilled negotiation or aggressive litigation.
- Communication: How good of a communicator is the attorney? Does the office promptly respond to phone calls and emails? Are your questions answered clearly, concisely, and without legal jargon that you don’t understand?
- Comfort: Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with this lawyer. You should be able to speak honestly and openly.
- Trust: Do you feel that you can trust the attorney? Do you get straightforward, honest answers to your questions, or a confusing runaround?
Learn more about what a skilled divorce lawyer in Monterey and Hollister can do for you
At Giuliano Law, we believe in straight talk and straightforward solutions. To discuss your needs, please contact us online or call us at (831) 372-4003 to schedule a consultation.
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The Difference Between an Uncontested and Contested Divorce in California
If you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse are able to reach an agreement on all matters pertaining to your divorce, including division of property and support and custody issues, you may be able to save time, money and lots of emotional turmoil. If you agree on most, but not all terms—or if you cannot agree on anything—then your divorce will likely go to court.
Divorce is seldom simple, and even if you and your spouse have come to terms on issues now, it doesn’t mean there won’t be disagreement down the line. So, how do you decide on the best way to proceed? It helps to understand some of the differences between an uncontested and contested divorce.
A Contested Divorce in Monterey is Usually a Contentious Divorce
By definition, a contested divorce means there are points of contention between you and your spouse. If you disagree on most or all issues—from who gets the dining room set to which parent your children will spend birthdays and holidays with—you are most likely going to wind up in divorce court. A contested divorce in California consists of the following steps:
- Paperwork: If you are filing for a divorce, you will need to complete a number of forms, including a Summons (FL-110), a Petition (FL-100) and if there are children involved, a Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, or UCCJEA (FL-105). If you have been served divorce papers, you have 30 days to respond. A Summons automatically includes at ATRO, or Automatic Temporary Restraining Order intended to prevent either parent from removing children from California, from changing the beneficiary of an insurance policy or selling or disposing of marital property.
- Request for Orders: The court will consider issues surrounding child custody and visitation (the parenting plain), child support, alimony (spousal support) and attorney fees.
- Discovery: There are a number of items that need to be “discovered” as the process continues. Called interrogatories, each party will be asked to produce documents such as tax returns, bank statements, credit-card bills, copies of paychecks and information regarding pensions or retirement plans, stocks and other assets.
- Settlement Discussion: This gives you and your spouse an opportunity to come to an agreement, or reach a settlement, on outstanding issues in your divorce. Your attorney will draft and/or review the settlement agreement and, if acceptable to both parties, it will become binding.
- Trial: If there are still unresolved issues, the case will go to trial and the judge will make the decisions for you. Hopefully, it will not come to this point, but if it does, make sure you have an attorney with divorce trial experience.
Is a Monterey Uncontested Divorce the Best Option for You?
If you and your spouse agree on all issues—including distribution of marital assets, division of debt, parenting plan, child support and alimony—and at least one of you has lived in California for a minimum of six months and the spouse filing for divorce has been a resident of a California county for at least 90 days, an uncontested divorce may be right for you. However, there are still specific steps and deadlines required before finalization of a divorce. These include:
- Form FL-100 (Petition) and FL-110 (Summons) must be completed and served
- At least one spouse needs to complete and file a declaration of finances
- A Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) must be filed if there are children involved
- A written, notarized agreement (called a stipulated judgment)
- Turn in all forms to the court clerk
No matter how amicable and agreeable the terms may seem, it is still a good idea to have an experienced California divorce attorney review the document to ensure that it is in your best interest.
Get Answers to Your Questions About Contested and Uncontested Divorces in Monterey
While we hope we have answered a few of your questions, each divorce has a unique and complex set of circumstances. That’s why you need a skilled attorney from Giuliano Law to provide guidance and advocacy. If you live in the Hollister, Gilroy, or Monterey areas, please contact us or call our office at (831) 372-4003.