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Sherman Oaks Divorce Lawyer

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Divorce can be one of the most stressful situations to navigate. Asset splitting, child custody, and spousal support payments are just a few of the most critical decisions that must be made throughout the process. These decisions can significantly impact your financial stability and well-being, so approaching them with care and expertise is essential. With so much on the line, hiring a skilled family law attorney in Sherman Oaks will help you avoid making crucial mistakes and getting stuck with the short end of the stick. Specifically, an experienced Sherman Oaks divorce attorney can provide the strategic guidance necessary to protect your interests and ensure a fair outcome.

Your money, family, and sanity are too important to risk. Divorce proceedings can be complex and emotionally draining, but with the right legal team, you can navigate this difficult time effectively. 

At Diarian & Bociaga, our divorce attorneys in Sherman Oaks have over a decade of experience representing clients in contested divorce proceedings and know how to get the job done right. Our team is dedicated to providing personalized and effective legal solutions tailored to your unique situation. Contact us today for a free consultation.

What Qualities Should I Look For in a Sherman Oaks Divorce Lawyer?

Choosing a divorce lawyer in Sherman Oaks is a pivotal decision in your divorce process. It’s crucial to select a qualified divorce attorney with the experience and expertise to handle any divorce case, no matter how complex. Opting for a divorce attorney dealing with issues like yours for the first time could jeopardize your settlement amount or custody rights. The right divorce attorney will have a track record of success in cases similar to yours, showing they can effectively advocate for your interests. Ensure your Sherman Oaks divorce attorney has the right experience to secure what you deserve.

Experience in Family Law

Family law is a vast area of the law that governs family relationships and domestic violence situations. Divorce, child custody, adoption, paternity, prenuptial agreements, and foster care are just a few of the many subjects involved. It’s important to know that many legal situations are implicated in a divorce. Your attorney should understand every legal issue in your divorce and have experience dealing with situations like yours. An experienced divorce attorney in Sherman Oaks will be well-versed in local family law nuances and court procedures, which may significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Strong Communication Skills

Your divorce lawyer will serve as your direct line of communication in the legal process. You will rely on your attorney to keep you up to speed with the development of your case. A skilled Sherman Oaks divorce lawyer will know how to communicate important information effectively and won’t make you feel like you’re out of the loop of your case.

Beyond discussing your case with you, your divorce lawyer is responsible for communicating with the other attorneys, the judge, and various witnesses and participants in the legal process. You need to count on your attorney to persuasively advocate on your behalf, negotiate vigorously with opposing counsel, and present your case in the best possible light.

Effective communication also involves timely responses to your inquiries and proactive updates on any developments.  It’s also essential to find an attorney who listens to what you have to say and allows you to give input at every step. This two-way communication ensures that your concerns are addressed and your voice is heard throughout the process.

Empathy and Understanding

Empathy and understanding are essential for any attorney but vital for divorce attorneys. Divorce is a highly personal and deeply traumatic experience. Issues like child custody and spousal support can be incredibly distressing if you and your spouse are not on amicable terms. An attorney who can understand your emotional state and perspective is invaluable. Not only will you feel like you can confide in your legal counsel, but you’ll know that they have your best interests at heart and understand your needs. A compassionate divorce attorney can provide emotional support and practical legal advice to help you navigate the struggles of dealing with divorce.

How Does the Divorce Process Work in California?

The divorce process in California begins by initiating a court case. In California, that means filing a petition with the court. Because California is a No-Fault state, neither spouse has to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong to cause them to file for divorce. You may get divorced for any reason at all or for no reason at all. The process may be initiated unilaterally, meaning both sides do not even have to agree on getting a divorce.

To file for divorce in California, you must meet specific residency requirements pursuant to Family Code Section 2320. You or your spouse must have lived in the state for the past six months and in your current county for the past three months. These requirements ensure that California courts have jurisdiction over your case. If you’re a same-sex couple that no longer lives in California or a state where same-sex marriage is legal, California law allows you to file for divorce in the county in which you were married. Depending on your specific situation, the court may be able to make decisions about property distribution, spousal support, and child custody.

Once you file for divorce, you must share your financial information with your spouse pursuant to Family Code Section 2100. This involves completing and exchanging financial disclosure forms. These disclosures detail your income, assets, expenses, and debts. To satisfy this requirement, you must share the information with your spouse. You are not required to file your financial disclosure with the court, but the court must be notified when you’ve shared it with your spouse. This information will be used to fairly divide your property, assets, and debts equally. Furthermore, financial disclosure will be the cornerstone for making spousal and child support decisions.

Once both spouses have disclosed their finances, the next step is to decide how property and assets will be divided, who will pay spousal support, and where your children will live. Reaching mutual agreements on these issues is often the most efficient and cost-effective approach. Knowing that the fastest way to make these decisions is to agree on a mutual agreement with your spouse is essential. By coming to a deal with your spouse, you will avoid the need for court intervention. Avoiding litigation will save both parties thousands of dollars and many months (or even years) waiting for the divorce to be resolved. However, we understand that amicable agreements are not possible in every situation. If you and your spouse cannot understand the specifics of your divorce, meeting with a lawyer immediately is essential. Doing so will prevent you from being taken advantage of by your spouse during negotiations and give you the best chance to get the outcome you want in your divorce. While there are no “winners” in family law, everyone deserves a divorce with fair and equitable terms.

Once all terms are agreed upon, the court must finalize the divorce. The finalization process involves filling out specific forms and submitting any court orders or agreements. There is typically a waiting period between submitting the forms and hearing back from the court, as it takes time for the court to review the paperwork. Once the court reviews the forms, the judge will sign a judgment to ensure accuracy and completeness. This judgment will indicate the end date of your marriage. The final judgment will include all decisions about property distribution, child custody, spousal support, and all terms of the divorce.

Professional guidance is vital throughout the divorce process. An experienced Sherman Oaks divorce lawyer will ensure all paperwork is correctly filed, all deadlines are met, and all of your rights are protected.

Are There Special Considerations For High Net-Worth Divorce?

If you are a high-net-worth couple with combined assets worth over one million dollars, there are special considerations for your divorce process. It’s important to have an experienced divorce attorney in Sherman Oaks to help navigate these considerations and potentially save you hundreds of thousands of dollars along the way. Furthermore, navigating the complex process of a high-net-worth divorce can be overwhelming without a skilled attorney. An experienced divorce lawyer in Sherman Oaks will help you identify and value all assets, ensuring an equitable property division.

In California, divorce typically includes an equal split of shared property and assets within the marriage. Because of this split, California is known as a community property state. Property and assets acquired during the marriage are jointly owned in community property states. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule. For example, inheritance and gifts given to one spouse are not included in community property. Likewise, property owned before the marriage, with the exceptions of comingled funds, will not be considered community property and thus not subject to an equal division upon termination of the marriage. Accurate valuation and categorization of these assets are critical to avoid disputes. Other examples of non-community property include monetary damages from lawsuits, personal injury cases, and retirement benefits that accrued before or after the marriage. 

One way to avoid the complicated asset distribution process is to sign a prenuptial agreement before marriage. A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that outlines how assets and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce. This contract becomes effective on the wedding date and covers marriage-related issues. Prenuptial agreements in Sherman Oaks can address various financial matters, including property division, spousal support, and the handling of individual debts. Prenuptial agreements must be made fairly after both parties fully disclose their financial information. Both spouses must honestly disclose their financial situations to ensure the agreement’s enforceability. Furthermore, prenuptial agreements may not include child support or custody restrictions, as those decisions must always be made in the children’s best interest. Child-related issues are determined based on the parents’ current circumstances at the time of the divorce rather than on predetermined terms.

There are many easy mistakes to avoid when dealing with a high net-worth divorce since so much money is involved in high-net-worth divorces, and it’s more important than ever to keep emotions in check. It may seem natural to lose your cool and lash out during the divorce process, but it’s an easy way to lose control over the situation and get less than a favorable outcome. If your emotions are getting the better of you, it’s essential to speak to counselors, like a divorce coach or therapist, and find outlets for your aggression. Managing emotions can help you stay focused on your financial and legal goals. These coping mechanisms can help keep you cool when negotiations heat up.

Another common mistake to avoid is forgetting about Uncle Sam. Transactions involving real property and millions of dollars are sure to come with certain tax obligations that affect the financial split of the divorce. If real property (a house, farm, condo) is transferred to your spouse, this will trigger capital gains tax. Put simply, capital gains tax is a tax on money earned from an investment, which differs from money earned from working a job. Capital gains taxes are split into two categories: short-term and long-term. Short-term capital gains taxes (for assets held less than one year) are typically higher than long-term capital gains taxes. However, California does not distinguish between short and long-term capital gains taxes. All capital gains are taxed as income, using the same brackets as typical state tax. Proper planning and strategic asset division can help mitigate these risks. There are many ways to avoid paying capital gains taxes in California, including opting for long-term investments, utilizing tax-deferred retirement accounts, and offsetting gains with losses. A Sherman Oaks divorce attorney will be able to explain your options best and help avoid unnecessary tax consequences during your divorce.

When dealing with a high net-worth divorce, it’s important to prepare yourself for a lengthy process. Due to the amount of assets involved, money on the line, and legal considerations like taxes and spousal support, high net-worth divorces often take longer to resolve than typical divorces. However, this is a necessary evil. Thorough preparation and patience are vital in ensuring a fair outcome. It’s crucial to ensure that you are fairly protected during proceedings and that each side receives a result they can live with. You don’t want to rush a high net-worth divorce to get it over with, as this may cause significant financial turmoil. Taking the time to address each aspect of the divorce meticulously can help secure your financial future.

How Can I Manage My Emotions During the Divorce Process?

No matter the situation, divorce is hard. Losing the partner you thought you would spend the rest of your life with, deciding who the children will live with, and moving on is a complex and painful process. The emotional toll can be devastating, often leading to feelings of anger, confusion, and sadness. While unfortunate, it’s a simple reality that many people fail to seek professional guidance to help them deal with their mental health and emotional well-being during this difficult time. Recognizing the need for support is an essential step towards managing your emotions and facing the upcoming challenges.

Divorce coaches motivate and support clients through the non-legal aspects of divorce. By listening to clients’ problems and setting realistic expectations, divorce coaches are a valuable tool for creating and achieving desired outcomes. Throughout the process, your divorce coach will help you navigate your emotions and keep you in check during court proceedings, making sure the court views you in the best possible light when they are tasked with making decisions about your future. Equally important, divorce coaches will help you communicate with your ex-spouse. This problematic aspect of divorce is one of the most important, as both spouses should try to come to an agreement on a parenting plan for their children. Divorce coaches streamline the divorce process by keeping everything on track. They serve as a golden bridge between spouses and encourage clients to take the necessary steps to finalize their divorce. This professional support will help you manage your stress levels and prevent avoidable misunderstandings that may escalate into unresolvable differences in opinions.

Remember, going through a wide range of emotions during divorce is natural, and it’s important to process your feelings rather than suppress them. At Diarian & Bociaga, we understand the intense emotions dealing with divorce can manifest, and we offer comprehensive divorce coaching alongside our legal counseling. We’ll serve as an outlet for you to express your feelings while at the same time keeping our mind on the well-being of your children, the distribution of your assets, and finalizing your divorce efficiently and equitably. Combining emotional guidance with legal counsel provides a balanced pathway through one of life’s most tumultuous transitions.

Why Choose Diarian & Bociaga For Your Divorce Needs?

At Diarian & Bociaga, we understand that family law is highly emotional and personal. We are passionate about helping clients achieve their goals. We’ll work with outside experts like forensic accountants, probate attorneys, and everything in between to get the desired result when necessary. We are well-versed in simple and complex asset cases alike. Our warm and friendly atmosphere is free from any judgment. We strive to create a safe and supportive environment where you feel comfortable discussing sensitive matters. Contact us today to discuss your options and take the first step toward finalizing your divorce.