Manhattan Beach Divorce Attorneys
The Manhattan Beach divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield have dedicated their careers to helping families in need of legal support. Whether the concerns are for a couple going through a divorce, parents trying to adopt, or former spouses attempting to work through financial or custodial changes, we are committed to easing the stress of these legal matters.
If you or someone you love has encountered a situation that requires the assistance of an attorney, do not hesitate to contact the Manhattan Beach family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield at (310) 546-5858. We can address your legal needs so that you can focus on helping your family through whatever struggles it is currently facing.
Why You Need a Divorce Attorney
Divorce does not just include the severing of a relationship; it involves the division of income, property, and legal responsibility for children. In order to ensure that your interests are expressed and represented, you should retain the services of an experienced divorce lawyer. When it comes to seeking legal representation, it is important to note that not all attorneys are equally qualified to handle your case. When it comes to your kids, your belongings, and your finances, you shouldn’t trust this important of a matter to an inexperienced or apathetic lawyer. Make sure that you work with an attorney who has successfully navigated the complicated waters of divorce in California and has earned the trust of their clients through quality representation.
Why You Should Contact Baden V. Mansfield
If you are considering a divorce, you need a lawyer that has experience in representing all the rights and needs of their client. Baden V. Mansfield has decades of experience helping people just like you in California with their divorce, child custody, separation, and other family matters. Having a lawyer that understands your needs and takes the burden off your shoulders during the divorce process is crucial to resolving the matter and moving on with the rest of your life. Choose an attorney who so many others have trusted to guide them through the divorce process and rebuild their lives successfully and happily. Choose Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield for quality legal representation when you need it most. Contact us at (310) 546-5858 to get started on your case today.
Our Practice Areas
At the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield we understand the importance of efficient service. Our attorneys strive to ensure that all family law matters are handled with respect and compassion, but also work to complete our duties in a timely manner. We focus on aggressive, comprehensive representation that will help our clients to retain their financial stability and way of life after the divorce. We are prepared to assist our clients with the following:
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Child Support
- Child Custody and Visitation
- Property Division
- Paternity Tests
- Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders
- Separation Agreements
- Move-Away Custody Cases
- Domestic Partnerships
- Other Practice Areas
Because of the importance of these matters, it is necessary to find an attorney that can be both compassionate to your situation and aggressive enough to offer you successful representation.
California is a no-fault divorce state. That means that you do not have to place blame or argue that wrongdoing of any kind was the reason for the dissolution of the marriage. The most common argument is “irreconcilable differences”, which assumes that the couple simply was unfit to continue in their union and it should be dissolved. It may be necessary to assign fault, however, if there was abuse, abandonment, adultery, or other issues with the marriage that could potentially affect child custody decisions, property division, and other issues.
Other than divorce, California also allows for the annulment of a marriage, which is when the marriage is legally invalidated. This can happen only under certain extreme circumstances, including incest, bigamy, force, fraud, or marriage below the age of consent.
To file for divorce in California, one or both spouses must have been living in the state for at least six months. Additionally, one or both spouses must have been living in the county where the divorce is filed for at least three months.
Contested Versus Uncontested Divorce in California
Divorces in California can be either uncontested or contested. In the case of uncontested divorces, one spouse files and fills out the divorce papers claiming grounds and listing all shared children, assets, and income. These papers are then sent to the other spouse, who agrees and signs the papers.
If the spouse disagrees with some part of the divorce papers, they will refuse to sign and contest the divorce. This will then require several court appearances where the court decides all matters.
In some cases, a streamline divorce process called “summary dissolution” is possible. For a marriage to qualify for a summary dissolution, all the following must be true:
- Residency requirements are met
- The couple has been married fewer than five years
- The couple has no children, and neither is currently pregnant
- Neither spouse owns any real estate
- The couple owes less than $6,000 in debts from the time when the marriage began
- Community property (or jointly owned property), excluding vehicles, totals less than $38,000 in value
- Neither spouse separately owns property worth more than $38,000
- Both spouses agree that neither will receive spousal support
- Both spouses have agreed how they will divide their property and debts
If any of these are not true for your potential divorce case, you will not qualify for a summary dissolution.
Should a standard divorce go forward, both spouses will have to agree on the division of assets, spousal support, and child custody, if there are any children involved. These agreements can be reached in out-of-court settlements, but if there remains disagreement on any point, a court appearance may be required, during which the court settles on a fair decision for all parties.
In the event of domestic violence or substance abuse, it is important to provide evidence at this point, as it could drastically affect spousal support and/or child custody.
In the case of divorce, California defaults to a 50/50 division of all community property, that is, property earned and purchased during the course of the marriage. This does not include property purchased separately before the marriage or inherited property.
When considering spousal support, a California judge considers many points. Some of these include:
- The length of the marriage
- The needs of each partner
- The age and health of each partner
- The income and earning capacity of each partner
- How the careers of each spouse were affected by the marriage, for instance, through staying at home to take care of children
- Any history of domestic violence in the marriage
- The needs of the children
Spousal support continues for what is deemed a reasonable amount of time, often around half the length of the marriage, although the actual length can be longer or shorter depending on the judgment of the court.
California allows for multiple child custody solutions without a preference for any, including no favorite for which parent receives custody. The most important factor, according to the court, is what is best for the health and safety of the children involved.
The court can may award custody as:
- Joint legal custody, in which both parents can make all legal decisions for the children
- Joint physical custody, in which children are to spend time with both parents
- Sole custody, in which only one parent has legal and physical custody of the children
To protect your rights to custody or visitation as a parent, it’s crucial you speak with an attorney.
The Manhattan Beach family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield understand how emotionally draining family law matters can be. These issues are hugely important to your daily life and will have a dramatic effect on your future. By contacting a member of our legal team at (310) 546-5858, you can be assured that you will be bringing your concerns to the hands of a capable and compassionate advocate.