What Is a Contested Divorce?

May 12, 2021

Our San Jose Divorce Lawyer Explains Contested Divorces

Some divorces end amicably with former spouses agreeing on key issues like child support, alimony, or the division or property. In other cases, the divorce process is much more adversarial. Contested divorces are a good example of a more adversarial type of divorce, where the former spouses cannot agree on one or more issues.

With a contested divorce, there are likely to be more hearings and legal requirements involved. In cases where spouses cannot reach a settlement, it may be necessary to complete an agreement in divorce court. Below, our San Jose divorce lawyer explains contested divorces in California.

Contested Divorces vs. Uncontested Divorces

Spouses involved in a contested divorce may have disagreements on the terms of their divorce. Disagreements may be over:

Uncontested divorces are exactly what they sound like. With an uncontested divorce, the spouses are in mutual agreements on the terms. California calls this a “summary dissolution”. Summary dissolution is a fast-tracked process to end a marriage. While this may be an option for some divorcing spouses, it may not be a good option for everyone. Not all couples are eligible for this type of divorce.

For example, you would need to have no minor children together with your spouse. Additionally, you and your spouse would have to waive your right to spousal support. Our San Jose divorce attorney can help you determine which divorce option is best for your situation.

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take?

It depends on the circumstances surrounding your divorce. However, the steps involved may include:

  • 1. Meeting with your divorce attorney. During the first meeting with your divorce attorney, you would go over some of the specifics surrounding your divorce.
  • 2. Serving divorce papers to your spouse. After the initial meeting with your divorce attorney, it is time to serve your spouse divorce papers. Your spouse has 30 days to respond.
  • 3. Going through discovery. During the discovery phase, spouses obtain information on each other’s assets and income.
  • 4. Settlement negotiations or divorce court. If you and your spouse cannot come to a settlement on the terms of your divorce, then divorce court will be necessary. The court may decide the outcome of the divorce agreement after hearing arguments from both sides.
  • 5. Appeals process. If you or your spouse disagree with the court’s decision, then you may be able to appeal.

Contact Our San Jose Divorce Attorney for a Free Consultation

Our San Jose divorce attorney can walk you through the contested divorce process during a free consultation. We can answer any questions you have about reaching a settlement with your spouse.

You can schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich by dialing (408) 404-8656 or by using the contact form on our site. Continue to follow our blog feed for regular updates on California divorce law matters.

How Can I File a Restraining Order During My Divorce?

April 15, 2021

A restraining order prohibits an individual from taking any specific actions against you. There are two types of restraining orders that are common in divorce proceedings. These are automatic restraining orders and domestic violence restraining orders. If you are in the middle of your divorce and you are interested in filing a restraining order against your ex-spouse, you should understand the differences between these two restraining orders that you can choose from.

What Is an Automatic Restraining Order?

Automatic restraining orders in California automatically restrain an ex-spouse from taking specified action after they file for divorce. These types of restraining orders are effective immediately when a spouse files the divorce papers and gives them to the other spouse. An automatic restraining order applies equally to both spouses, regardless of which spouse filed the paperwork. This order will remain in effect until the issuance of a court order that has modified the restraining order, dismissal of all divorce proceedings, or if the judge has issued a finalizing of the divorce.

What Is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

Domestic violence restraining orders are usually separate from the rest of the divorce proceedings, and a spouse can get this type of restraining order whether or not he or she filed for a divorce. These restraining orders are necessary when a spouse physically injures the other spouse or child or has threatened to harm them in any way. Domestic violence restraining orders are usually customizable to each unique divorce situation and can include certain terms such as a specific distance the spouse is restrained to.

If you are interested in filing for divorce and believe that you should file a restraining order, you should speak to a family law attorney to give you more information. Contact the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich for a free consultation.

How Long Does a Divorce Take in California?

March 25, 2021

San Jose Divorce Lawyer Discusses Factors That Lengthen Divorces

The cost of a divorce in California varies depending on the circumstances. Each case is going to be different. The same is true for how long a divorce takes to conclude in California. Many different factors can influence the length of a divorce – especially in cases where both former spouses are contesting the terms of the divorce.

However, there are additional factors, such as issues involving property division, that may also increase the length of a divorce. Below, our San Jose divorce lawyer discusses situations where a divorce may take longer.

Factors That Lengthen a California Divorce

Perhaps the greatest factor that can lengthen a divorce is when two former spouses cannot agree on the terms of a divorce. Common reasons spouses fight include:

  • Child custody. Child custody agreements can be a source of contention in a divorce. Parents may be unable to agree on how to divide time spent with their children.
  • Child support. The court may order one parent to pay child support. Depending on the payment amount and other circumstances, parents may fight over the monthly payments.
  • Alimony. Like with child support, spouses may be unable to agree on payments for alimony. Alimony is also called spousal support.
  • Property division. In a contested divorce, there are often disagreements over property ownership rights.
  • The overall level of complication. Certain factors can complicate a contested divorce. For instance, certain financial matters can affect the length of a divorce. A contested divorce may take longer if one spouse is hiding assets. Complex assets can also affect the length of a contested divorce.

The more combative spouses are, the longer the divorce is likely to take. Fighting over every aspect of the divorce typically means more court hearings or meetings with family law attorneys.

What Happens When I File for Divorce in California?

Once you file for a divorce in California, you enter a six-month waiting period. The waiting period is in place to give couples one more chance to repair a broken marriage. What happens next depends on the circumstances. During this time, you may seek temporary orders to resolve issues surrounding child support or custody.

If your spouse ignores the divorce petition, then the court may enter a default judgment. On the other hand, the court may issue a judgment after a trial if you and your spouse cannot agree to the divorce terms.

It may take only six months to finalize a divorce in cases where spouses can agree on matters surrounding their separation. When former spouses fight over every little detail, whether it be over child time-sharing or alimony payments, divorces may take longer.

Contact Our San Jose Divorce Lawyer For a Consultation

If you have specific questions about divorce in California, then call our San Jose divorce lawyer for a consultation. You can schedule a consultation with us by dialing (408) 404-8656 or by using the case review form on our site.

How Is California Child Support Determined?

March 16, 2021

Under the California Family Code, California outlines child support guidelines for court-ordered child support. The amount of child support is based on a complex mathematic formula that takes into account both parents’ net disposable income after a variety of deductions. In addition, the calculation also takes into account the amount of time each parent spends with his or her child.

The California Department of Child Support Services offers an online calculator to estimate the amount of child support that could be ordered in a person’s case. Their online calculator is based on California’s child support guidelines.

Are There Exceptions to California’s Child Support Formula Calculation?

Yes, there are exceptions. Though the court is required to use the formula’s calculation, the judge has the final authority in regard to the amount of child support a person must pay. There are special circumstances when the court can choose an amount different than the formula’s calculation.

Under California Family Code 4057, the court could order an amount different than the formula amount if:

  • The party to pay child support has an income that would exceed the child’s needs;
  • The parties use separate visitation schedules for different children;
  • Both parties have equal time with their child, but one party has a significantly lower or higher percentage of income used for housing.
  • One party is not contributing to the child’s needs proportionate to the time he or she spends with the child;
  • The child has special needs;
  • The child has more than two parents.

In addition, the court may order additional child support that regard a child’s:

  • Education or training related to employment skills;
  • Costs of health insurance;
  • Educational or special needs;
  • Travel expenses for visitation.

Need a San Jose Child Support Lawyer?

California’s child support guidelines are complex and can be hard to understand. If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities under California law, our family law attorney could help.

Contact the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich today at (408) 404-8656 to discuss your situation. We have more than a decade of experience helping families in San Jose and the surrounding Bay Area. You can also fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.

How Much Does Divorce Cost in California?

December 9, 2020

San Jose Divorce Lawyer Explains What Affects the Cost of Divorce

It is quite common for family law attorneys to receive questions about how much a divorce costs. In California, and most likely anywhere else, the cost of a divorce depends on the situation. There are many different factors that can affect the cost of a divorce in California. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine how much a divorce costs at the onset of a case.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Divorce in California

Below, we list factors that may affect the cost of your divorce. However, contested divorces are more likely to be expensive than uncontested divorces. This is because one or both parties disagree on the potential terms of a divorce, such as child support or dividing certain properties or assets.

● Disagreements over property. One or both parties may have disagreements over the worth or ownership rights of assets and properties. Disputes could lead to additional court proceedings, which may prolong the divorce process and legal costs.

● Whether children are involved. Child custody or child support issues may prolong the divorce process. Parents may fight over custody or child support orders. As with many disputes during a divorce, this could mean additional court hearings and time spent resolving the dispute.

● Disagreements over alimony. Alimony, or spousal support, may be a factor in some divorces. Like with child support orders, one party or both parties may have disagreements over the amount of alimony provided.

These are only a few common examples of issues that may prolong a divorce and increase its costs. Couples who are prone to fighting over small details or couples with complicated finances or assets may run into more issues during the divorce process. The length and costs associated with a divorce vary on a case by case basis.

Why Do Contested Divorces Cost More and Take Longer?

The simple answer is: contested divorces mean more work for a family law attorney. Your attorney may need to spend time on tasks like discovery, which could include gathering documents or other information related to a case. For instance, if your ex-spouse is hiding assets that could be included in the divorce, then your attorney may need to work to uncover those assets.

In a contested divorce, your attorney would need to represent you at a greater number of hearings and may need to file motions on your behalf. Additionally, your attorney needs to negotiate a divorce settlement to resolve any lingering disputes.

Future blogs will discuss more information about the length of a divorce in California. Keep in mind, there are also unique circumstances in the hellish year that is 2020. COVID-19 could continue to affect court proceedings. As more cases spread, Santa Clara courts, and public facilities in general, may be more difficult to access.
Contact Our San Jose Divorce Attorney for More Information

Do you have questions about the cost of divorce in California? We encourage you to reach out to us. You can schedule a consultation with San Jose divorce lawyer Nick Cvietkovich by dialing (408) 404-8656 or by using the contact form on our site.

How to Develop a Parenting Plan After Divorce

May 30, 2020

After a divorce, there are many things that you will have to deal with within your family. It can be a stressful and emotional time, especially if you and your former spouse have disagreements about your futures. Having children between you and your ex can further complicate post-divorce plans, but there are ways to stay ahead of the game. A parenting plan is something that you and your ex must make in order to make your divorce easier for your children.

What Should Be Included in My Parenting Plan?

– Parenting principles/behavior: This section is important but often overlooked, because your behavior after a divorce is extremely important for your kids, but can be seen as unimportant in relation to other things. Decide with your ex-spouse what kinds of arguments or discussion will be hidden from your kids, or what kinds of social behaviors should not happen around your kids (such as illegal drug use, parties, etc.). Any methods of communication should be finalized in this section as well.
– Visitation schedule: This will outline when your children will spend time with the non-custodial parent. Many visitation schedules will have the children spend every other weekend with the other parent, but you should work out what’s best for both parents.
– Visitation exchanges: This includes details on how, when and where your children will be dropped off or picked up for visitation. This is important especially if there is timing and location conflict between the two parents.
– Vacation schedule: Where will your children be spending birthdays and major holidays? Knowing the details of these arrangements will save you and your ex-partner some trouble and stress around the holiday season.
– Child support: The finer details of child support will be included in your child support order, but it’s still a good idea to address certain issues concerning the support of each child. The more details the better in order to avoid confusion, so lay out the general facts relating to child support in your parenting plan.
– Records access: Both parents should have equal access to any school records and school activities. Any medical records should also be equally shared but ensure that both of you have equal authority on any emergency medical decisions.
– Medical and educational expenses: Which parent will be responsible for health insurance for each child, how will uncovered medical expenses be paid, and how will private tuition or college expenses be handled? Make sure these details are answered in your parenting plan.
– Relocation: Lastly, ensure how visitation for your children will be handled if one or both parents moves away, and figure out who will pay for travel expenses for long-distance visits.

We have experience in family law at our offices, so contact us today if you would like a family law attorney to assist you further with your parenting plan(s).

How Coronavirus Social Distancing Is Affecting Children in Custody Battles

April 30, 2020

The U.S. has been dealing with the effects of the novel coronavirus since January, when we saw our first confirmed case. Since COVID-19 is highly contagious, many states have since implemented social distancing policies. These policies aim to slow the spread of COVID-19 in order to protect citizens’ health. While studies show that social distancing is working, this practice is having another effect altogether.

Children in custody battles are feeling the impact of social distancing, as co-parenting becomes increasingly difficult to manage. If you are running into child custody issues as a result of the coronavirus, contact our San Jose family law attorney for help.

How to Practice Effective Social Distancing in California

Practicing effective social distancing requires real effort. California’s stay at home order prohibits leaving home except when absolutely essential. When out, the mandate asks that people keep 6ft of distance between one another. It also recommends avoiding direct contact with people who are not in your shared household. Avoiding large gatherings and public transportation is also key at this time.

For people who have contracted COVID-19, the CDC recommends isolating oneself from others. People who have been directly exposed to the virus should self-quarantine. This means isolating oneself from others for at least 14 days while monitoring for signs of illness.

How Coronavirus Is Affecting Children in Custody Battles

Coronavirus fears and risks are especially affecting the lives of children in custody battles. After a divorce, a custody agreement will determine visitation rights and a schedule for splitting time with children. However, the recent social distancing policies brought about by coronavirus complicates those plans. For example, parents must now contend with questions like:

  • How safe is it for my child to jump back and forth between homes during the current pandemic?
  • Is complying with a custody agreement considered an essential reason to leave the home at this time?
  • How strictly is the other parent following social distancing guidelines?
  • What would happen if the other parent contracts COVID-19?
  • Should I comply with the custody agreement if the other parent works in the medical field and comes into close contact with COVID-19?
  • Should I prohibit my child from visiting the other parent if there has been an outbreak in their community?

These are very serious questions that divorced parents must face during the coronavirus pandemic. Failing to comply with court-ordered custody agreements can invite legal trouble. This is especially true if the purported concerns about COVID-19 turn out to be mostly exaggerated.

However, coronavirus poses serious health risks that are sometimes a matter of life or death. A parent who is legitimately worried about the health and safety of their child may have good reason to not comply with a custody agreement. However, proving this to the court is another thing altogether. If you are experiencing these worries or issues, the best thing to do is contact a family law attorney for guidance.

Need Help With Your Custody Battle? Contact a Trusted San Jose Family Law Attorney

Coronavirus has already turned everyday life on its head. The last thing anyone wants is for COVID-19 to also have a negative effect on children in custody battles. However, if you have legitimate concerns, or are facing unnecessary pushback on your custody agreement, you may need a San Jose family law attorney to intervene. To get the help you need, schedule your free consultation at (408) 404-8656.

How to File a Restraining Order in California

March 30, 2020

Deciding to file a restraining order is not easy. You may need protection but may not know where to start. How can you protect yourself and your loved ones quickly? What type of restraining order do you need? Do you know how to file a restraining order in California? Fortunately, filing a restraining order is easier with an experienced family law attorney on your side. Your attorney can help you through this difficult time and protect you and your family.

Types of Restraining Orders in California

There are three main types of restraining orders in California. These restraining orders prevent individuals from coming close to you for specified amounts of time. Understanding these restraining orders is important when filing.

Emergency Protective Order

Only a law enforcement officer can request an emergency protective order. This most often occurs after police enter a property for domestic violence. If the officer has reason to believe that domestic violence occurred, they can file an emergency protective order. A judge issues this order and it is enforceable for one week. This order prevents the abuser from re-entering the home, even if they share this home with the victim.

Temporary Restraining Order

You can apply for a temporary restraining order if you are in immediate danger and need protection. These orders typically last from 20 to 25 days. In the end, you must attend a hearing to determine whether the judge will issue a permanent restraining order. A temporary restraining order offers immediate and quick protection from abuse and harm.

Permanent Restraining Order

Once a temporary restraining order expires, a judge will decide whether to issue a permanent restraining order. During the hearing, the judge will review the details of the case and determine if the person asking for protection is in danger. If a judge issues a permanent restraining order, the length of protection time varies. A domestic violence restraining order is valid for five years. A civil harassment restraining order is valid for three years.

How to File a Restraining Order in California

Before filing a restraining order in California, it is important to seek legal help. Our San Jose restraining order attorney may be able to help you during this time. There are many steps involved in filing a request for a protection order. It is important to file the correct paperwork. In general, there are several steps for filing a request for a restraining order. These steps may include:

Step One:

Fill out various court forms including, but not limited to:

  • Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)
  • Notice of Court Hearing
  • Temporary Restraining Order
  • Request for Child Custody and Visitation Orders
  • Child Custody and Visitation Order
  • Request for Order: No Travel With Children

Step Two:

File court forms with the court.

Step Three:

Have the restrained person served papers.

Step Four:

Attend the court hearing.

Contact Our San Jose Retaining Order Attorney for Help

If you need to file a restraining order, it is important to know what to do. This is often a difficult decision and one you should never face alone. As such, it is important to find an experienced San Jose restraining order attorney to fight for you.

At the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich, we offer free consultations to help you during this stressful time. Our lawyer will meet with you to discuss your future and help answer all of your questions about your restraining order. Call us today at (408) 404-8656 or fill out our online contact form. We are here when you need us.

How to Prepare for a Divorce in California

February 28, 2020

Are you considering a divorce? If so, you already know that it is not easy. Before filing for divorce, it is important to have an exit plan in mind. Pre-divorce planning is crucial, and it involves meticulous preparation and financial strategies. It involves thinking about the children and how you will care for them after your separation. Yet, life after divorce does not have to be difficult. Our San Jose divorce lawyer can help you prepare for a divorce in California.

Preparing for a Divorce in California

When preparing for a divorce, it is important to consider many different aspects. With a little preparation and hard work, you can make the divorce process easier.

Finances

One of the scariest parts of getting divorced is figuring out how you can support yourself. As such, pre-divorce financial planning is a must. Do not plan on spousal support or child support to pay most of your expenses.

Evaluate your financial situation and the expenses surrounding your new cost of living. A financial advisor and a divorce lawyer can help you plan for the financial aspects of life after divorce.

Career

If you do not already work outside of the home, make a plan for how you will earn money after your divorce. Before getting a divorce, you may want to consider going back to school or looking for a job. If you already have a job, you may also consider career counseling or job training to enhance your current salary.

Paperwork

Getting divorced involves compiling a lot of paperwork and statements. Prepare copies of the most recent financial records and assets. This will make the divorce process smoother in the long run. It may also prevent specific statements from going missing. Before your divorce, gather the following documents:

  • Bank statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Investment account records
  • Retirement account statements
  • Loan applications
  • Last three to five years of tax returns
  • W2 copies
  • Property tax bills
  • Mortgage statements
  • Credit reports

Support

Going through a divorce is emotionally draining and difficult. The process can bring up many unwanted negative emotions and feelings. Before beginning the process, it is a good idea to develop a strong and solid support system. Consider going to see a professional counselor so you can begin processing these feelings and emotions as they arise. Surround yourself with family and friends who love you and who can help you through this time.

Children

If you have children, it is important to think about their needs before divorcing. Plan on how you want to continue raising them and how much parental involvement you would like to have.

Make a plan for how you will tell the children about the divorce. Gather support for them as well, such as family therapy. Divorce may mark the end of your family unit as you once knew it. However, it does not signal the end of your family. Reassure your children that their family is changing, but not disappearing.

Contact Our San Jose Divorce Lawyer

If you want a divorce, it is important to plan ahead. There are many things to consider before filing the paperwork, such as finances and parenting time. As such, it is important to talk to an experienced and skilled San Jose divorce lawyer as soon as possible.

At the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich, we offer free consultations to help you during this difficult time. Our San Jose divorce lawyer can work with you one-on-one and help answer all of your questions about divorce. We can help you prepare for your new life after divorce. Call us today at (408) 404-8656 or fill out our online contact form.

What You Need to Know About California Child Relocation Laws

January 30, 2020

Child custody is a complex area of family law. While the court considers the needs of the child above all else, there are many factors that affect the child’s needs and best interests. If you plan on relocating with your minor child when you and the other parent are not together, it is important to familiarize yourself with California child relocation laws. You may also want to discuss your situation with our San Jose family law firm.

California’s Custody Relocation Statute

California child relocation laws are covered under California Family Code Section 7501. This short statute is straightforward but is broad enough for judicial interpretation and discretion. Under this law, a parent with primary physical custody can move with the minor child if they have:

  • The other parent’s agreement
  • Court order

The court is generally likely to allow a parent to move away with their children if they are the primary parent. In these situations, the burden of proof is on the non-custodial parent to prove that the move would harm the child. Joint custody agreements are more complicated.

How Far Can You Move When You Have Joint Custody?

There is no set distance that you can move without triggering a move-away case in California. Any move that would disrupt the current custody arrangement requires consent or court order.

Per the Judicial Branch of California, the burden of proof switches when parents share joint custody. If one parent wants to move and one parent disputes the move, the parent initiating the move must demonstrate that the change in parenting plan is in the best interests of the child.

Moving Out of State If There Is No Custody Agreement in Place

If there is no custody order in place, there is technically nothing preventing a parent from moving out of state with their minor child. However, it may not be in your best interests to move without getting a visitation schedule in place and securing a court order allowing the move. If you move and the other parent files for custody, the court may order you to return to California with your child.

Why You Need a San Jose Child Custody Attorney If You Plan on Moving

Whether you are interested in moving away with your child or you worry that the other parent wants to move away, it is important to hire a family attorney in San Jose. If the other parent has an attorney, you are unlikely to fairly represent yourself if your case goes to court.

With the help of our San Jose family law firm, you can prove that your arrangements meet the child’s needs and serve their best interests. Your attorney may help you secure the paperwork you need to prove that you have:

  • Proper living arrangements
  • Proposed custody and holiday schedule
  • Social support needed for the move

A lawyer can also anticipate the other side’s arguments and come up with counter-arguments to support your suggested plan. Explore your options now and call us at (408) 404-8656 to schedule a consultation.

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