Los Angeles Family Law Attorney
Los Angeles divorces are “no fault” meaning that the facts and circumstances that lead up to the divorce are not considered when deciding on property dissolution, child support and spousal support issues. Circumstances of abuse and neglect are used to determine child custody issues but they have no bearing on the financial aspects of the divorce. In California, courts do not allow divorces prior to 6 months to provide enough time for the parties to fully disclose all assets and income with one another and to provide a “cooling” off period. If the courts allowed divorces in less than 6 months the parties would be divorcing within a day’s time, closing the court’s jurisdiction over the case and allowing the parties to hide assets. California is also a community property state. The parties are entitled to an equal 50% share of the property obtained during the marriage. There are exceptions such as whether separate property contributed to the community property in which case the funds would have to be traced to determine the percentage of the community and separate property interest in the asset. The courts believe that even if one spouse did not earn an income they contributed to the benefit of the community. Even if a party disputes this and claims the supported spouse never earned an income and did not contribute to the community California holds that during a marriage all earned assets, income and debt is 50/50. The Atighechi Law Group is an experienced divorce and family law firm in Los Angeles located in Beverly Hills.
Los Angeles Family Law Courts
The Los Angles Family Courts are one of equity. Divorce and family law trials are bench trials meaning that the trial does not take place in front of a jury, rather a judge makes all decisions in the matter. Ever since 2011 the courts have made evidentiary hearings or mini-trials on an issue mandatory, the court’s want to hear evidence, witness testimony and attorney argument before making a decision. Prior to 2011, declarations were used in place of party testimony and the court made decisions from reading the papers presented rather than hearing testimony. The family courts have also recently changed their master calendar in Los Angeles to provide more efficient hearings. The family courts in L.A. were so overworked with so many cases than in order to get a hearing date it would be months out. This left the parties and their attorneys frustrated as they wished to resolve the matter. Now, with a new system in place, the courts are setting dates a month out in downtown for the first hearing. Trials are also being placed much more quickly than before.
All courts in California must abide by the same procedures; the California Code of Civil Procedure. Every judge is different though, with a different background, different style and temperament. Some are entirely new to family law and rely on the attorneys to educate them on the issues. It is important to know the judge, know their background and get a feel for their styel and how they rule. The Atighechi Law Group has experience in all courts in Los Angeles and is familiar with the judges in the court. Please contact Maryam Atighechi to speak with an experienced family law and divorce lawyer located in Beverly Hills serving all of Los Angeles including Sherman Oaks, Encino, Van Nuys, Ventura, Santa Monica and surrounding areas.