SERVICES AT LDA DOCUMENT SERVICES

-How We Can Help You-

Mediation Services

A More Amicable way to transition.

For couples preparing for a legal separation or divorce, Mediation offers a mindful way of moving on. Includes  mediation sessions, support, prep work & all Court required documents. Stay Out Of Court. Substantially less expensive than Litigation.

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Uncontested Divorce

Children or No Children

Assets or No Assets

Debts or No Debts

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Living Trusts or Wills or

Other Estate Planning Documents

We can help you to prepare your desired documents:

  • Last Will and Testament,

  • Revocable Living Trust

  • Power of Attorney

  • Advance Health Care Directive

  • and so much more!

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Court Filings

Some courts have local rules for filing. Some local rules require special cover sheets or local forms. The filings in San Diego tend to be different from those of Santa Clara, and so on.  We can help you fill out and file your documents ...

 

 California Divorce Facts 

  • When going through a divorce in California, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of California may want to know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of California Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified California Divorce Attorney.

  • To file for divorce, one spouse must have lived in California for the last six months, and the county where the action is filed for the last three months.

    • Spouses who have lived in California for at least six months, but in different counties for at least three months can file in either county.

  • The court may order a 30-day stay of dissolution of marriage proceedings when it appears that there is a reasonable possibility of reconciliation.

  • In a summary dissolution, the spouses do not have to talk to a judge and neither needs to hire a lawyer. A marriage of five years or less may be ended by summary dissolution.

    • In this regime, a joint petition for summary dissolution is filed when

      • 1) either spouse meets the standard residency requirement,

      • 2) the marriage is irretrievably broken down due to irreconcilable differences,

      • 3) the marriage is childless,

      • 4) the wife is not pregnant,

      • 5) neither spouse owns real estate,

      • 6) there are no unpaid debts greater than $4,000,

      • 7) the total value of community property is less than $25,000,

      • 8) neither spouse has separate property (excluding cars and loans) of greater than $25,000,

      • 9) the spouses have reached an agreement regarding the division and distributions of assets and liabilities,

      • 10) both waive their rights to maintenance and appeal;

      • 11) both have read a brochure about summary dissolution and

      • 12) both desire to end the marriage.

  • A party may also obtain a quick and easy divorce if the spouse fails to file a response in the case and therefore defaults. Most uncontested cases can be handled with the spouses filing papers by mail.

  • California divorce laws recognize that both spouses make valuable contributions to any marriage regardless of their employment. Property is labeled either "community property" or "separate property."

    • Community property is all property, in or out of the state, that either spouse acquired during the marriage. Each spouse owns one-half of all community property. It does not matter if only one spouse worked outside of the home during the marriage or if this property is in only one spouse's name.

    • Generally, debts incurred during the marriage are community obligations. This includes credit card bills, even if the credit card is in one name only.

      • Student loans are an important exception because they are considered separate property debts.

      • Community property possessions and community property debts are divided equally unless both spouses agree to an unequal division in writing.

      • If spouses can't agree on the division of debts and possessions, a judge makes that decision.

      • Separate property is property acquired before marriage, property received after the date of separation, inheritances, and gifts. Separate property is not divided in the divorce.

      • Debts incurred before getting married or incurred after separating are separate property debts.

      • Spouses are required to file proof of community and separate property on a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure.

  • The court may award alimony to either spouse in any amount for any period of time that it deems just and reasonable based on the standard of living during the marriage.

  • Joint or sole custody may be awarded based on the best interests of the child and other factors that include:

    • 1) the preference of the child,

    • 2) the desire and ability of each parent to allow an open and loving relationship between the child and the other parent,

    • 3) the child's health, safety and welfare, the nature and contact with both parents and

    • 4) any history of alcohol and/or drug use. Marital misconduct may be considered.

  • Either parent may be ordered to pay an amount necessary for the support, maintenance and education of the child.

 California Divorce-Mediation Facts 

  • Divorce mediation in California is a process where in most cases a couple sits down with a neutral mediator who is trained and experienced in mediation, and he or she helps the couple learn about their options regarding property, children, support, and money issues.

  • Divorces in California are handled through the state’s Superior Court system. The Family Court Services department is under California’s Superior Court system and governed according to the state’s law (Section 3170 of the Family Code).

    • If a divorcing couple has a minor child or children and they cannot agree on a parenting plan, they will be required to participate in divorce mediation.

  • In a no-fault action, the court may stay the case for 30 days when it believes there is a possibility of reconciliation.

    • Absent reconciliation, at the end of the 30 days, either spouse may move for dissolution or a legal separation.

  • If child custody is disputed, the court orders a mediation conference.

    • The mediator may choose to exclude any attorneys. [Annotated California Code 2334 (a)(c), 3170 and 3181(a) and California Family Law Court Rule 1224]. 

  • A mediator helps a divorcing couple agree to a parenting plan, which is also known as a stipulation or a parenting agreement.

  • In California, there are two types of mediators. The first is the non-attorney mediator, which may be used by a couple when their problems are personal or parenting-related, and/or property-related and the second is the family law attorney-mediator, who may be used if legal or property issues are involved.

  • Some couples cannot reach an agreement.

    • According to 3170 of the California Family Code, if mediation is unsuccessful, the judge decides and makes an order at a hearing.

  • It is a private process. It’s confidential. Mediation costs about a tenth of what couples would spend if they go to court. California divorce mediation aims to settle the divorce in a civil manner.

 California Divorce-Counseling 

  • The California courts neither offer nor require counseling. California is the original "no fault" state; all that is required to establish grounds for a divorce is for one party to unequivocally state that the marriage has "irreconcilable differences" that have led to the "irremediable breakdown" of the marriage.

 California Parenting Class 

  • Judges may order parenting classes.

  • Parents must take the type of class –in-person, online or video – as ordered by the court.

  • In Santa Clara County, for example,

  • the court may require parents attend an educational program so that they understand the dislocation of children when parents cannot reasonably address the questions about sharing responsibility for parenting.

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