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Family Law

Orange County family attorney

The breakdown of one’s marriage can be among the most emotionally painful and difficult experiences. Orange County family attorney Stephen J. Mooney provides compassionate representation to clients in all matters pertaining to divorce, including division of assets, child custody and support, spousal support, prenuptials and more.



California’s No-Fault Statute

California Family Code, Section 2310 recognizes two reasons for either dissolution of marriage or a legal separation: irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity. The latter grounds may only be granted with proof using medical and psychiatric experts. Therefore, by far the majority of divorces are sought for the irremediable breakdown of the marriage. While this greatly simplifies the matter of proving grounds, you should not assume that the divorce process in general will be simple. You will need an Orange County family lawyer in your corner to represent your interests.



Division of Property

Distribution of assets is among the most contested aspects in many divorces. This is a community property state, which means that all personal or real property acquired during the marriage is jointly owned. However, any property owned separately before the marriage remains outside of the marital estate, as do assets that are given to one of the marital partners during marriage. For instance, if a woman inherits her grandmother’s wedding ring while she is married, the ring remains separate from the marital estate.

Related to division of property is the settling and division of debt acquired during the marriage. Generally speaking, debts are divided between the divorcing spouses in much the same way as assets.



Child and Spousal Support

California family courts take into account the interests and needs of minor children above all other considerations. Your Orange County family attorney will tell you that custody is granted to the party that is most able to provide a safe and nurturing living environment to the children. There is no presumption of one parental gender over another in California.

The Family Code requires that children be provided for financially until they reach age 19 or finish high school, whichever is first. The non-custodial parent generally is required to pay support, the amount of which is determined by such considerations as ability to pay and the income of both the custodial and non-custodial parent.

Similarly, spousal support is often granted to one party using criteria such as ability to obtain employment, degree to which the marriage affected one spouse’s work, and maintaining the lower income party in the manner to which he or she has become accustomed during the marriage.



An Orange County Family Lawyer Can Help with Your Divorce

If you are seeking a divorce it is very important that you have strong legal representation from an experienced Orange County family attorney. Call Stephen J. Mooney, Attorney at Law, today to arrange a consultation at (949)453-0310.