Huntington Beach Divorce Lawyer

The Law Office of Kevin L Qualls

Marriage is complicated. Although some couples grow and evolve together, others go their separate ways after being married for some time. For many, this is a healthy decision that is important to each spouse’s ongoing happiness. Divorce in Huntington Beach does not have to be as dramatic or scary as it is in the media.

Unfortunately, no matter the circumstances of the situation, divorce is almost never easy. There are a lot of factors to consider when you are getting divorced, and many decisions must be made before the court can legally grant you a divorce. Making these decisions with your spouse can be challenging, especially if your relationship is strained.

One of the best things you can do for your divorce is hire a Huntington Beach family law attorney to help you. An attorney with significant family law experience can help you navigate the complicated landscape of divorce law. They can also ensure that you understand your options when it comes to your property, children, and future. Our team at the Law Office of Kevin Qualls specializes in family law cases. We can assist you in approaching this new chapter of your life with the necessary information and resources.

Huntington Beach Divorce Attorney

The Law Office of Kevin Qualls: Your Huntington Beach Divorce Lawyers

Our team has been growing for over 30 years. Since 1990, we have focused on family law to ensure that our clients have the best possible resources as they traverse family law cases. This experience gives us the expertise to approach any situation that has mitigating factors. No matter what your family or divorce looks like, we can represent you in court.
We understand how vulnerable the divorce process can be. You can rely on us to approach your case with kindness, patience, and empathy. We will also never hide the truth from you. You can expect honesty from every member of our team.
When it comes to protecting your family and creating a new family structure, we are steadfast in our pursuit of fairness. We are not afraid to continue to fight for what you need and advocate for what is best in your family law situation.

Key Factors in a Divorce

Many people understand what a divorce is. However, most do not understand all the different factors that the court will consider during divorce proceedings. Although some divorces are straightforward, others require lengthy negotiations about several different topics. Undergoing a divorce means that most aspects of your life will change. Unfortunately, not all these changes are within your control.
When you are going through a divorce, it is important to know about all the things that you will have to consider. This helps to give you realistic expectations about how your case will proceed and the changes that you will undergo.

Property Division

Almost all divorcing couples will have to undergo the property division process. During these negotiations, you will have to determine who gets to retain which assets after the divorce is finalized. Major assets to discuss include:

  • Homes and property
  • Large purchases like cars, boats, etc.
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Savings accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Investments
  • Sentimental items

California is a community property state, meaning that any assets that you and your spouse have acquired during your marriage are considered marital property. California state law requires that you divide all marital property evenly. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement, all property is marital property and must be split.

If a prenuptial agreement protects certain previously owned assets, those assets will not be divided during a divorce. However, all assets acquired during the marriage are still to be split evenly between both parties. For example, if you owned a home before you got married and protected it with a prenuptial agreement, your spouse is not entitled to half of it if you divorce. However, any property that you purchased during your marriage would need to be divided evenly. If no prenuptial agreement exists, all property will be split evenly, even the home that you owned before you got married.
The only couples who will not undergo serious property division negotiations are those who rent their homes and do not own any major assets.

Child Custody

Child custody is another major consideration in family law cases involving divorce. Many divorcing couples have children together, so the court must help to decide how the children will be raised when their parents are no longer cohabitating. Child custody is often the most emotional part of divorce, as most parents do not wish to be apart from their children at all.

The court is very strict about child custody. The child or children’s safety is the only major concern that the court takes into account. All other factors are secondary. Ideally, custody will be split between both parents. However, the court will look at several safety indications. They will assess each parent’s:
  • Job and financial situation
  • Schedule
  • Medical history, including history of addiction or substance abuse
  • Living situation
  • Relationship with the children
It is your family law attorney’s job to show the court that you are a fit parent for your children and deserve at least shared custody of them. If you believe that your spouse is unfit to have custody of the children, your attorney can show proof of that as well.
Child custody is split into two major categories: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody is the time spent raising and caring for the children. Legal custody means having the ability to make decisions about the child’s healthcare and lifestyle. It is possible to have physical and legal custody or physical custody without legal custody, but it is rare to have legal custody without physical custody.
Common custody arrangements include:
  • Shared custody. Both parents spend equal amounts of time caring for the children.
  • Partial custody. One parent cares for the children the majority of the time, but the other parent has custody regularly.
  • Visitation. One parent cares for the children almost all of the time. However, the other parent has the legal right to see the children.
  • Sole custody. One parent cares for the children all of the time, while the other parent does not have any legal right to see or care for their children.
The court aims for shared custody, but other arrangements are available if the standards for evenly shared custody are not met.

Child Support

Your family law attorneys will also be able to advise you on child support negotiations during your divorce process. Huntington Beach child support laws can be confusing, and it is helpful to have an expert to guide you.
California requires that both parents equally contribute to the upbringing of their children. The state assesses this by looking at the percentage of a parent’s income that they spend on raising their children. Child support agreements ensure that both parties are contributing fairly, regardless of the custody agreement.
In situations of sole custody, partial custody, or visitation, the non-custodial parent (meaning the parent who has the minority of the custody) may have to pay child support to make up for the fact that they are not caring for the children.
In some situations, child support may be necessary in shared custody situations. If one parent makes significantly more income than the other, the higher-earning parent may need to pay child support even though they have custody of the children some of the time. Again, the contribution is based on a percentage of the parent’s income. If both parents spend equal amounts of time and money as guardians of the children, but one parent makes $30,000 annually and the other makes $600,000 annually, the income percentage that the latter spends on the children will be much lower than that of the former.

Spousal Support

Spousal support, or alimony, is an important part of divorce negotiations. Many couples are eligible for this kind of arrangement, so it is important to understand your options.
Spousal support is an arrangement in which a higher-earning spouse pays a lower-earning spouse a monthly sum to help them build their new life. This occurs because, when a couple marries, both spouses usually expect their new spouse’s income to be included in their own. When a couple divorces and that added income is lost, it can be difficult to make ends meet.
Spousal support is often appropriate when one spouse stayed home to care for the house and children while the other worked outside the home. It may be difficult for the spouse who stayed home to re-enter the workforce and earn money. With a long gap in their professional resume, a lapse in practice, and potentially outdated training, finding a job can be extremely difficult. Spousal support is intended to compensate this spouse for the time spent at home while foregoing a career.
The court often mandates these arrangements for couples who have been married for 10 years or longer, although there is no set rule stating that this must be the case. Some spousal support agreements last for a predetermined amount of time, while in other scenarios they last indefinitely. Your attorney will help to negotiate the terms of your spousal support agreement, if you are eligible for one.

Why Do I Need a Huntington Beach Divorce Attorney?

Some people believe that they can navigate divorce without an attorney. Although mediation can work for a small minority of people, most couples require an attorney to represent each of them during divorce proceedings. There are so many details and negotiations to traverse that it is important to have someone who is not emotionally involved help you determine the details of your divorce.
It is also important to note that it is very easy for divorce negotiations to become heated. Even the most amicable couples can become hostile and emotional when dealing with such a difficult process. This results in heated debates and vindictive actions. When you have an attorney to represent you, you can allow us to negotiate for your best interest on your behalf. This ensures that the process remains civil.
Finally, hiring an attorney ensures that you are represented fairly and that the outcome of the negotiations is equitable. If your spouse has legal representation and you do not, you can easily receive less than you deserve, lose custody of your children, and have to pay child support when you should not have to. An attorney ensures that all agreements are fair.

Divorce and Business

If you and your spouse own a business together, your divorce attorneys will help to negotiate the future of your shared company. In some situations, it may be possible for both spouses to continue in their roles with the company. In other scenarios, one spouse may buy the other spouse out of their share of the business. In some cases, one spouse will continue to run the business while the other will act as a shareholder. In yet other situations, it may be best to sell the business and split any profits from the sale.
Divorcing when you have a business is a difficult matter, and it adds an extra layer of complication to an already emotional time. These kinds of factors make a divorce attorney especially necessary. If you attempt to represent yourself in a divorce case involving business ownership, you can lose everything you have worked for as well as a key source of income.

Contact a Family Law Attorney at the Law Office of Kevin Qualls

If you are facing a divorce of any kind, our team is here to help you. With decades of experience in this field, we are well poised to support you no matter what kind of factors may come into play. As a full-service family law firm, we can negotiate property division, child support, child custody, spousal support, and more. We will make sure that all aspects of your divorce have been properly addressed so that you can begin your new life with confidence and security.

Our firm is a leader in Huntington Beach family law, and we offer the best divorce counsel in the area. For more information about our services or how we can represent you during your divorce, please reach out to our firm.