San Bernardino Divorce Attorney

San Bernardino Divorce Attorney

No couple enters into a marriage expecting a divorce, but the reality is that some marriages, no matter how strong the foundation begins, can begin to crack and break. When this happens, it can leave you feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and filled with emotion. This combination can make the process of separation more difficult for not only the spouses involved but for the family unit.

The realities of divorce mean that everything you built together will suddenly end, and you will be left deciding how to divide your assets, the custody of your children, and the property you have collected together throughout the marriage. When emotions are involved, these life-changing decisions are made even more difficult.

With the help of trusted attorneys, like the team at the Law Offices of Michelanne Hrubic, you can receive the support and dedication that will help you not only understand the laws of the process but ensure that your rights are protected. Our San Bernardino, CA team works tirelessly to ensure you legally receive what you are entitled to.


Divorce in California

California is a no-fault state which means that divorce or separation can happen for any reason or no reason at all; there is no legal requirement to prove wrongdoing. There are three options for divorcing spouses:

  • Divorce. This process is well-known to most couples as it is the legal dissolution of marriage. Upon finalization, both spouses hold the legal right to remarry, and all decisions regarding the division of debts, assets, and property, child custody and support, and spousal support are decided at the time of legal rendering.
  • Legal separation. This process, while more uncommon, is when a couple agrees to live separately from one another but is still legally married. Often couples will seek legal separation if they feel there is an opportunity to reconcile the marriage or there are legal benefits such as healthcare that one spouse may receive from the other. However, couples who legally separate may not remarry. Under a separation, the couple will still engage in agreements surrounding the division of debts, assets, and property, child custody and support, and spousal support prior to legal separation. This can also be a benefit to some couples because if they choose to proceed with a divorce, all agreements are already in place.
  • Annulment. If a couple entered into a marriage that was based on fraud, concealment, or for religious reasons, or there was an inability to consummate the marriage, a couple may seek an annulment. When finalized, it is as if the marriage never occurred. Annulments can be difficult to obtain because of the stringent legal parameters.

How to Get a Divorce in San Bernardino County

The first decision in any divorce process by the filing spouse is to decide which type of divorce they will seek. In California, there are three ways to divorce:

  1. Uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, spouses state that they agree to all terms of the divorce and do not require court interventions to settle disputes. This is an ideal type of divorce because it often saves time and money for the family involved as the couple can amicably resolve child support and custody, spousal support, and divisions of assets, debts, and property. However, even if there is a path to resolution, it is important to have legal representation to ensure that you are reaching a fair agreement with your spouse.
  2. Contested. Contested divorces are more difficult and more costly and will involve multiple areas of the legal system in order to help bring a fair resolution. Additionally, the process for a contested divorce can take a significant amount of time. Often contested divorces occur because spouses are unable to reach a fair agreement with each other and need the court’s intervention. In this process, you should be prepared for the court to make the necessary decisions on your behalf. Your attorney will assist with the process and serve as your representation to reach a fair and equitable outcome.
  3. Summary dissolution. This option is available to those couples who have been married for less than five years, do not share any children or own any property together, and are void of any joint debts. In addition, you and your spouse agree to the terms of asset division and spousal support. This is the quickest way to divorce in California.

Once the petition indicating the type of divorce that will occur is processed by the clerk of court in the county where you or your spouse reside, the non-filing spouse will be served with the necessary documents and given 30 calendar days to respond to the summons. In this stage, the Standard Family Law Restraining Orders take effect, and both parties must not:

  • Remove any minor children from the state of California, including for vacations.
  • Cancel any insurance that is a benefit to the other spouse or their children.
  • Change the status of any property by concealment, encumberment, transfer, or disposal, including personal, communal, or separate property.

These restrictions, amongst others, help to prevent one or both spouses from hiding anything that would be involved in the final adjudication of marital assets, child custody, support, or spousal support.

The process for divorce takes a minimum of six months from the time the petition is filed. During this waiting period, it is an opportunity for the legal system to work through the details of the divorce and for the couple to settle matters through mediation or reconciliation. However, if the divorce is uncontested, the process can take much longer.

During the waiting period, either spouse can request temporary orders that establish many of the facets that will be finalized, including child custody and support, spousal support, property use, and in some cases, the handling of attorney fees. These orders are then finalized by a judge, which protects you throughout the process. These temporary orders can be requested on an emergency basis if you or your children are the victims of domestic violence.

The most tedious part of the divorce will entail discovery in which both parties are responsible for disclosing all financial ties, including, but not limited to, bank accounts, retirement savings, investments, and more. This also includes any evidence that either party wishes to introduce that will help show responsible care for children and the necessity for spousal support and may include depositions about the marriage.

All of this culminates with a decision by the court or an agreement through mediation that is finalized by a court, and a judge will then sign off on the divorce with all legal decisions, which will include:

  • Spousal support. Spousal support is determined by identifying the abilities and needs of each spouse in terms of maintaining a standard of living. In cases where there are significant discrepancies in income, support could be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis.
  • Child custody. The agreements of custody will include whether there is partial or total custody by one spouse and what percentage of visitation the other spouse will have. The decision of custody is focused on the needs of the child and what serves their best interest.
  • Child support. Unlike spousal support, child support is not based on income but on what financial responsibilities need to be met for the child’s well-being until they reach the age of 18.
  • Property division. As a community property state, California seeks to provide equal distribution of assets, debts, and property regardless of which spouse is responsible for introducing it into the marriage. There is an assumption that the money spent by one spouse is with the support of the other spouse.

This complicated process is done in the midst of balancing the normalities of everyday routines such as work, school commitments, and community involvement. With the help of your family law attorney from the Law Offices of Michelanne Hrubic, you will be able to continue your routines while your attorney serves on your behalf.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in California with a Lawyer?

The circumstances of each divorce or separation are different. Therefore, there is no set amount that a process can take. Depending on the type of divorce that is filed for, the court costs associated with your case, the complexity of the assets, debts, and property, and the willingness of the spouses to work through the process all play a role in the final costs. Additionally, attorney fees can range. However, the estimated costs can range from $5,500 to upwards of $40,000. It is best to inquire about potential costs during your initial consultation, where you are able to provide an overview of your situation.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get a Divorce in California?

An uncontested divorce is the most cost-effective way to dissolve a marriage. While some couples choose to attempt this process independently of an attorney and thereby only pay the court fees associated with filing, it is not recommended to do so. An attorney will ensure that you are receiving a fair and equitable resolution to the intricacies of your divorce. Even with hiring an attorney, this process is still a cost-effective resolution that will also save you time.

San Bernardino Family Law Attorneys

Divorces and separations are difficult, emotionally-charged processes that will test your strength and resilience. While the process is difficult, it is with the goal of entering a new part of your life with a fresh start. At the Law Offices of Michelanne Hrubic, our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys are here to support you. We fight to protect your rights in the process in order to reach the best possible outcome for you and your children. If you are considering a divorce or were served a divorce petition by your spouse, contact our offices today and let us help you reach the light at the end of the tunnel.


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