Trevino Law, Inc.

A Family Law Firm Located in South Orange County

For a family law lawyer call:  949.716.2102

Contact a Family Law Lawyer
If you have a crises in your life, chances are, you need a divorce attorney . Whether it is child support , child custody , property division , or spousal support , Trevino Law can help you through. Trevino Law is dedicated to helping individuals through the legal process. If you are facing a family law issue, it is important to contact an attorney even before the petition is filed. 

Frequently Asked Divorce Questions in
Orange County

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in California?

How Do I Get an Annullment?

What is A Legal Separation in California?

It generally takes six months and one day to be legally divorced in California. The six months begins when the Respondent is served with papers. If the parties can settle the terms of their divorce, the judgment can be entered before the six months has expired, but the parties will remain married until the six months have passed.
An annulment is granted if one of the parties to the Orange County divorce action can prove that one of the statutory factors exist for the annulment. It is up to the court to order that the marriage is annulled. The parties cannot agree between themselves that a marriage is annulled it must be accomplished through an order.  

A legal separation allows the parties to remain married, but divides all the assets and obligations. A legal separation can also award spousal support, child support, and attorney fees. Some people will get a legal separation in order to preserve medical benefits or for religious reasons.

What is the Difference Between a Legal Separation and a Divorce?

How Long Do I Have to Respond to a Divorce Petition?

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Orange County ?

A legal separation and a divorce look the same. However, with a legal separation the parties are still legally married and cannot re-marry other people.  With a divorce, the parties are no longer married and can marry third parties. 
After you have been properly served with divorce papers, the summons gives you thirty days to serve your response to a petition for divorce. A family law lawyer should be consulted prior to the time that the response is due so that all aspects of the response can be reviewed. 
It is difficult to determine the cost of a  divorce in California. It depends on the issues involved, the reasonableness of both parties, and if custody is an issue. The more that the parties can talk and work together, the more likely the case will be settled efficiently.

What is an Automatic Restraining Order in California
Divorce in Orange County
When a petition for divorce is filed in Orange County, automatic restraining orders, often referred to as ATRO's, are issued. The restraining orders prevent either party from encumbering property, transferring property, or gifting property without the written consent of the other party or a court order. The rules are designed to preserve the property of the parties until the property is divided by a court order.
When one spouse is knowledgeable about the ATROs before the divorce petition is served or filed, that party may try to circumvent the ATROs by transferring property before the ATROs apply. This tactic may seem like a good option but can backfire. For instance, if one spouse pays for the car insurance and that spouse stops the insurance before the ATROs are effective, then each spouse will be forced to obtain separate insurance. However, if one spouse gets into an accident before obtaining new insurance, then both spouses' property can be liable for the accident.

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ATROs cannot be avoided by unilaterrally transferring property to a third party.  A maneuver to transfer assets before a divorce is started can be harmful. If one party gifts a piece of property to a third person, sells it, or tries to hide an asset, the court can order that spouse to reimburse the community for the value of the missing asset. 


Once a petition is filed, property can be transferred, but only by written agreement of both parties or a court order. Without an agreement or order, the parties will have to explain to the judge why the property was transferred.  An order for a contempt of court may issue if the selling party was knowledgeable about the automatic restraining orders.

Additional Frequently Asked Divorce Questions for California

What are the legal stages of a divorce?

How can I get a divorce quickly?

Should I hire a mediator to settle my family law case?

There are three main areas in a divorce proceeding in Orange County. The first stage is the filing of the petition and the response. The second stage is the discovery phase. The third is the trial and judgment.  These areas often overlap.
It takes six months and a day to finalize a divorce. However, if the parties agree on the terms of the divorce, the attorney completes the paperwork and the judge signs the order.  The divorce will occur on the first day of eligibility, but the division of assets will be finalized on the date of the judgment.
Mediators are a great resource for helping to settle a divorce.  However, mediators work when both parties are willing to work together for a solution. When one party will not comply with discovery, negotiations, or meetings, a mediation will just be another expense in the divorce process.

What does no-fault divorce mean in California?

Are there any non-physical costs to a divorce?

I just moved to California, can I file for divorce?

No fault means that the court will not consider either party's bad acts which may have contributed to the divorce.  For example, if one party had an affair, the court will not consider the affair in awarding spousal support or dividing assets. 
There are many non-financial costs associated with divorce litigation. Emotions are very high throughout the case. There is also a physical toll--many documents have to be retreived and reviewed, hearings must be attended, and negotiations must be analyzed.
A person must live in the state of California for at least six months before a divorce can be filed.  However, a legal separation can be filed immediately and later amended to a divorce in Orange County.

In Orange County, when is the date of separation?

What is the significance of the date of separation?

Who pays for community debt in a divorce?

The date of separation occurs when one party decides to get a divorce or a legal separation and acts as if he or she is moving forward with the divorce or legal separation.  Acts include separating bank accounts, moving out of the family residence, informing others that it will occur, etc. 
Community debt is any debt acquired during the marriage and is equally divided between the parties. It is rare that one party is required to pay all of the debt. In most circumstances, the debt will be divided equally. 
The date of separation is important because that is when the courts determine when the community estate ends. It is usually more important as it relates to debts. Any charges made after the date of separation are the separate debts of either party. 

What is an uncontested divorce in California?

What if I do not have enough money to pay the filing fee?

How is out property divided in an Orange County divorce?

A true uncontested divorce in California is when the Respondent does not respond to the divorce papers after he or she is properly served.  However, another form of uncontested divorce is when the parties have reached a settlement and the court enters a judgment based upon the settlement. 
If the party is below the poverty line the person can file for a fee waiver with the court.  If the court waives the fee, then no fees will be paid.  This waiver lasts one year. Sometimes if the party is above the poverty line, the court will accept payments for the filing fee. 
Property acquired during the marriage is community property. Community property is divided equally. If one party keeps a particular piece of property, the other side must be reimbursed for his or her half of the equity in the community property.

What are irreconcilable differences?

What can I do to alleviate some of the pressures of a divorce?

What are the benefits of settling a case?

Irreconcilable differences occur when one spouse believes that the parties' differences are so severe that they cannot be overcome to save the marriage. The court will grant a divorce by one spouse's declaration under oath that the parties' differences cannot be reconciled and that no amount of counseling will help the spouses restore their marriage. Even if the other spouse disagrees and believes that the marriage can be saved, the court will grant the divorce. This requirement renders California a no-fault divorce state.
Divorce litigation is frustrating and can be a long, drawn-out process. It is important during this time that you find someone that will listen to you--preferably a counselor so that the therapist-patient privilege applies.  You could also talk to a trusted friend. But keep in mind that a trusted friend can be asked to testify iin court about your conversations. In addition, it is important to take care of yourself with proper sleep, exercise, and diet. 
With a settlement, the parties choose the outcome. In most divorces, one party values something more than the other party. If the family home is important to one and preserving a retirement account is important to the other, then the parties can agree on how to divide them. If the parties disagree and litigate the issues, then the judge decides. A judge will equally divide the value of the assets and distribute them to the parties. Both parties would have kept what they valued if they would have settled the case.

Can I represent myself in a divorce action?

What other financial costs are associated with a divorce?

Divorce litigation is complex. A divorce case is like the English language. Both have rules, exceptions to the rules, and exceptions to the exceptions. A writer not only needs to know how to spell, but also needs to know sentence structure, genres, language, and the audience. An attorney needs to understand laws, procedures, rights, and evidence rules.  A working knowledge of the judge's preferences also helps. Litigators spend hours researching issues, gathering evidence, and developing arguments. All the arguments require thought, information, and discussion from the parties and their attorneys.
Most people will have to pay the filing fee for the divorce. In addition to the filing fee, if an expert is required in the divorce, the expert charges for his or her time on an hourly bases. Experts can include therapists for custody, home or business valuation experts. or vocational examiners.

What if I do not know where my spouse lives?
If you do not know the whereabout of you spouse, the court can order service by publication in an appropriate circumstance.
Will I have to speak in front of a judge in Orange County?
If my spouse does not live in California, can I get a divorce in California?
The more contested your case is, the more likely that you will have to testify in front a judge.  A case can be settled at any time, but the longer that it goes unsettled, the more likely that you will have to provide testimony in court.  
You can still file for a divorce in California, but the court may not have the authority or jurisdiction to make any orders in respect to property, support, or debts unless your spouse has significant ties to California. 
How can I settle my divorce case?
What information becomes public in a Divorce?
The important thing to remember while settling a divorce is that you
cannot force the other side to settle.  In a good negotation, both sides
are working together for a resolution. 
Any document filed in court becomes public information unless a court orders the document sealed.  All testimony is also public information; however, it requires a fee to be transcribed so it is more difficult to obtain.  


Can My Spouse Keep The Wedding Ring?

I gave my spouse a car during the marriage, is that community property?

The wedding ring is not considered a gift during marriage. It is given before marriage and becomes the spouse's ring once the marriage is complete. If an engagement is broken off and the parties cannot agree as to who keeps the ring, a court will decide based upon which party broke off the engagement.
Gifts given during the marriage are the usually awarded to the spouse who received the gift unless the gift was substantially more than the parties' station in life.