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San Diego Divorce Attorney

Divorce can be an emotional, intense, traumatic, and costly experience. At Scott Family Law, every San Diego divorce lawyer guides you through the process as smoothly as possible, while ensuring that your rights are protected. Call us for a free divorce consultation at 1-858-974-4900 if you live in the San Diego county. You can also reach us online.

Why Choose Us?

  • The best San Diego family law attorneys have more than 85 years of combined experience representing clients in all types of family law matters, including trial proceedings.
  • We have a history of obtaining successful results for our clients. This includes a $750,000 verdict for domestic abuse and the successful defense of a client who was falsely accused in a $10 million lawsuit.
  • We are open and transparent about our actions and strive to have our strategies informed by your needs.
  • James Scott is a board-certified family specialist, equipped to handle all matters of the divorce and separation process, including mediation and spousal support.

Why You Need a San Diego Divorce Lawyer

Our divorce attorneys in San Diego County have extensive experience in negotiating difficult disputes effectively. We are often able to find creative solutions to contentious issues, and we have access to highly respected experts on matters pertaining to divorce. We are compassionate advocates, dedicated to achieving the most favorable outcome and protecting your rights throughout the entire divorce process.

The Basics of Filing for Divorce in San Diego & California

In California, there are 3 ways to end a marriage or a registered domestic partnership:

  1. Divorce
  2. Annulment
  3. Legal separation

California is considered a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that both partners do not need to agree to end the marriage, nor does one partner need to prove that their spouse did something wrong. In order to receive a no-fault divorce, one spouse or domestic partner must state that themself and their significant other did not get along. In legal terms, this is known as “irreconcilable differences.”

Once it’s decided how you’d like to end your marriage or registered domestic partnership, you’ll need to plan your case ahead of time to ensure you save time and money before going through the court process. Before filing your case, you’ll need to meet the requirements in order to end a marriage.

What Are the Most Common Issues in Divorce?

In a divorce involving children, the four most common issues that must be addressed are:

  • Child custody and parenting time: This is about who has physical custody of the child and when. It also concerns the right to make major decisions about the child’s education, religious upbringing, medical treatment, etc.
  • Child support: This issue is typically resolved in a relatively straightforward manner, based on the relative income of the parents and the parenting time schedule.
  • Property division: Assets and debts must be disclosed or identified and divided equitably between the spouses. This includes the marital home, personal property, stocks and bonds, real estate, retirement accounts, motor vehicles, and business interests. On the debt side, it may include mortgages, credit card debts, student loans, medical bills, and lines of credit.
  • Spousal support: When a couple divorces, the court may order one spouse to pay the other a certain amount of support per month. A number of factors are considered in the court’s decision.

A San Diego divorce lawyer from our law office will have the experience to guide you through the process with the best possible result.

What is the Difference Between Divorce and Legal Separation?

In a legal separation, the spouses are still legally married but living separately under a specific legal agreement. It is similar to divorce in the sense that many of the same issues must be negotiated and a court order details the rights and responsibilities of each spouse. Some couples choose legal separation over divorce for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Tax benefits
  • Possibility of reconciliation
  • Residency restrictions – no waiting period
  • Government, medical, or social security benefits
  • Religious reasons

Contested Vs. Uncontested Divorces

Factors involving child custody, visitation rights, alimony, and asset division are just a few of the heavy decisions that need to be made during a divorce process. Couples that are able to make agreements to all of these matters before going to trial is considered an uncontested divorce. Conversely, if a couple cannot come to a consensus on these significant matters, then it is named a contested divorce. In a contested divorce that can’t settle an agreement, the couple goes to trial and oftentimes a judge will ultimately decide the decisions for the couple and their family.

One of the biggest differences between them is the timing it takes for it to be finalized. Uncontested divorces are often quicker and do not require a trial, discovery or other legal processes. Because uncontested divorces don’t go to trial, the legal fees are less expensive than a contested divorce. However, it’s important to keep in mind that since both spouses come to an agreement on matters in an uncontested divorce, these agreed matters are not appealable.

Common Divorce FAQ’s:

How Do I File For Divorce in San Diego County?

The process of divorce begins with a spouse filing a Petition with the court. You will need to fill out the information on dates, children, property, and debts. Next, you’ll also have to fill out a Summons form that’ll notify the responding party that a divorce has been filed.

California Family Code Section 7501 states that the parent entitled to custody determines the residence of the child. Recent higher court decisions have recognized the mobility of our culture and agreed to moves by the custodial parent. A parent wishing to block such a move or a non-custodial parent wishing to move with the children has the burden of a change of custody order.

Practice shows that the spouse demonstrating the most need tied to a sincere and thoughtful plan for the advancement of a career will get the highest support from the court.

Practice also shows that the spouse demonstrating the greatest ability to earn coupled with sincerity in the other spouse will pay the least amount overall.

The Reynolds case holds that retirement is available to all of us at a reasonable age and the support obligation would terminate or reduce as a result of retirement.

Other Divorce Cases We Handle

Military Divorce

There are significant differences between military marriages and civilian marriages. The same can be said about military divorces, particularly if a spouse is away on active military duty at the time of filing. Residency issues can be complicated, depending on how long you or your spouse has been stationed at the current location, and the process may be delayed if a spouse is deployed on active duty for an extended period of time.

CEO & Executive Divorce

Any clients that are CEOs or other high-level executives who face an end to their marriage are also in difficult positions. Therefore, they need to take immediate steps to hire an attorney that will protect all that they have worked for so that years of relentless effort and dedication are not lost.

Professional Athlete Divorce

Professional athletes and their families often live in the public eye, making a divorce situation more difficult and requiring unique needs. In this case, you’ll need a divorce lawyer who values discretion to protect them and their family from the daily media and avoid any extra suffering.

Handling Complex Divorces With Discretion

No one looks forward to the public airing of dirty laundry unless that dirty laundry is about someone else’s family. Publicizing certain personal information could put an executive’s position in jeopardy, damage an individual’s reputation in the community and cause other harm. Potential employers, lenders and potential business partners might look at your Superior Court file before doing business with you.

Our experienced San Diego divorce lawyers understand this very real risk and work tirelessly to maintain a degree of discretion around the divorce case. This effort can be made in several ways depending on the specific facts of the situation, but the bottom line is that we strive to protect the privacy of the entire family during this difficult time.

Receive the Best Representation for Your Case

Without proper representation, divorce cases have the potential to become mired in the court system for many months or even years. This stagnation can lead to financial uncertainty and unnecessary emotional stress for everyone involved.

San Diego divorce attorneys of Scott Family Law, understand that the faster these cases are completed, the less the people involved in the case tend to suffer. We will take all available steps to promote an efficient, timely and satisfactory outcome.

Contact San Diego Divorce Attorneys Who Care

At Scott Family Law firm, we want you to understand all your options before moving forward with any proceedings. If you are considering divorce, call a San Diego divorce lawyer today to schedule a FREE consultation.



“I have been a client of Mr. Scott’s for 20+ years. I have used Jim’s law firm for our corporate filings, wills, and living trusts. I have also recommended Mr. Scott to my friends for personal injury cases and have had a great response from them. He has always been fair and extremely thorough.” -Randy A.

 

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