Your Advocate For A New Life

Julia M. Garwood • Certified Family Law Specialist

Divorce and Separation


You didn’t plan for your marriage to end, but when it does, you can feel overwhelmed. California divorce laws can be confusing – especially when you are dealing with all of the emotions related to your divorce. We can help. At Garwood Family Law and Mediation, our divorce and family law team will not only expertly represent you, but also will treat you as we would treat members of our own family. Whatever your situation, let us compassionately get you through this difficult time and get you back to your life.

When to Choose Divorce Mediation

The end of your marriage is a difficult time – even when it is the best thing for all parties involved. Adding the fees and hassle of court proceedings and putting your fate in the hand of a judge can just add to the stress of this already overwhelming time. Divorce mediation is usually the best choice when you and your spouse need assistance coming to an agreement on topics including child custody and visitation, division of assets, and spousal and/or child support, but when you wish to avoid additional costs and lack of control of a courtroom divorce. At Garwood Family Law and Mediation in San Diego, we believe that divorce mediation – when feasible – is a great solution for a difficult situation. Call (619) 627-0274 for a complimentary initial consultation with our experienced divorce attorney.

When Litigation Is Required for Your Divorce

Sometimes, the emotions involved with your divorce can make it difficult for you and your spouse to agree on the details of your divorce – even with the assistance of a skilled mediator. Other times, there is a history of spousal abuse, which eliminates the option of divorce mediation. In these cases, you and your spouse will need to go before a judge to finalize the details of your divorce agreement. In these cases, the judge – not you and your spouse – makes all of the decisions regarding support, child custody and visitation, alimony, and division of property. When you need to settle your divorce with litigation, you need a divorce lawyer who understands the court system and will fairly and aggressively fight for your rights. Divorce attorney Julia M. Garwood has more than 30 years of experience with California divorce laws. Trust her to fight for your best interests and the best interests of your children.

What a Legal Separation Really Means

If you and your spouse are having marital problems and one of you move out of your home, it does not mean that you are legally separated. Legal separation, which may be the first step to either dissolving or repairing your marriage, requires a legal document from the court. Similar to divorce proceedings, legal separation may require that a judge make decisions regarding spousal and child support, restraining orders, and other issues. Get a better understanding of legal separation with the help of the Garwood Family Law and Mediation team.

How You Can Get an Annulment

Are you wondering if you should file for divorce or seek an annulment? It can be confusing. While a marriage dissolves an existing marriage, an annulment will show that the marriage never existing in the first place. California divorce laws allows marriage annulments for several reasons including: fraud, bigamy (one spouse is still legally married to or in a domestic partnership with another person), incest, and age (one spouse under the age of legal consent at time of marriage). There are various factors you should consider when deciding between a divorce and an annulment. Make an informed decision. Schedule a free initial consultation with our San Diego divorce lawyer today.

How to Deal with Complex Property Division

Even though California is a community property state, it does not mean that division of assets is always a simple process. The state’s divorce law considers property and assets accrued during the marriage as community property that is subject to equal division and distribution upon divorce. However, items and property acquired before or after the marriage is not subject to division. Also, any assets listed in a pre- or post-nuptial agreement is also not considered part of community property. To ensure that you are being fairly treated, contact our experienced divorce attorney at (619) 627-0274 for assistance with your complex property division.

How to Modify Your Existing Divorce Agreement

If you already have a finalized California divorce, but realize that you need to update the agreement, we can help. Circumstances change and your divorce agreement should reflect those. If you need to change the amount of child or spousal support awarded or if you want to challenge child custody and visitation rights, our skilled San Diego legal team can help you modify your finalized divorce agreement. The team at Garwood Family Law and Mediation can also help you enforce standing orders.

What You Need to Do First

When facing the possible end of your marriage, it is difficult to know what to do. You are probably emotionally overloaded and you have more questions than answers. That’s understandable. At Garwood Family Law and Mediation, we want to help you move on both emotionally and financially. The first thing you need to do is to take a deep breath and to try to not worry about everything at once. Then, contact our San Diego family and divorce law firm to schedule a free consultation for our services. We will help you to prepare for your divorce and help you decide where to begin. Take the first step toward a positive new life. Contact us today at 619-627-0274.


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1450 Frazee Road, Suite 501, San Diego, CA 92108