Contact Us

Table of Contents

What Do I Do Now?

Divorce can take an emotional toll on your life. It’s a challenging journey filled with uncertainty. But you don’t have to face it alone. Our San Diego divorce lawyer is here to support you every step of the way.

We will listen to your concerns, alleviate your worries, and provide personalized guidance. Our expertise in family law matters will help protect your rights and advocate for your best interests.

Thinking ‘Who is the best divorce attorney near me?’ Let us at Garwood Reeves shoulder the legal burdens, so you can focus on healing and moving forward. Together, we will build a brighter future for you.

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. Divorce mediation may be a good choice if 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 Reeves in San Diego, we believe that divorce mediation may be a great solution for a difficult situation.

When Litigation Is Required for Your Divorce In San Diego

Sometimes, the emotions involved with your divorce can make it difficult for you and your spouse to agree on the details – even with the assistance of a skilled negotiator. In this case, you and your spouse will need to go before a judge who can make decisions regarding support, child custody and visitation, alimony, and division of property. When you need to resolve your divorce with litigation, you need a San Diego divorce lawyer who understands the court system and will fairly and aggressively fight for your rights.

Divorce Litigation In San Diego For Your Complicated Separation

You are getting a divorce because you and your spouse have issues that have torn you apart. Sometimes, you can get past the hurt and come to an agreement on the terms of your divorce. But other times things have gotten so bad, reaching a compromise seems impossible. Although California is a no-fault divorce and community property state, there are many factors –including child custody, prenuptial agreements, and complex property ownership – that can keep your divorce from being simple.

How To Decide Between Divorce Litigation and Mediation

If you and your spouse can civilly discuss the separation of property, child support, and other issues related to the dissolution of your marriage, you may want to consider mediation for your divorce. Because mediation is often less expensive and more private than dealing with court proceedings, it is often chosen over litigation. However, if you and your spouse cannot work together or if you have a history of spousal abuse, litigation may be the solution for you. Our compassionate San Diego divorce lawyers can help you decide which option would be most beneficial to your circumstances. Call (619) 391-2716 for a initial consultation.

Understanding the Divorce Litigation Process

Divorce litigation takes the decision making out of your hands and puts it into the hands of a judge. Because of this, it is important that you hire an attorney who is an expert in the litigation process. At Garwood Reeves in San Diego, our divorce lawyers have extensive divorce litigation experience and will be a strong advocate for you during the proceedings. During the divorce proceedings, your attorney will argue your case before a judge. The court will make decisions concerning:

  • Division of property
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Spousal support (or alimony)

Understanding Divorce in San Diego, California

Getting a divorce in San Diego can raise many questions. How is property divided in a divorce in San Diego? How is child support calculated in San Diego? What is the process for spousal support or alimony in a San Diego divorce? And so on. Here’s what you must know.

Legal Grounds for Divorce

In California, divorce is also known as ‘dissolution of marriage.’ The state follows a ‘no-fault‘ divorce system, meaning you don’t need to prove your spouse’s wrongdoing. The requirement is simple. Either there should be irreconcilable differences or the marriage should have irretrievably broken down.

Residency Requirements

To file for divorce in California, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months. Additionally, you must have resided in the county where you plan to file for divorce for at least three months.

Division of Assets and Debts

California, as a community property state, generally divides marital assets and debts equally between spouses. Assets and debts acquired during the marriage fall under community property, with exceptions for separate property.

Separate property includes assets acquired before the marriage or through gifts or inheritances received during the marriage.

Child Custody and Support

In child-related divorce cases, the court prioritizes the best interests of the child. California courts actively encourage both parents to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children, favoring joint custody whenever possible.

Child custody arrangements can be determined through negotiation, mediation, or court intervention with the help of a child custody lawyer if needed.

Child support calculations consider factors such as parental income, the amount of time each parent spends with the child, and the child’s specific needs.

Spousal Support

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is awarded to provide financial assistance to one spouse during and after divorce. The following factors are considered when determining spousal support:

  • Duration of the marriage
  • Income and earning capacity of each spouse
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Contributions made by each spouse to the marriage
  • Age and health of each spouse
  • Financial needs and obligations of each spouse
  • Any history of domestic violence or abuse
  • Other relevant factors considered by the court

Divorce laws and procedures can be complex, and the details of your case may vary. If you are wondering, ‘Who is the best divorce lawyer near me?’ Garwood Reeves is here to protect your rights and interests throughout the process. Call us today!

What a Legal Separation Really Means

Some couples find themselves in a situation where they do not want to be divorced, but there is a financial reason to separate. Legal separation allows the parties to create a date of separation without actually dissolving their marriage. 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 San Diego divorce lawyers at Garwood Reeves.

How You Can Get an Annulment

Are you wondering if you should file for divorce or seek an annulment? It can be confusing. California divorce laws allow marriage annulments for several reasons including:

  • fraud
  • bigamy
  • incest
  • 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. We can help you make an informed decision.

Gray Divorce in San Diego County

Gray divorce refers to the dissolution of marriage among older adults, aged 50 and above. It is becoming increasingly common in San Diego County and other regions. But, as an individual going through a divorce later in life, you can have unique challenges.

Factors contributing to gray divorce can vary, such as empty nest syndrome, financial strain, changing priorities, and personal growth. When facing a gray divorce in San Diego County, it’s crucial to understand the specific legal and financial implications.

  • Divide your assets, retirement accounts, and pensions obtained over the years.
  • Seek guidance from retirement planning experts to understand the impact and create a strategic plan.
  • Explore healthcare coverage options like COBRA or individual policies for comprehensive benefits.
  • Update estate plans, wills, trusts, and beneficiary designations. Collaborate with an experienced estate planning attorney to protect and distribute your assets according to your desires.

Collaborative Divorce in San Diego County

Collaborative divorce involves spouses working with their attorneys to reach an agreement outside of court. Each spouse hires a collaborative divorce attorney who helps them find a mutually acceptable settlement.

Attorneys facilitate communication, manage conflicts, and involve other professionals if needed. The goal is to achieve a fair resolution while preserving relationships and minimizing conflict. This approach gives couples more control over the process and promotes a positive post-divorce relationship.

Military Divorce in San Diego County

A military divorce is the legal dissolution of marriage involving a service member and their spouse. 

A military divorce attorney specializes in handling such divorce cases. They understand the unique legal aspects of military divorces, including:

  • Jurisdiction,
  • division of military benefits,
  • deployment, custody matters,
  • and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA).

Military divorce attorneys handle jurisdictional challenges, ensuring proper service of divorce papers even when deployed. They address the division of military benefits like pensions, retirement, healthcare, and housing allowances.

Regarding custody, they create plans that prioritize the child’s best interests while considering the service member’s obligations. They are familiar with the USFSPA requirements for dividing military pensions and benefits.

Resources for Divorce

Divorce Preparation Services In San Diego

Getting a divorce is difficult. It may be hard to know what to do and who to talk to. The first thing to do is relax. Stressing out is one of the worst things you can do in any given situation, and divorce is certainly no exception. There is help. There are plenty of resources available to help you get through this rough time, including a San Diego divorce attorney from Garwood Reeves.

Know the State’s Laws

Living in California, it is important to know you live in a no-fault, community property state. With that in mind, you need not worry about who wronged who, and if anyone was cheating. There is no fault in these divorces, so your marital history will not affect the property division. All property obtained after the marriage began will be divided equally unless one of the parties or a third party paid, gifted, or contributed toward the purchase (we need all the facts). Of course, if you signed a pre or post-nuptial agreement, things may work out differently. In this situation, you may be best off reviewing your agreement with your San Diego divorce attorney.

Prepare Your Records

Although we live in a community property state, the court will still need evidence of how much certain properties are worth. If you have records of important purchases made during or before your marriage period, these will help the court divide your property properly. Usually, if someone keeps the house, the other person will get property or money worth half of the home’s value. Particularly, locate all records related to your pets, assets, debts, life insurance, and all documents relating to any separate property you may want to claim. Sometimes you may need to trace your interest in property and we can help you with that.

Seek Help

Both legal and emotional. Many divorces require a San Diego divorce attorney or at least a mediator to help sort out all the fine details. These professionals can also help you see your spouse as little as possible, which can help keep emotions down. If you and your spouse are somewhat civil, put serious consideration into mediation. It is a much cheaper and civil alternative for filing divorce. You also may probably need a few therapy sessions and there is no stigma to this. Divorce is a difficult and emotional process. Don’t go through it alone. At very least, speak with a few close friends. There are many types of mediation – Call us today at 619-692-8100 to get informed.

Think About the Children

If you and your spouse are on good enough terms, you should discuss child custody together. Whoever is closest to the children may elect to be their primary care provider, but know that each case is individual. Kids are the happiest and healthiest when they see both parents on a regular basis. As to you, your spouse, or the father or mother of the child, you may not like each other but hopefully you can walk away from this marriage or relationship being civil to each other.

Gather Evidence

In most divorces, this will not apply because faults are not taken into consideration for property division. If you believe your spouse is an unfit parent though, you may need evidence to prove it. If your spouse does drugs, is an alcoholic or brings home sexual partners on a regular basis, etc., this may affect their custody rights. You may need proof of these accusations though. If you have any photos, phone recordings or other evidence of their misdeeds, get the evidence ready.

Review Your Prenups

If you signed a prenuptial agreement, now’s the time to remember all the details it involves. Make sure you both met all the requirements and see what it says about the issues of the case. Prenups can really help make divorces a mess-free process when they are well-composed and certain laws are followed.

Prepare Your Finances

If you expect to pay alimony and/or child support, be sure you budget these expenses into your current bills. Garwood Reeves can help you estimate how much you may be paying for these support efforts. If you’re selling your house and will have proceeds from the equity, we have even helped with the timing of your new residence purchase.

Begin Your Divorce with Confidence: Consult Our Seasoned Divorce Lawyers in San Diego

The first thing you need to do is to take a deep breath and to try to not worry about everything at once. This is a process. Then, contact our family and divorce law firm to schedule a consultation a San Diego divorce lawyer. We will help you to prepare for your divorce and help you decide where to begin. Our clients report all the time that they feel better after talking to us. Take the first step toward a positive new life.

Reach out to our family and divorce law firm in San Diego to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced divorce lawyers. We will provide guidance on how to prepare for your divorce and help you determine the best starting point.Many of our clients have expressed feeling a sense of relief after speaking with us. Take that first step towards a positive new life today by contacting us at (619) 692-8100.

Divorce FAQs

How long does the entire divorce process take in California?
The minimum ‘waiting period’ for a divorce in California is six months. This is a mandatory time period given to the couple to help them reconsider their marriage and reconcile. The divorce proceedings start only after the waiting period is over. After that, the actual time depends on how well both parties are agreeing on the divorce terms. If the divorce is uncontested (you and your spouse agree on all the divorce terms), the divorce is granted almost immediately. However, if there’s a legal battle involved regarding property, custody of children, and more, the divorce can drag from some months to even a few years.
How can I expedite my divorce process?
The only way to expedite your divorce process in California is by opting for an uncontested divorce. For this, you and your spouse must agree on all terms of your split. If you have a disagreement on certain terms, through divorce mediation, we at Garwood Reeves can help. Through expert counseling, we can help you navigate a difficult situation with ease, helping you make your divorce quick and convenient.
How much does a divorce cost in California?
It completely depends upon the route you are taking: contested or uncontested divorce. There’s no single figure. If it’s an uncontested divorce, the legal process is pretty quick. The cost can be as low as $435, which is the filing fee. However, if you are heading for a contested divorce, be prepared to shell anything between $15,000 and $38,000. The amount actually depends on how long it takes for the dispute to resolve, how much your attorney charges, and how far apart you and your spouse are from the agreement.
If I do not want a divorce. Is there a way to prevent it?

Sorry, the short answer is No. California is a no-fault state and allows anyone to get a divorce at any time and for any reason. So, even if you do not want a divorce, but your spouse does, the court will grant the divorce over “irreconcilable differences.”

At Garwood Reeves, we can help you save your marriage. Our expert divorce mediators can work with you and your spouse to help you resolve your conflicts outside the court and rebuild your relationship.

Is separation mandatory before divorce in California?
No, California Law does not require couples to live separately before their divorce proceedings. Couples, however, can choose legal separation in California before the divorce.
Can I get a divorce without going to court?
Yes, in California, you can get divorced without legal proceedings. This is called an uncontested divorce. For this, you and your spouse need to mutually agree to all the divorce terms, create a marital settlement agreement and submit it to the court for approval.
How is spousal support calculated in California?
In California, spousal support or “alimony” is ordered by the court to help spouses keep up with their previous living standards until the divorce is finalized. The formula used for the calculation of spousal support is 40% of the high earner’s monthly income minus 50% of the low earner’s monthly income. The best part is that California laws on spousal support are gender-neutral.