Frequently Asked Questions

Divorce law can be a complex topic for those unfamiliar with the field. At the law firm of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, we have taken it upon ourselves to ensure that you are familiar with each issue that arises in a divorce. 

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Pre/Postnuptial Agreements (2)

What is a Prenuptial Agreement and Who Needs It?

 Mike’s Answer: What is a Prenuptial Agreement? From rap songs to chitchat around the water cooler, you may have heard the word “prenup” being thrown around, especially if a wedding is on your horizon.  But what exactly is a prenup,…

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Child Custody (10)

How is child custody determined?

 Mike’s Answer: When a court is faced with deciding a child custody case there is always one main focus in mind, the best interest of the child or children. In order to determine the best interest of the child a…

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Will my children be taken from me if I get divorced and am not a citizen?

 Mike’s Answer: California law explicitly states a parent’s immigration status is not a factor when a judge decides a child custody matter. The state’s family code section 3040(a) and (b) state in part, (a)    Custody should be granted in the…

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Can I move out of state with the children? Do I have to have an Order?

An out-of-state move can result in a much superior situation for children in a divorce, but can also cause numerous issues should the other parent fail to give their consent for a move. The primary concern of a judge is…

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Divorce (36)

What happens with our pets during and after the divorce? What if I don’t trust the other side to take proper care of them?

 Mike’s Answer: For some couples, pets are an integral part of the family, but they can be another source of contention during a divorce. Under the law, pets are considered property, and they are essentially treated no different from a…

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There is no court order for visitation. Do I have to let my ex see the kids?

 Mike’s Answer: It is not advisable to prohibit your ex from seeing your children.  Visitation between the noncustodial parent (your ex) and the child is presumed beneficial. Therefore, a judge will not look favorably upon you interfering with your ex-husband’s…

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My ex is planning to move across the country after the divorce. How will visitation work then?

Craig’s Answer: Because you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse know that the move will happen soon after the divorce is finalized, a visitation schedule for this scenario should be included in the divorce agreement. Doing so now will save you from…

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Spousal Support / Alimony (6)

My husband cheated. Will I get extra spousal support?

Craig’s Answer: In many California marriages there are unfortunately issues of discovered adultery by one party. If you are involved in a situation regarding a cheating spouse, you should educate yourself on your options in this incredibly difficult time in…

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What is the date of separation and why is it important?

Craig’s Answer: The date of separation has significant legal consequences in divorce cases because California courts use this date to determine the respective spouses’ property interests. California is a community property state, which generally means that the property that the…

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Move Away (2)

Can I move out of state with the children? Do I have to have an Order?

An out-of-state move can result in a much superior situation for children in a divorce, but can also cause numerous issues should the other parent fail to give their consent for a move. The primary concern of a judge is…

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My ex is planning to move across the country after the divorce. How will visitation work then?

Craig’s Answer: Because you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse know that the move will happen soon after the divorce is finalized, a visitation schedule for this scenario should be included in the divorce agreement. Doing so now will save you from…

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Property Division (4)

Will I Be Responsible for My Husband’s Business Tax Debt?

Craig’s Answer: We have a lot of tax debt incurred during the marriage due to my ex’s business. Will I still be responsible for it after the divorce? Nobody wants to pay for a debt that they are not responsible…

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What happens with our pets during and after the divorce? What if I don’t trust the other side to take proper care of them?

 Mike’s Answer: For some couples, pets are an integral part of the family, but they can be another source of contention during a divorce. Under the law, pets are considered property, and they are essentially treated no different from a…

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What is the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act?

A couple filing for a military divorce has many facets to consider. With the marriage to a member of the military come many rights, protections and benefits. In June of 1981 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that treating military retired…

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Women's Rights (1)

When can desertion be claimed in a marriage?

Craig’s Answer: Desertion or abandonment is a term used when a spouse believes their spouse has left or essentially deserted the marriage. Desertion may be claimed if a spouse abruptly leaves the marriage without explanation, reasoning or notification. Due to…

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Mediation (1)

What are Collaborative and Mediated divorces?

 Mike’s Answer: Collaborative or mediated divorce are an alternative to the standard divorce process and provides a way for parties to avoid litigation. The divorce process can be incredibly stressful, and emotionally and financially draining. Collaborative or mediated divorce can…

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Family Law (51)

What are Collaborative and Mediated divorces?

 Mike’s Answer: Collaborative or mediated divorce are an alternative to the standard divorce process and provides a way for parties to avoid litigation. The divorce process can be incredibly stressful, and emotionally and financially draining. Collaborative or mediated divorce can…

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What is an Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce?

Craig’s Answer: A divorce in California is also sometimes called a Dissolution of Marriage, and can be filed either as contested or uncontested. A contested divorce simply means both parties are not in agreement and are contesting some of the…

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What is same sex divorce?

 Mike’s Answer: In California marriage may occur between same sex couples or heterosexual couples. Along the same lines California provides the dissolution of marriage, or divorce, to be granted to both types of couples as well. Registered domestic partnerships and…

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Military Divorce (9)

What is the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act?

A couple filing for a military divorce has many facets to consider. With the marriage to a member of the military come many rights, protections and benefits. In June of 1981 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that treating military retired…

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What is a Family Care Plan for Child Custody in a Military Divorce?

 Mike’s Answer: As with normal civilians, military couples are presented with child custody issues if they are seeking dissolution of marriage. Members of the military are aware that active duty often requires time away from home due to deployments, training…

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What is the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) in a Military Divorce?

 Mike’s Answer: The SCRA was enacted in order to help protect service member’s rights if and when they are called to active duty. It protects regular service branch members, in conjunction with members of the Coast Guard serving on active…

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Domestic Violence (6)

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Stop Harrasment (6)

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Restraining Orders (6)

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Child Support (2)

How is Child Support Calculated?

 Mike’s Answer: A divorce is complicated enough on its own, but when children are thrown into the mix, the emotional and financial elements are heightened even more. If you’re going through a divorce, both parties might be wondering how much…

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Can parents create their own agreement for child support?

 Mike’s Answer: Yes, parents can stipulate their own agreement regarding child support, but it must be approved by the court. In order for the court to consider reviewing the agreement, it must meet the following guidelines: There must already be…

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