The end of a marriage can be a challenging time. Emotions run high and there are numerous details about your legal relationship that must be addressed. In Carlsbad, as in all of California, married couples can terminate their marriage through a Divorce procedure. If you and your spouse have children and have obtained property during the marriage, a Divorce lawyer can help sort your legal issues, provide appropriate advice, and file the required documents in court.

No-fault Divorce

The state of California observes a “no-fault” Divorce which does not require any party to specify the wrongdoing/s that led to the breakdown of the marriage. A Divorce may be granted on grounds that the parties suffer from irreconcilable differences. However, the fault of one party, such as abandonment, adultery and physical abuse, may be a factor when determining alimony and property division.

Who Can File for Divorce in California?

Only legally married persons can be Divorced in California. Thus, common-law marriages, regardless of the length of time you have lived with one another, or used the name of your husband, cannot be the subject of a Divorce petition. You must also have been a resident of California for a minimum period of six months prior to filing the petition, and in the county where the petition is filed for at least three months.

Waiting Period

A Divorce becomes finalized after six months from filing and service of the Divorce papers on the other spouse. You may not remarry during the waiting period.

Related Issues

Divorce can become complicated when it involves issues of support, child custody and property division, each of which are subject to specific family laws and are often hotly contested. Your Carlsbad family lawyer can help you sort the issues and keep the focus on what is legally relevant to you and your children.

In Carlsbad, California, the law offices of Fischer and Van Thiel, LLP have years of experience in Divorce cases, helping clients prepare legal forms and agreements out of court, and protecting your best interests in court. We also handle child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, and property division cases.

We invite you to call us at (760) 722-7669 to schedule a consultation to discuss the particulars of your case.

As divorce numbers continue to plateau and, in some cases, decrease in many states, the unfortunate truth is that military divorce rates are climbing.

This was revealed by a US Department of Defense sponsored study that was compiled by the RAND corporation. In this study, information provided by 462,444 enlisted service members who served in the military between March 1999 and June 2008 was analyzed to determine if there was an increase in military divorce rates, and the possible reasons behind it.

Key Takeaways from the Study

The study provided some interesting insight which could explain why military divorces are on the rise:

  • Over one quarter (28%) of couples married before September 11, 2011 were to divorce within three years after one party’s deployment to Afghanistan or Iraq lasted for over a year.
  • The divorce rate amongst couples married after September 11, 2001 is lower, with researchers speculating that these couples were better prepared to handle the difficulties of a long-term war.
  • 97% of all divorces occurred after deployment, with women being more likely to divorce than men following deployment.
  • Military families with children are less likely to divorce than those without

Special Considerations for a Californian Military Divorce

In some situations, a military divorce may play out exactly as a typical divorce. Military members are still afforded the right for a Summary Dissolution (if they qualify) and the same legal proceedings often apply. However, there are some special considerations that will likely need to be made if one or both parties are in the military which can complicate the divorce:

  • Pension: An individual’s military pension benefits are considered to be property which can be divided in the divorce. Should an individual already be retired, then calculating and dividing this asset is fairly straightforward. For those who are active members and don’t care to divide the pension equally, then the non-military spouse could obtain his or her share of the payment at the time of the divorce.
  • Child Support: While service members are still legally obligated to support their children, the military may impose additional sanctions on service members (i.e. a separation from military service) for failure to comply.
  • Medical Benefits: Also known as TRICARE, a service member’s children will continue to qualify – and so could the ex-spouse.

Divorce can already be complicated in terms of child support, asset separation and debt repayment. Add TRICARE, pensions, disability payments and survivor benefit plans into the mix, and it can quickly spin out of your control.

The law offices of Fisher & Van Thiel, LLP have over 50 years of experience protecting the rights of those who serve our country. Located in Carlsbad, California, we are one of Southern California’s most experienced military divorce lawyers.

If you or your spouse is either active or retired from the military and you are considering a divorce, please call us today at (760) 722-7669 to discuss the details of your situation.

While women are often the victims of domestic violence, they can also be perpetrators, inflicting harm or using threats of harm on loved ones. In recent news, a top female athlete from the National Women’s Soccer team was arrested after she allegedly attacked her sister and nephew at home. This latest incident serves to remind other victims similarly situated that the law against domestic abuse punishes both men and women who subject their loved ones and close relations to physical, verbal and psychological abuse.

Domestic violence in family law

Domestic violence is punished as a crime in the US. However, the State of California provides legal remedies through its family courts without need of obtaining prior convictions. If you have been harmed or threatened with violence, harassment or subjected to fear of imminent harm, your family lawyer can help you obtain a restraining order against your attacker.

Relationship requirement

Close relationship between the victim and abuser is an important element of domestic violence. The victim and abuser may be:

  • Spouses or former spouses
  • In a dating relationship or dated one another
  • Living together or lived together
  • Related to one another as parent, child, grandparent, brother, sister or in-law

In the athletes case, the victims were allegedly the athletes half-sister and nephew who appeared to have been bruised during the reported incident

Restraining orders as a remedy

When someone close to you is harassing you, stalking you or threatening you with harm, talk to your lawyer about the possibility of obtaining a restraining order for your protection.

Depending on the circumstances of your application, the judge may issue a temporary restraining order until your hearing date which may result in a permanent one. Restraining orders arising from domestic violence can include orders for the other party to stay away from you, your family, and pets, and to move out. You may also be able to request for other orders such as child custody and visitation.

In Carlsbad, California, the law firm of Fischer & VanThiel, LLP has years of proven experience in domestic violence cases, helping distressed clients obtain restraining orders or defend themselves against charges of domestic abuse. Call us today at 760-722-7669 to talk to a lawyer or schedule a consultation.

A military no contact order is comparable to a civilian restraining order. It is issued by a service member’s commanding officer when there have been reports of domestic violence or abuse. If misused, also like a civilian restraining order, it can also be used against a service member to gain the upper hand in custody issues and/or a divorce.

In the civil legal system, a person needs to show some kind of evidence of abuse to be granted a restraining order. That’s not true if the alleged abuser is in the military and the person who claims to be abused makes a report to the commanding officer. The military can take the view that the alleged abused is guilty until proven innocent.

This order requires that the military member can have no contact with their spouse or children without being escorted by someone in their chain of command. Additionally, the service member will be required to move out of their home, and move into base housing on post.

During this period, it is possible for the service member’s spouse to remove their children and belongings from their residence, and even move out of the state. This could have a serious emotional impact on the service member, especially if the abuse allegations are not true. Not following the order could potentially result in a court martial and do serious damage to a military career.

If you’re a military member facing domestic abuse, child custody or divorce issues, contact our office for a free consultation.


Fewer military spouses are got divorced in fiscal year 2013 compared to prior years, according to an article in the Military Times. The divorce rate for men and women in the services was 3.4%, down a tenth of a percent from 2012. About 7.2% women serving in the military informed the Department of Defense (DoD) they were divorced in fiscal 2013, according to DoD, down from 8% in 2011.

Divorce rates among military members are not uniform, according to the DoD data.

  • While 7.2% of military women reported divorces, only 2.9% of men did the same.
  • Enlisted troops were more likely to get divorced compared to officers, 3.8% vs. 1.9%.
  • The highest divorce rate was among Air Force enlisted members at 4.3%.
  • Those married before 2001 had a higher divorce rate than those married afterward.

A recent study by the Rand Corp. funded by the DoD documented a direct correlation between cumulative time spent on deployment and the chances of a military marriage ending in divorce. According to the report, with military involvement in Iraq substantially curtailed and troops withdrawing from Afghanistan, deployments are less frequent for many service members, so military families should be less stressful than at the height of the Iraq war. The study also suggested that military family programs have improved significantly, which should help married couples stay together.

It’s hard to compare military and civilian divorce rates because the civilian world does not track data like DoD and the military population is demographically very different than the public at large. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 6.8 divorces for every thousand people in the U.S. in 2011.

If you’re a member of the military, or retired from the military, or you’re married to a current or retired member of the military, and you have questions about divorce, contact your office for a free consultation.


Unfortunately we as Americans are experiencing a steady increase in the rate of military divorces. In the past ten years, starting with the Afghanistan war in 2001 to 2011 the rate of divorce increased from 2.6 percent to 3.7 percent. The honorable act of serving one’s country can often times lead to a strained relationship that ultimately may require a couple to file for divorce.

Many couples, specifically the spouse who remains stateside while the military member is away on active duty, claim there is a lack of expectation when it comes to the realities of a military marriage. Often times an active member may not be able to fully comprehend or explain what the life of a military spouse will be like, or they may be hesitant to reveal the realities of the situation for fear of losing their spouse. The physical and emotional distances can create a void between couples and collectively many needs can feel unfulfilled.

Couples seeking a military divorce should find some comfort in the fact that it is much like a civilian divorce. Although largely regulated by state law, depending where the divorce is filed there may be some federal regulations you must abide by. There are also statues such as the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, which afford a spouse certain rights and protections, which may be applicable to your military divorce. If you and your spouse are seeking a military divorce contact the Family Law attorney’s at Fischer & Van Thiel LLP to ensure you file correctly in order to sure the most efficient and fast finalization.