Dissolution of marriage, commonly known as divorce, is the legal process of ending the marriage by agreement or by court decision, affecting division of your property, custody of your children, support for the children and spousal support for the lower earning spouse. If you have decided to end your marriage or relationship, or your partner has told you that he or she has made that decision, it is important that you know what your legal rights are, and what the process of dissolution of marriage or separation may look like in your case.
There are many reasons to consult with a lawyer at the outset of your divorce or separation, so that you can protect your interests, and understand what your options are. If you are in fear of your personal safety, you may need a domestic violence restraining order. If you are concerned about your spouse dissipating assets, you may need a court order prohibiting the other party from selling stocks and closing bank accounts.
You may need immediate spousal support (also known as alimony) if your spouse has been supporting you while you raised your children. There are many decisions to be made at the end of the marriage, and you need to know how California law applies to the many issues which can arise in your case.