Changing Clients’ Lives since 2013
Welcome to Lavinsky Law a Los Angeles Family Law Firm
The Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce
When you are legally divorced, you are then free to remarry. If you are only legally separated, you cannot remarry.
In the state of California, simply moving out of the home shared with a partner or spouse does not mean that they are legally separated. This date is your date of separation, but you will need to file legal documents for your separation to become recognized by the law.
Individuals who are older, who want to continue sharing health insurance and who are not interested in marrying may choose to remain legally separated. But the majority of individuals want to move on with their lives and will choose to legally divorce at some point.
The Dissolution of a Marriage
In the state of California, at least one spouse must be a resident of the state for 180 days or six months prior to the divorce. Once the paperwork for a divorce has been delivered to your spouse, you must then wait a minimum of six months before your divorce can be finalized.
California is a no-fault state, meaning that you cannot argue for a divorce based on something that the other person did. The most common basis for a divorce is “irreconcilable differences” for two reasons:
- You are given the right to have your divorce granted at some point
- Your divorce is not contingent on the other person signing
Once the divorce process starts you can enter mediation to discuss several issues including:
- Child support
- Child custody
- Spousal/partner support
Same-Sex Marriage Rules the Same as Opposite-Sex Marriage Rules?
Yes. Anyone who registered or married California as a same-sex married couple can get legally divorced in California, even if they no longer reside in our state.
The Division of Marital Property
Our state is only one of the few in our country which uses a community property system. This means that all of the property and debts that you acquired throughout your marriage are equally distributed between the two parties at the divorce. This includes many income revenues such as:
- Savings from income
- Other assets (such as vehicles, boats, etc.)
What this does not include is the separate property of a spouse. Separate property would be property acquired before the marriage and after the separation, as well as any gifts and inheritances.
Temporary and Permanent Spousal/Partner Support
Also known as “alimony”, this is a payment from one spouse to another after they separate with plans to later divorce. This type of payment requires one spouse to make payments to another spouse on a temporary basis, a permanent basis, or both.
- This regular payment is made from a spouse who earns more money to the spouse who earns less
- This type of payment is meant to provide a form of financial support to a lower-earning spouse during a divorce proceeding
- It ends once a permanent alimony award is granted
- Often called “long-term support”
- Regular support payment from a payor spouse to a supported spouse
- It is intended to keep the supported spouse at the previous “martial standard of living”
California courts will initially presume that is best for a child to have frequent and continual contact with both parents in the event of a divorce. Judges strongly support joint custody arrangements, but only to a point.
Details of your parenting plan will be determined with a view to the best interest of your child. If both parents can agree on a parenting plan, the court will typically approve it.
If you do not agree on the parenting plan, you will then be ordered to attend one or more mediation sessions. If that does notwork, then the court has no choice but to have a judge decide how both parents will share time with their children.
Child Support Payments
Parents are required to support their children after a divorce. The amount of child support a parent may pay will depend on:
- The income of each parent
- How much time each child spends with the parent
- The child’s standard of living prior to the divorce or separation
- The needs of the child (i.e. daycare, health insurance, education, special needs)
The child support you pay today, however, may not be the same you pay in the future depending on the above factors and several others. You can contest the amount paid or received at any time.
Post Judgment Modifications
What may have happened in court today does not necessarily mean that it will stay in place forever.
Child custody and child visitation can be modified post judgment at any time as long as there has been:
- A significant change in circumstances since the final order; and
- The proposed order is in the child’s best interest.
Child support can also be modified after a divorce depending on income changes of both parents, though it is uncommon for property divisions to be changed. In any event, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney who is well versed in family law before you proceed to ensure the best outcome.
Prenuptial & Post Nuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement of who owns what property before you say your “I do’s”, while a post nuptial agreement is one which happens after the marriage has occurred.
A prenuptial agreement is a good way to protect yourself if you have substantial premarital assets, but if you did not enter into such an agreement before walking down the aisle or if you have obtained significant assets throughout your marriage, you have the option of entering into a post nuptial agreement.
Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders
Being a no-fault state, California does not take domestic violence into account when it comes to comes to divorce. When it comes to the welfare of children, however, domestic violence will have an impact on custody and other issues.
Lavinsky Law will advocate on behalf of you and your child’s protection every step of the way, from ensuring domestic restraining orders (both temporary and permanent) are filed to strong arming criminal protective orders. We will help ensure that a dangerous person or persons will get no where near you or a loved one and will have no contact per court order.
Some grounds for a restraining order include:
- Social, verbal and sexual abuse
- Physical abuse or assault
- The destruction of personal property
- Ongoing annoying phone calls, emails and texts
- Social media bullying
- Violent or threatening behavior
Lavinsky Law for Any Family Law Issue
Based out of Los Angeles, California, Lavinsky Law prides itself on serving the best interest of their clients with family law issues. We are committed to informing the public about their family law rights and offer free consultations to anyone who is considering divorce, child custody, spousal support or any other familial issue. We believe Brighter Days Are Ahead and we can help you reach that day.
To arrange for your free consultation, Lavinsky Law invites you to call (310) 274-2717.
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Lavinsky Law in Words of Our Clients
She was very responsive and knew so much and aggressive. She put my mind at ease and relieved me of stress.. She won the case and got the order thrown out. Very knowledgeable and flexible… Great attorney would recommend anytime.
My family law matter was very complex with several issues. I was referred to Alexandra by a former client of hers. When I came to Alexandra I was was extremely stressed! I had sought help from two other Attorneys before coming to her. I stood to lose a lot if not represented by a good attorney. Let me just say that during my very first meeting with Alexandra, she had put my mind at complete ease. Alexandra took the time to listen. She asked me questions so that she could better understand my particular situation. It was immediately obvious to me that she was forming a tactical approach toward a resolution as we conversed about my issues. I was in her office a little more than one hour before she had picked up her phone, made two calls and had managed to resolve three of the concerns I had in my case! Of course the remaining issues went before a Judge. Alexandra provided excellent, competent representation to me in court. She was aggressive and I must admit, very creative and even crafty in the way she handled my case. I couldn’t believe that with all of the issues I came to her with, she managed to achieve not only a very desirable outcome which was beneficial to all; but she did it having only appeared in court for two hearings. I’m sure that this was due in part to her exceptional negotiating skills which she exercised right away when contacting my ex-wife’s Attorney. I was amazed that I actually got a refund of the unused portion of the retainer I paid her. It wasn’t a whole lot mind you but, my point is, that she did not send me statements with ridiculous unnecessary charges in an attempt to keep my money. I fully expected to pay a little more than the initial retainer I had given her. This was not the case. Instead, I got a little of my hard earned money back. I’m sure this is not the “norm” for a client to receive a refund of an unused retainer; but this was the case with me. This just goes to show that Alexandra is an honest and caring Attorney who understands people and she exercises good business practices. To her credit, Alexandra really listened and she took whatever time was necessary to understand my situation and my needs. She is an extremely competent, knowledgeable and caring Attorney. She is aggressive when necessary. She was surprisingly accessible to me throughout the entire process. She took the time to return my phone calls when she was not immediately available to speak with me. She kept me informed every step of the way. What more can clients ask of their Attorney? Alexandra got the job done; all the while, keeping me at ease! I would highly recommend her to anyone without any reservation whatsoever! Thank you so very much Alexandra.
Ms Lavinsky was very accommodating in arranging our first appointment, quick, easy and uncomplicated. Her approach to addressing the issue at hand is very straight forward, yet she gave us plenty of useful information, particularly as far as the legal angle is concerned – as to deciding on future steps to take. Our issues might require to deal with a county agency. She seems to be as knowledgeable about this particular agency as one could possibly hope for. If we will have to we would continue to stay with her office. Pleasant and reassuring. There would be no need to look for another attorney in her field if our case would necessitate it.
Alexandra Lavinsky helped me out in every which way possible. She calmed me down and dealt with my legal situation in such a professional manner. She saved me from alot of grief and emotional stress and made things better immediately! She is my go to lawyer for everything, not only entertainment but for every specialty!
Our Legal Team
Alexandra R. Lavinsky, ESQ.
Emily E. Rubenstein, ESQ.