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What Will the Judge Decide in My California Divorce Case?

At the end of a marriage, many different things have to be decided. You can turn all of the decisions over to the court, if you wish to do so- but this is going to be a time consuming and expensive way to make choices and it could end up with both you and your spouse being very unhappy. You could also try to make decisions on your own for a divorce settlement agreement and parenting plan. california divorce case

It is essentially up to both you and your spouse what you let the judge decide in your California divorce case and what you end up deciding on your own. If you can come to a compromise and create a plan without litigating it, you can save money and everyone is likely to be happier in the long run. An Irvine divorce attorney at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide guidance and assistance in negotiating a divorce settlement and can help you to understand how the judge does make decisions in divorce cases if you end up asking the judge to decide on issues for you.

What Does a Judge Decide in a California Divorce Case?

The key issues that must be decided in a California divorce case include:

  • Division of community property.
  • Alimony or spousal support, if appropriate.
  • Division of physical and legal custody of children.
  • Child support.

Child support is determined by a standard formula, and there is no deviation from this formula unless there is a very good reason. Regarding the other three key issues however, either couples can negotiate and decide on these issues themselves or they will need to litigate the issues and let a judge decide.

If you can work with your spouse with the help of a lawyer, and sometimes with the help of professionals like a mediator or a collaborative divorce coach, you can end up creating a property division and custody division that makes sense for your individual and family needs.  However, if you cannot come to an agreement, then you will need to litigate on the specific issues that there is no consensus on and a judge will decide.

When a judge makes decisions, there are laws that guide the judge. For example, under community property rules, each spouse gets a share of property equal to 50 percent of the marital estate. The judge could decide that one spouse gets the cars and the other gets the joint bank account, for example.  Under spousal support rules, a number of factors including the length of the marriage are used to determine whether alimony is appropriate and what the right amount is. Finally, the best interests of the child standard is used to determine how to divide up custody.

An Irvine divorce lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can help with your California divorce case by assisting you in determining what a judge would decide and by helping you to negotiate an out-of-court settlement that works best for you. Call as soon as possible so we can start the negotiation process and maximize your chances you’ll come to an out of court agreement.