Divorce FAQ

Can't I Represent Myself During Divorce Proceedings?

You can, but that would be extremely unwise, especially if important matters are at stake like child custody, property division or alimony. You need an experienced trial lawyer on your side to ensure that your rights and interests are protected. You have enough to worry about with your divorce; let us help alleviate your burdens by doing the heavy lifting and negotiating, while you focus on your well-being and that of your family.

Is It A Good Idea To Date During A Divorce?

Every case is different, but generally speaking, the answer is no — it's best to wait until your divorce is finalized. Why? Consider these issues:

  • Child custody and visitation: If you have children with your spouse, dating during the divorce could make matters complicated — and potentially detrimental to you – on a number of levels. For example, if your children do not like your new partner, that could factor into the court's decision regarding child custody, as the court will make its decision based on what is in the children's best interests. In general, you do not want to expose yourself to the claim that you are being selfish or not thinking about your children's feelings. Also, if your new partner has a questionable past, that could become a factor that sways the court in your ex-spouse's favor.
  • Division of community property: If you and your new partner are living together, the judge hearing your case could take this fact into consideration when deciding matters of property division. For example, if your financial position has been positively affected due to your sharing expenses with your new partner, it's possible that asset and property division will be unfavorable to you.
  • Spousal support: Dating someone new will not necessarily affect the amount of spousal support you pay or receive. However, if you intend to receive spousal support but you move in with your new partner, the amount your ex-spouse is ordered to pay could be reduced, particularly if your new partner has some wealth.

Can Social Media Evidence Be Used In Divorce Proceedings?

Yes. Be very careful about how you use social media during your divorce. Whatever your social media habits may have been in the past, it is important that you do not overshare now. Why? You would be surprised by the types of social media evidence your spouse's attorney may try to use against you. In general, it is usually best to take a break from social media until your divorce is finalized.

Keep these things in mind with regard to social media and divorce:

  • Social media posts, including pictures and status updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are discoverable in divorce litigation, as are emails and text messages. Additionally, if someone else posts a photo of you – even if you did not give them permission to do so — that photo could be used as evidence.
  • Unfriending or blocking your ex-spouse does not necessarily protect you. Your page could still be visible to others, including mutual friends or family members. If you choose to continue using social media, be sure to adjust your privacy settings to the highest level of privacy. Still, it is usually best to refrain from using social media until after your divorce is finalized.

What Is The Difference Between Uncontested And Contested Divorce?

In California, there are two primary kinds of divorce: "uncontested" and "contested." These are some of the main differences:

Uncontested Divorce

Many people are not aware that a divorce can be uncontested, meaning that the spouses agree on most, if not all, of the outlined terms of the divorce. With uncontested divorce, you are not required to appear before a judge to litigate any matters of dispute, such as child custody, property division or spousal support. Instead, you likely will have to appear before a judge only once to have the terms of your divorce reviewed and confirmed.

If your divorce is uncontested, you will likely save money and time, compared with the amount of money and time typically required for a contested divorce. However, if you and your spouse disagree on even a single request or provision, your divorce could become contested, requiring litigation of whatever issue or issues that need to be resolved.

In any case, it is important to have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side, even if your divorce is uncontested. A divorce attorney can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected every step of the way toward the new chapter in your life.

Contested Divorce

Simply put, contested divorce is any divorce involving spouses who cannot agree on every aspect of the divorce, and the parties need the court to decide on one or more issues.

Contested divorces arise from disputes regarding child custody, child support, property division, spousal support and special provisions or requests by the parties. Really, when most people think of "divorce," they imagine the adversarial scenario that characterizes contested divorce.

If you are going through a contested divorce, contact Westover Law Group as soon as possible. We are fearless legal advocates with an extraordinary record of success for clients throughout Southern California.

What Types Of Forms Need To Be Filed For Divorce Proceedings?

Negotiating the terms of the divorce is an important part of the process, but so is properly filling out the paperwork. It's best to have an experienced attorney's guidance in these matters. We can help you complete all the forms needed to finalize your divorce, including:

  • Declaration of Disclosure (FL-140)
  • Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure (FL-141)
  • Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142)
  • Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150)
  • Property Declaration (FL-160)

Contact Us Today

To speak with us confidentially about your divorce, call us in Murrieta at 951-290-3268 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation. We advise and represent divorce clients throughout Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino counties.