Orange County Divorce Attorney for Women
With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our team is highly qualified to provide legal services for your most difficult family circumstances.
Orange County Divorce Attorney
One of the hardest legal battles to enter into is divorce. Between changing family dynamics and ensuring that the division of assets is completely fair, these legal situations can be hard to navigate for all parties, especially women. Women seeking divorce representation should have a legal team able to support them and ensure that their rights are adequately upheld before the court. In the Orange County area, the professionals at DeArmey Law can help women seeking representation for divorce proceedings.
What Is the Divorce Process Like?
Acknowledging marital issues and gathering information are the first steps in divorce proceedings. When one spouse is served with divorce papers, they have 30 days to reply before the divorce is finalized without their involvement. Declaring any temporary orders is the next step in the divorce proceedings. An example would be temporary child custody, which typically remains in effect until a final judgment is made by the court. From there, the court is presented with the financial components of a relationship, including any debts, loans, and lists of income, to be split.
Is Divorce Different for Women?
Gender is not a primary factor in deciding the outcome of a divorce. However, certain issues can make the process more complicated or serious for women. For example, domestic violence issues disproportionately affect more women than men. This can make an airtight divorce case critical to ensuring the safety of the women involved in those situations. Similarly, in cases of child abuse, men are more likely to perpetuate this abuse, leaving a mother to take the necessary steps towards dissolving a marriage or seeking a protective order for the sake of their child.
Domestic violence, including child abuse, is not exclusively faced by women and should not be represented as “women’s issues.” These crimes, however, disproportionately affect women and can have serious and life-threatening consequences. For those in these situations, help is available, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline is accepting calls at any time.
Key Aspects of a Divorce Case
- Child Custody: During divorce proceedings, if the separating spouses have any shared children, child custody discussions will be used to determine that child’s custodial guardian. Two parents are not necessary to decide custody. In California, either parent may be granted exclusive custody, or both parents may equally share it. The parenting plan that both parents have agreed upon will typically be accepted by the judge, even though they have the last say over custody and visitation. If the parents cannot agree, the judge will decide at a court hearing. Usually, the parents and a mediator from Family Court Services meet before a court decides on custody and visitation.
- Alimony: This is a payment arrangement between ex-spouses typically referred to as “spousal support,” sometimes known as “alimony” or “spousal maintenance.” It helps lower-income partners maintain their financial stability after a divorce. Suppose one spouse is the primary provider in a marriage. In that case, a payment plan based on their earnings, the length of the marriage, and any unpaid debts may be included in the divorce settlement. The higher-earning spouse may then be required to make these payments to the lower-earning spouse. In addition to other payments like child support, an ex-spouse may be compelled to send money every month to the person receiving spousal support to assist them in feeling more financially secure.
- Property Allotment: California is considered a community property state, meaning that any assets purchased during a marriage are considered shared property between both spouses. During the divorce process, these assets are divided between both spouses. The value of the assets is considered when deciding whether the split is even between both parties. For example, if one spouse retains a large rental property purchased during the marriage, the other spouse may be awarded more pieces of property that are deemed equal in value. Property allotment can be a very contentious portion of the divorce process and often leads to more stressful proceedings, especially in situations with higher-net-worth individuals.
- Child Support: A parent who does not have primary custody of their children may still be required by a divorce agreement to pay regular child support to the parent who does, depending on the financial equity of the final settlement. Child support payments were developed to compensate for a parent’s lack of involvement in a child’s development and are meant to assist in providing for a shared child. State governments are in charge of managing child support, and California has a special set of child support laws that assess and determine monthly child support payments. These are based on several variables, ranging from parental income to a child’s healthcare needs.
Do Women Benefit More From Divorce?
Why Do Women Seek Divorce in OC, CA?
Besides the obvious reasons for filing, like infidelity or threats of violence, the reasons that women choose to file for divorce range in complexity and can vary from situation to situation. California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that a divorce does not need to be based on wrongdoings committed by another spouse, and the reasoning behind filing is unnecessary to pursue separation. Some common reasons women seek divorce include:
- Emotional Burdens: Women are more likely to bear the emotional burdens of their partnerships, premarital relations, and marriages. Any relationship, but particularly marriages, depends heavily on communication. Unfortunately, men are not generally taught how to express themselves or deal with their feelings in a healthy way. Married women are now left to take on a greater share of the emotional burdens, possibly serving as the family’s sole source of emotional support. This can have a devastating physical, mental, and emotional toll over the months and years, leaving spouses feeling isolated. If they experience loneliness, a divorce petition might be filed.
- Labor Divisions: Although traditional gender roles have been mostly abandoned in society, the institution of marriage appears to be reaffirming some gendered duties. In the United States, women now make up slightly over half of the workforce, working away from home more than ever. Even though they have more on their plates outside of the home, women are still burdened with most domestic responsibilities in many marriages. In many households, wives are still frequently expected to handle most of the cooking, cleaning, and childcare duties. This holds true even if both spouses work full-time jobs.
- Independence: In the past, many women stayed in unhappy marriages because they were financially dependent on their husbands. They might not have received the support of nearby family members or the training or education necessary to succeed on their own. Some people may have also been concerned about the divorce’s negative social perception. Today’s spouses are considerably more likely to be free to end a marriage and have access to a much wider range of options. They will not be forced into a marriage they do not desire or feel safe in because of their financial situation. Since divorce occurs in around 50% of all marriages, it no longer carries as much stigma as it once did. This gives women a renewed sense of confidence in filing for divorce.
- Problem-Solving: In general, women are more inclined than men to act when solving an issue. Even if this is not always the case, it can lead women to act more quickly than men to save a failing marriage. Women frequently take action to address issues before men do, such as getting divorced, obtaining counseling or therapy, or filing for such programs. Women are more likely to identify a problem as it develops and take action to prevent or address it before it causes more issues. For example, if a couple’s kitchen sink is full of dishes, a wife is more likely to do the dishes and clean them up, whereas a husband is more likely to continue using new dishes without thinking about how this is contributing to the dish pile up. Although seemingly arbitrary, responsibility questions like these can take an emotional toll on a partner, especially if they have been previously addressed but not solved. Constantly being put into a problem-solving role can be extremely unfulfilling.
- Safety: Although domestic violence impacts both men and women, more women are likely to face an abusive partner, which can lead to divorce. In some cases, divorce proceedings concerning an abusive husband can include provisions regarding restraining orders or restrictive orders, especially if the husband is considered an active threat. Similarly, for women whose husbands are in active addiction or have committed a crime, divorce may be a necessary decision to create distance between her and her husband. These situations revolve around creating a safe and secure environment for the spouses, and sometimes children, who are endangered by the actions of an abusive or unsupportive husband.
As a woman, it may seem intimidating to address these concerns with a partner. Open communication is crucial for a healthy relationship, and without it, issues like these cannot be properly addressed. Seeking legal support with these issues by filing for divorce is a big step, but it is sometimes necessary for resolving any long standing issues with a spouse.
Seeking Legal Help With a Divorce
Beginning a divorce is always stressful, especially for women, and ensuring that the full extent of a woman’s rights is upheld in a divorce case is critical for proper representation. Finding legal support to ensure that women’s rights are properly represented is essential for a strong case, and at DeArmey Law, our practice ensures effective representation. We help the women of Orange County seek the legal help they need to file for divorce. For more information about our practice, including a full list of family law attorneys and topics we cover, visit our website and contact us today.