Divorce & Family Law

Divorce & Family Law


Meeting Your Family's Needs

If your marriage is no longer working, you may be unsure of what the implications of divorce or legal separation might be for your family. Before you troll the Internet for information — which may not be accurate for your particular situation — you should talk with an experienced Vista divorce attorney.
 
At the Law Office of Steven Medearis, we will tell you the truth about your options in divorce. We help men and women — including those in the military — throughout the North San Diego region understand their rights and make smart decisions that protect their interests. From child custody and support issues to allegations of domestic violence, we have more than a decade of experience to meet your family's needs.

Know Your Rights 

If you are in the midst of or considering divorce, it pays to know your rights. To discuss your case in a free consultation with our lawyer, contact our firm online or by calling us toll free.
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Division Of Property

California is a community property state. This means that anything purchased or any debt accumulated during the marriage is considered communal and thus divisible in the event of divorce. We can help you identify potential property division issues and determine separate property, such as inheritance money or personal property purchased before the marriage, from communal property.
 
Before the economic downturn, a couple's home was often their most valued — and most contested — asset. Because the housing bubble burst, however, many families have very little equity in their houses, or the property is upside down, meaning individuals owe more on their mortgage than the property is currently worth. We will help you understand how this could affect your divorce and work toward an equitable solution.

Community property is the property profits and debts received by a husband and wife during the marriage, with the exception of inheritances, specific gifts to one of the spouses, and property profits clearly traceable to property owned before marriage, all of which is separate property.
  • Community property recognizes the equal contribution of both parties to the marriage even though one or the other may earn more income through employment. By written agreement or action the married couple can turn (transmute) separate property into community property, including by commingling community and separate funds in one account.

  • Separate property is owned by one spouse which he/she acquired: a) before marriage, b) by inheritance, c) as a gift, d) assets traceable to other separate property such as money received from sale of a house owned before marriage, and e) property the spouses agree is separate property. State laws vary, but basically separate property can be controlled by the spouse owning it.

  • Quasi community property can be described as property acquired by a couple who have not been married, but have lived and purchased the property as if they were married. Often this includes property purchased or received by a couple shortly before marriage.
Upon divorce community property is divided equally without regard to fault. In the State of California, upon the death of one spouse all the community property goes to the other, while separate property is kept by the owner without division with the other spouse.

Spousal Support Concerns

Spousal support is determined based on the individual incomes of each spouse and the standard of living the couple assumed when married. It can be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on your unique circumstances. We help you understand your rights or obligations regarding spousal support, and we will take the appropriate steps to protect your interests.

Spousal support can be defined as the payment for support of an ex-spouse (or a spouse while a divorce is pending) ordered by the court.
 
More commonly called alimony, spousal support is the term used in California and a few other states as part of new non-confrontational language.
 
Spousal support is calculated based on the length of the marriage, both parties' income, standard of living, etc
 
"If you or your spouse is in the military, your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) stipends will most likely be included in a spousal support calculation. Contact us for more information on how this might affect your divorce case."
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