A Divorce Lawyer Can Help You Navigate Complex Proceedings
Maureen A. Faria has been in practice since 1988 as a matrimonial lawyer, sometimes referred to as a divorce lawyer or family law attorney, and serves clients in the Rocklin, CA, area. Ms. Faria helps both men and women protect their best interests when seeking to legally terminate their domestic relationships. This legal termination can be filed and conducted in a few different ways, and is chosen based on the needs and wants of the parties filing for this legal action.
Ms. Faria has helped many men and women dissolve their marriage as quickly and painlessly as possible. She strives to serve the best interests of her clients and help couples reach an amicable agreement on the terms of their separation.
Dissolution of Marriage
There are many ways to resolve legal disputes. Some of these require appearances in court and other do not. One of the most effective ways of Divorce Dispute Resolution outside of court is by a process known as “mediation.” While it is understood that there may be a level of disagreement between the parties at the onset, to be successful the process requires that both parties ultimately want to settle their matter fairly and equitably.
The Mediator, preferably an experienced and trained Mediation Attorney, is retained by the parties as a “neutral” to help them reach agreement on specific issues. This means that the Mediator does not represent either party. Rather, each party represents him or herself in “propria persona” (pro per). The attorney mediator, will usually advise the parties as to the law pertaining to their particular set of facts, point out as many options and forseeable consequences of any one option or another, and then assist them in reaching a fair and equitable solution. Once an agreement is reached, the Mediator prepares the Marital Settlement Agreement and all other documents necessary for filing with the court.
Another form of Alternate Dispute Resolution is referred to as “Collaborative Law.” This is not a separate body of law, but rather a specialized way of handling “moderately” contested cases. In this environment, each party has his or her own attorney but have agreed to settle the case outside of court. Here the parties and their counsel work together, sharing ideas and information, in order to create a solution that works best for both parties. Often outside professionals are called upon to provide helpful information, such as counselors, therapists, accountants, or actuaries. The attorneys then work together to prepare all documents for filing with the court. The incentive to find the solution outside of court is strong, in that if the parties are unable to reach agreement, each must dismiss his or her counsel, and retain new counsel to proceed with the matter in court.
Ms. Faria has also helped many clients file for legal separation, an alternative resolution. Legal separation is essentially identical to the divorce action except for one primary aspect: it does not terminate the status of marriage. Thus the parties are not returned to single status and not free to re-marry. Some couples prefer this to divorce for religious reasons, so that a non-employee spouse can retain coverage as a dependent under the employee spouse’s health insurance, or sometimes for estate planning reasons. Contrary to a divorce, there is no six-month residency requirement to file the action and no six-month waiting period before for the judgment of legal separation can be effective.
Marriage is an official status as a civil contract under the law. For it to be valid and legally recognized in the state, certain conditions must have been met before it was entered into. For a spouse to want to terminate the marriage by annulment, there must be sufficient legal grounds to do so. Acceptable grounds are limited and include a prior court finding of insanity or fraud perpetrated by one of the spouses in the inducement to marry. When a marriage is terminated by annulment, it has the legal effect of having never happened: no community property characterization attaches to any of the assets or debts acquired after the date of marriage, and no spousal support is available to either party. That said, child custody and/or child support actions remain viable, as the existence of a valid marriage is not a prerequisite to a court order. These cases require evidence and support that is best served with the addition of strong legal representation.