The dissolution of a marriage can be one of the most stressful and emotional experiences of your lifetime. Even in amicable separations, discussions about child custody and how to split certain assets can quickly turn contentious. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
At the Sands Law Group APLC, our experienced, compassionate divorce lawyers help clients navigate this difficult process in the quickest, most painless, and most economical way possible. We offer exceptional legal representation, affordable fees, and a multi-lingual staff who can provide legal services in five languages: French, Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish, and English. Contact The Sands Law Group APLC today for a confidential consultation about your case.
The Divorce Process
In Hawaii and California, the process for divorce or legal separation begins with the filing of a seemingly-endless array of forms. This is particularly true if your divorce involves child custody orders and the division of property. In Hawaii, these forms are different from island to island, and in Los Angeles, they vary from county to county. Although you can obtain a divorce without the help of a lawyer, do-it-yourself divorces often end up costing more, in terms of money, time, and stress.
What is a Contested Vs. Uncontested Divorce?
In Oahu and Los Angeles, divorce can be either contested or uncontested. If the split is mutual and/or amicable and both parties agree on all important issues—such as child custody and support, spousal support, and the division of property—an uncontested divorce is likely the best option. This does not mean that there are no issues to resolve, but rather that the spouses are in relative agreement about the “big ticket” items, and that both prefer to have a lawyer guide them through the process than to be subjected to a potentially messy courtroom battle.
An uncontested divorce is typically much less time-consuming and costly, and it gives both parties greater control over the final outcome. For these reasons, many couples choose to start with an uncontested divorce. In some situations, the process may need to transition to contested at some point along the way; this is yet another reason why it is so important to have an experienced divorce lawyer by your side from the start.
Benefits of Hiring a Divorce Attorney in LA or Oahu
Even when the divorce is uncontested and the split is mutual, there are important decisions to make, and issues often arise. Skilled divorce lawyers can help to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible and that your rights are protected from the beginning. With skilled legal counsel, you can ensure that decisions regarding child custody and support, alimony, and division of property are all made with your best interests in mind.
Good divorce lawyers will have a track record of seeking collaborative options in favor of battling it out in court. Whether your divorce is simple and straightforward or complex and contentious, your divorce lawyer will be able and willing to:
- Review your situation and agreement;
- Advise you on what a fair agreement looks like;
- Prepare and file all required paperwork;
- Provide objective advice;
- Explain property division;
- Devise a debt repayment plan;
- Determine spousal support;
- Negotiate a settlement of the marital estate;
- Attend mediation with you; and
- Represent you in court, if necessary.
Experienced divorce attorneys should review your case, determine the most appropriate legal strategy for moving forward, and ensure that your rights and best interests are protected throughout the entirety of the process. Contact The Sands Law Group ALPC today for a confidential consultation about your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does a Divorce Cost?
The cost of a divorce varies widely, from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands, but there are some standard costs in Hawaii and Los Angeles. In Hawaii, the filing fee for an uncontested divorce without minor children is $200, and the entire process can be accomplished for less than $2,000. This fee is increased to $250 when children are involved. In L.A., the filing fees are a bit higher, at around $435, which also happens to be the highest average in the nation.
Who Pays For the Attorney Fees in California?
Attorney fees in California can be paid with community funds, which are the couple’s jointly-held funds, such as a joint checking or savings account. However, any community funds used should be closely accounted for, as Family Code section 721 stipulates that any party who uses community funds or assets must report the use of those funds or assets to the other party.
It should also be noted that if one spouse is in a far superior financial position, that individual may be required to use separate funds to pay the attorney fees for both parties. A California divorce lawyer can help you determine how to proceed.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in Hawaii?
Although there is no exact timeframe for the duration of a divorce in Hawaii, the process typically takes several months. Generally speaking, divorces are quicker when both parties are in agreement about child custody and support, spousal support, and the division of marital assets. When discussions about these matters become contentious, divorces can drag on for more than a year. A Hawaii divorce lawyer can review your case and give you a better understanding of what to expect. But beware of any attorney who guarantees a timeline or total cost.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in Los Angeles?
In Los Angeles, the average divorce takes at least six months from the initial filing. Although it can take much longer, depending on the circumstances of the case, it cannot be faster. In CA, there is a six-month mandatory waiting period before a divorce can be finalized.
Contact Our Compassionate Divorce Attorneys Today
If you have questions about divorce, our compassionate divorce lawyers at The Sands Law Group APLC can help. We have helped countless families in Hawaii and Los Angeles navigate this complex, stressful process in the most painless, economical manner possible. Our compassionate, knowledgeable divorce team will review the details of your case, determine the best way to proceed, and remain by your side from start to finish. Don’t attempt to go through this complicated process without the help of a trusted legal advisor. Contact our Oahu or Los Angeles office today for a confidential consultation about your case.