Encino Divorce Lawyer

Work With a Board Certified Family Law Specialist

The prospect of filing for divorce can be upsetting, frightening and sometimes liberating. The wide range of emotions that a person may experience can make this process all the more difficult, particularly when matters such as custody, child support, alimony, visitation, and property division need to be addressed. Even a divorce which starts out amicably may turn into a bitter, drawn out legal battle as you and your spouse seek different outcomes to protect your needs, your children's well-being, and your finances.

If you are considering divorce, consult with an experienced family law attorney at Cutter & Lax Attorneys at Law. You and your spouse will need to come to a complete agreement about all terms of your divorce or you will face court proceedings where these matters will be decided by a judge. Most often, it is less time-consuming and expensive to come to an agreement out of the courtroom. A negotiated divorce settlement means that you and your spouse will have more freedom on determining the exact terms of your divorce; however, at times these terms cannot be worked out without court assistance. Through negotiations or litigation in court, your lawyer will need to assert your rights and protect your interests every step of the way.

Regardless of whether you and your spouse are able to come to an amicable agreement, or whether you cannot agree on anything, you can find the support you need at Cutter & Lax Attorneys at Law. Our San Fernando Valley divorce attorneys are compassionate, hard-hitting lawyers who recognize how to best represent clients. Call (818) 839-2533 or contact us online to learn more.

Understanding California's No-Fault Divorce Laws

California is a "no fault" divorce state, meaning you do not have to have a reason such as adultery or abuse to file. However, you must have grounds to file for divorce.

Grounds for Divorce in Encino:

  • Irreconcilable Differences - A situation where the marriage is irreparably broken. You and your spouse will not be able to save the marriage even with numerous attempts to do so.
  • Incurable Insanity - An option that is rarely used and refers to a situation where one spouse is insane and remains incurably insane, with medical proof of this.

Cutter & Lax Attorneys at Law represents clients throughout Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley who are considering divorce. Our team can help determine whether you qualify to file and can establish the grounds for your divorce.

What is the 10 Year Divorce Rule in California?

California uses "long-term marriage," where you can benefit from alimony payments for staying married for ten years or longer.

In this situation, the spouse earning less income retains the right to be paid alimony for as long as they need and as long as the paying spouse can pay. This is because the court is more likely to find that the spouse receiving support needs financial assistance to maintain their standard of living after a long-term marriage.

The court will consider all of the factors involved in the divorce, including the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of each spouse, the needs of the children, and the contributions of each spouse to the marriage, in deciding whether to award spousal support and for how long.

Meeting Residency Requirements for Divorce in Encino

California has its own set of divorce laws, including the residency requirements which must be met if you want to file for a separation or dissolution of marriage. According to the California Family Code, you must meet residency requirements before you can file.

One spouse will need to prove he or she has been a California resident for at least six months and has lived in the county where the filing takes place for at least three months.

If you are filing for a divorce in the state of California and do not presently meet the residency requirements, you have several options: You can stop your divorce and attempt to reconcile your marriage, or you can choose to establish a residency in California. If you want to do this, then you will need to wait until you have been in the state for six months and resided in the same county for three months. While you will need to wait this length of time to file, you can start on the paperwork prior.

Exploring Divorce Options in Encino: Collaborative and Contested

Choosing Collaborative Divorce in Encino

If you are seeking a divorce and you and your spouse agree on the majority of the terms of your divorce, you may want to pursue a collaborative divorce. This process allows divorcing parties to negotiate terms of their separation without going to court or threatening to go to court. This approach is considered to be a type of conflict resolution and helps both parties avoid expensive legal fees and the stress of going to trial to litigate your case. The terms and conditions of a collaborative divorce are usually more favorable than those of a judge-determined divorce and most couples will not feel the need to try to make modifications to their divorce decree in the future.

Navigating Uncontested Divorce in Encino

The majority of divorces in California are uncontested. An uncontested divorce is one that is resolved outside of the courtroom, such as through mediation, the collaborative process, or another out-of-court agreement. The final result is no less binding than a contested divorce in court, but the outcome is often more beneficial to all parties involved (both spouses and any children). In an uncontested divorce, spouses will often have more of an opportunity to come to a flexible agreement that works, rather than have to abide by a court-ordered judgment that may not be the most advantageous for everyone involved.

Understanding Contested Divorce in Encino

Contested divorces are those that most individuals wish to avoid. When the divorcing couple is not able to make important decisions regarding custody, alimony, or another important matter, a contested divorce is typically in order. Another sign that you may have to pursue a contested divorce is when significant arguments and disagreements occur when discussing topics concerning marital property and the children. One circumstance that calls for a contested divorce is when only one party wants the divorce.

Why Choose Cutter & Lax Attorneys for Your Encino Divorce

You may be skeptical about hiring a divorce attorney. There are do-it-yourself divorce programs online and plenty of books on the topic. If you are considering representing yourself at trial, we strongly recommend you reconsider and DIY divorces often result in disaster. The court may take a long time with your case because there is no lawyer to help push the process along. If you make a mistake you may need to move backwards and retrace your steps before you are able to continue with the divorce. If you and your ex-spouse argue over child custody, property division, or alimony, the process will be difficult without an attorney to mediate. The average American does not have an intricate knowledge of local family courts. You should hire an attorney who has devoted his or her time to learning these local laws.

Comprehensive Support from Encino Divorce Attorneys

You may recognize the necessity of a divorce lawyer, but how do you know what to look for when you are searching for a lawyer? When researching attorneys, it is always helpful to use personal referrals. If your friends or family members used a lawyer that they trust and appreciate, then contact that individual to see what he or she can do for you. On our website, you can read client testimonials from individuals who were overwhelmingly grateful for their experience with this firm. You also need to search for a lawyer who has experience. An attorney or legal aid who is trying their first case should not meddle in something as life-altering as your divorce. Instead, you want a lawyer who knows all the inner workings of this process.

Choosing the Right Encino Divorce Lawyer for You

Hire a lawyer that is accessible. If you cannot communicate with your lawyer, or if he or she never responds to your e-mails, phone calls, or meeting requests, this will create a difficult relationship. We pride ourselves on being personally accessible and respond to all calls and e-mails promptly. Our client testimonials can evidence this. Also, look for a lawyer with an agreeable personality. Harsh or unfriendly attorneys will make for a bad divorce experience. Make sure to hire someone likable, caring, and enjoyable to work with.

Key Questions to Ask Your Encino Divorce Attorney

When you arrive at your first consultation with an attorney, ask these questions. They will help you to get an idea of whether or not the lawyer is right for you:

  • How many clients does your firm take on at a time?
  • How experienced are you in family law?
  • Can you estimate the cost of my divorce?
  • How long do you think that my divorce will take?
  • How long will it take you to respond to my calls or e-mails?
  • How often will we be able to meet?
  • What is your preference for communication?
  • How will I be charged for these services?
  • What kind of resources can you supply me with regarding divorce?
  • How do you predict a judge will rule in my case?
  • What fees and costs can I expect other than charges for hours of service?
  • Can you handle all aspects of a divorce or family law situation?

The Cutter & Lax Advantage for Your Divorce in Encino

We recognize that there are many attorneys in Southern California that you could choose to take on your case. In addition to the characteristics mentioned above, our lawyers will go out of their way to provide you with a comfortable divorce experience. In the past we have visited client's homes and taken the time to set up additional meetings to go over complications in a divorce procedure. We are capable of handling a wide variety of family matters and can help you with your case.

Contact Cutter & Lax Attorneys for Personalized Divorce Assistance in Encino or call (818) 839-2533 for a Prompt Response.

Further Reading:

Hear It From Our Clients

Every Case Creates An Impact
    I was especially impressed with his control and approach in the courtroom.

    “He very knowledgeable about the law and was able to give me his opinion through his experience with the law and the courtroom. He was patient in explaining the positives and negatives of the legal ...”

    - Former Client
    He was always responsive and really listened to my concerns and goals and worked towards achieving them.

    “Had a wonderful experience with this law firm, Matthew Lax in particular. He is very knowledgeable and fights for you without creating unnecessary work and hardship in the process. He was always ...”

    - Ruth Z.
    The lawyers at Cutter & Lax, specifically Matthew Lax, are very intelligent, decisive and thorough when it comes to caring for their clients.

    “Throughout my whole experience working with this firm, I always felt welcomed, comforted and supported. The lawyers at Cutter & Lax, specifically Matthew Lax, are very intelligent, decisive and ...”

    - Danielle A.
    He is very knowledgeable with military law and what my rights are as a active duty military member.

    “The life experience that I am going thru right now is extremely tough! Being an active duty military member and going thru a divorce is something I don't wish on anyone, but having these guys on your ...”

    - Charles N.
    Matthew Lax made the experience of going thru a very difficult divorce very smooth.

    “Matthew Lax made the experience of going thru a very difficult divorce very smooth and he was so knowledgeable and helpful and always available for any problems. He got me a very generous settlement ...”

    - Sally L.

Standing By Your Side

Get Started With Your Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.

** The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.