MARITAL  DISSOLUTION

MARITAL DISSOLUTION

Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP was founded, and continues to be managed by two attorneys, Stephane Quinn and David Dworakowski. Between them, they have over forty years of experience in family law, litigation and other areas of the legal profession. Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP is a name you can trust when considering which family law attorney in Orange County you feel confident in representing you.

As we are two-partner practice, we pride ourselves on providing a personal service to each and every one of our clients, however big or small their legal issues may be.

Divorce is, according to leading psychiatrists, one of the most emotional and stressful experiences a person can go through, only beaten by bereavement. As a local resident, it is therefore essential that you have a qualified and experienced divorce attorney in Orange County who is familiar with local family law, has a good working relationship with local judges, and who understands local rules, procedures and precedents as well as having a solid background working with other parties and opposing counsel.

We will assist you in a professional - and compassionate - way, in navigating the complexities of divorce from the issuance of the petition, through the entire legal process, and we will still be there by your side to ensure that you receive whatever you, our client, is entitled to receive in accordance with any court ruling.

Our three promises to you:

  1. We will, as your attorney, do anything and everything we can to ensure that your legal issues are resolved in a fair and favorable way.
  2. We will work efficiently and intelligently, and will always be mindful of your case and circumstances.
  3. We will always work hard to ensure that a speedy resolution is reached, based on your terms.

As Orange County Family Lawyers, our other area of expertise include:

  1. Child Custody & Visitation
  2. Child Support / Modification
  3. Spousal Support / Modification
  4. Division of Assets
  5. Restraining Orders
  6. Domestic Violence
  7. Civil Harassment
  8. Prenuptial, Postnuptial & Cohabitation Agreements
  9. Appeals & Writs

Frequently Asked Questions - Marital Dissolution

Q. Is a dissolution of marriage the same as divorce?

A. For all intent and purpose, yes. The term divorce is associated with fault-based proceedings to end a marriage. California, like most states, are no-fault states and the courts have adopted the dissolution terminology instead. However, both terms are used interchangeably in California to mean the legal termination of a marriage. So, whether you wish to call it divorce or prefer marital dissolution, the divorce attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP will make sure you are always well represented.

Q. How long does it take to get a court date for dissolution?

A. There is no preset timeline or schedule when it comes to getting divorced. Many factors may delay proceedings for months, such as the degree of animosity between the parties, whether there are many assets, and determine the character of the assets, whether the parties are cooperating, etc. If the parties are forthright in their disclosures of assets and debts, and they are willing to work together to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both of them, then the entire dissolution could happen without one or two court hearings. If, on the other hand, the dissolution is contentious, then it may take months, and even years before the case goes to trial. The divorce attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP understand that when getting divorced, you want it done as quickly and painlessly as possible, and as such, we encourage amicable settlement on our client's terms. We also know that sometimes, the settlement is not easily obtained and trial, even if only the threat of trial, is necessary in order to reach your desired goals.

Q. What are the grounds for divorce?

A. By far, the most frequent grounds for divorce in California are "irreconcilable differences." California is a no-fault divorce state and all a party must show in order to file for dissolution is a desire to end the marriage.

Q. What is the first step of getting a divorce?

A. The first and most crucial step in getting divorced is arriving at the decision that you no longer wish to be married. Although this is a decision you must ultimately reach on your own, the divorce attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP can arm you with all the necessary information to help you decide whether divorce is for you. Whether you have come to the conclusion that dissolution of your marriage is unavoidable, or whether you believe that dissolution of your marriage is something that you may wish to explore, meeting with the divorce attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP will help you understand and weigh your options.

Q. Can you just go to the courthouse to file a divorce?

A. You may absolutely get divorced without an attorney. Representing yourself means you will be proceeding in "pro per," meaning that you will be acting on your own behalf. Keep in mind, however, that the law, especially divorce law, is complicated and nuanced. Moreover, getting a divorce is a very emotional time, and these emotions will frequently cloud your judgment, and will ultimately cost you more than a proper attorney would. So, while you have the right to represent yourself, you will likely be at a disadvantage by doing so, especially if your spouse is represented by counsel. There is a lot of truth in the old saying that "he who represents himself has a fool for a client." And this even applies to lawyers.

Q. How do you split assets in a divorce?

A. The division of assets may be as simple as splitting the community pie in half, with each party walking away with their equal share, or it may require extensive discovery, investigation, complex calculations, tracing, etc. This is especially true in high net worth divorces. There are many factors to consider when dividing assets during the dissolution of marriage process. What are the separate assets versus the community property assets? When were the assets acquired? How were they acquired? What were the surrounding circumstances? Is there a prenuptial agreement? If you have questions about the division of the assets in your case, the divorce attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP can help you not only identify your community property share, but also maximize your share of the pie.

Q. Can a person get a divorce without the other party consent?

A. The only person who can stop you from getting divorced is you. Regardless of whether your spouse consents to the dissolution, you have the right to end the marriage whenever you wish to do so. Keep in mind, however, that while your soon-to-be ex cannot stop you from dissolving the marriage, he or she can make the process very unpleasant. The divorce lawyers at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP have the necessary knowledge and experience to shield you from much of this unpleasantness, including obtaining restraining orders that will provide safety and peace of mind.

Q. How long do you have to be separated before you are legally divorced?

A. You can only be legally divorced once a judge has ruled on a petition to dissolve your marriage. No amount of time separated from your spouse will lead to you being divorced. In the same way that steps had to be taken in order to get married, such as getting a license and participating in some type of ceremony, steps must be taken by at least one of the spouses in order for the marriage to end.

Q. Can you deny a divorce?

A. Technically, a spouse may contest a divorce. For practical purposes, however, there is little point fighting to save a marriage in court. A spouse who no longer wishes to be married has a right to get divorced, and the courts will ultimately grant any dissolution request. If you wish to "fight to save your marriage," you should do so without any reliance on the courts helping you out. The judge is not a therapist and will not counsel you or your spouse, nor will the court weigh in on whether the couple should get a divorce or not. Whether you are the spouse wanting to get out of a marriage, or the spouse seeking to save the marriage, the divorce attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP are here to help you get the answers to your questions.

Q. How long does it take for a divorce to be final after signing papers?

A. Once dissolution papers have been signed, filed, and signed by a judge, you are officially divorced, provided that six months have passed since the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage. This statutory six-month cooling-off period in California is there in order to give the parties a chance to change their minds about getting divorced. Once a divorce decree is issued, it is final. Should the parties change their minds after the divorce is final, there is no way to reverse the divorce and they will have to marry anew, with no credit for the years they were previously married.

Q. What happens if you do not show up for a divorce court hearing?

A. If your spouse can show you were properly served and given the opportunity to respond, yet failed to do so, the court will grant your spouse a divorce by default. Unless there are no children and no assets, it is probably not in your best interest to ignore a summons and petition for dissolution. The divorce lawyers at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP can advise you on the best course of action after being served with dissolution papers. And perhaps, in very rare instances, you may be able to simply ignore the entire episode and let your spouse take the necessary steps to end the marriage.

Q. Can you go to divorce court without a lawyer?

A. Absolutely! A spouse may represent him or herself in divorce court. The question is whether you should do so. Divorce law is complicated and nuanced. And getting divorce is emotionally taxing, and your judgment will be skewed. Ultimately representing yourself may cost you more than hiring the proper attorney to represent your interests. There is a lot of truth in the old saying that "he who represents himself has a fool for a client." And this even applies to lawyers.

Q. Do all divorces go to trial?

A. Very few divorces go to trial, and in fact, with the right attorneys representing both parties, consensus and compromise is frequently possible and a dissolution may happen without the parties even going to court. The divorce attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP strive for amicable dissolution through settlement whenever possible. It saves time, heartache, and money! This being said, we will not shy away from a fight to ensure you get everything you are entitled to, and more.

Call or Text (949) 660-1400 or click "Schedule Now" to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys who can assist resolving your family law matter.