Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage

If you have decided upon or are contemplating divorce, Lisa J. Auer will take the time to thoroughly understand your concerns and goals. She will explain your rights and options so that you can make informed decisions about your future.

Divorce in California is legally referred to as "dissolution of marriage." Either spouse may file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage based on irreconcilable differences.

Lisa will work toward helping you reach a settlement through negotiation or mediation. If litigation is necessary, Lisa will represent your interests vigorously, while doing her best to make the process humane and tolerable for you and to keep costs under control. Lisa is also knowledgeable and experienced with domestic partnership dissolutions.

Division of Property

As part of the divorce process, you and your spouse will need to divide your assets and debts. Lisa will work with you to determine the separate or community property character of assets and debts, the values, and the appropriate allocation between you and your spouse. As the first step in this process, both parties will need to complete detailed financial disclosures regarding their income and expenses and all assets and debts, whether community or separate property.

Under California law, all money or property acquired during marriage is presumed to be community property. Upon dissolution of marriage, community property and debts are divided equally between the spouses (unless the parties agree otherwise). Lisa will ensure that your rights are protected and that the property division is fair and equitable.

Experience With Complex Property Issues

Lisa can advise you regarding separate property claims and reimbursement claims, as well as other complex property issues. Upon dissolution of marriage, separate property is confirmed to the owner spouse; however, the party making a separate property claim has the burden of proving the separate character of the asset.

During the marriage, the community may acquire an interest in one spouse's separate property under certain circumstances — for example, if community property income is used to pay a mortgage on a separate property residence, or if the owner spouse devotes personal effort during marriage to the management or improvement of his or her separate property.

One or both parties may have reimbursement claims for separate property contributions to the acquisition of community property — for example, if separate property funds were used for a down payment on the family residence.

Lisa has significant experience with sophisticated and complex property issues such as valuation of businesses and professional practices and division of stock options and partnership interests. Lisa regularly works with forensic accountants, tax consultants, business valuation experts, real estate professionals, and other financial experts in complex cases.

Custody and Support Issues

Other aspects of divorce that we will address, depending on your case, include:

  • Child custody, including developing a parenting plan that works for your family
  • Child support, including making sure that the guideline calculations are correct and advocating for exceptions to the guideline amount when appropriate
  • Spousal support, including determining whether temporary support is owed and negotiating or litigating a resolution of post-judgment support
  • Post-judgment modifications to child custody, child support, or spousal support when circumstances change after the divorce

Contact Auer Family Law for a Consultation with a Divorce Lawyer

Please contact us to schedule a consultation. We handle all aspects of marital dissolution including division of property, child custody, child and spousal support, and post-judgment modifications. You may also call 415-772-5686.