The Law Offices of Edward Misleh has several areas of practice. See below for a listing of our areas of practice. We are located in Sacramento, California. We have represented clients in Sacramento, California, in Northern California, and throughout the United States.
Our office’s main area of practice is handling divorce matter. You can file for divorce in California which will be more properly known as a dissolution of marriage. A dissolution of marriage terminates the legal relationship you have with your spouse – it terminates the marital union. Termination includes the ending of all legal duties and responsibilities that are created by marriage. You need to consider the effects of filing for divorce and for filing as either a petitioner or as respondent. If you are the petitioner, you will initiate the divorce proceeding. If you are the respondent, you will wait to respond to your spouse’s filing for divorce. There are advantages and disadvantages to both which you should understand before filing for divorce.
No Fault Divorce
California is a “no fault” divorce state. This means that you do not have to prove that your spouse did something wrong when you file for divorce. But, you must have “grounds” – a reason for requesting a divorce. In California, there are two grounds for divorce – irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity. Irreconcilable difference simply means that you and your spouse no longer get along; that there has been a complete breakdown of the marital relationship which beyond repair. Incurable insanity requires medical proof that one spouse is incurably insane.
To file for divorce, you must prove that either you or your spouse are a resident of the state and the county where your divorce is filed. By doing so, you establish jurisdiction and venue for a court to address your divorce proceeding. Residency requirements require that: (1) either you or your spouse has resided in California for at least six months prior to the date of filing, and (2) that one spouse has resided in the county where the divorce was filed for at least three months prior to the date of filing. If you do not meet the residency requirements you can file for a legal separation. Later, you can “convert” your legal separation to a divorce proceeding.
California divorce has a process which allows married couples to file for a simplified divorce. A simplified California divorce is much simpler and a less complicated method to obtain a divorce. You may be eligible for this process if:
- You and your spouse have agreed in writing to a division of your assets and debts.
- You have been married for five years or less.
- You have no children from the relationship.
- Neither of you own a home or other real estate.
- The value of all community property amounts to less than $25,000, excluding automobiles.
- The value of either party’s separate property amounts to less than $25,000, excluding automobiles.
- Your combined debts do not exceed $4,000, except for an auto loan.
- Neither spouse is requesting spousal support.
Another main area of practice is for those seeking a legal separation. A legal separation is not a divorce because, unlike a divorce, you cannot remarry. Legally, you remain “married” but you are no longer part of a “community.” Spouses often file for a legal separation for religious reasons, insurance coverage, or tax purposes. In a legal separation, a court will still divide your property and issue orders relating to child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, and, if necessary, a restraining order. There is no residency requirement to file for legal separation. You can get a legal separation without having lived in California for six months or your county for three months before filing.
The area of practice for an annulment is different from those seeking either a divorce or a legal separation. An annulment is a court ruling that your marriage never existed. If you were a minor who married without the consent of your parents or guardian, or if there was fraud or deceit, you should file for an annulment. An annulment returns you to single status as if the marriage never existed.
For more information about annulment, click on the following link: California Legal Separation
Prenups and Postnup Agreements
In California, couples can enter into prenuptial agreements (prenups) and postnuptial agreements (postnups). Your prenup or postnup are both contracts that characterize the assets you own and possible payments of support. You enter into a prenup before marriage and a postnup during marriage. Both documents require specific language and “disclaimers” to be enforceable. In either document you can characterize community property and separate property. You should contact a qualified attorney who has experience in this area of practice.
For more information about prenups and postnups, click on the following link: Divorce
You can file for your interest in any property that you and your partner acquired during cohabitation. Partners often prove that they have an interest in property by an oral or written agreement. This area of practice involves an actual civil action which is not like a “typical” family law matter.
Dissolution of Marriage
You start your divorce by filing a petition stating certain facts about your marriage. The divorce petition will contain the following information: your date of marriage, date of separation, the number of years married, the number of children you have, and the age and birth date of each child.
Your divorce petition includes five parts that can be addressed: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support (alimony), and division of property.
The divorce process begins when you file the petition of dissolution and summons at the courthouse. You must serve these papers on your spouse so that they have notice of the action.
For more information about divorce, click on the following link: Divorce
Service members and veterans who may be filing for or facing divorce in California must consider: Veteran’s benefits, Thrift Savings Plans, other retirements plans, and Tricare medical benefits. Dividing military retired pay will require a Domestic Relations Order to be filed with Defense Finance and Accounting Services.
For more information on Military divorce, click on the following link: Military Divorce
Child custody is the legal relationship that you and the other parent have with your children. You establish this legal relationship either by agreement or with a court order.
For more information on child custody, click on the following link: California Child Custody
Child Support is the financial support parents owe to their children. It is the amount of money that a court orders a parent to pay for the support of their child. Child support is the ongoing and periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following a divorce. Each parent is equally responsible for providing for the financial needs of their child. You, the other parent, or the State of California can file a request for child support.
For more information on child custody, click on the following link: California Child Custody
Spousal support, also known as alimony in other states, is a legal obligation for one spouse to provide financial support to the other spouse during separation and after divorce. You can agree to spousal support or seek a court order. You receive temporary spousal support to help you maintain the marital standard of living. Permanent spousal support is awarded after consideration of a number of factors.
For more information on spousal support, click on the following link: Spousal Support
The property you receive during your marriage is community property. Community property includes all assets and debts. Separate property is the property you acquire before marriage, by gift, by inheritance, or after separation. During your divorce, your property is characterized as either community property or separate property.
For more information about community property, click on the following link: Divorce
Domestic violence occurs when an abuser perpetrates an act of violence on a victim. The abuser and victim must be in a close relationship. Domestic violence can happen to anyone; men and women alike. If you, or someone you know, has being a victim of domestic violence, you should contact law enforcement for help and seek medical attention for any injury.
For more information on domestic violence, click on the following link: Domestic Violence
A civil harassment restraining order is an order to protect you from someone with whom you do not share a domestic relationship. If you do not qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, you can file for a civil harassment restraining order. You need a restraining order if you need protection from neighbors, roommates, coworkers, or more distant family members.
For more information on domestic violence restraining orders, click on the following link: Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
Individuals often hire family law attorneys to apply for guardianship. A court grants a guardianship when it finds the need for one individual to care for another individual’s well-being or property. The ward is the individual in your care. Guardianship is the legal relationship you have with the ward. Once done, the guardian will have the authority, and corresponding duty, to care for a person and their property interests.
Attorneys practicing family law can be very helpful to those who wish to assume the parenting role of another, usually a child, from that person’s biological or legal parent(s). Adoption not only creates a new legal relationship but also severs a prior legal relationship. When you adopt a child, the court terminates the parental rights of the child’s parents. The legal relationship you have with the adoptive child is permanent. Your adopted child inherits from you just as a natural-born child would.
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For more information about our areas of practice, click on one of the following links: