Questions and Answers
With divorce comes uncertainty, and many individuals find themselves unsure as to how to proceed. No matter the circumstances, it is important to hire a qualified family law specialist to guide you through the legal process. During your initial consultation, attorney Kate Rockas in San Rafael, CA, can answer all of your divorce questions, whether they relate to the cost of divorce or the proceedings. Dedicated to her clients, Ms. Rockas will advocate on your behalf to protect your best interests, as well as strive for an amicable resolution.
How Much Will My Divorce Cost?
The cost of a divorce will depend largely on whether the matter was uncontested or contested. Keep in mind, hourly rates and retainer fees will vary from one attorney to the next. Make sure you discuss these matters in your initial consultation.
An uncontested divorce is one in which spouses agree on all aspects related to the divorce, such as division of property, child custody and support, and spousal support. When disagreement is minimal, you may be able to avoid the cost of court dates and ongoing legal fees. The more back and forth there is, the higher the costs will be.
A contested divorce is one in which spouses dispute one or more issues. This can involve many steps, including preparing, filing and serving a divorce petition, responding to the petition, hiring an attorney, engaging in discovery, pre-trial motions and hearings, settlement negotiations and proposals, trial preparation (if there is no settlement), trial, and appeal. Each part of the process takes time and costs money. Though it is difficult to pinpoint a number, you can easily expect the total expense to range from $15,000 to $20,000.
What is Ms. Rockas's Legal Style?
Kate Rockas believes in finding amicable solutions. By avoiding court, you can save money on legal fees and feel confident about your peaceful resolution. However, if an amicable solution is not feasible, Ms. Rockas is not afraid to pursue litigation to protect your best interests.
With her dedicated nature and track record of success, she is often recommended by many of her peers and judges.
Why Choose Kate Rockas?
Kate Rockas has practiced law since 1987 and has met the rigorous standards set by the State Bar of California to become a family law specialist. With her dedicated nature and track record of success, she is often recommended by many of her peers and judges.
How Are Assets and Debts Divided?
In California, assets gained and debts incurred by either spouse while married belong equally to both spouses, provided a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement was not made. When dividing a debt, we must first determine whether it is a “community” or “separate” debt. Generally speaking, a community debt is a debt incurred during marriage and prior to separation, while a separate debt is one incurred prior to marriage or after separation. Separate debts belong solely to the partner who incurred it.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce?
In an ideal scenario, your spouse will be cooperative and the separation will be fast and amicable. An uncontested divorce can take as little as a few months. However, if the divorce is contested, the process can take one or two years to complete.
What If I Cannot Locate My Spouse?
If you do not know the whereabouts of your spouse, you can still get a divorce in California. To do so, you must convince a judge that you earnestly searched for your spouse but could not find them. This can include searching phone books and directories, reaching out to friends and relatives, contacting the DMV, contacting prior employers, checking with the registrar of voters, and hiring a private investigator. If you have exhausted all resources, you can ask the court for permission to publish a notice of the divorce in the newspaper in a procedure called "service by publication." The missing spouse will have 30 days to respond. After this, you can proceed with divorce.
Contact Family Law Specialist Kate Rockas
Family law specialist Kate Rockas would be happy to answer any additional pressing divorce questions during your personalized consultation. To schedule an appointment, visit us online or call (415) 306-5560 today.
I consider Kate to be an outstanding Family Law attorney. She is one of only two Family Law attorneys in Marin County to whom I refer clients.Legal Colleague