San Mateo Divorce Lawyer
Going through the divorce or separation process in San Mateo County can be an emotionally charged, highly sensitive ordeal. With numerous factors to take into consideration, the process can quickly turn complicated. What was initially an amicable split can become contentious, and what should be straightforward can consume your life with stress and uncertainty about your future.
In such volatile circumstances, having knowledgeable, experienced legal counsel by your side is invaluable. Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., has the knowledge, experience, and compassion to help you navigate through the most complex divorce proceedings in the state of California. We proudly consult clients throughout all of San Mateo County, including those in Foster City, Daly City, Menlo Park, South San Francisco, San Carlos, San Bruno, and Burlingame.
Trustworthy, Professional Representation for All Divorce Proceedings
Our attorneys are well-equipped with the education, experience, knowledge, and resources to be a formidable ally throughout your divorce proceedings. We work with you to consult, advise, and initiate comprehensive legal strategies devised specifically for your unique circumstances and situations.
Throughout the dissolution process, we are not only professional and thorough, but also compassionate and sympathetic to your needs. We communicate our intentions through every step of the process, informing you of our decisions and our strategies. Our legal team is well-versed in all divorce situations and any other peripheral issues that may arise, including:
- Any matters of mediation, especially in more complex, potentially volatile circumstances
- Temporary orders for support, custody, and marital property
- Any disputes regarding property division
- Any disagreements involving child support, custody, and visitation rights
- All matters of financial support, such as alimony and Marvin action
- LGBT proceedings such as domestic partnerships and same-sex marriages
- Prenuptial agreements
- Restraining orders and actions against domestic violence
- Bankruptcy resulting from divorce
- Post-divorce modifications and motions
- Any appeals filed for court orders, including those of family court or civil court
- Domestic torts
We utilize our comprehensive knowledge of family law to give our clients peace of mind during what could be a monumentally stressful experience, and the security to recognize that they are in good hands.
Determining the Proper Course of Separation in San Mateo County
Before filing for a divorce, it may be prudent to consider other, more practical options for separation. In the state of California, there are three main ways to terminate a marriage or registered domestic partnership.
- A divorce is the most commonly known method of separation. You may file for divorce if you claim “irreconcilable differences” with your spouse. This is an official dissolution of your marriage – once the divorce is finalized, you are considered single in the eyes of the court.
- A legal separation is an alternative for those who do not necessarily want to proceed with a dissolution of their marriage. It does not officially end their marriage – you cannot marry or enter into a domestic partnership if you are legally separated. This is a viable solution for those who do not want to get a divorce due to religious reasons, personal beliefs, or plans to reconcile the partnership at a later time.
- An annulment is a declaration by a court that your marriage is legally invalid. Essentially, it is as if the marriage never happened. In the state of California, marriages are not valid is they are incestuous, bigamous, or do not follow standard marriage laws such as minimum age requirements. An annulment may also be requested if marriage occurred due to coercion, fraud, or other forms of incapacitation.
In certain situations, couples may be eligible to go through an expedited divorce process without the presence of courts or judges. Called a summary dissolution, this option comes with a varying set of requirements for both married couples and those in domestic partnerships – and may be the best option for you depending on your circumstances.
At Schoenberg Family Law, P.C., we are committed to giving you all the information necessary to make an informed decision on the termination of your marriage or domestic partnership. We understand the gravity of the situation, exercising open communication and full transparency to ensure you are fully informed of all the options available to you.
Requirements for Divorce in San Mateo County
Regardless of the type of marriage termination, there are a number of requirements that must be met before beginning the divorce process.
It’s important to note that there may be residency requirements based upon which avenue of marriage termination you choose.
- For a divorce in California, you or your spouse must have resided in the state for the last 6 months, and the country where you plan to file for divorce for the last 3 months.
- For a legal separation in California, you may file as long as one of you is residing in the state.
- An annulment does not have any residency requirements, due the legal nature of the marriage.
Note that these requirements are for married couples only – the circumstances for those in domestic partnerships may differ slightly. Generally, if your domestic partnership is registered in California, you do not need to meet any residency requirements for a divorce or legal separation.
Regarding divorce, there are mandatory waiting periods before a divorce is officially filed. California law dictates a mandatory 6-month waiting period before a divorce is finalized. This starts from the date the person filing for divorce officially notifies their spouse or partner about the divorce.
Additionally, as California is a “no-fault” divorce state, the filing spouse or partner does not need to prove wrongdoing or negligence in order to justify a divorce. In the same vein, it is not necessary for both spouses/partners to agree to end the marriage in order to file for a dissolution.
Resolving Your Separation Out of Court
Even if both parties in a marriage or domestic partnership mutually agree to the termination of a marriage, a transition into official court proceedings may amplify the emotional impact of the event. Even the most civilized divorce cases may quickly turn contentious when aspects such as custody rights and division of property are thoroughly analyzed. Additionally, the change in a family dynamic can have enormous emotional ramifications for both parents and children, no matter how amicable the split. By introducing a judge into the process, there may be a sense of loss of control and civility in the situation. In these cases, there may be other options to resolve a divorce or separation – without resorting to official court proceedings.
- Mediation may aid partners reach an agreement they can bother accept. An impartial third party is less formal than an official courtroom and can help spouses/partners talk through any issues or disputes they may have in a civilized manner. In this way, disputes are settled by the two spouses – and not dictated by the final word of a courtroom. Mediators do not make decisions and cannot force you to follow their orders like a judge.
- A collaborative divorce is an approach that allows spouses and their lawyers to negotiate a settlement that they can both agree on. Experts such as accountants and child custody specialists can be consulted through this process, ultimately reaching a consensus agreement without the need of a judge or courtroom.
In both cases, a qualified, experienced lawyer can ease the emotional process of separation significantly. Schoenberg Family Law, P.C. can give you counsel regarding any methods to resolve your divorce out of court and keep you well-informed on the best process for your needs. Our family law attorneys will do everything in their power to help you understand all the tools in your hand during this time of need.
Resources for San Mateo County Divorce
Any procedures and processes relating to divorce or separation in San Mateo County go directly through the courts – in this case, the San Mateo County Superior Court. For any general information, you can contact the Superior Court via phone at (650) 261-5100. For any other divorce-related matters, you may visit the Southern Branch of the Superior Court:
400 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063
Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Southern Branch of the Superior Court of San Mateo County contains the Clerk’s Offices. Located on the first floor, this is where you can officially file for divorce or legal separation, and also pose any questions about what other forms must be filed.
Additionally, the Superior Courts offer a Family Law Facilitator, who offers free services to those who do not have legal representation. One office is located on the second floor of the Southern Branch, and another office is located at the Northern Branch:
1050 Old Mission Rd.
South San Francisco, CA
Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Because Family Law Facilitators are a free service that offers help on a first-come, first-served basis, they are often incredibly busy and do not have the resources or knowledge pool to assist in the unique needs of your divorce.
Instead of starting the process at the Superior Courts, contact Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. Our team of seasoned divorce attorneys will be able to answer much of the same questions you may have for the courts – usually with more transparency, thoroughness, and sympathy than an overworked government employee.
Schedule a Consultation Today with San Mateo Divorce Lawyers
Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. has more than 30 years of experience in official legal proceedings involving family law and divorce. Our team of skilled divorce lawyers have the ideal mix of knowledge, professionalism, and compassion to assist our clients in their own unique circumstances.
We are always prepared to fight for our clients, and are prepared to take legal action if any matters cannot be resolved in good faith. We make our clients a priority, and we try our best to give them peace of mind through transparent communication and open dialogue. Please contact us online or call us at 415-834-1120 if you have any questions regarding your divorce proceedings and any related issues.