Divorces can be horrible experiences. Breaking up a family is not easy and is often painful. One thing that can help with the pain is finding the right family lawyer to help parties get through the breakup. Family law lawyer Kelly Chang Rickert explains what is involved in a divorce and how to find the right divorce lawyer in this report.
Rickert says that the surest way to find a good divorce lawyer is a recommendation from a friend or family member who has been through a divorce. While the issues in divorces vary from case to case, a recommendation from a trusted advisor is a better bet than the Internet. The problem with the Internet is that people who have little useful experience often look great on the Internet. Some lawyers are good at marketing but not so good at handling divorces.
There are several major issues that show up in divorce cases, and the first one to think about is child custody, for couples who have children. Custody will tie into the issue of support. Support involves child support (if there are children) and spousal support. Property division is another big issue in a divorce. This involves all the assets and debts accumulated during the marriage. In some divorces (but not all of them), there are domestic violence issues, which will require orders of protection.
Property division will vary from state to state. Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin are community property states, and Alaska gives parties option to make their property community property. The property is split 50/50. Other states use equitable distribution to apportion property. States using this approach are not so much concerned with the date of marriage as in finding a fair way to divide the property between the parties. Custody in California follows the rule of the best interest of the children. Rickert says that this is the rule nationwide.
Rickert says that, based on her extensive experience in handling divorces, the best approach is for spouses to maintain civilized relations with each other. Not only is it cheaper not to fight, it is better emotionally. The problem is that some people involved in divorces are angry and want to fight. As Rickert points out, “Infidelity doesn’t matter.” However, a party who has had a cheating spouse will sometimes become obsessed with punishing the spouse. Rickert says that she sometimes has to wear her mental health professional hat to get clients to think straight. The law doesn’t care about infidelity. Fighting is expensive and won’t really give revenge.
Rickert notes that in custody cases especially, it is a bad idea for spouses to try to beat up on each other. No matter what a husband or wife has done, both of them will always be parents to their children. Revenge on a spouse can punish the children of a marriage, always a bad idea. The children will always want both parents in their lives.
Kelly Chang Rickert (formerly Kelly Yi-Yi Chang) is the founder of the Law Offices of Kelly Chang, A Professional Law Corporation, a firm dedicated exclusively to Family Law. She has been certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a Family Law Specialist. She is frequently quoted in the media, and is a legal expert for CNN News, KTLA, NBC, Style Network, TV Guide and MTV on Mel Gibson, Tiger Woods, Britney Spears, Christie Brinkley, Madonna, Charlie Sheen, and the Kardashians divorce and custody cases. She practices in Los Angeles. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.