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Laguna Hills Divorce Lawyers: Make the “Right” Choice

Divorce is often one of the most distressing events one can endure. Often likened to experiencing a death within the family, it marks the conclusion of a partnership that once stood at the heart of the lives involved. Such a transition not only affects familial bonds, particularly with children, but also broadly influences the social dynamics of both parties. For those living in Laguna Hills, securing an experienced divorce lawyer is essential in navigating these turbulent times. It’s important to diligently select a divorce attorney after extensive evaluation and comparison to ensure they meet your needs and objectives. It is important to determine if you and the lawyer are aligned with the objectives, philosophy, and strategy.

Founded in 1977, Minyard Morris has dedicated over 46 years to serving Orange County and its communities. It has served residents of Laguna Hills since it began its efforts to become an independent city in 1987.  Since its incorporation in 1991, Minyard Morris has represented many residents of Laguna Hills and has developed a reputation of the “go to” divorce lawyers.  Our team is composed of 19 specialized divorce attorneys who together bring nearly 300 years of collective experience, all within Orange County. Our firm includes nine attorneys certified as Family Law Specialists by the State Bar of California, highlighting our deep expertise and dedication to family law.

As the largest firm focused solely on family law in Orange County, our recognition stems from our deep commitment to understanding and fulfilling our Laguna Hills clients’ objectives, while offering unparalleled service. We aim to facilitate a smooth transition for our Laguna Hills clients as they move towards a more positive future, focusing on swift and successful resolutions to their cases.

Our Family Law Practice Areas

Minyard Morris deals extensively with various aspects of family law, including but not limited to:

Division of Community Property

Family law encompasses more than addressing delicate matters like child custody or domestic abuse; it involves the fair division of community property. This division does not always translate to an exact 50/50 split of each asset but ensures an equal division of the assets.  The distribution of assets will be equal in the final division. When the assets cannot be divided equally, courts may order the sale of assets to facilitate this required equal division.

Dividing assets equally may seem straightforward with liquid assets such as cash or stocks, but complexities arise when dealing with assets whose values are contested. This includes businesses, professional practices, private investments, real estate, intellectual property, alternative investments, and collectibles. Accurately valuing these assets often requires expert opinions, whose opinions can vary significantly, complicating settlements in many Laguna Hills divorces.

A typical contention arises during the valuation of real estate, where expert appraisals can differ by significant margins. This variation becomes especially significant in the valuation of homes in Laguna Hills, where resolving these discrepancies can prove challenging. One common resolution is to sell the property, allowing the market to determine its value. It is common for the parties to not be in agreement with a sale of the residence or even the listing price.

Decisions regarding whether to retain or sell a home are crucial in divorce proceedings for numerous reasons. While parties may negotiate any value or terms they wish, court decisions regarding the award of a residence do not account for potential costs like sales expenses or capital gains taxes, as these are considered speculative. Moreover, the retaining party may benefit from a lower property tax basis, which courts must disregard in the valuation process.

The complexities of property division underscore the necessity of engaging a divorce lawyer with profound experience in these matters. Attempting to navigate a divorce independently or choosing a divorce attorney without specific expertise can be a critical misstep, often described as being “penny wise and pound foolish.” The overall, total, and real cost of not employing a seasoned divorce attorney in Laguna Hills can be substantial in terms of the receiving less than you should in the overall settlement.

Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First?

The answer is yes and no.  If a case is not settled (which is unlikely) and proceeds to a trial the party who files first will be allowed to put their evidence on first. While this sounds like a significant advantage, it is not in most cases. One advantage of filing first is that it makes the date of separation clear in most cases, which can be a significant issue. But, there are other ways to make certain that the date of separation is fixed.

Another reason that filing first may be relevant is that when a divorce action is filed Standard Family Law Restraining Orders are issued. These restraining orders are not relevant in the vast majority of cases but they can be of significance in some cases. These restraining orders are printed on the back of the summons that is park of the package filed with the court when filing a petition for divorce. Among other things, these restraining orders restrain the parties from cancelling insurance, changing beneficiaries, selling assets, transferring assets, or removing a minor child from the State of California.

Call Our Experienced Laguna Hills Divorce Attorneys

Choosing the right divorce law firm is crucial for the welfare of you and your family, and the outcome of your case. Minyard Morris combines deep legal expertise, extensive experience, compassionate client service, and a dedicated, local focus to deliver exceptional legal representation for Laguna Hills residents.

Contact us today to discover how we can assist you in navigating the complexities of divorce with confidence and securing the best possible results.  Call 949-724-1111 or use our confidential contact form to schedule your initial consultation.