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Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

California has been a "no fault" State for dissolution of marriage actions since 1970.  Accordingly, when either spouse to a marriage concludes that "irreconcilable differences" have arisen during the marriage which has led to a complete breakdown in the marriage, the Superior Courts of the State of California have the jurisdictional power to dissolve the marriage of the parties and, except in very unusual cases, jurisdiction to resolve the interests of the parties in assets at any place in the world, to determine custody rights with regard to minor children, and to determine the amount of child support and, where appropriate, the amount and duration of spousal support payable by either party to the other.  The Court with jurisdiction over a dissolution of marriage action also has jurisdictional power to issue various other orders to protect the property and support rights of the parties and, in addition, the power to issue restraining orders to protect a party, children, and other members of a household from inappropriate conduct by the other party that causes physical or emotional harm or threatens to do so.  

Each spouse has  fiduciary obligations to the other spouse during marriage and following separation of the parties, including, among others, an obligation to disclose all material facts regarding all assets and liabilities and all sources of income to the other spouse.  

California law also provides parties with the power to compel records and testimony to be produced from witnesses in California and in other States and Nations.

The Family Law Courts of California will conduct expedited hearings at the outset of a case where appropriate to make sure that a spouse who is entitled to custody rights, child support, spousal support, attorneys fees, accounting fees, appraisal fees, or other interim orders as may be appropriate in the case is not compelled to go for months without such orders.  

If the parties are not successful in resolving issues, it often takes more than a year for the Family Law Courts in Los Angeles County to provide the parties with a trial date, depending on the issues to be resolved and the estimated time for the trial.  The Law Offices of Douglas A. Bagby will make every reasonable effort to get issues resolved fairly on terms acceptable to our clients without the necessity for a trial where that is possible. The Law Office of Douglas A. Bagby has been successful in resolving the vast majority of cases without the necessity of a trial.  We are available to assist parties in relatively uncomplicated matters as well as matters involving the most complex and substantial issues of custody, property, and support.


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