In California, divorce is a long and costly legal procedure. Former spouses’ commmon property is divided and parents have to plan sharing parental rights and duties. This means deciding with whom their underage children will live and when they will visit the other parent. Sometimes investigations are made in who is better for this, especially if one is suspected of abuse.
No matter where their children will dwell, both parents must financially support them. Payments are decided in court taking parents’ incomes into account and can be changed later.
Legal custody, which means the right to make decisions about one’s underage children, can be shared or given to one of the parents. If it is shared, it can bring additional complications as the parent who lives with children need the former spouse’s permission for important decisions about them and this sometimes affects the whole family, for example, if one parent wants to move and the other one will not allow children’s relocation. Then the first parent has to stay in the old residence or abandon children.
Sometimes one of the former spouses also needs financial support from the other one. This is rarely ordered by court and mostly happens when one cannot earn (for example, because of disability). People are rarely required to support their former partners for life and can cease when the partner marries again.
If partners have made prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, court will take them into account and litigation will not be needed.
All those problems are much easier to solve with help of a divorce lawyer in Orange County. Hiring one is not mandatory but most people do it. Some divorce lawyers specialize on guiding a collaborative divorce which means helping partners agree on terms rather than imposing court-made terms on them. This is certainly better for them and they are more likely to adhere.