Honolulu Divorce Attorney
What to Expect in Your Divorce
When clients come to meet with me at the Law Office of Steve Cedillos, one of the first things they usually want to know is what they should expect in their case. If you are preparing to divorce, you are most likely concerned to do whatever you can to protect your rights in the situation while also minimizing the stress, the delay and expense involved in the process. Every divorce is different. In some cases, the spouses want to work together to negotiate an out of course settlement using mediation and similar alternative dispute resolution strategies.
In other cases, the divorce is unilateral, with one spouse filing the divorce petition against the other spouse's wishes. The American Bar Association states that more than 90% of divorces are uncontested, meaning that the spouses agree to the terms of the divorce out of court, but in other cases the disagreements of the parties are so deeply entrenched that this is not an option. It is nearly always better to avoid litigation, but you should by no means give up and cede to your spouse if this means that the divorce will leave you struggling to make ends meet and pushed to the margins of your children's lives.
Why Choose the Law Office of Steve Cedillos
Whatever the circumstances of your case, you can have confidence in choosing me as your Honolulu divorce lawyer. Over the course of more than 20 years, I have guided many clients through the process of divorce, and I am ready to take immediate action on your case. I recognize how much may be at stake for you - your relationship with your children, your financial stability and your ability to put this experience behind you and move forward into the future - and want to give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your case is in good hands. Whenever possible, I seek a negotiated settlement for my clients, but I do not hesitate to take a case to trial when that is what it takes to get the best possible outcome.
Defending Your Rights in Divorce
Before the family law judge will finalize your divorce, it will be necessary to reach a resolution on the many issues involved in the case, whether this is done through negotiation or by decree of the court. Matters that must be addressed include:
- Division of shared property, which includes a determination of what assets are to be considered shared property and what is the separate property of each spouse. Questions of property division become especially complex in cases where either spouse owns a business, retirement plan or other assets to which the other party may have a claim.
- Responsibility for payment of shared debts, which depends in large measure on determining whether certain debts were incurred jointly or if, for example, one of the spouses ran up credit card balances or gambling debts.
- Whether either spouse will be responsible to pay alimony to the other, and if so, how much he or she will pay and for what duration
- Where the children will live, whether they will be with one parent or if you and your spouse will share physical child custody while the other parent receives rights of visitation
- Which parent will be primarily responsible for making decisions about the children's lives on matters including their education, medical care and religious upbringing, or if decision making will be shared between the parents
- Which parent will be responsible for paying child support, and how much he or she will have to pay
State law provides certain guidelines and requirements concerning the various aspects of a divorce. Many of these, however, are open to interpretation based on the evidence introduced by either party. For example, decisions concerning child custody are influenced by the question of what is in the best interests of the children. Your attorney can make an enormous difference by making arguments and providing evidence to show that the children would be better off living with you. Similarly, your lawyer can use motions for discovery to compel your spouse to reveal any hidden assets to which you might have a claim, can negotiate on your behalf to secure your fair share of the marital estate, and can fight to protect your rights in court.
Family Law Attorney Serving Honolulu
My family law practice extends beyond divorce to embrace several other types of cases. For example, Honolulu Family Law Attorney can represent you in a petition for guardianship of a child who needs your protection or for grandparent's rights to visitation. If you were not married to the other parent at the time your child was born, I can assist you in a paternity action to secure child support payments or rights of visitation and child custody.
If you are preparing to marry and want to make provisions to safeguard yourself and your future spouse against the possibility of a messy divorce in the future, I can help to draft a prenuptial agreement, or a postnuptial agreement if you are already married. To learn more about the services I provide, do not hesitate to contact my office now. This may be a challenging and stressful experience, but it is not one that you have to face alone. Fill out the free case evaluation form so that I can begin developing a plan of action for you.