Interests Since 2003 Compassionate Guidance & Aggressive Representation
16+ Years of Experience Counseling You Through High-Conflict Cases in San Diego, North County, East County and South Bay.
Family legal concerns require the guidance of an experienced attorney who is not only skilled in negotiating for the results you want but also sensitive to the long-term consequences of each decision you face. How you handle a divorce, custody proceeding, or child support arrangement will have an impact on you and your family for years to come. Attorney Leigh K. Galyon is a board-certified family law specialist who has represented Southern Californians in these types of cases for over a decade, and she focuses particularly on highly contested domestic litigation. In every case, we give clients the information and professional advocacy they need to make smart choices and establish a strong foundation for the future.
Let Leigh K. Galyon, APC take on your family law matter today. Call (619) 238-1223 or reach out to our firm online to get started.
Navigating the Divorce Process in California
Our firm will stand by you in every step of your divorce. From skillful negotiation to mediation to litigation, we will fight for your parental and spousal rights to ensure you can move forward in the next chapter of life comfortably.
Is California a No-Fault Divorce State?
Recall that California is a no-fault divorce state, so marriages may be terminated based on irreconcilable differences between the parties. To petition for a dissolution of marriage, one of the parties must have lived in the state for at least 6 months and in the county for 3 months prior to filing. Note there is no residency requirement to file for legal separation, which can be adjusted to a dissolution once the necessary amount of time passes.
Filing for divorce is only one step in the process, though. You and your partner will have to make important decisions about the following in their divorce agreement:
California is a community property state, which means that property accumulated during the marriage is to be divided equally in a divorce. Any assets acquired during the union are assumed to be community property, though gifts or inheritances received by one spouse and assets developed prior to the marriage may be considered separate property not subject to distribution.
Serious conflicts can arise during the property division negotiation, especially if spouses have high-value assets like vacation homes, investment stocks, and a business. Pinpointing a value for assets such as stock options, business shares, and retirement accounts can be tricky during the asset allocation process. However, our firm has worked with many clients dealing with high-asset divorce and we have become very proficient in handling issues and disputes pertaining to the characterization and division of marital assets. We may even bring in knowledgeable professionals to help ensure accuracy.
Let us help you and your spouse make the right financial decisions for dividing your marital assets. Visit our page on Division of Assets for more information on California’s community property laws. Contact our San Diego family law attorneys today.
Another important point of discussion in a divorce is child and spousal support. Keep in mind that both parents are required to meet their child’s financial needs. Generally, the non-custodial parent will provide financial support to the child through payments to the custodial parent, who will use those funds to provide for the child’s daily needs. Our firm can help you estimate the child support payments according to California’s legal guidelines. Whether you expect to be the supporting or receiving parent, we will press for appropriate treatment and handle any modification or enforcement actions that might arise.
We can also help you negotiate the terms of spousal support (alimony). One significant factor for determining alimony is the marital standard of living. We will help advocate for an appropriate result, whether you are the spouse needing support or the spouse expected to pay. This can become an especially consequential conversation in high-asset divorces, so do not hesitate to reach out to our firm for comprehensive legal support as we fight to safeguard your rights.
Our firm also works diligently to reach consensus on custody terms, particularly in cases of intense disagreement. Our personalized approach to each case allows us to develop a detailed plan that promotes a child’s physical and emotional well-being while also protecting your relationship with your child. If conflicts exist over legal authority, physical custody, or a visitation schedule, Attorney Leigh K. Galyon can find creative solutions to suit your needs. We also advise on relocation matters, grandparent visitation, and modification of current orders. Visit our pages on High Conflict Custody Disputes and Parental Rights for more information.
The Safeguards of a Premarital Agreement
In the face of family law issues, you may find the dispute easier to resolve than you thought if you have a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement in place. Of course, when you marry the person you love, it’s not likely that you’re thinking about potential problems that might lead to divorce. However, our firm always expects the unexpected and can help you draft the fair prenuptial and post-nuptial agreement you need to safeguard your spousal rights. These documents are crafted through open, positive communication and are designed to protect both spouses’ interests. Should your marriage end, you will both benefit because you took the necessary steps to minimize stress, uncertainty, and expense with a marital agreement.
Leigh K. Galyon, APC advises Southern Californians on a full range of family law issues, including divorce, custody disputes, and prenuptial agreements. Give us a call at (619) 238-1223 or contact us online to get started on your family law case today.