If you are considering filing for divorce, your first step should be consulting with an experienced family attorney to learn about your rights and what you can expect. At Pacione Law Firm, we know that going through a divorce can be a stressful and difficult time for you and your family.


In cases of divorce, the court will determine the child custody arrangements for the child or children of the parties. The Court will look to what custodial arrangement is in the “best interest of the children.” Often times the initial visitation schedule established by the parties at the time of separation can be crucial in the Court's determination of a long term custodial plan.


The Court can order one parent to pay child support to the other parent in a custody proceeding. Child support is based on the gross income of the parents as well as how much time they spend with each parent. Additionally, the Court can make orders relating to the payment of childcare, out of pocket medical expenses and extracurricular activities.


Spousal support is the term used by the Court when ordering one spouse to pay money each month to the other spouse for the maintenance of their lifestyle. It is also commonly referred to as "alimony”. In California, the length of time that a person can be ordered to pay spousal support varies based on the length of the marriage, whether it is a “short” term marriage of under ten years or a “long” term marriage of over ten years.


During divorce proceedings, the Court will divide all property acquired during the marriage, more commonly referred to as “community property”. If either party has “separate property” acquired before the marriage, or during the marriage through various exceptions, then the Court will confirm this property to one party.


A Guardianship refers to the type of proceeding where an adult is appointed as the guardian of a minor under the age of 18. Although this does not terminate the biological parents rights, it does grant custody to the guardian and gives them the authority to make decisions on behalf of the child when their natural parents cannot do so, or when it is detrimental for the children to be in their parents care. The Court can appoint a guardian over the person or the estate, depending on the child's needs