Family Law And Immigration FAQ

How Long Does It Take To Get Divorced?

After you file for divorce in California, the court requires a waiting period of six months before issuing your divorce decree, even if you and your spouse agree to all issues. Your divorce may take longer than six months, especially if you and your spouse do not agree to matters.

Should I Hire A Lawyer For My Divorce?

Even if you and your spouse agree to all terms of your divorce, there may be items you overlook in your divorce. California is a community property state. All property and assets you acquired during your marriage are subject to an equal split in your divorce. Once the divorce is final, you may not be able to go back to readjust the terms. It is best to have an experienced attorney review your documents to ensure your rights are protected and your future financial stability is not at risk following your divorce.

It is particularly important to consult with an attorney before your divorce if you are an immigrant to the U.S.

How Does Divorce Affect My Immigration Status?

Your divorce may make it more difficult for you to complete your permanent resident process, especially when your status is dependent on your being married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. While there are many variables that could negatively affect your status in the U.S., you can get divorced. Depending on how long you have been married and what your current status is, there are options to explore such as adjustment of status, concurrent filing in cases of domestic violence and others.

Who Can File For Divorce?

If you have lived in California continuously for six months, you may file for divorce in this state. You must also have lived in the county you are filing for divorce for three months or more. You will need to show proof of your residency and intent to remain in the state and the county you live in. The requirement is for U.S. citizens and immigrants alike. An experienced family law attorney can help ensure you meet the residency requirements, so your divorce decree will be a valid one when issued.

What About Custody Of My Children?

When it comes to matters of child custody, California family courts are solely focused on the best interests of the children. If you and the child’s other parent can agree to terms of legal and physical custody of your child, you may create an agreement on your own.

If you cannot agree to terms, the court will develop a custody agreement based on several factors it considers in the best interest of the child. For example, the family court judge looks to maintaining continuous and regular contact with both parents, maintaining the child’s stability in home life and established relationships at home as well as in school and extracurricular activities.

Because there are many other factors to consider, including if you and your children have immigration status questions, it is best to work with a knowledgeable law firm to protect your rights to parent your children.

How Can I Contact An Experienced Attorney?

Call the Chung Law Firm LLP in La Jolla at 858-952-0711 or email our firm to get the answers you need. Serving individuals and families throughout San Diego, we offer free consultations in English and Mandarin. 

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