Divorce Attorneys in Corte Madera, California Reviews and Attorney Information (2023)

  • 770 Tamalpais Dr ste 200
    Corte Madera,California94925
    United States

    Phone: 415-789-5881

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    Based in Marin County, CA and with offices that serve Marin, Napa, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Diego Counties, Kaspar & Lugay LLP is a dynamic and progressive law firm focusing on divorce and other family law matters. Our background in tax and business law matters enables us to effectively represent clients in high value divorce cases. Contact us Home

A divorce can be a very difficult situation to endure. The end of a committed relationship is bound to cause some form of pain to the parties. Unfortunately, a painful event such as splitting up from a spouse can be made even more difficult in the actual divorce process. There can be many reasons why a divorce gets messy. It can be an issue with how to split up assets such as real estate and personal property, the splitting of money and debts, or the process can be made even more acrimonious simply based on the anger each spouse has with the other over the split.

The splitting of assets is a very common issue that comes up in many divorces. The laws in the US tend to end at nearly the same place that grants each spouse a share of marital assets. The two systems in the US are Equitable Distribution and Community Property. Equitable Distribution sounds as if it would mean an equal 50/50 split; however, in this case, equitable means a split amongst former spouses that would be fair in the eyes of the court. Some western states, like California for example, utilize a community property system that entitles each spouse to a (somewhat) strict 50/50 split of marital assets. Marital assets in both systems are usually property obtained during marriage (provided it wasn’t acquired via a gift or inheritance.

In addition to splitting assets, a divorce usually entails other matters that deal with the couple’s relationship ranging anywhere from debts (credit cards, loans, and medical bills) to who gets to keep the family pets. The other large issue that would also be dealt with is the issue of custody and child support of any marital children. The issue of custody and support can be very simple if both parents agree, or it can be extremely difficult if the parents do not agree. The most basic arrangement being that parents share legal and physical custody of their children. Legal custody is the right to make child-rearing decisions. It usually includes input over a child’s medical treatment, schooling, and religion. Physical custody is whether the child actually resides. Where the child resides usually plays into the child support issue as it is usually the custodial parent who receives child support from the non-custodial parent.

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A divorce attorney will be well versed in all the aspects of the issues mentioned above. A divorce attorney will understand what the law requires of each spouse. The divorce attorney is usually a vital negotiator in this process. The attorney can make sure that the process is fair and help determine these issues as efficiently as possible.

When would l need a Divorce Attorney?

If you cannot amicable come up with a divorce settlement with your former spouse, you are going to need to retain the services of an attorney to help you file the necessary paperwork. Most divorce courts allow for a period of mediation before the case comes to a hearing. During that mediation, you will have multiple opportunities to try to negotiate a divorce settlement. An attorney can be vital at this stage of the process. At the point where you have retained attorneys, it may be easier to have another person speak on your behalf. Even if the split is not acrimonious, you still may need the attorney to help discover the full extent of your spouse finances and assets and determine your legal share of both.

The case may be that assets and debts are distributed in a simple and easy way, but there is tension over custody of children. The first thing that you should note in a custody case is that a court will do what they believe is in the best interest of the child. The court will take many things into account, such as where the child currently resides and the situation they are accustomed to. This is usually a situation that is fraught with anxiety as people worry about not being able to see their children. A couple of things need to be remembered. Biological parents have significant well-established rights to parent their children. It is very difficult for a person’s parental rights to be extinguished barring severe abuse and abandonment. A spouse should rest a little bit more ease at the prospects of not being able to see their children.

Where there is a child custody issue, there may also be a child support issue. Sometimes it can be difficult for a parent to ensure that the non-custodial parent pays their fair share of child support on time and in the right amount. There are enforcement procedures that can be handled by an attorney on the custodial parent’s behalf, or by the local state’s attorney office. Failure to pay child support can turn into a criminal matter and should be handled seriously. An attorney can see that a child support obligation is followed through with.

Divorce attorneys that handle child support and child custody issues also usually can handle most family law issues such as adoption, domestic violence issues, name changes and paternity cases. Family law issues are usually serious events that require a certain amount of care and understanding. If you are dealing with such an issue, you will want to make sure you consult with an attorney that can help you rectify the situation as efficient and painless as possible.

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Signs you need to speak to a Divorce Attorney

  • Are you planning a divorce with significant assets?
  • Do you need help obtaining custody of your children?
  • Do you need to enforce a child support order?
  • Do you think your soon to be ex-spouse is hiding money from you?

How do you choose a Qualified Divorce Attorney?

You will not want to take the search for an appropriate attorney lightly. If you are at the stage of thinking about hiring one for a family law issue, you should realize that the stakes are high and that you will need to find a qualified and experienced attorney you can trust to handle your issue the right way.

Follow these steps to help you find and vet the right attorney for your divorce:

Determine Your Needs

This is the most important step of the process. You have to understand your situation and what kind of attention it needs. As mentioned above, divorce attorneys are most prominently used when a mutually amicable solution is unlikely. So you need, to be honest with yourself and assess the relationship you have with a spouse. You need to think of all what’s at stake, do you own a lot of assets that were acquired during the marriage? Do you feel your spouse was keeping finances a secret from you? Are there going to be substantial issues with child custody or child support? Is there a chance that you will reconcile with your spouse?

If you are not in the position of needing a divorce or child custody or support, how serious is your issue and does it rise to the need of speaking with an attorney? If it is something like a restraining order, drafting a prenuptial agreement or enforcing a parenting time agreement, then you most assuredly need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

Research Online

Next, you will want to start by conducting a simple search of local family law attorneys. Get the names of a few that you think will be able to help. Take a look at the profiles on their websites. Read the articles or summaries they have there. Often attorney websites will include articles on specific areas that they cover. That is a good place to check if the attorney handles similar issues to yours.

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Whiles conducting your search, you may want to check out some legal organizations that deal with family law. There are many legal organizations that are designed to help people who really need advice. There are organizations whose sole mission is to help fathers in their custody battles. The need for such an organization stems from the assumption that mothers generally have the advantage in custody disputes. Help is also provided by legal organizations designed to help women. For instance, some of these organizations help women file for child support or give assistance to women who have been subject to domestic violence situations and are need of specialized legal advice on their options and additional counseling support.

Additionally, many lawyers are members of family law organizations within their legal communities. These organizations are made of like-minded attorneys who delve deeper into the subject area, not only because of its part of their job but usually because they have a strong interest in the subject. These organizations can be a great starting point, as they may be able to refer you to an attorney right for you or can give you some great information on your issue that is usually free of charge.

Check the State Bar Association’s Website for any Disciplinary History

After you get a couple of names you are interested in, you will want to check their disciplinary history. It’s a good idea to see if an attorney has had any ethical violations in the past. Not only will it give you an idea of what pitfalls you may run into when hiring an attorney, but it can also serve as a peace of mind to find an attorney who has no disciplinary history. You may be surprised to find that there are a lot of attorneys who have no disciplinary history. You will find this information at the state bar association website. You will be able to search for the attorney by name, if there is any disciplinary history present, the bar association will have a record of it.

Schedule an Appointment with a Divorce Attorney

The only thing left to do is set up a consolation with an attorney that you have thoroughly researched. When you speak with an attorney, be sure not to hold anything back as they need to know all the facts involved with your case to give you the best advice possible.


What is the average retainer fee for a divorce lawyer in California? ›

Q: What Is the Average Retainer Fee for a Divorce Lawyer in California? A: A retainer fee is an upfront charge that reserves an attorney's services for you. In California, the average retainer fee family law attorneys charge is between $3,000 and $5,000.

What should I know and look for when I want to hire a divorce lawyer? ›

  • When looking to hire an attorney to represent you in your divorce, you should look for someone with the following qualities: ...
  • · A Top-Notch Communicator. ...
  • · Available. ...
  • · Equipped with Sufficient Resource. ...
  • · In Control and Composed (Even When Under Pressure) ...
  • · Pro-Negotiation. ...
  • · Strategic. ...
  • · Confident & Strong.

Why is it important to hire an experienced and reliable divorce attorney? ›

Having a lawyer who is in full control and takes things professionally is necessary to get the best out of your case. Not only will the attorney take the load off your chest but also ensure to get the right evidence and documentation needed to make you win the case by all means.

How do I choose a divorce advocate? ›

How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer
  1. Step 1: Understand What Your Divorce Lawyer Does. ...
  2. Step 2: Set Realistic Expectations for Your Lawyer's Role. ...
  3. Step 3: Decide What Kind of Divorce Process You Need. ...
  4. Step 4: Consider Your Budget. ...
  5. Step 5: Do Some Online Research. ...
  6. Step 6: Talk to Family and Friends.

What is a wife entitled to in a divorce in California? ›

A wife in California can be entitled to up to half of the assets in the marriage along with up to 40% of their partner's income for child support, spousal support, and primary child custody.

What is the cheapest way to get a divorce in California? ›

An uncontested one, on the other hand, requires you and your ex to be in full agreement as to how you want to end things. This is the cheapest way to get a divorce in California as you do not need to hire a lawyer, and can either deal with the paperwork yourself or get it from an online service.

What is reasonable to ask for in a divorce? ›

A Fair Share of Assets

The longer you and your partner were married, the more likely it is that you have tons of intermingled marital assets that need to be separated and divided. If your marital assets include businesses, antiques, or real estate, ensure that you are getting a fair hand in the division.

What should I do immediately after divorce? ›

  • Ask for Help. "Join a divorce support group or find a compassionate therapist, and talk about what happened in your marriage," Dr. ...
  • Wallow Constructively. ...
  • Focus on the Positive. ...
  • Forgive Yourself. ...
  • Take Care of Number One. ...
  • Build on Your Little Victories. ...
  • Don't Drag the Kids Into Drama. ...
  • Prepare for Friends to Take Sides.
Dec 5, 2022

What questions to ask when getting a divorce? ›

Key Questions to Ask Your Divorce Lawyer
  • 1) How many divorce cases have you handled? ...
  • 2) How often do you reach an out-of-court divorce settlement agreement? ...
  • 3) What is your take on collaborative divorce? ...
  • 4) Do you know my spouse or my spouse's attorney? ...
  • 5) How well do you know the local family court judges?

What four things do clients want from their attorneys which one do they consider the most important? ›

What Do Clients Want From Their Lawyers?
  • Trustworthiness. First and foremost, your client needs to trust you. ...
  • Understanding and Empathy. People don't typically seek legal services because something good happened to them. ...
  • Consistent and Clear Communication. ...
  • Their Legal Problem to be Solved.

How can a divorce attorney help you? ›

A divorce attorney can handle a variety of issues associated with a divorce. Some of the most common areas a divorce attorney provides guidance are the division of assets and estates, any custody issues, as well as many other matters that may arise throughout the divorce process.

Why you should tell your lawyer everything? ›

You Have Client-Attorney Privilege

Essentially, this privilege prevents your lawyer from discussing the details of your case with others. For this reason, you should feel comfortable telling your lawyer the truth, as they are required to keep all information having to do with your representation between the two of you.

How do I win a divorce negotiation? ›

6 Divorce Negotiation Tactics That Set You Up for Success
  1. Take Stock of Your Assets and Liabilities. ...
  2. Understand the Law. ...
  3. Understand Your Goals for Your Divorce Settlement. ...
  4. Know Your Spouse's Goals for the Divorce Settlement. ...
  5. Gain Momentum Through Goodwill. ...
  6. Avoid Drawing Lines in the Sand.

Is mediation a good idea in divorce? ›

Divorce mediation can provide a less-adversarial environment for you and your spouse to talk about the issues. Mediation is a good option for some couples considering divorce, but it is not always the best choice. Both parties must be fully open and agreeable to the divorce mediation process.

How much is a divorce? ›

The median cost of a divorce in the U.S. is $7,000, while the average is between $15,000 and $20,000. But this is not a one-size-fits-all price tag. More complicated “contested” divorces can be significantly more expensive, while uncontested divorces can be significantly cheaper.

How many years do you have to be married to pay alimony in California? ›

There is no specific marriage duration to get alimony in California. The good news is there is no specific minimum duration before a spouse may receive alimony. A California family court bases its decision to order alimony on a variety of factors, including the marital standard of living.

What is the 10 year rule in divorce California? ›

The 10-Year Rule in California

Indeed, when a marriage lasts ten years or longer it is considered to be of long duration. Under California Family Law, the court can retain jurisdiction to make modifications, except if there is written agreement of both parties to the contrary or if a court order terminates support.

Do I have to support my wife after divorce? ›

Spousal support may be litigated during a divorce, legal separation or even a nullity case, at the conclusion of the divorce or legal separation, or anytime after the conclusion of a divorce or legal separation case so long as the court has retained the power to order spousal support.

How many months does it take to get divorce in California? ›

Getting a divorce in California

Getting a divorce takes at least 6 months. There are 4 major parts of the process and they are the same for couples who are married and for those in a domestic partnership. ​ It's the same process to get a legal separation. But, there isn't a required 6-month waiting period.

Who pays for divorce fees in California? ›

Generally, one spouse can't force the other to pay for their divorce in California. Each spouse pays for their own lawyer and all associated costs.

How much is a divorce in California if both parties agree? ›

How Much Are Divorce Filing Fees in California? In California, the filing fee for divorce is $435. This must be paid when the divorce is originally filed with the court, which starts the divorce process. Both parties will need to pay the filing fee if they both file pleadings with the court.

Who loses more in a divorce? ›

While many men are quick to say that their ex-wives took everything, including the dog—or that is what many country songs lead you to believe, anyway—the truth is that women often fare worse in a divorce.

What not to forget in divorce settlement? ›

12 things people forget to address in their divorce agreements
  • Retirement accounts. When dividing marital assets in the divorce process, many people forget to specify who will get ownership of their retirement accounts. ...
  • Name changes. ...
  • Airline miles. ...
  • Custody. ...
  • Spousal support. ...
  • Household items. ...
  • Debt. ...
  • Tax liabilities.
Oct 12, 2022

What a divorce lawyer wishes she could tell her clients? ›

What a divorce lawyer wants clients to know
  • Help us help you.
  • Don't do things out of spite.
  • Don't listen to divorce gossip.
  • You are important, so take care of yourself.
  • The process takes time.
  • You can't talk to your spouse's solicitor.
Jul 21, 2017

What not to do before you get divorced? ›

The Don'ts of Divorce
  • Don't take matters into your own hands. ...
  • Don't go against court rulings. ...
  • Don't expose your kids to your animosity. ...
  • Don't confide in your kids. ...
  • Don't try to be a hero. ...
  • Don't rush into another relationship. ...
  • Don't forget to be a parent.
Oct 26, 2022

Who is more likely to remarry after a divorce? ›

Men Are More Likely to Remarry

The rate for women was significantly lower, at only 19.4 per 1,000 women eligible for remarriage. This data indicates that men are consistently more likely to attempt a second marriage than women. Over the past decade, there has been a decline in remarriage rates for both men and women.

What to do before telling spouse you want a divorce? ›

Be prepared, know what you want to say, and give your spouse some warning about what's coming.
  1. Don't Ambush Your Spouse. ...
  2. Pick a Private Place. ...
  3. Be Prepared for Anger. ...
  4. Plan What to Say. ...
  5. Don't Blame. ...
  6. Stay Calm. ...
  7. Avoid a Trial Separation. ...
  8. Maintain Boundaries.
Jun 9, 2017

How do you know it's time for divorce? ›

You know it's time to get a divorce when your spouse is neither that partner, nor a friend. Disconnect within a marriage can lead to feelings of loneliness. This loneliness only decays the marriage bond faster. Stay too long, and you'll feel trapped – leading to a messier, more expensive divorce.

What are the signs a marriage is over? ›

Here are seven signs from experts that a Carmel family law attorney believes mean a marriage might be over.
  • Lack of Sexual Intimacy. ...
  • Frequently Feeling Angry with Your Spouse. ...
  • Dreading Spending Alone-Time Together. ...
  • Lack of Respect. ...
  • Lack of Trust. ...
  • Disliking Your Spouse. ...
  • Visions of the Future Do Not Include Your Spouse.
Dec 7, 2019

What not to say to a lawyer? ›

Here are five things you should never say to a lawyer.
  • My case will be easy money for you. ...
  • I have already done the work for you. ...
  • I forgot I had an appointment. ...
  • I've already talked to a lot of other lawyers. ...
  • I don't have all my documents.
Apr 19, 2022

What happens when someone defends a divorce? ›

Court hearing – If your spouse decides to defend the divorce, you will likely have to go to court and have a hearing in front of a judge. You and your spouse will then both be able to present your arguments and any supporting evidence. The judge will then decide whether to grant the divorce or not.

Why is family lawyer important? ›

A family lawyer will help you understand your state's particular divorce laws. They can also help handle issues that arise from prenuptial agreements and get you the most desirable outcome for your separation. You also want a lawyer who will represent you at every level of legal proceedings.

Is no news good news from your lawyer? ›

The bottom line is that this is generally one of those cases where “no news is good news” because it means your attorney is working on your case. The only time you should get concerned is if you need to speak to your attorney and you cannot get through nor have you received a return call.

Can you tell a lawyer the truth? ›

Advantages of Telling the Truth

First and foremost, by giving your defense lawyer all of the facts and details, you're helping them formulate the best possible defense strategy. Remember that your attorney knows the law in a completely different way than you do.

Why you shouldn't talk without a lawyer? ›

You should never talk to the police without first consulting an attorney. Police officers are trained to obtain confessions, admissions and inconsistencies. If you are innocent, they will use inconsistencies in your statements as evidence of guilt.

What is a fair retainer fee? ›

Attorneys typically charge an average of $100 to $300 an hour, while a consultant may charge $50 to $150. No matter your profession, though, it's good to find a reasonable rate that works with your experience level and your success rate in the industry.

How much should a retainer fee be? ›

A retainer fee can be any denomination that the attorney requests. It may be as low as $500 or as high as $5,000 or more. Some attorneys base retainer fees on their hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours that they anticipate your case will take.

Do you get retainer fee back from California lawyer? ›

About retainer fees

If the fee agreement is a nonrefundable retainer agreement, you may not be able to get your money back, even if the lawyer does not handle your case or complete the work. A retainer fee also can mean that the lawyer is “on call” to handle the client's legal problems over a period of time.

What are the four types of retainer fees? ›

Four common methods are found below.
  • Hourly. Hourly arrangements refer to charging a set fee per hour. ...
  • Flat or Block Fee. A flat or block fee typically refers to a fixed amount of money paid for specific activities. ...
  • Contingency. ...
  • Hybrid.
Jan 18, 2021


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