Solving Complex Family Law Issues with Creative Strategies

Oakland Divorce Attorney

Divorce is often complicated, stressful, and, at times, overwhelming. Finding the right solutions for you, your family, and your circumstances starts with choosing the right legal team to guide you through the divorce process.

At Moradi Saslaw, our Oakland divorce attorneys are:

  • Determined to move you towards a better future;
  • Aggressive and ready to fight when your rights are threatened; and
  • Understanding and compassionate toward individuals and families coping with divorce.

You can rely on the Oakland divorce attorneys at Moradi Saslaw to find creative, individualized solutions to resolve your most challenging issues, whether they involve children, assets, or alimony. Contact our office in Oakland today to confidentially discuss your divorce with an experienced attorney.

Our Oakland Divorce Attorneys are Here to Help

It is imperative you seek the help of an experienced divorce attorney to move through the divorce process in an informed and timely fashion. Having an attorney from Moradi Saslaw will help expedite your divorce and come to a resolution sooner, whether through negotiation, mediation, or traditional litigation.

Your Oakland divorce attorney from Moradi Saslaw can also help with:

Let one of our skilled divorce attorneys reduce the emotional stress of dealing with your spouse and your spouse’s attorney. By removing the emotional impact of this conflict, you will be able to make better, sounder choices for your future.

Contact Moradi Saslaw now to discuss our approach to divorce in Oakland. We look forward to addressing your divorce questions and concerns and working alongside you in the future.

The California Divorce Process

In California, a divorce, or dissolution of marriage, may be granted by the court for “irreconcilable differences” or an irrevocable breakdown of the marriage. Only one person must desire to end the marriage for a divorce to take place.

To divorce in California, at least one of the spouses must be a resident of the state for six months before filing the divorce petition. The divorce petition must be filed in the same county where the spouse has lived for at least three months.

It takes a minimum of six months for a California divorce to be finalized, even if the spouses agree upon the divorce. For spouses with more complex issues, the process can take up to a year or more.

There are many issues that must be decided before any divorce. These include:

  • Property division;
  • Child custody;
  • Child support; and
  • Spousal support.

Generally, the spouses can enter into an agreement regarding these matters, or the court can decide the issues.

Dispute Resolution in Divorce

The family court encourages spouses to work out their own divorce settlement whenever possible. This saves time and money for the spouses. Spouses typically find they are happier with their own terms than those imposed on them by the court.

When an agreement between the spouses is impossible, the court will make decisions on their behalf. Any decisions made by the court must be complied with by the spouses.

There are tools spouses may employ to reach mutually agreeable decisions and avoid litigation. These include mediation, collaborative divorce, and arbitration.


In divorce mediation, spouses employ a mediator, who is a neutral third party, to help them work through their issues. The mediator does not represent either spouse. Instead, the mediator is there to help facilitate communication between the parties. Mediators use conflict resolution skills to aid in better communication. Additionally, mediators identify the parties’ interests, find ground where the spouses can agree, and highlight the benefits of avoiding litigation. The mediator creates a contract between the spouses reflecting any agreement they make in mediation. Once signed by the spouses, the contract is binding. Additionally, the spouses can submit the agreement to the court to be included as part of the court order.

Collaborative Divorce

Unlike mediation, collaborative divorce employs the assistance of multiple professionals to resolve spousal disagreements. Both spouses have their own attorneys and may get advice from experts like real estate agents and accountants to come to an acceptable agreement. The goal of all of the parties and professionals is to reach a mutually-beneficial agreement and avoid litigation.

If spouses commit to collaborative divorce and are unsuccessful, they must start over with new attorneys at the beginning of the process.


Arbitration takes place outside the courtroom but is a lot like a divorce trial. It is a private legal proceeding in which a third party, called an arbitrator, listens to arguments by both sides and then makes decisions on their behalf. Arbitration can be faster and less expensive than litigation. It can also minimize the amount of discovery that takes place and avoid having to wait for a trial in a court with a large backlog of cases.

Property Division in Divorce

California is a community property state. This means spouses are typically entitled to one-half the assets and one-half the debts when divorcing. However, it can be challenging to determine asset distribution between spouses.

Community property is generally any property that is acquired during the marriage. Community property is subject to division in the event of divorce. Separate property consists of property:

  • Obtained before the marriage
  • Received as an individual gift or inheritance
  • Received pursuant to a valid marital agreement
  • Obtained from the benefit of separate property, such as rents from separate property

Separate property is not generally subject to division in a California divorce unless its character is transformed during the marriage into community property.

Some assets are difficult to value and divide, such as retirement accounts, stocks, and intellectual property. These often require expert division and valuation by accountants and other experts. Divorcing spouses should always seek the assistance of experienced divorce attorneys and financial experts when dividing a complex marital estate.

Spousal Support

The first consideration of a California court when determining spousal support is one spouse’s need for support and the other spouse’s ability to pay support. If either of these does not exist, spousal support will not be awarded.

Spouses have the right to financial stability and to maintain the standard of living to which they have become accustomed during marriage upon their divorce. Since spouses rarely earn the same amount of money, the lower-earning spouses are often awarded spousal support to aid in adjusting to life post-divorce. Alimony also helps recognize the non-financial contributions that a spouse made to the marriage. For example, one spouse may have given up their career so that they could raise children and manage a household.

There are several types of spousal support in California, including:

  • Temporary alimony – Temporary alimony or alimony pendente lite is financial support awarded to a spouse while a divorce case is pending. This type of financial support helps the spouse pay for their living expenses and other necessary expenses until the underlying matters in the divorce case are resolved. Receiving temporary alimony is no guarantee that a spouse will receive permanent alimony.
  • Permanent alimony – Permanent alimony is made through regular payments to the dependent spouse for an indefinite period. Alimony orders are generally modifiable if there is a significant change in circumstances.
  • Rehabilitative alimony – Rehabilitative alimony is paid to a former spouse to help them become self-sufficient. For example, rehabilitative alimony may be paid to a former spouse while they finish a college degree and get a job that provides an adequate salary to support themselves.
  • Reimbursement alimony – If a spouse paid for their other spouse to earn a college degree or otherwise contributed to their spouse’s education or work credentials, they may be able to be reimbursed for these contributions.
  • Gross alimony – Gross alimony is paid is one lump sum. Rather than paying support in regular intervals, a spouse may give a larger portion of assets in the property division process.

Several factors go into a spousal support award in addition to income. These include, but are not limited to, spousal age and health, spousal contributions to the education or training of the other spouse, and spousal contributions to the household. The type of alimony also depends on the unique situation, the financial picture, and the version of alimony best meets the needs of the spouses.

Child Custody

California courts prefer when parents can come to their own child custody and visitation agreements. However, this is not always possible with divorcing parents.

There are two types of child custody in California, legal and physical. Parents may have joint legal and physical custody, sole legal and physical custody, or any combination of the two.

Legal custody is the right to decide the child’s education, religious upbringing, elective surgeries, and other essential matters. Physical custody pertains to the place where the child resides.

Child Support

Child support ensures a child maintains the standard of living to which they grew accustomed during the marriage in both households after the divorce. California has a child support calculation to determine how much each parent is obligated to pay in child support each month. This formula uses several factors to calculate the child support amount, including income, assets, and time spent with the child.

Child support is typically paid by the parent who earns more money and spends less time with the children.

Contact an Experienced Oakland Divorce Attorney

If you would like to speak with an experienced Oakland divorce attorney about residency requirements, grounds for divorce, or whether you qualify for agreed dissolution of marriage, contact the legal team at Moradi Saslaw. We want to make sure you receive the representation you need and deserve throughout your divorce proceedings, whether by mediation or another type of dispute resolution.

At Moradi Saslaw, we have the knowledge and resources to handle even the most complex divorces and custody cases.