Santa Barbara Divorce Attorney & Family Law Lawyer


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Divorce Attorney in Santa Barbara

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Divorce Strategies for Self Employed

Though divorce is difficult for almost all individuals, there are some specific challenges for self-employed husbands when going through divorce and it’s always a good idea to contact a skilled divorce attorney in Santa Barbara who can help you in your case specifically.

Protect Your Business

When divorce is first put on the table, it can be extremely demoralizing, depressing, and yet somehow a relief. It’s important not to get too distracted with the emotional rollercoaster that comes with divorce and to protect yourself. As a self-employed individual, the health of your company is even more important than someone who works for someone else.

The first thing to do is to collect and organize all your financial documents including:

  • Credit card accounts
  • Car loans
  • Mortgage loans
  • Checking accounts
  • Saving accounts
  • Investment accounts

All assets, debts, and bank accounts should be examined closely in order to get a thorough and accurate idea of where you stand financially. Luckily, this is good for you in regards to your business, as well! It’s always good to get a refresher of where exactly your business stands. It’s especially important when going through a divorce. You certainly don’t want to be caught by surprise by your soon-to-be-ex or her lawyer. Even if you stay on top of your finances or use a software to keep track, go over everything again so you have it fresh in your mind and can refute any false claims upfront. Update yourself by looking over:

  • Bank statements
  • Insurance policies
  • All documents related to investments and assets

When you are self-employed, you will have to go through all your financial information with a fine-comb to understand your cash flow and overall valuation of your personal business. It isn’t uncommon for spouses to inflate the worth of your business and the income of their self-employed spouse. The more money you have, the more they can take away. Be sure to completely understand all aspects of your business’s finances. Hire an accountant if you must and contact a divorce attorney in Santa Barbara.If your spouse helped with your business, you can be sure she will try to split the assets evenly, no matter how little she was involved. Try to trace everything back to exactly who invested what with regards to both time and money. Try to collect a paper trail of all expenses and organize the exact details of running the business.

Be sure to make paper agreements to anything that is agreed upon verbally when times are good and you’re getting along with your spouse. There will certainly be ups and downs in how cordial you are throughout the process and having documentation of what you could agree on when you both felt okay about each other will help to protect yourself when your spouse isn’t feeling cooperative.

Divorce is always unpleasant and can be extremely complicated, especially when one spouse is self-employed. Seeking experienced, quality legal advice from a divorce attorney in Santa Barbara can make a huge difference in divorce proceedings and outcomes. Contact someone as soon as possible to stay ahead of any issues that may come about.

Child Custody

Unlike individuals with regular work hours, most people who run and manage their own companies work long and often unpredictable hours. Child custody battles includes many court appearances and as notorious as courts are for being terrible at staying on schedule, they have very limited tolerance for tardiness or lack of appearance.

Courts also take the schedule of each parent into consideration in determining what is in the child’s best interest. Children require stability and consistency. If a parent’s schedule is constantly changing, then that parent does not seem like he or she would be able to provide a stable home environment.

If the wife is cooperative and is willing to be flexible, there is no reason a father shouldn’t be able to enjoy equal time with his children. It certainly is not always the case that the wife is willing to cooperate, she may even use the children as leverage in the divorce. Whatever specific circumstances you are dealing with, having an experienced divorce attorney in Santa Barbara by your side is always a good strategy.

Family Code 3046

Unfortunately, the societal bias regarding child custody is often that the mother is favored. This is especially true for very busy fathers who have limited time in their schedule to dedicate exclusively to their children. While there is a number of reasons for this bias and though there may be some sense behind it, it often results in an unfair bias against the father. California has put forward legislation to battle the inherent bias towards the mother as well as to put any changes that develop during divorce proceedings in perspective.

Family Code 3046 states: “(a) If a party is absent or relocates from the family residence, the court shall not consider the absence or relocation as a factor in determining custody or visitation in either of the following circumstances:

  1. The absence or relocation is of short duration and the court finds that, during the period of absence or relocation, the party has demonstrated an interest in maintaining custody or visitation, the party maintains, or makes reasonable efforts to maintain, regular contact with the child, and the party’s behavior demonstrates no intent to abandon the child.
  2. The party is absent or relocates because of an act or acts of actual or threatened domestic or family violence by the other party.
  3. The court may consider attempts by one party to interfere with the other party’s regular contact with the child in determining if the party has satisfied the requirements of subdivision (a)”

As indicated in section (a), even if the father moves out during the divorce proceedings, which is often the case, it should not affect custody proceedings so long as the father’s absence does not occur for a significant period, is not due to domestic violence, and that the father puts forth an effort to contact his child.

The courts want above all to maintain a sense of stability and continuity in a divorce in order to maintain each spouse’s life as it currently is and to limit the trauma the divorce inflicts on the children involved. The courts try to keep a sense of stability in the child’s life during such a momentous change such as the divorce of a child’s parents. Because the court’s decision can vary, it’s best to speak to a divorce attorney in Santa Barbara who understands the legal system and the California courts. The “status quo” is the term for how things currently stand in a given situation.

Contact Divorce Attorney in Santa Barbara

No one enters a marriage expecting it to end in divorce, and marital dissolution is often a difficult and emotionally grueling process. We’re here to help! Divorce, aside from being an emotional, stressful and complicated time in your life, also affects your family for the rest of their life. Having a compassionate, dedicated and empathetic divorce attorney in Santa Barbara by your side, can aide you in making the best decisions for your family. If you are in need of assistance with your divorce contact an experienced divorce attorney in Santa Barbara at Drury Pullen Law today for consultation. Call (805) 879-7523 or email us.