Granite Bay Divorce Attorney With a Unique Approach

Years of Experience Protecting Families Throughout California

Our Popular Practice Areas:

Divorce
Spousal Support
Child Support
Death & Incapacity

Granite Bay Divorce Attorney With a Unique Approach

At McCunn Law, we have over 40 years of experience working on family law cases in Granite Bay, California. In each case, we focus on the client. We protect families by offering a personal approach and using straight talk to ensure they understand their options in a divorce.

We know this is a stressful time in your life, so we approach your case with compassion and unique solutions. Our practical approach allows us to help you in the best way possible, making the experience less strenuous. Our attorney, Drummond T. McCunn, is a peacemaker who will handle your case with honesty and a pragmatic attitude.

It is our goal to work with you and empower you to make your own decisions. We are in here in whatever capacity you need us to be to lead you through your case to a conclusion that is fair.

You don’t have to take our word for it: We are transparent in the way we assist clients, so discover more about us and contact us if you feel we are a good fit to help you through your divorce.

A California Divorce Lawyer You Can Trust Call (916) 827-3427

A Unique Approach Puts You in Control

The McCunn Law approach to divorce is holistic, meaning that we consider every aspect of your situation, including your emotions, opinions and needs. Instead of focusing solely on the case and pushing it through the Granite Bay court, we empower you to tell us what you want to happen.

We also organize our approach in a way that makes an easy-to-follow plan. This can help reduce stress and enable you to make strong decisions because you know exactly what to expect.

In addition, we let you shape your representation so you only pay for what you need and get only the services that will best help you. We have steps that we take with every case to ensure this happens.

Our Process

We start by talking with you about your situation. We want to find out your goals and where you want things to end. Then, we will propose some ideas on how to achieve the results, and map out possible outcomes so that you can see how we can get from here to there.

You will weigh in as we discuss the pros and cons of our options. We’ll reach a strategy together that will accomplish your goals in the way that you want.

After that, we create a plan, set a budget and formulate a timeline. This gives you all the details you need to know about how things will proceed and what to expect. At this time, we can discuss lingering concerns and make adjustments.

Once we have a solid plan in place, we will then start gathering the information we need to build your case. You will supply us with information about your marriage, spouse, assets, income and expenses.

The next step is to put the plan in place. Throughout the process, we will ensure you stay updated on developments and everything that is happening.

By the end, we’ll help you reach the goals you identified when we first met. Remember, we will remain right here for you if you have any further needs.

Our unique approach makes us stand out from the typical attorney that takes charge and expects you to follow along. We know this is already a situation where you feel off-balance and out of control. We don’t want to add to that, which is why we put every decision in your hands. When you work with our lawyer, you are in control the whole time.

The Five Steps of a Case

As we implement the plan we created together, we want you to be clear on how things will proceed. To make the process less confusing and more straightforward, we break it down into five steps:

Step One: The Petition

The first step to any case in California is filing the divorce petition with the court. Either spouse has the right to file the proper documents with the Granite Bay court.

You File First

It is important that you file the correct paperwork with the correct California court. We will assist you with making sure you have everything you need and that the documents get to the right place.

Filling out the forms requires care as the information you supply in these papers will impact your divorce. You will need to explain the reason for your request to end your marriage and give details about yourself, your spouse and the relationship. Our job is to ensure you fully complete the documents to provide a solid foundation for your divorce.

The process involves making sure you get copies of the documents to the required places. Not only do you have to file your petition at the court in Granite Bay, but also you must serve your spouse with a copy.

Serving papers is sometimes a difficult task because you may not know how to find your spouse, your spouse may be in the military or he or she may decide to avoid the person serving the documents in an attempt to delay the divorce. In any case, you cannot serve the petition yourself; you will need help with this part of the process.

We have experience with serving papers and know the most effective ways to get it done. Our lawyer can ensure that there is no time wasted on service and help keep your case moving along.

Your spouse will have 30 days in which to reply to the divorce summons. However, be aware that California will grant a divorce if only one spouse requests it. Your spouse does not have to agree to end your marriage. His or her response to the summons is only for making his or her wishes clear about the details of your petition.

Do note that California law does require a six-month waiting period from the time you file and serve the papers to the time the judge finalizes your divorce.

Your Spouse Files First

If your spouse files for divorce, then you have the responsibility to receive the summons and respond. When you receive the petition, it is essential that you make sure you understand everything in it. We can read over the paperwork for you and explain anything that is not clear. Our attorney can also help you understand your rights and what your next move should be.

We will also help you decide on your reply to the summons. It is important that you file your response within the given time limit, which is 30 days. Our lawyer will ensure you get your answer back to the court in time and within the guidelines.

If you fail to respond, the court will issue a default judgment in your case, which will give your spouse everything he or she asked for in the petition. To have a chance to negotiate and reach a settlement, you need to respond.

Step Two: Disclosures

California law requires that within 60 days of filing your divorce petition, you must file a list of all your financial interests. The disclosure forms will include the following information:

  • What you own (assets)
  • What you owe (debts)
  • Income
  • Expenses

These forms and the information help with property division and support determinations in your case. You must serve these disclosures through a formal service, which means someone other than you must deliver them to your spouse. Delivery service is something we handle for you to avoid any hassles and ensure it occurs within the time limit.

You must confirm everything in the disclosures is accurate and complete. Leaving out information, even if by mistake, can stall your divorce. The court may not issue a final order or could reopen your case after the final judgment if it discovers any information in the disclosure was not truthful or complete.

Our job is to make sure your financial disclosures contain all the necessary information. We will work with you to go over your finances, assets, debts and other details of your financial situation to avoid omissions. We understand it can be difficult to fill out this type of form, so if we discover something new after we file your papers, we will handle correcting it with the court.

Step Three: Temporary Orders

During your divorce, you and your spouse will each have equal rights to the children and family finances unless you obtain temporary orders from the court. We will assist you with filing temporary requests for child support, visitation, custody, property distribution, spousal support and payment of legal fees.

You can ask us to help you with temporary orders anytime after you or your spouse files the petition. These orders give you a chance to ask for things you need or to handle situations of concern before the finalization of your case.

Asking for an order is a straightforward process that our lawyer is familiar with and can easily do upon request. Generally, we will only have to file forms for you, but you may have to attend a hearing or mediation, especially if you ask for temporary child custody orders.

If your situation involves domestic violence or abuse, then we also will help you secure a protection order through the proper California court. You can get such an order if your spouse has physically abused you or threatened physical harm.

Your spouse will get a copy of all forms, but the Granite Bay court will keep your address confidential if needed. We will make sure to protect you by using the court’s Safe at Home program, which ensures your address does not appear on these documents.

The court will typically approve the order, but if it does not or if there is another issue, we will continue to work hard for you to secure the order. We will go before the judge and plead your case. Throughout the process, we offer you comfort and security in any way we can. It is our job to get you the legal protection you deserve.

Step Four: Negotiation

Most divorces in Granite Bay settle out of court, which means the couple comes to an agreement on all matters without the court intervening. We will be by your side to help you with negotiations with your spouse as needed.

To finalize your agreement, you will need to cover important topics:

  • Division of assets and debts
  • Spousal support
  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Visitation schedule

Step Five: Final Judgement

Whether you reach an agreement or need the court to make rulings in your case, the last stage of any divorce is the final judgment. At this time, the judge will divide property, explain the parenting plan and handle any support payments. This order by a California court is your final decree. You must follow it, so we will help you as you work to abide.

Settle Your Divorce Dispute Now Call (916) 827-3427

You Always Have Options

It is important to us that you understand you always have choices when it comes to handling your Granite Bay case. We will never push you into something you do not want to do or with which you do not feel comfortable.

We offer a fully customizable service with options to do it in a way that fits your unique needs. We can act as your assistant or as your aggressive litigator; the choice is yours to make.

We offer a variety of representation models. You should consider them all and choose the one that best works for your situation.

Do-It-Yourself

You may be in a situation where you and your spouse have come to an agreement. In this case, you may only need some final paperwork filed with the Granite Bay court. We can assist you to ensure you have all the correct forms and complete the documents for you.

You will handle the negotiations and represent yourself in court, but we are here if you need any legal assistance. In this model, you run the show and have complete control. We are on standby in case you need us.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Many couples do not want to let the court decide their fate. During litigation, the final decisions come from a Granite Bay judge.

You have an option outside of litigation called alternative dispute resolution. ADR is best for you if you feel you can reach an agreement with your spouse. You need to communicate well with each other and be willing to negotiate and compromise. We offer two types of ADR: mediation and collaboration.

Mediation

Mediation involves a neutral third-party who acts as the mediator and guides the negotiations. This person does not make decisions or control the proceedings. What the mediator does is facilitate healthy and productive conversations between you and your spouse.

The mediator will offer assistance when needed. He or she will never take a side but rather remain neutral and help you work through issues or anything holding up the process.

Mediation is good if you have some things you need to work out, and you think that you can negotiate them with your spouse. Keep in mind, though, that you can always leave those things about which you do not agree to the judge to decide. Going through mediation will at least allow you to get an idea of where your spouse stands and what he or she is thinking, which can help us as we represent you in the courtroom.

Collaboration

Collaboration is similar to mediation in that there is a neutral third party overseeing the procedure. However, in collaboration, you have your attorney who will represent and assist you in the process. Your attorney and the lawyer representing your spouse will work together to help you reach a settlement. You may also call in specialists, such as accountants or child experts, who can help iron out details and clarify information.

Before starting this process, you will sign a contract that is an agreement to settle your case through collaboration. If you cannot reach an agreement, then you must start over. This also means your lawyer can no longer assist you with the process, and you will have to find new representation.

Because of this requirement, it is important to go this route only if you feel confident you will reach an agreement with your spouse. Our attorney can discuss your options and help you to make a decision on whether collaboration is a good move.

Representation

If you have a contentious situation where you don’t feel your spouse will be willing to come to compromises or even to communicate to settle your divorce, then it is probably best to consider litigation. For that, you will need experienced and knowledgeable representation from a lawyer like Drummond T. McCunn.

At McCunn Law, we can help you navigate the legal process required to finalize the end of your marriage. We will assist you with courtroom appearances and assist you with gathering the information you need to get a fair settlement.

We have worked with people in cases involving domestic violence, mental health issues and substance abuse. Our experience also includes helping clients uncover hidden assets. We work hard to protect you and your finances throughout the process.

When you need an attorney to fight for you in a tough situation, call on McCunn Law. Our abilities in and out of the courtroom provide you with well-rounded representation and support that will not only get you through this tough time but also enable you to stand strong. With our lawyer working hard for you, it is possible to reach the goals you laid out in our initial meeting.

What You Should Know About Contested and Uncontested Divorce

In California, a divorce can be contested or uncontested. Our attorney can help you in either situation, but you should understand what each means, as these terms often cause confusion.

A contested divorce is one in which you file an answer to the summons because you want to have input on the decisions made in your case. You may object to things with which you do not agree. This process will involve negotiations and work to reach a settlement with your spouse, or it can lead to litigation in the Granite Bay court.

An uncontested divorce is one where you agree with everything your spouse wants, or you do not respond to the summons. If you fail to respond, the court enters a default judgment, and you give up the ability to have any say in your case. We want to help you avoid this because it takes away your rights and leaves you at the mercy of your spouse and the judge.

Alternatively, you can have an uncontested situation if you and your spouse reach an agreement. This is our goal for you because it allows you to influence what happens and avoids turning over the decision-making power to the court, which can have results with which you are not happy.

Offering Help in Every Situation

Not only do we provide you with options and give you control over your case, but we also have the skills and knowledge that allow us to help you with any situation you may have. No two divorce proceedings are alike, but our varied background gives us the ability to handle whatever may be happening in your life.

We see clients with diverse and sometimes tough circumstances that require a lawyer who is familiar with how the law applies and how judges usually react. Our attorney is proficient in handling a variety of situations:

  • Legal separation
  • Property division
  • Business-owner divorce
  • High-asset divorce
  • Family residence
  • Debt resolution
  • Retirement benefit division
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Child support modification
  • Visitation agreements
  • Spousal support

The areas we deal with the most are property division, child support, child visitation and spousal support.

Property Division

To completely end your marriage, you must properly divide all assets and debts that fall under the law as marital property. California is a community property state, which means anything you or your spouse accrued during the marriage belongs equally to both of you. The state refers to this as community property.

Community property may include:

  • Home
  • Car
  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Retirement accounts
  • Bank accounts
  • Insurance with cash value

It essentially encompasses any item of value that you could sell to make money. Community property also includes debt, of which you both owe half.

In addition, this shared property includes money you earned during the marriage and anything you bought with that money, even if only one of you bought it.

It is possible to have quasi-community property, which is any asset or debt you acquired during your marriage outside of California. Anything that qualifies as community property under California law, the court will treat as such.

Separate property is that which you each solely own. It includes anything you acquired before marriage, inheritances and gifts. Also in this category are the following things:

  • Money earned from separate property
  • Assets you buy with separate property
  • Anything you acquire after filing your case

You can often tell if something qualifies as separate property by looking at where the money came from to buy it.

Note that some of your assets may qualify as partly separate and community property. This is the case when you commingle your property. The concept of commingled property can be quite complicated, and one with which we will work with you.

It is essential to identify the legal status of all property so that you can get a fair division. Dividing assets is one of the most complex procedures in a divorce, but our attorney has decades of experience working on such matters.

Child Support

California law recognizes that both parents have an obligation to financially support their children, which is the goal of child support. In general, if the children spend the majority of the time with you, then you will receive child support. Otherwise, you will pay it.

The court will use a default formula to figure child support. The guidelines are a priority with the court, and it will compare at any agreement you make against them.

When creating your own child support arrangement that falls outside the set guidelines, you must show valid reasoning, and the judge has to sign off on your agreement.

To create your own agreement, you must meet specific requirements:

  • You understand your complete rights under the law, including the amount of support you would receive or pay under the guideline.
  • You must agree to a child support agreement willingly.
  • You cannot receive public assistance or apply for it.
  • The amount paid must meet the needs of the child and be in the best interests of the child.

Your agreement should also contain information on the coverage of other expenses related to the children:

  • Child care
  • Health care
  • Special needs
  • Visitation travel expenses

You also want to address how you or the other parent will pay support. Options include paying it directly or using wage garnishment and going through a California child support agency.

Finally, the agreement must also state that you will both keep the other informed about changes in income, addresses and employment.

Our lawyer knows child support guidelines and laws, which enables him to assist you in creating a valid agreement. Doing so on your own can be difficult and may lead to an unfavorable outcome, so let us give you a hand to ensure your children receive the financial support they deserve and that arrangements are fair to everyone.

Child Custody

When it comes to deciding parenting details for your children, things can easily get aggravated and stressful. You and your spouse both want what is best for your children, but that doesn’t mean you will always agree.

Our attorney can assist you in defining a parenting plan that encourages working together and eliminates fighting over the children. The court ultimately wants to see an arrangement that allows your child to have an equal and meaningful relationship with both of you. If there are not any circumstances such as abuse or neglect that would suggest this is not what is best, then we will help you to communicate that to the court.

As we work on your plan, we will encourage you to think about details that include:

  • Provisions for missed visits due to illness or other situations
  • Instructions on how to modify the plan
  • Special considerations for medical needs
  • Events that could affect the normal schedule including holidays, vacations and extracurricular activities
  • Travel arrangements

Spousal Support

Spousal support or alimony is a payment from one spouse to the other to help with financial strain due to the divorce. It can be temporary, which is paid during the process until the final judgment, or permanent, which is paid after the case is over.

There is no formula for deciding permanent support, but a California judge may use one to determine temporary support. When not using the formula, a judge will base the calculation on his or her assessment of both of your situations using various details, such as:

  • Financial situation
  • Health
  • Employment capabilities
  • Obstacles, such as child care
  • Domestic violence during the marriage
  • Debts
  • Property division in the divorce
  • Tax impacts

The court considers the standard of living during the marriage and after for both parties. Divorce should not create a hardship where a spouse cannot afford basic living expenses, and spousal support often is a way to prevent that.

In deciding how long permanent support will last, the Granite Bay judge will look at the length of the marriage. The general rule is that support for marriages under 10 years in length lasts half the time of the marriage. A union that lasts over 10 years is deemed a long-term marriage under California law and could result in payments with no end date set. Judges have a lot of freedom to make decisions on this subject.

The law does state that support will end if any of the following occur:

  • You reach the set end date
  • The court makes a ruling to end it
  • You or your former spouse dies
  • The person receiving support remarries

Because spousal support issues often change, you may need to go back to court for adjustments. Our attorney can assist you not only with the initial case but also with any necessary modifications later.

Get Started Today

A divorce involves many different details and complex legal situations that make it difficult to handle all on your own. With our many solutions, we provide you with options for getting the help that works for your needs. Contact us today at 916-250-3840 or on the McCunn Law website to learn more about how Drummond T. McCunn can make your divorce process go more smoothly.

Why Choose McCunn Law

Our methods for handling business owner divorce and family law issues are unique. We offer legal assistance for a range of family law cases, including:

Mr. McCunn specializes in a holistic, project management approach which empowers you to make your own decisions throughout the process. He has a reputation as a peacemaker and his honest and pragmatic attitude towards divorce and other family law issues ensures you only pay for the services you need during your case.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.