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Can You Date Before a Divorce is Final in Cal...

Can You Date Before a Divorce is Final in Cal...

Before you can finalize your divorce in California, you must go through a 6-month waiting period.  During this time, you will still be technically married, but you may start living separately and getting on with your life after marriage.  Because the law still considers you married, dating or having relations with other people could technically be considered adultery and may have an effect on divorce proceedings.  The Ventura, CA divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain how California law handles dating while you wait to finalize your divorce. Can You Date During the Divorce Waiting Period in California? When you file for divorce, the absolute quickest that you can get the divorce finalized is 6 months.  In many cases, the waiting period is even longer because courts have busy schedules, as do you and your spouse.  During this waiting period, you might want to start dating again, sign up for a dating app, or have relations with someone else.  Unfortunately, the law might technically consider this “adultery.” California law is not very precise on its definition of adultery.  Any relations with someone else who is not your spouse might count as adultery, but where does the law draw the line?  Some people might count dating by itself while others might not count it as “cheating” unless there’s intercourse.  Still others might say that thinking about someone else or signing up for a dating app is a step too far. Fortunately, coming up with a concrete definition of adultery is not usually necessary.  While it might technically be considered “adultery” to date while your divorce...
How Do You Remove a Bench Warrant in Californ...

How Do You Remove a Bench Warrant in Californ...

A bench warrant is a warrant for your arrest issued to force you to appear in court.  Typically, these warrants are issued after a failure to appear for another case or because the court needs to see you about some other matter.  If a police officer finds out you have a bench warrant, they will typically arrest you and may keep you for holding until you can be scheduled for a court appearance.  If you have a bench warrant, you should speak with an attorney about how to get that warrant removed and handle your case before facing potential arrest and prosecution.  The Ventura criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth discuss some information you need to know about your bench warrants and how to get them removed in California. What is a Bench Warrant? Many people find out that they have a bench warrant out for them because they have another run-in with the police, typically when they get pulled over for a traffic offense or stopped for questioning.  Hearing the officer tell you that there’s a bench warrant for you or getting a call from the court telling you there is a bench warrant for your arrest can be scary, but understanding what a bench warrant is and why it was issued can help alleviate some of these fears. First of all, a “warrant” is a legal document signed by a judge giving police authority to either search or seize a place, a thing, or a person.  Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you cannot be arrested, be searched, or...
Can You Still Live in the Same House and Be L...

Can You Still Live in the Same House and Be L...

Many couples file for divorce or legal separation and start living as individuals again.  The law allows you to immediately return to a single lifestyle with the caveat that you are still officially married.  This allows you to divide property and go your own way – but what if you can’t afford to?  Many couples opt to stay living in the same house, whether for financial reasons, for their children, or for other reasons.  Does California law let you continue to live together if you want to be legally separated?  The Ventura divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain. Can You Live Together During Legal Separation in California? For the longest time, California law required spouses to live “separate and apart” during a divorce or legal separation.  This meant that you would still be considered “together” financially and romantically if you lived together.  This is still the law in many states, but California has adapted to understand modern housing problems and the financial difficulty of moving out and paying rent in the immediate aftermath of a separation. California had cases come through its court system where this old definition didn’t make much sense.  There was a case in 2015, In re Marriage of Davis, where one couple decided to end their relationship, discussed it, and separated their finances, but continued to live together.  They filed for divorce 2 years later, but she kept living in the house for another 5 years after the breakup.  The court in that case agreed that, despite the “separate and apart” requirements, the couple was clearly separated after the...
Why Would You Get a Legal Separation Instead ...

Why Would You Get a Legal Separation Instead ...

The choice between legal separation and divorce is often more complex than you might initially think.  If you are seeking a divorce, you should understand that a divorce is permanent and returns you to being individual, single people.  Choosing legal separation instead can have important benefits in a few circumstances, which the Ventura divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain.  Reasons to Choose Legal Separation Over Divorce If you are considering getting a divorce, there are a few situations where divorce might not be the best option.  In other cases, you might not be able to file for divorce right away and need to file for legal separation in the meantime.  Our Ventura legal separation lawyers will explain some of these circumstances.  You Don’t Want a Divorce  If you do not personally believe in divorce or you have a religious objection to getting divorced, you might not want to ever get divorced.  In this case, legal separation can be a final option for you and your spouse.  Since legal separation allows you to divide assets, move apart, split child custody, and become independent again, it has many of the same effects as divorce.  At the end of the day, you will still be married, though – which may be your goal with choosing legal separation instead of divorce.  You Don’t Qualify for Divorce (Yet)  To get divorced in California, you or your spouse must meet CA’s residency requirements.  This means living in California for at least 6 months and in the county you will file in for at least 3 months.  If you and your spouse want to get married but you want to...
Can I Drink While on Probation for DUI in Cal...

Can I Drink While on Probation for DUI in Cal...

Drinking and driving is a serious issue throughout the U.S.  Many people who face charges for DUI face probation.  There are two types of DUI probation, and each one has different effects on your freedom and rights.  Drinking while on probation for DUI is usually not a good idea, but it is not always illegal.  The Ventura DUI defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain when you can and can’t drink while on probation for DUI in California.  If you need help with your DUI charges or probation violations, call our law offices today for a free legal consultation. Does DUI Probation Mean You Can’t Drink? There are two main types of probation that apply to DUI cases: “summary probation” and full-fledged “probation” as an alternative sentence (a.k.a., a suspended sentence).  These probation programs have different purposes and give you different rights and terms of probation.  Typically, people under summary probation may still be allowed to drink, but other probationers may be required to stay sober. Summary Probation Any time you get a DUI, you might be sentenced to summary probation.  This is a term of probation that does not require check-ins or meetings with a probation officer.  Instead, you are merely under close scrutiny: any further offenses or DUI issues will send you straight to jail.  This type of probation usually means that you can stay out of jail, potentially performing community service or other conditions of probation instead of being locked up.  However, summary probation usually requires you to stay crime-free, consent to any DUI breath testing, and to refrain from driving...
What is Legal Separation in California?

What is Legal Separation in California?

You may have heard of other couples who are “separated,” but not divorced.  You may have also considered a “trial separation” in your own marriage.  However, the exact definition of separation may surprise people, and it is important to understand what exactly separation is before you pursue legal separation.  The Ventura, CA divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain what legal separation is and how it’s different from divorce in California. What Does Legal Separation Do? When a couple gets divorced, they end their marriage, they split up their assets, they move out, and they become single again.  Legal separation is a sort of halfway point between marriage and divorce. Legal separation is when a couple decides to start living separately and dividing up their finances.  Separation overlaps with divorce in many areas, but it does have slightly different legal effects.  Legal separation has four main effects: Living Apart Couples going through legal separations typically more apart.  This can mean that one spouse stays in the marital home and the other one moves out or that the parties sell their house and each take-up residence somewhere else.  If they have kids, it may be better for the kids to have continuity by staying in the same house. Dividing Assets and Finances When you get divorced, you and your spouse will stop sharing assets.  This makes you two financially independent people again.  It also means that you need to divvy up the property you own.  When you get separated, you also split your finances.  If you are using separation as a stepping stone toward divorce,...
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