Practice Areas

Orange County Divorce Lawyer

Getting divorced is the end of your marriage, but it’s also the beginning of your new life.

Start it out with confidence that you resolved your divorce in the best manner possible. The Orange County divorce lawyer at Boyd Law has been representing clients throughout California for more than fifteen years. Our law firm is knowledgeable, professional and communicative with our clients in every situation. 

Our attorneys understand what your family means to you and what issues to expect in your divorce case. We can use custom-tailored legal strategies to resolve issues regarding property division, child custody, alimony, and more. Allow us to navigate the legal system on your behalf to ensure a fair case outcome without the headache. Contact us today or give us a call at (949)-753-1028

Why Choose Boyd Law?

We are highly experienced Orange County divorce lawyers with 10+ years of experience and hundreds of satisfied clients. Our lead attorney Karie Boyd, has been practicing family law and handling divorce matters since 2008.

We aren’t a small law firm – we have extensive resources and personnel to resolve any issue, ranging from divorce to child custody. Our firm hires a variety of experts to help build the strongest case possible.

We form long-term relationships with our clients and handle all of the legal issues throughout their lives. At our firm, you’re not just a number to us. You are someone our attorneys will advocate for during every step of your divorce case.

Meet Lead Attorney Karie Boyd

Karie Boyd Headshot

Attorney Karie Boyd, Founder and CEO of Boyd Law, is a board-certified specialist in family law, meaning she has extra training and education in divorce law. She is dedicated and devoted to giving her time to your case.

Additionally, Ms. Boyd has over fifteen years of experience exclusively handling divorce and family law matters to help her clients find a meaningful resolution to their divorce or separation. As of recent, The National Association of Distinguished Counsel ranked her in the “Top 1% of Attorneys in the Nation.” She was also selected to the 2021 Super Lawyers List.

How Can Boyd Law Help?

A divorce is a complicated legal matter in California that can take months or even years to resolve. The best way to keep your stress to a minimum while working toward your case goals is to hire a qualified divorce attorney in Orange County. The right attorney can transform your legal experience, taking over confusing processes and explaining your rights along the way. You can trust your divorce attorney to fight for the best possible case results on your behalf while you focus on building your new future.

You can benefit from many services offered by a divorce attorney. First, your Orange County divorce attorney can answer your questions about divorce and give you advice that you can trust about what to do next, such as how to communicate with your spouse. Then, your attorney can take care of divorce paperwork and filing processes to ensure that everything is done properly the first time around. Finally, your attorney will guide you through the processes that are required to get a divorce in California. 

What Our Clients Have To Say

Here’s what some of our divorce clients have to say.

“Boyd law firm really helped me with all my family law and custody issues. I felt very comfortable with this firm and the attorney I retained, Mathew Cadwell. The whole process of going to court was very nerve wracking and Mathew did a great job at being that to ease.”

– Ashley (Orange County Family Client)

“Matt Cadwell and his staff got me through a rough time in my divorce proceedings. His office was highly professional and responsive. Matt kept me informed throughout the process. I was finally able to convince my wife to use a mediator instead of her nasty, unreasonable, and expensive attorney and Mr. Cadwell referred us to an excellent mediator that we’re using to complete our divorce. Boyd Law is the place to start in the scary, emotional process of divorce. Highly recommended.”

– Todd (Orange County Divorce Client)

Orange County Divorce Resources:

To access any parts of the page, click any of the following links below.

What Types of Cases Do Our Orange County Divorce Lawyers Handle?

At Boyd Law, our divorce and family law attorneys in Orange County are committed to family. That means our law offices can serve you in any way you desire. Some of our most popular family law practice areas include:

Divorce. When the wedding bells ring, nobody envisions the harsh reality of divorce. However, people change, issues arise, and sometimes it’s the best answer. Whether you realize it or not, you have much to lose in a divorce case. At Boyd Law, it’s our goal to make sure you walk away in the best position possible.

Child Support. At Boyd Law, we have families of our own and understand the sense of responsibility you have to support your children financially and emotionally. On the financial side of things, our law offices help clients make sure their children are comfortably supported with the resources they need to succeed in life. In the midst of a confusing divorce, our Orange County family law attorneys will stand by your side and work through tough family law issues.

Child Custody. One of the most important legal aspects of a divorce is the custody of your children. If you are concerned about where your children will end up and want to ensure they are properly cared for, we are prepared to assist you. Our Orange County divorce lawyers have years of experience relentlessly fighting for child custody and know how the system works.

Asset Protection Strategies. Divorce has a way of affecting every area of your life. While your children are most important, your assets are also very valuable. Don’t let a divorce tear apart everything you’ve spent your life working for. At Boyd Law, our family law attorneys represent clients looking to protect their assets from painful divorces. Our law offices work alongside you and make certain you are aware of all the assets that are at stake, who has legal right to them, and how you can walk away with what you rightly deserve.

Same Sex Marriage Separation. At Boyd Law, we believe in equality for all and work to defend the legal rights of same sex marriage in Orange County. As a spouse, you deserve the same rights as any married couple, and we are happy to provide legal advice and help you receive those benefits.

And More. As a full-service family law firm, we also offer legal assistance for issues like child visitation, legal separation, alimony, paternity, annulments, spousal support, step parent adoption, domestic partnership, modification of support, complex property division, prenuptial/postnuptial agreements, and property settlement.

How Does Divorce In California Work?

Divorce matters unfortunately can become a lengthy process due to the amount of assets two individuals acquire together, as well as arrangements relating to any children of the marriage.  It is important to keep in mind that the more agreements you can come to with your former spouse, the easier the divorce will be.  Experienced divorce attorneys in Orange County will work together to work through any type of disagreement to ensure that you receive the proper settlement you deserve.

Many divorces in Orange County are settled through mediation, which offers both parties the ability to come to an agreement without a court. This is helpful for maintaining relationships prior to divorce, which is important if children are involved.

If mediation or other methods do not work, divorce cases will go to trial in California.  Divorce trials are based on the facts which have been presented during the months prior to the trial date.  Trials will be classified as either “long cause” or “short cause,” with short cause cases meaning trials should be no more than 5 hours.  In divorce trials, no jury is brought in, and the judge will instead determine the outcome of the case.

Certain issues can be “bifurcated” during divorce proceedings.  For example, most bifurcations are requested to terminate the marital status so one or both spouses can remarry or the spouse wants to file for the current tax year as “single.”  Bifurcation allows the court to settle on the marital status without determining the marital complex property division or other items contested in the divorce.

Child support and child custody are often the most highly contested items throughout divorce, and it is important to come to an agreement and continue to ensure that the terms of this agreement are met throughout your child’s life.  If you should be receiving child support, the child support agreement is a way to ensure that your former spouse follows their obligations.  If you are supposed to have your children every other weekend, the child custody agreement will ensure that your former spouse relinquishes control of your children at the appropriate time.

Are Alternative Divorce Resolutions Possible?

Your divorce case could end at the settlement stage or go to trial. Divorce settlements are more common, but not always possible. Your case is more likely to go to trial if it is contested, meaning that you and your former spouse cannot agree on matters such as marital asset division or child custody. Complicated divorce cases, such as high-asset divorces, are more likely to end up in court. At Boyd Law, we can represent you during multiple legal processes in your divorce case, including:

  • Divorce Mediation: Mediation is a popular type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), where both partners (and their attorneys, if desired) meet before a mediator to resolve conflicts and reach a settlement.
  • Co-Mediation: Co-mediation is similar to traditional mediation except that it involves more than one mediator. Multiple mediators will work together to resolve the couple’s conflicts.
  • Collaborative Divorce: A collaborative divorce is when a couple works together to resolve their case, with or without the court’s help. It often involves assistance from attorneys and four-way meetings.
  • Arbitration: Arbitration is a more formal type of ADR. An arbitrator may or may not have the ability to order a judgment, depending on whether you enter into binding or nonbinding arbitration.
  • Default Divorce: A default divorce means that the spouse who did not file the divorce petition – the respondent – failed to respond by the deadline. In this case, a judge will grant the divorce and the terms that the filing spouse requested.

Every divorce case is unique. These are just a few possibilities of what your divorce case might look like. If you are curious which type of dispute resolution method or legal option is right for you, consult with a divorce attorney at Boyd Law. We have years of experience helping clients with even the most complex divorce cases. We know what to expect and how to overcome virtually any challenge.

What are the Differences among Divorce, Legal Separation and Annulment?

There are several methods for ending a marriage or domestic partnership, and anyone in such a situation may wonder what options are available. When a marriage ends, it usually falls into one of these three categories:

Divorce

Divorce is also known as dissolution. Ending a marriage through divorce allows spouses to be eligible for remarriage and entails a division of property, custody agreements for the couple’s children, and other details.

In the state of California, you don’t need a specific reason to petition for divorce. Some states have distinctions between no-fault and fault-based divorces. A fault-based divorce may result in a favorable settlement for the wronged party, but California simplifies the process.

You can file for divorce for irreconcilable differences, which covers any and all possible reasons for desiring a divorce. In very rare cases, petitioners cite incurable insanity as the reason for divorce.

Legal Separation

Legal separation does not technically end the marriage, as both spouses remain legally married, but live separately. This type of situation arises most often with couples whose faith prohibit divorce. Child custody, assets, and other factors may involve the legal system, and either spouse may file a petition to fully divorce at a later date.

Annulment

An annulment is  the legal term for declaring a marriage invalid. Participants ask for an annulment when they feel a marriage should not have been legal in the first place, in situations including:

  • The law forbids family members from marrying.
  • Forced consent. Both spouses must agree to marry of their own free will.
  • If at the time of marriage, either spouse was still married to another, the marriage is void.
  • If one of the spouses agreed to marry based on misrepresentation or lies, this is grounds to nullify the marriage.
  • Underage marriage. This would cover any situation in which one or both parties were too young to marry or did not have parental consent to marry.
  • Mental illness. If either spouse was mentally imbalanced at the time of the marriage, the marriage can be nullified.
  • This refers to any marriage in which either spouse was unable to provide informed consent to marry.

What are Grounds for Divorce in California?

Every marriage eventually encounters obstacles, but sometimes a couple may deem their issues insurmountable and decide to separate. If you’re having doubts about the future of your marriage and think divorce may be a possibility, you may wonder what grounds are necessary to file for divorce in California.

The process is much simpler than you may expect. In the state of California, there are only two possible grounds for divorce (also referred to as “dissolution”):

  • Irreconcilable Differences: This is a blanket selection that covers any and all possible reasons for desiring a divorce. In the state of California, you do not have to have a specific reason to divorce – both parties must simply agree to it.
  • Incurable Insanity: This option is very rarely used, and the courts require documented proof that one of the spouses was insane when the spouses filed the marriage petition and remains so at the time of requesting dissolution.

How Do I Start the Divorce Process?

Starting the divorce process is as simple as filing the necessary forms. A Orange County divorce attorney will help you do this, but you can also find them yourself through the California Courts system. Once you have filed the petition, there are a few rules for both spouses. The court will issue temporary restraining orders that prevent either spouse from doing certain things until you’ve finalized the divorce. The court will not permit either spouse to take minor children out of state, alter insurance policies, or transfer property. Both parties must carefully monitor and control shared finances.

There are several options for divorce proceedings:

  • Full legal representation. Your Orange County family law attorney will represent you in court.
  • Limited representation. An attorney will assist in some parts of the divorce process.
  • An impartial mediator will help you and your spouse reach a mutually agreeable resolution. A court hearing will not be necessary if mediation is successful.
  • Self-representation. You will act as your own attorney. This is rarely advisable. Even in the most amicable dissolution, someone should have your best interests in mind during the proceedings.

How Long Can a Divorce in California Typically Take?

The time it takes to finalize a divorce will largely vary from case to case, but the state average is 15 months, with processing times varying from eight to 20 months. There are several factors that may hasten or slow the time it takes to finalize a divorce in California, including:

Children

The involvement of children in a divorce proceeding means caution from all parties as well as longer proceedings. The length of time would depend on many factors, including the age of the children, custody arrangements, visitation, child support, and psychological evaluations, among other things. If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement as to the custody and visitation of children, California law requires you attend custody mediation.

Trials

In some cases, divorcing spouses may mutually agree to the terms of the divorce and neither opposes the petition. This is what is known as an “uncontested” divorce. If both parties agree to a division of property and other considerations, the case is not likely to go to trial. A contentious divorce – either from personal issues or financial disagreements – can delay proceedings for months.

The Waiting Period

Once you file your divorce petition and serve your spouse the papers, there is a six month waiting period in the state of California until the courts finalize your divorce. This time is often spent negotiating the details of the divorce, such as child custody and division of assets. If spouses can agree to a solution, the divorce will proceed smoothly. If they are still unable to reach an accord once the six month waiting period expires, they must notify the judge that they need to go to trial.

Bifurcation

According to California law, a couple may “bifurcate” their divorce. This allows the divorcees to dissolve their marriage even if they have not agreed to issues such as child custody or asset division. Both parties may then pursue further litigation to settle these issues at their discretion.

What Questions Should I Ask a Divorce Attorney?

The initial consultation with a divorce attorney in Orange County is your opportunity to have your questions answered by a licensed lawyer. Get the most out of your meeting by bringing a list of questions with you, such as:

  • Do you specialize in divorce cases?
  • How long do you think it will take to resolve my case?
  • Which attorney will be working on my case?
  • How will we communicate with each other?
  • How does your law firm charge?
  • What is your estimate of the total cost of this divorce?

If you’re ready to schedule a consultation with a local divorce lawyer, contact Boyd Law to request a free case review. We are more than happy to answer your questions and give you tailored advice about your specific divorce case.

Should I Represent Myself in a Divorce Case in California?

If you are not sure whether you need to hire a divorce attorney in Orange County, weigh the pros and cons. Not all divorce cases need attorneys. Most, however, can benefit from the attention and advice of a professional. If you are worried about how much a lawyer costs, keep in mind that not hiring a lawyer for a complicated family law matter could cost more than you think – including the case itself. If you do not have a legal background in family law, it is typically in your best interest to hire a professional.

Representing yourself in family court can put you at risk of making harmful errors. In a divorce case, there is no such thing as a minor mistake. A simple misstep could compromise the entire case. Doing or saying the wrong thing during a divorce trial, for example, could lead to a judge ruling in your ex-spouse’s favor. With the future of your family, assets and other major aspects of your life on the line, don’t risk self-representation (pro se legal representation). Instead, leave your divorce case to the professionals.

The right family law attorney in California can pursue the goals that you have for your case while making sure that you have everything you need during a difficult time in your life. Your lawyer will not leave you in the dark about your case. He or she will take legal action for you, relying on proven strategies to improve your odds of winning the case. When results matter, entrust a powerful family law attorney in Orange County with your representation.

Contact an Orange County Divorce Lawyer Today

At Boyd Law, our divorce lawyers in Orange County bring together extensive knowledge of the law with our passion for helping people. Our commitment to client service is second to none. We are driven by the desire to find the ideal solutions to the problems that you are facing. No matter what unique issues you encounter during your divorce case or family law matter, our team of attorneys is prepared to help. We have years of legal experience and are counted among the premier law firms in California.

Request a consultation with one of our Orange County divorce attorneys today. Call us at (949)-753-1028 or contact us with a brief description of your case and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does Hiring A Divorce Attorney Cost?

It depends. There are several factors involved such as complexity of your case, the attorney’s experience and reputation, your geographic location, and whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. Fortunately, at Boyd Law, your first consultation is free and we discuss all payment options upfront before we handle your case. In addition, we also offer flexible payment plans,.

Do I Need To Go To Court For A Divorce?

Not necessarily. Most of the cases we take on don’t require going to court. While some divorces involve court appearances, many can be settled through negotiation, mediation, or collaborative divorce methods, as mentioned previously.

How Long Does A Divorce Take?

The duration of a divorce varies widely depending on factors like jurisdiction, complexity of issues, and whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. Simple cases can take a few months, while complex cases might take over a year.

How Do I Initiate A Divorce?

To initiate a divorce, you typically need to file a divorce petition with your local family court. The petition outlines your reasons for divorce and your desired outcomes regarding property, custody, support, etc.

What Happens If One Spouse Refuses To Sign Divorce Papers?

If one spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, the process may become more complicated. However, the divorce can still proceed, albeit potentially taking longer, as long as legal procedures are followed.