April 3, 2012

Santa Rosa Divorce Lawyer | Voted #1 Sonoma County Divorce Attorney

Santa Rosa Divorce Lawyer | Voted #1 Sonoma County Divorce Attorney

Family law matters include such cases as separation, divorce, custody, spousal
support, modifications of support or visitation, restraining orders, and adoptions just to name
a few! Separation and divorce are emotionally difficult events, not to mention complex.

Protect Yourself and Your Rights at All Stages

Although each type of divorce is varied, each requires different paperwork be filed and steps taken in order to see it concluded. The assistance of an attorney is vital, to make sure your rights are protected. When the event of a divorce is concluded, certain changes to that divorce agreement are mandated by the state and can’t be changed without more time, money, and effort on behalf of the person looking to modify the agreement. For this reason, a person’s rights and interests must be protected during the initial proceeding. The attorneys at the Law Office of Carolyn Vandyk understand the importance of these protections during this crucial time frame.

This is also the time when tensions are high and people aren’t thinking the clearest. Questions about the future can cause immense stress, loss of sleep, and overall poor health. This isn’t the time, however, to weaken your decision making faculties. Decisions must be made that will forever affect your life and the lives of any children involved. You need a solid plan and determination as you move through this trial. The attorneys at the Law Office of Carolyn Vandyk can be that sound confidant, who will detail you on your rights and the best steps to take in protecting them.

Considerations in Divorce

There are several different factors that arise from a divorce, where decisions must be swiftly and strategically made:

  • Child Custody, Child Support
  • Visitation and Spousal Support
  • Division of Assets
  • High Assets/High income to be divided
  • Domestic Violence Issues
  • Order of Protection
  • Health Insurance
  • College Education
  • Residence/Equity in the Marital Home
  • Home Furnishings
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Business Assets and Debts
  • Life Insurance Beneficiaries
  • Documents Needed to Establish Divorce Decisions

Amazingly, this is just a small list of the many factors that are determined during a divorce proceeding. The list is daunting, at a time when you’re already dealing with so much. The help of an attorney at the Law Office of Carolyn Vandyk can make all the difference in successfully moving through this life-changing process.

In California, the Superior Courts of Solano counties have adopted a spousal support guideline called the “Santa Clara Guideline” that is a formula for use in temporary spousal support. Alameda and Contra Costa counties have adopted the “Alameda Guideline” formula. The guideline states that the paying spouse’s support is presumably to be 40% of his/her net monthly income, reduced by one-half of the receiving spouse’s net monthly income. If child support is an issue, spousal support is calculated after child support is calculated.

This can be a complex formula and determination. Don’t risk your financial future trying to attempt this alone, without representation. The attorneys at The Law Office of Carolyn Vandyk stand ready to be your fierce advocate.

In Family Law Matters, Experience Really Does Count

The Law Office of Carolyn Vandyk has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to both of these actions. We’ll fight for your financial security so you can focus your efforts on getting through this emotionally taxing time. California case law requires that both spouses become self-supporting within a reasonable amount of time. Spousal support is meant to bridge the gap between separating and becoming self-sufficient.

The time period in which support lasts is also determined by how long the marriage lasted in the first place. For marriages lasting less than ten years, the length of support is presumed to be equal to one-half of that time. For example, for a marriage that lasted ten years, the presumption is that the appropriate length of support is five years. If a couple is married ten years or longer, the lesser earning spouse will receive support as long as they need to and the other spouse is able to pay.

These specific rules must be adhered to and the court will use them finitely in determining spousal support. The attorneys at The Law Office of Carolyn Vandyk have worked in and out of the California Court system for years on end. We’re familiar with its requirements and guidelines. We have relationships with the staff inside and use these advantages to see that the issue of spousal support is determined fairly and accurately.

The number one concern we see amongst clients embroiled in a divorce is the well-being of their children. When custody is determined during a divorce proceeding, many times those decisions are long-lasting. And any attempt to make changes to them is time-consuming, all the more stressful, and expensive. This is why it’s imperative that you have an attorney representing you in determining the matters directly relating to your child.

The attorneys at the Law Office of Carolyn Vandyk have represented countless families in ironing out their custody issues. We fight for the absolute best scenario for them and their children because when it comes to child custody, we take each matter personally.

Best Interest of Your Child/Children

Keep in mind that a judge’s number one priority in a California custody case is to determine what is in the best interest of the children. Your job is to show that you are a loving, responsible, and stable parent and that you can offer a safe and supportive home for your children. In order to show that this is the case, the following steps should be taken:

  • Spend as much time as possible with your children now. Utilize all of your custodial time with them, to demonstrate that you want to spend time with them. Skipping appointments or leaving them in daycare all day should be avoided.
  • Be dependable when it comes to your time commitments by picking up your children for appointments, sports practices, school, etc.
  • Be flexible when it comes to your child’s schedule. If possible, rearrange your schedule to accommodate last minute or abrupt needs of your child.
  • Keep a clean personal record. Avoid an arrest or something on your record that could show a personal deficiency. Apply this to your driving record as well.
  • Create a safe and healthy home life for your children. The Judge in your custody case will want to see that you can offer this to your children.

Your spouse may attempt to accuse you of creating an unsafe environment. So we recommend you do the following:

  • Make sure that you do not let anyone around your children who can be deemed dangerous. It’s also a bad idea to invite a new partner to live with you or stay overnight right after your separation.
  • Keep weapons locked away and your home childproofed.
  • Avoid inappropriate or loud gatherings.
  • Avoid corporal punishment.

The attorneys at The Law Office of Carolyn Vandyk can provide more specifics on these guidelines and help you to get your life in the most optimal position to meet them. It’s crucial that you take immediate steps to render the most advantageous child custody outcome.

The second issue that is most fretted about during a divorce proceeding is that of spousal support or alimony. There are two types of support: Temporary and Permanent. Temporary support is ordered while a divorce is pending, while Permanent support is ordered to provide a spouse with sufficient income for their basic needs and to ensure that their lifestyle can be consistent after the divorce is final. Receiving the financial support you need, or being ordered to turn over a large portion of income that you’ve come to count on are both life-changing occurrences. It’s so important to look to an attorney to make sure your financial security is protected.


There’s no situation that is too trying or complicated for our attorneys when it comes to a divorce scenario. Reach out to our offices today to receive the best divorce representation in the Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Sonoma, Healdsburg, Cotati, Sebastopol, Cloverdale, Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, or Napa area.

We offer complimentary and confidential consultations and are here to help you get through this most difficult time. Our attorneys are experienced and compassionate. Let our knowledge of California Divorce Laws help you obtain the favorable outcome you deserve.

It does not matter what Family Law you’re facing, you’ll feel much more confident with the
experienced Family Law attorneys at The Law Office of Carolyn Vandyk by your side. Call (707) 528-1100 today to
speak with one of our lead lawyers.

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