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San Jose Divorce Lawyer

When you are contemplating divorce, you likely will have many questions. Should we stay together for the kids? How do we tell the kids? How can we preserve the interests of our children with as little turmoil as possible? Can we afford to file for divorce in this economy? How will the economy affect decisions involving our marital property, assets, and debt division? What should we do with the house and other assets, such as stocks, stock options, and retirement plans?

Santa Clara Divorce Agreement Attorney Patricia M. McKinnie Can Help

At The Law Office of Patricia M. McKinnie, we understand that divorce can easily be one of the most difficult decisions you and your spouse can make. Whether you are contemplating divorce or the other party has already filed for divorce, our San Jose divorce attorneys can help you understand your rights, the legal process, and the options available to you.

As a part of the divorce process in California, you and your spouse or partner will attempt to negotiate a marital settlement agreement (also known as a divorce agreement). This process will begin about the same time you or your spouse or partner files a petition for divorce. A marriage settlement agreement involves working your way through a number of issues, including:

  • Property division . To do this, you will need to understand the difference between community property (marital assets and debts) and separate property. Our Santa Clara divorce agreement lawyers can help you understand California property division laws and provide sophisticated counsel through the legal process of devising your property settlement agreement.
  • Child custody and child support , if you have children. Issues affecting the children can be the most emotionally charged and contested issues in divorce. Working through these issues in an open, respectful, and honest environment can in many ways reduce the emotional turmoil of the divorce on the children, and promote a better post-divorce parenting relationship between the parties.
  • Determining whether one of the parties will be required to pay spousal support to the other party and for how long. Spousal support (also known as alimony) is an issue that should be determined on a case-by-case basis. When decided by agreement, or by the court, many factors are considered to determine if support is warranted and if so, how much.

Why Should I Hire a Divorce Attorney?

Sometimes the parties have talked through these issues and are pretty much in agreement about what they want to do. You will still need to meet with a lawyer to understand your rights and obligations. At The Law Office of Patricia M. McKinnie in San Jose, California, we offer a free initial consultation to provide you with an overview of the divorce process.

If you and the other party don't agree on all of the issues, the marriage settlement process can at least help you pare down the issues that need to be litigated in court. This can save you time and money. Our approach as divorce lawyers is to try and settle issues rather than litigate them. However, our lawyers won't cave in just to settle. To protect your interests, we will proceed to litigation if necessary.

Additionally, if you are interested in handling the majority of legal work on your own, our family law office offers limited-scope representation. This enables you to keep costs down by preparing documents yourself, with the peace of mind that comes with having an experienced lawyer review and file the documents you've prepared, or appear for you in court.


Myth: Divorce is too hard on the children involved. It is better to stay together and attempt to raise the children together.

Fact: Research shows that the hostile and unloving nature of the relationship between parents can be emotionally and developmentally harmful to the children.


Free Consultation: San Jose divorce attorney Patricia M. McKinnie offers a free 30-minute initial consultation to discuss your divorce case. Call (408) 297-2922 or complete our family law case evaluation form.

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31 East Julian Street
San Jose, CA 95112

Phone: (408) 297-2922
Fax: (408) 287-1098

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