Do I need an attorney if a home is involved in the divorce in California? 14 Answers as of February 23, 2011

I am planning on filing for divorce at a local court. Do I need an attorney if a home is involved? Does the home need to sell before divorce is finalized? Need to know correct process because I want to keep the home and not sell it. Obviously the resale values are not there.

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Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
You will need an attorney to keep the house.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/23/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
You don't need a lawyer in any divorce, regardless of whether a home is involved or not. But, as you can see, there are issue where it would be helpful to have the advice of an attorney. Call a local family law lawyer near you for advice.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/22/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
YES!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/22/2011
Law Office of Andrew Roberts
Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
The home is community property-unless you had a pre-nup agreement. So, yes, you do need an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/22/2011
Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP
Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP | Hal D. Bartholomew
It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney when there is real estate involved with a divorce. There are many options with regard to your home that need to be discussed. A lot will depend on whether your spouse always wants the house or is willing to transfer ownership to you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/22/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    You don't necessarily need an attorney, but you will need to reach an agreement regarding all of your community assets and debts, and have the agreement written in a way to protect the wishes of the parties. If you have any further questions, please let me know.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/22/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You would be best served by retaining a Family Law Attorney to represent you in the divorce. Whether or not you receive the home in the divorce depends upon a lot of factors, including whether there would be sufficient assets to award to your spouse to equalize the equity in the home that you seek, whether you would qualify for a loan to fund the equalization payment if there aren't sufficient assets to equalize the equity you seek, whether your spouse is agreeable to your receipt of the home (which is not necessarily determinative), whether you would be able to afford the monthly nut on the home, and other factors. The home does not have to be sold prior to the divorce unless it is in jeopardy of being foreclosed upon, in which case the Court may entertain a Motion to sell the house to preserve the community's equity in the house.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/22/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Your choice. If you know how to properly prepare and file all necessary paperwork and to effectively represent yourself in what could turn into a bitter legal dispute in court, then no. Otherwise, get a local experienced counsel to help you. Thats not me. I dont practice divorce law.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/22/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    While an attorney is not required in a divorce proceeding, the services of an attorney can help you achieve your goals in the divorce in an efficient manner. I would be happy to help you. Please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/22/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    An attorney is always a good idea when assets are involved. You need to make sure you are protected.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/22/2011
    Maclean Chung Law Firm
    Maclean Chung Law Firm | G. Thomas MacLean Jr.
    You do not necessarily need an attorney if both spouses agree on what to do with the home. However, an attorney can help you understand your rights in a divorce and protect those rights and interests. A house does not have to be sold in a divorce, if the parties reach an agreement. If there is equity value in the home, the person keeping the home will usually have to buy out the other spouse's interest in the home, or trade it for some other property of value.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/22/2011
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