The Ins and Outs of Divorce Law

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 | 1:03 am

If you have ever watched someone go through a divorce or are facing one yourself, then you know that it is a very difficult time for all involved. You may be wondering what a family lawyer’s part is in the proceedings and how they are able to help the parties involved.

Brian Alan Baker, Partner, Law Offices of Kearney | Baker, recently sat down with us to go over the ins and outs of family law when it comes to divorce proceedings. When asked what it means to be in Family Law, Baker replied, “Generally it means that people are doing something for the first time in their lives. They have no idea what’s to come or little idea or misunderstanding of what’s involved and they need help. A lot of times it’s people who are in crisis and there are a lot of emotions involved.”

Baker tells us that the three main issues are children, property and support. Understandably, these are very emotional issues. When handling a divorce Baker states, “There’s a lot of discretion and the answer is not always clear. So there are two sides to every story and it’s very difficult for people to concede that their story may not be the appropriate story or the fair side, however you want to characterize it.”

“Different people have a sense of what’s fair and somebody’s sense of fair may be completely unfair to the other side. And it may be completely different than what the law says, too”. What the law says can be very important in a case. But the law does not decide if people should get divorced, people make this decision themselves. Generally, parties cite irreconcilable differences, which is a very broad term. Basically, there is not a legal way to stop a person from getting a divorce if they so wish. “It’s more of a decision that people need to make whether they want to be together or not. The law and theories have no place in whether people get married or divorced”, Baker says.

Choosing a family lawyer is a big decision that can be difficult to make. “Be represented by a competent lawyer because there are a lot of lawyers who practice family law and they’re not competent. A lot of people try to do it themselves and they botch it up,” said Baker. Given the personal nature of this subject Baker adds, “You have to figure out if you can communicate with the attorney. Whether they hear you, whether you think they’re paying attention to you and understand what it is you’re talking about. Obviously speaking from the client’s perspective.”

Baker knows that emotions can be jumbled during this process. “One of the things that often happens is people have certain perceptionsthat are wrong about the process of a divorce and so they have a fear of things they’ve heard that have happened to someone else. A lot of times educating people about the process helps them understand it andit calms them,” said Baker.

“A lot of times I tell people they are not the only one that has this problem. They are not alone, and this comes up a lot.But everybody processes their emotions differently. There’s no one way for people to feel. Sometimes people are relieved,” Baker adds.

If you are going through this process it is important to remember that there is help out there for you and a light at the end of the tunnel.

Brian Alan Baker is a Partner at the Law Offices of Kearney | Baker, located at 2 North Lake Avenue, Suite 1000 Pasadena. Call (626) 844-7300 or visit for more information.


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