Sophia thought divorce would be easy. You just file a few papers in some government office, and then, voilà, your marriage is over. She was surprised to learn that filing for divorce in California can get pretty complicated.
Before You File
It’s a good idea for people to make sure they really want to get a divorce before filing any paperwork. Sometimes, legal separation may be a better option than divorce. After assessing your marriage, talk to a California divorce attorney. You can learn more about your options and how to proceed in a way that is most beneficial for you.
After careful thought, Sophia decided divorce was in her best interests. However, she had not lived in California long enough to file. Also, she might need to take action to protect her financial interests before actually filing a divorce petition.
Filing Divorce Papers
Of course, your attorney will take care of preparing and filing all the paperwork. This part of the process may include some of the following documents:
- Petition for Dissolution, Legal Separation, or Nullity of Marriage;
- Property Declaration;
- Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act; and
- Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting Time) Application.
You will need to serve the documents on your spouse and give them a chance to respond.
After Filing for Divorce in California, But Before Finalizing
Your circumstances dictate how your divorce case proceeds. Having children, a high net worth, or real property ownership means you may need to take a few extra steps before your divorce is granted.
You and your spouse will need to prepare financial disclosures. If your spouse responds to the divorce petition, you may have additional legal issues to address. Also, courts require a parenting plan if you have children. You may have to attend depositions or mediation before arriving at an agreement with your spouse. When spouses are unable to agree, the court reviews the case and makes the decisions for you.
Sophia and her spouse owned real property. Each had brought separate property into the marriage, and accumulated community property during the marriage. Additionally, they had two children together. Fortunately, with the help of their attorneys and a mediator, they were able to reach an amicable end to their marriage.
We Can Help with Filing for Divorce in California.
Some of the issues that arise during a divorce proceeding can be emotionally and legally difficult to resolve. When you face child support, spousal support, and property division issues, you’ll need experienced and knowledgeable advice.Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys. Ms. Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We assist clients throughout California, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Gold River, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Diego, and surrounding communities.