The divorce process in California. Divorce is often a difficult, emotional decision. Sometimes, it takes a long time for the court to finalize the divorce. Most people people facing a divorce, do not know what to expect from the process. Just as every marriage is different, every divorce is different as well. For some couples, the process is relatively short and smooth, while others face a long, rocky road of court battles and other disputes. If you are looking for insight into how the divorce process may work for you, consult an experienced California divorce attorney.
Common Steps in the Divorce Process in California
Though each divorce is unique, certain common steps exist. One spouse must file a petition with the court requesting a divorce. That spouse must also serve a summons to the second spouse notifying them of the petition (though in some cases service may be waived). The second spouse is then given 30 days to file a response to the petition.
If the spouses wish for a temporary ruling on certain issues, such as restraining orders, child support, or child custody, one or both may file a request for a special hearing, called an Order to Show Cause hearing. The spouses then each list what they believe to be separate or community property, and share their income and expense information with each other.
Based on the information exchanged, the spouses’ attorneys will try to negotiate a settlement agreement. If they are able to come to an agreement outside of court, they will submit the proposed agreement to the court for approval. If some issues remain contested, the spouses must go to trial for the court to resolve them.
California offers a type of shortcut called summary dissolution. To obtain a summary dissolution, the couple must meet certain criteria:
- They were married less than 5 years;
- They own no real estate;
- They have no children together;
- They have only a small amount of debt and/or property;
- They can agree on how that debt and property will be divided in divorce.
If the above criteria apply, the couple may file their proposed agreement with the court. A court may approve the agreement after a six month waiting period. Sometimes the couple need not even appear in court before a judge. An experienced divorce attorney can advise you on whether you qualify for a summary dissolution in California.
Contact an Experienced Santa Rosa Divorce Lawyer
If you are facing divorce in California, make sure to consult an experienced attorney. At Beck Law, P.C., our attorneys can lead you through every step of the divorce process to make sure all rules and procedures are properly followed. Contact our office today for assistance with your divorce case.