Most dissolutions (that is legal talk for a divorce) follow some pretty specific steps. For the most part there are three steps in a California Divorce.
What are the alternatives to the steps in a California Divorce?
There are a couple of outlier type of cases. One is a summary dissolution. This type of divorce takes place when couples have no children and very few assets and debts. The other type of divorce that defies the steps in a California Divorce, is a default. This is where the other party never responds. However, if your soon to be ex spouse ends up responding, they will fit, fairly neatly into these steps in a California Divorce.
What are the Steps in a California Divorce?
- Opening the Case: The person who begins the divorce is called the Petitioner. They file a Petition and Summons among other various papers. They get assigned the judge and they serve their paperwork on the other party, the Respondent. Your spouse, the Respondent, then has 30 days to respond.
- Disclosures: Once you have filed your initial paperwork and waited for your response, you are ready to disclose it all to your soon to be ex. Of all the steps in a California Divorce, this seems to be the most difficult and most contentious. The paperwork requires all sorts of documentation you have to dig out of your file cabinet. Getting all of it together is just not very much fun. People rebel and don’t want to do it. However, you must disclose!
- Judgment: The final step is the judgment. Of course, you may have many, many hearings in between step one and step three to determine interim orders before the gavel is banged and your judgment is final. Hopefully, you will come to some sort of agreement, maybe through mediation and have a settlement agreement, as opposed to a protracted trial. It is always better to have some say as to how your assets are divided and the visitation schedule of your children. Believe me, most people leave the courtroom less than pleased. However, if you agree, you can, at least feel good that you had some say in the matter.
These are the down and dirty 3 steps in a California Divorce. Each step has multiple layers and possibilities for ongoing litigation. The best bet is to contact a family law attorney who knows their stuff, like those at Edmunds Law Firm. They can make these 3 steps in a California divorce as easy as humanly possible, or as easy as you and your soon to be ex make possible.