In an ideal world, once you and your spouse made the decision, you could process your divorce quickly and painlessly. However, it doesn’t usually happen as fast as we might like and someone is almost certainly going to be hurt. While divorce lawyers can’t really help with the pain part, we can make sure your divorce proceedings go as smoothly as possible, according to the law. If you just have an idea of what the divorce timeline entails and what you can expect, it may not seem as bad.
Sometimes the decision to divorce happens over a period of time. Others, it can seem to occur over night. The initial process that gets your dissolution started, however, is often brief and simpler than you may expect. In fact, of the entire process, beginning the divorce may be the least eventful. You do want to make sure you are careful and diligent at this point, to ensure you don’t encounter problems later in the process. When beginning a divorce, your first steps should be meeting with an attorney, who will then help file prepare and serve a petition, or help answer if you have already been served.
You probably won’t be able to get an overnight divorce in California because of the six-month waiting period involved. In California, you must wait six months after you or your spouse has been served with the divorce papers. This, along with filing the petition in court, must occur before your six months begin. It’s important to understand that divorces can take years to finalize, and because of the waiting period required by California law, will be at the very least, a six-month process.
If all goes well, a judge will sign your agreement into a decree of divorce. If you haven’t yet reached an agreement by the end of the six-month waiting period, you will have to notify the court that your case requires a trial to settle the marriage. There are exceptions where California law may allow a divorce even if you and your spouse haven’t completely settled every aspect of the divorce. You may be able to “bifurcate” your divorce, meaning your won’t be married and can litigate or negotiate on the remaining issues later.
If you have children, there will be other steps before the divorce can be finalized. For example, if you haven’t decided on custody or a parenting plan when you file your petition, you must attend custody mediation. There may also be instances where you or your spouse request hearings for orders to show cause. If there is a custody issue, you will be required to first attend mediation. If children are involved in your divorce proceedings, it’s crucial to seek the assistance of a qualified family law lawyer in California.
Divorces are rarely easy for anyone involved. In addition to the mental and emotional effects that a divorce has, you also face a legal process that can be overwhelmingly complex and difficult to understand. Make sure you follow the proper divorce timeline with an experienced divorce lawyer. Contact Laurence J. Brock online or call (909) 466-7661 to get started.