CLICK HERE FOR A CONSULTATION Laurence J. Brock is a California State Bar Certified Family Law Specialist

What Happens During Divorce Proceedings?

Divorce is difficult. Separating from a partner you thought would last forever can be difficult due to emotions and legal proceedings. You’ve probably already experienced a lot of uncertainty and confusion if you’re divorcing.

Depending on your jurisdiction, divorce proceedings usually involve filing a petition, responding to it, serving documents, attending a court hearing, and waiting for the judge’s decision. So what happens if you’re seeking out a divorce? Here’s what California residents can expect and may need to know during the divorce process

Filing for Divorce

Divorce filing is often a crucial first step. The filing starts the divorce process and can influence negotiations and settlements. Certain divorce procedures are followed across states.

Attorneys provide three services: 

  • Faster resolution due to local law knowledge
  • Additional assurance that paperwork is processed properly
  • Representation throughout proceedings

Gathering divorce-related information, such as marriage length, assets and debts owned jointly or separately, and others, is crucial. Any application without such data risks court delays or dismissal. Understanding one’s state’s divorce filing rules and making an informed decision about how one wants to be represented during these proceedings will help expedite negotiations so both parties can move forward with their lives. 

Preparing Files

After deciding to divorce, the next step is to prepare the paperwork to start the process. This paperwork may vary by state but usually includes a summons, complaint, and other relevant documents. If couples are confused or overwhelmed, they should seek legal advice.

Some couples need help with child support calculations or property distribution lists. Experienced professionals can help individuals determine which procedures apply to them and how to properly document each case aspect. Attorneys can also explain how to file court documents and any relevant regulations.

Finally, all parties should remember that the initial filing documents set the standard for all subsequent divorce proceedings. Thus, accurate and complete information is crucial. After this, court proceedings can begin.

Court Representation

When divorcing, choosing legal representation is crucial. State courts require uncontested divorcees to understand and articulate all legal consequences of their decisions, including executing the right paperwork.

An attorney can give you peace of mind by protecting your interests. An experienced lawyer will know about recent legal changes and help you protect yourself during the divorce. They can also make an amicable divorce smoother and faster, so both parties stay satisfied.

Divorce lawyers can explain state law regarding asset and property division to each party. In complex family law cases, lawyers can advise on unfamiliar rules and regulations that may affect the case. When lawyers are involved, opposing parties are less likely to push for an unfavorable outcome, which can speed up conflict resolution.

Knowing what comes next will streamline the process. Understanding this step and making sure both parties are informed of the entire process will ensure that all questions are answered fully and in order. 

Asset Division

Couples must decide who gets what from the marriage, which can be time-consuming and emotional. Spouses can sometimes resolve issues without lawyers, but to protect their interests, both parties must be well-represented. When there are significant financial assets or businesses, couples may seek legal advice to divide assets and property fairly.

Though the court ultimately decides who gets what, a trusted lawyer will help you negotiate from a position of strength and knowledge. Mediation can help resolve complex and heated asset disputes by allowing both sides to discuss the scope of each other’s claims without using emotive language or coercive behavior. Even if negotiations fail, arbitrators can help resolve disputes between spouses.

Asset identification and description often require extensive financial history research, including home equity, investments, retirement accounts, and stock options. Failure to account for all assets will make estimating each party’s fair share of the marital estate difficult.

Child Custody, Visitation, and Support

Any parent of a minor child knows that protecting children during divorce is crucial. Depending on whether you’re the custodial parent or are seeking custody, you may need help determining how much support you’re due, how much parenting time to share, and whether to seek sole custody of your children. 

Considering your child’s well-being throughout your divorce proceedings increases the odds of a satisfactory resolution and sets the stage for successful co-parenting or sole parenting. Many states require mediation before filing legal forms through court systems, where parents can get more guidance.

Divorce Process Timelines

The initiating spouse must file for divorce in the county court where either party lived for at least six months before filing. The responding spouse must be served with papers informing them of the filing or serve papers themselves with an attorney. If both parties agree on asset division and child custody, their case may move quickly through the courts.

If not, couples may litigate issues for longer. Both parties should gather trial records, exchange financial disclosures, and prepare evidence during this time. Settlement talks may occur before the final hearing. After these steps, the judge will hear testimony and evidence before making a state-lawful decision.

Depending on the issues, these proceedings can take weeks or years. Understand that most couples seeking divorce make multiple trips to court, but if both spouses are committed to settling matters amicably outside of court, it could speed up the process and save them money in the long run. Despite complicated paperwork and tight deadlines, a professional understanding of the divorce process can make it easier and ensure an equitable resolution.

Navigate Your Divorce with a Lawyer

When you’re facing a divorce, it’s easy to feel intimidated or uncertain about the proceedings you’re facing. Fortunately, you don’t have to face them alone. 

At The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock, we understand how difficult it can be to handle a divorce case on your own. Our lawyers are standing by to guide you through the process and get the help you need to file a claim and get the help you need. When you’re ready to file a claim, reach out by calling 909-466-7661 or by completing the online contact form below. 


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