Getting Through The Process of Divorce

This report provides an overview of the California divorce filing procedure that is uncontested and an overview of the divorce.  This overview is not meant to be an exact step-by-step guide for those”do it yourself divorce” filers, because of the fact that many cases are exceptional and the overview presented here is often not the sole process of getting an uncontested divorce from California.

In California, the term “irreconcilable differences” describes No-Fault divorce.  This means that “irreconcilable differences have generated an irremediable breakdown of the marriage.”

In California, as in other nations, divorces may be either contested or uncontested, however uncontested, No-Fault divorces move through the courts more quickly and less expensively.  California is a community property state.  This means that assets and liabilities are either community property (half is one spouse, half the other person, like the marital residence obtained during the marriage) or different property (one spouse’s independent, such as gifts and inheritances).

Filing From the Courts

In California, the party who files is known as the Petitioner; the party who answers is called the Respondent.  The divorce is filed in the Superior Court the county of residence of the couple.  Another one spouse needs to have lived in California for six months and at the county in which the divorce has been filed for at least three weeks.  Moreover, there is a waiting period after the service of process or an Answer by the Respondent prior to the divorce becomes final.

The majority of the forms used in divorce in California are those adopted by the California Judicial Council, and their use is mandatory.  County courts have forms that may be utilized in compliance with local rules.

California permits what is called a Summary Dissolution of Marriage.  Also called a simplified or special dissolution of marriage, a summary action is an affordable and easy way to divorce for all those couples who qualify, but both the husband and wife must be certain they would like to go this route because either can change his or her mind throughout the six-month waiting interval between the filing and the finalization of their actions.  A couple must fulfill specific prerequisites to be eligible for this divorce routine.

The procedural requirements for an uncontested divorce come from California statutes, the California Rules of Court, and the local rules of court.  Depending upon the circumstance, many different court papers wills file.  These include a property settlement agreement dividing community property (the marital estate) and setting the terms and conditions of child care and spousal support.  However, the basic steps for an uncontested divorce are as follows:

File a petition asking the court to grant a divorce.

Notify of the other partner a divorce has been filed.  This can be known as the Summons- Family Law, and it includes a response form.

Exchange Preliminary Declarations of Disclosure, or if the other partner Doesn’t collaborate the Petition Should function a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure such as a Schedule of Assets and Debts and an Income and Expense Declaration.  The Final Declaration of Disclosure could be waived by both parties, however, the Preliminary can’t be waived.

If both parties agree that a Marital Settlement Agreement is then prepared which summarizes the agreement of the parties concerning kid custody/visitation/support when applicable, spousal assistance if applicable, and division of property and debts.  If the other spouse doesn’t respond to this Petition and doesn’t cooperate, then a Request to Enter Default must be submitted together with a Request for a Default Hearing.

Submit the Marital Settlement Agreement and other final paperwork to the Court for processing.  No Court appearance is going to be required if the two parties agree then.  When there is a default hearing included a Home Declaration and an Income and Expense Declaration has to be submitted to the Court.  To the Clerk, a Judgment must be submitted at the hearing prior to the case is heard by the Judge.  It will be signed by him which will finalize the divorce if the Judge agrees with the Judgment.

In all instances, the divorce begins with the Petition, the Summons-Family Law, Response and some other regional forms that may be necessary by the county court.  The Petition, the Summons-Family Law, Response is served by a process server and might not be hand-delivered to another spouse since he or she is a party to the action.  This is called the Service of Process.  Other forms may typically be mailed to the party by first-class mail.

How The Method Evolves

After one spouse files, uncontested divorces evolve in one of two ways.

The first is when the spouses agree on every issue: liability and asset department, the terms and conditions of child custody, support and visitation, alimony.  A divorce could be said to be uncontested before going to court, come to an arrangement when the spouses do the battling, and it is then approved by the judge if it is reasonable and fair.

The second way happens when the Respondent does not reply to the request for a divorce.  In addition, sometimes the spouse cannot be located.  Divorcing spouses agree that the responding spouse will default option.  This is not collusion, and divorce proceeds through the courtroom with their agreement.

When a couple agrees on all issues, or when default, the court could issue Judgment either by Declaration without an appearance in Court, or a Default Judgment following a Court hearing.  As stated previously, if both parties agree then a Court appearance will not be required.  After a summary action, an action coursing along this default path is most likely the simplest route to your divorce.

The trajectory of a disputed divorce is difficult to predict because it’s litigation, and it is adversarial.  A contested divorce begins with the filing process that is the same, then often one of the parties will request an Order to Show Cause Hearing, and the judge will rule on restraining orders and temporary assistance, child custody.

The parties then may engage in Discovery, which becomes a lot more invasive and more complicated than the voluntary disclosures made within an uncontested action.  In both uncontested and contested activities, the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure is used as well as the disclosure of incomes and current expenses.

After Discovery, the parties and the lawyers from Hills Law Group attempt to settle the case through discussions.  Should they reach an accord, an MSA is prepared by one of the attorneys according to the community land divorce law of California.  This is a contract signed by the parties and their attorneys.  But if this fails, the parties go to trial.

Clearly, if both parties can agree on all or most of the problems, they could save a lot of time and money by proceeding with an Uncontested Divorce.

Difference Between Divorce and Legal Separation

When a few would like to end their marriage, there are 3 different approaches to achieve this: nullity, dissolution, and legal separation.  So allow me to provide you with a brief explanation of what constitutes these three processes different from each other, they may be somewhat confusing in the beginning.

First, let us talk about nullity.  You may already be familiar with this is since nullity is what was previously referred to as an annulment.  A nullity is a legal declaration that the marriage never existed.  It admits that there was never a union in the first place, that nothing had come into being.  You become single again if you get a nullity and you’re able to remarry after the hearing.  This is good news for people who have finances already, right?

Dissolution (which is actually just another term for divorce), on the other hand, declares a relationship doesn’t exist at the end of the dissolution.  Your standing as an individual is restored.  But unlike a nullity, which allows you to marry right after the hearing before you’re allowed to marry you will have to wait for a time period.

Now let us discuss California’s legal separation, that’s the main topic of this article.  In a separation, orders regarding support, children, and property are made, but the two parties remain legally united while living.  This could be excellent for people who cannot stand living under precisely the same roof but whose religions don’t allow divorce.  If you fight like dogs and cats but divorce is against your morals, then a legal break would be helpful for you.

Another reason to decide on a California divorce separation rather than dissolution is monetary.  Some benefits, such as the ones eligible for war veterans and people that have social security, will be lost when the union is dissolved.  These benefits remain for people who are separated, which explains exactly why this process is preferred by many couples. 

The requirements necessary for a California divorce separation are different from those needed to acquire a dissolution.  Let me tell a few of these to you.  A residency in the state is necessary if you apply for a divorce in California.  But if you register for legal separation, no specific period of residency is necessary.

Another distinction is that in a divorce, California law requires a 6-month waiting period after service of this Summons until it becomes final.  A legal separation does not have a time limitation.