You have been married for years or maybe for just a few, and you came to realization that you and your spouse just don’t click anymore. Now you are thinking about what is next? Divorce?
This is a difficult and challenging time, but the right strategy will help you through the process.
The first thing that you need to know is that in California, even if you have an agreement with your ex-spouse to divorce, the earliest a person can get divorced is six (6) months and a day from the date the court acquires jurisdiction over the respondent (the other spouse). The 6- month and a day rule cannot be shortened for any reason.
Consideration # 1
Before you contact an attorney or even file anything with the court, you will need to put together a number of documents and information, for example: a) children’s information, b) property and financial information, and c) date of marriage and date of separation.
Putting together all information about your property will be the most challenging task because you need to gather all bank information, all car and house information, all pension information and the like.
The more information and supporting documentation that you can compile for your case, the easier it will be to get through the dissolution process.
Consideration # 1.5
If you have kids: the best thing you can do to help yourself whether you retain an attorney or not is decide on what type of custody you want to have; how do you propose to split time with the children, and who will be in charge of which items.
You’ll need to answer questions like: Do you want full physical and legal custody? Do you want the other parent to have generous visitation, limited visitation or supervised visitation? How do you want to split vacations and holidays? Who do you want to be in charge of enrolling kids to school? What about drop off and pick up times for exchanges?
It’s best to prepare answers to those types of questions even before you file anything in court because it will help to make the process go much more smoothly.
Consideration # 2
Once you have your financial/property documents in order and have at least a general idea of the type of custody that you want (if you have kids), then your next step is to either find a Family Law Attorney or go to court and fill out the appropriate documents.
If you have kids: once you show the court your request for orders as to child custody, in most counties the court clerk will automatically schedule you in for a mediation. There is no way to avoid this step.
Consideration # 3
Once the case is filed, your ex-spouse will need to be properly served with the documents. If you have an attorney, they will do it for you.
After the initial documents are filed, there will be a number of due dates and court appearances to comply with. You will have to read all court papers carefully not to miss anything.
Getting divorced can be challenging. We are here to help and guide you through each step of the way.
For help, please contact our family law attorney at (949)-354-5713.
Disclaimer: Information on this page is for general information purposes only. Nothing in the blogs or elsewhere should be taken as a legal advice for any individual case or situation. Furthermore, information herein is not intended to create nor in any way constitute an attorney-client relationship. All samples of legal forms/notices are given as a courtesy to you. You are ultimately responsible for their proper use.