The process of divorce in California

Divorce, or “Dissolution of Marriage” as it is legally referred to, can be a complex and confusing process. It’s important to find the right divorce attorney in Chico so that you can get a fair settlement. If there are children involved, it’s even more important to handle the divorce as quickly and equitably as possible. Here is the general process you can expect when you file for a divorce:

  • Decide on the grounds for divorce: California was the first state to implement ‘no fault’ divorce. Simply put, this means that if you want a divorce, you can file for one, even if the other party wants to stay together. You can cite, ‘irreconcilable differences’ or you can specify why you want a divorce, such as abuse, addiction, etc.
  • File your paperwork: Once you’ve filed for divorce, it generally takes about 6 months to be finalized. This of course, depends on several factors, such as custody, asset allocation and if the other party is being cooperative with the proceedings.
  • The other party has 30 days to respond to the filing party; information and documents are exchanged between the parties’ lawyers that pertain to the divorce. This is called, “Discovery” and is an important part of the process.
  • If the two parties cannot agree on the settlement portion of the divorce, then a trial will take place, where a judge will decide which party gets which property. A separate custody hearing may be needed if custody of children is being disputed.
  • Once everything has been agreed upon, a Marital Settlement Agreement must be signed by both parties. The judgement is filed and mailed to both parties; this agreement contains all of the court documents pertaining to the divorce.

A divorce should never be entered into lightly, but sometimes there are no other options. If you are seeking a divorce from your spouse for any reason, make sure you hire a divorce attorney in Chico who is experienced and qualified.

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