Avoiding Litigation In A California Divorce
In this article, you will learn…
- How to avoid going to court for a divorce,
- If you need a divorce attorney even when you agree, and
- How a divorce attorney can benefit you.
How Do We Avoid Going To Court For A Contested Case In California?
Most divorce cases start as contested, but very few actually end up in trial. This is because, with family law, it’s either all or nothing. You can reach an agreement or settle certain issues and then may have other issues that you don’t agree on at all. You may end up going to trial on very limited issues as a result.
Sometimes a couple will feel that they can’t agree on anything but taking the time to really break down the issues can be very helpful. Find the one thing you can agree on and go from there. Identifying the issues that you can come to an agreement on will make it easier to come to the table and discuss the issues you disagree on and perhaps be able to negotiate your way to an agreement.
Something that people need to start to realize as they go through the process, especially if they’ve been to court a time or two, is that having a third party come and make decisions about your life when all they know about you is what’s written on a paper is not ideal. That realization can often lead to people sitting down and getting creative with resolutions that both parties can agree upon.
A lot of times you are going to be much happier with the outcome of reaching an agreement than you would be if a court orders you to do something.
Do We Still Need A Divorce Attorney If Both Parties Are In Agreement Over All Issues?
Hiring an attorney when both parties agree on all the issues is very discretionary. There are times when people do it on their own and then there are times when only one party hires an attorney.
Sometimes when both parties are in agreement, you might not feel comfortable that you will be able to handle the divorce correctly. You may want to hire an attorney who can help make sure that you file everything correctly and do everything you’re supposed to do.
You should be cautious, however, if the attorney is hired by one party, because they will be representing that party. An attorney hired by the other party can’t advise you on your own rights and best interests in the matter. It may be prudent, in this situation, to have both parties hire their own attorneys.
Sometimes you might be able to get independent counsel to review the legal document and let you know if it is fairly equal or if there are any potential issues with it. Having independent counsel can correct the imbalance of only one party having an attorney and ensure that no one is being taken advantage of.
If you don’t have a simple divorce where there are very few assets and no children involved, it isn’t going to be a simple process. California is very form-driven in terms of Family Law. You would think it should be easier because there are forms and you don’t have to draft things, but the forms can be very complicated. The process can be very convoluted and it isn’t uncommon for people to have to come to me because the court has rejected their judgment due to having made a mess of the forms and process.
Whenever you have a big life event, if you have the means and resources to reach out to an attorney and ask them for advice, that’s going to be your best course of action. An attorney can provide insight, advice, and review your forms. They can certainly help the process go a lot smoother and make sure it is done correctly the first time.
For more information on Avoiding Litigation In A California Divorce, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (408) 909-4586 today.