What Are The Options Available To A Couple To Proceed With A Divorce In California?
Every case begins the same; where one party files a petition for the solution. This petition is what gives the court the jurisdiction and ability to have any say in the parties’ lives. Once the party has filed a petition to this solution and served the opposing party, the other party becomes the respondent.
From there, the case continues and can take a variety of different methods to reach a resolution. The methods taken depend on where the parties are at in their relationship and how they foresee the divorce going.
If the parties have spoken about the divorce or are basically in agreement about how things should be divided and how the minor children will be involved, they can move forward with an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the respondent doesn’t have to file the response. They can put their agreement in writing and can file a default with that agreement.
A default could also happen if the other party just chooses not to participate. The petitioner can move forward with the divorce without the other party. In California, all it takes is one person to want the divorce for that to move forward. The petitioner can ask the court to make orders and divorce the party by default.
The last option is that the matter goes to trial. If the parties don’t agree, the case goes to court and the court makes the determination of whatever issues have not been agreed to by both parties.
Is There Any Benefit Or Advantage To Being The Party Who Files For Divorce In California?
There isn’t any benefit or advantage to being the party who files for divorce in California. If the petitioner has written anything in the divorce filing that the respondent disagrees with, the respondent has the opportunity to respond to that. Any disagreements regarding the date of marriage, the date of separation, or anything else to that effect can be disputed by the respondent.
Due to both parties having the same opportunity to respond, there is no upper hand in filing first. Both parties will be equal in the matter. It’s just important that you do respond within the given time frame. If you sit on it and don’t respond, then you can be adversely affected as default or it could be an issue against you.
How Long Does A Divorce Typically Take To Get Finalized In California?
In California, you can’t be legally divorced until six months plus one day after the responding party was served the petition. You can, however, finalize your divorce before you are legally divorced.
Sometimes, when people reach agreements, we can finalize their judgment with the court in as little as six to eight weeks from the date of the petition. The divorce would then be complete, but the status of the married people wouldn’t be changed until that six months plus one day deadline.
When there are disagreements, it tends to take a lot longer to complete the divorce case because the court needs to be involved. The court can take quite a while to process things. Usually in contested matters, it can take a year or two to complete things. If there are major issues that need to go to trial, you could be looking at a multi-year process.
What Are Some Reasons That A Divorce Case Is Contested Or Litigated In California?
The biggest reason that a divorce case is contested or litigated in California is trust.
If one party believes that the other party is not being forthcoming about the assets and the depths of the relationship, this could lead to a contested divorce. When children are involved, there can also be a lack of trust that the other party is not able to fully manage or care for the children. When the parties don’t trust each other, there is no way to agree. There is no belief by one party that what is being done is fair.
For more information on Initiating A Divorce In California State, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (408) 909-4586 today.
- Understanding Divorce Options In California
- The Division Of Assets And Debts In A California Divorce
- Avoiding Litigation In A California Divorce