Move Forward With Confidence After Your Divorce
Leaving what you hoped to be “a happily ever after” marriage can be difficult, especially after working so hard to keep your relationship afloat. I know that the process can feel like an emotional roller coaster with all its ups and downs, as I’ve been through my own divorce. It’s why I devote my time to helping people move out, move on and move forward with their lives.
At my firm, The Law Offices of Diane Anderson, I can serve you as an experienced divorce attorney. I will stand by your side throughout the entire process and offer my experience and knowledge of California family law to help you make informed decisions and pursue your desired goals.
How Does Divorce Work In California?
California courts say divorces can take six months or more to complete. However, no matter how long your divorce lasts, there are four main steps to the process. Here is what typically happens in each:
- Filing the paperwork: One spouse usually begins the divorce process by filing the paperwork to inform the other that they want a divorce.
- Exchanging financial information: Spouses share their personal financial information with one another. The submitter (petitioner) must usually provide this information within two months after filing their petition. The receiver (respondent) must submit their information within two months after filing their response.
- Deciding what assets get divided: Spouses review the information they’ve provided and decide who gets to keep certain property, and whether or not spousal support or child support are necessary. If couples can’t reach an agreement, a judge can decide for them.
- Finalizing the divorce: Once an outcome is reached, spouses submit their final documents and agreements to the court. Then, a judge will typically review them all to ensure both spouses did everything correctly.
While the process remains the same, divorce is a different experience for everyone. Through my personal experience, I can offer you a sense of hope when things feel uncertain.
How You Can Prepare For A California Divorce
You can go to a notary for an impending divorce in California to get some information. You don’t need to hire someone until you want to proceed or someone else has filed against you. I advise clients that every court has what’s called a family law facilitator, and they can help you do the paperwork. They’re not your attorney and can’t give you legal advice, but you can go in and ask how to respond if you have been served paperwork. They’ll show you the paperwork, and that costs nothing.
Do Couples Have Alternatives If They Wish To Avoid Court?
If spouses remain cooperative, they can proceed with a mediator or a collaborative divorce. A collaborative divorce is mainly used when you have high assets. In a collaborative divorce, you’re going through and collaborating with an attorney and financial planner. There are a lot of professionals in the same room, and it is costly. Some mediators are attorneys trying to help people mediate, so they can’t be an attorney for either spouse.
Mediators can help parties choose and divide everything. They are there to try and help guide what the law is and what would best suit the people involved. If it’s 50/50, and you’ve got a couch and a dining room set, you can’t split the couch in half, and you can’t cut the table in half, so one person would take the couch and the other would take the dining room set. If one of those is a higher value, then you have what’s called an offset. For instance, if your couch is worth $4,000, but your dining room is only worth $2,000, then there’s a $2,000 discrepancy. That means that somewhere there has to be a thousand-dollar offset.
How Do California Couples Divide Property?
California is a no-fault state; therefore, you can get divorced for any reason. California is also a community property state, meaning you and your spouse typically split your assets and debts in half. However, that’s only if there isn’t a prior agreement, like a prenup, that determines the division of property amid divorce.
What If You Have Kids?
Regarding the children, it refers to custody, which is 50/50, and potentially one party will pay support to the other. It depends on who the higher income earner is because it’s all about the kids when you get a divorce. The kids are the innocent victims; they didn’t ask for the divorce to happen. Thus, the courts will usually focus on ensuring the kids are stable and in a similar financial environment. It’s all about the kids regarding support, and the same applies to spousal support. The court tries to equalize so that either party has a similar financial position as when they were married.
You Don’t Have To Handle Divorce Alone – Reach Out
Divorce can make you feel lonely and anxious about your future. As a lawyer who has gone through a divorce, I understand how you’re feeling. I am here to listen to your concerns and help you seek a desirable agreement that allows you to live a fulfilling life on the other side. Set up a reduced-fee consultation today by calling 209-717-6150 or through my online contact form.