What Can I Expect When I File for Divorce in California?

woman with divorce decree on table

Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that not all marriages last. After all, nearly half of all marriages will end in a divorce. As such, if you’re considering leaving your spouse for whatever reason, understanding how the divorce process works is important. Additionally, you must familiarize yourself with the complications that can arise after you file for divorce. The following blog explores the questions you may have regarding these matters and why it’s in your best interest to consult a Los Angeles divorce attorney.

What Steps Must I Take After I File for Divorce?

Once you file the divorce petition, the first thing you’ll need to do is to serve your spouse. This gives your spouse the summons and petition for the divorce, which details the grounds you’re filing on and what you’re requesting. You must serve your spouse, meaning someone who is not involved in the case and is 18 years old delivers these documents to your spouse.

Once served, you may need to request a temporary order for things like child custody, child support, or alimony. Essentially, this grants you a court order that only lasts until your divorce is finalized since some matters can’t wait for the process to be finalized.

After temporary orders are settled, you can begin the discovery process, which is when you and your spouse will share documents and information. If your divorce is amicable, you can opt for a more informal option. However, if you are not on good terms, a formal discovery process may be necessary. Once this is done, you can start settling your case, which generally involves negotiation or mediation, before you can finalize the divorce agreement and move on.

What Complications Can Arise?

It’s no secret that many issues can arise during a divorce. Unfortunately, one of the most common occurs during the discovery process. It’s not uncommon for one spouse to hide assets to avoid splitting the asset during the asset distribution. This can complicate matters further, as it can delay the process and cause one spouse to incur fines and even criminal charges.

Another matter that can complicate your divorce is the temporary orders. This can cause tension during the divorce, as your spouse may vehemently disagree with your requests, further complicating the divorce.

One of the best ways to help your divorce go smoothly is to ensure you connect with an experienced attorney. Unfortunately, navigating this process without legal representation can complicate matters further, as you may make mistakes that can delay the process or cost you money in the long run.

At the Zitser Family Law Group, we understand how complex these matters can be. As such, we’re ready to help you every step, from filing the petition to finalizing the agreement. Contact our experienced team today to learn how we can help you.

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