What Is the Divorce Process Like in California?

divorce petition

Getting a divorce is challenging for many as it is emotional and stressful for both parties. Doing what you can to minimize stress is vital. One step is to learn how this process works, as this allows you to discover what you can expect. If you are about to enter the divorce process, understanding what lies ahead is crucial. The following blog, in conjunction with a Los Angeles divorce attorney, can help you through this challenging time.

What Are the Major Parts of the Divorce Process in California?

If you are going through the divorce process, it is crucial to understand the steps you must take before everything is finalized.

Before you even file for divorce, you must ensure you meet the state’s residency requirements. In California, one person in the marriage must be a California resident for a minimum of six months before they are eligible. If this applies to you, you can proceed with filing the petition.

To file the dissolution of marriage, you’ll fill out a packet with your county clerk. Generally, this is just basic information, as well as a financial disclosure form in which you and your spouse will provide information about all assets you have. Even if you have a prenuptial agreement, you must fill this form out. Once this has been filled out, you are officially the petitioner, and must serve the papers to the respondent spouse.

After your spouse has been served, you will begin making decisions. This includes how you will split assets, who will incur debts, what will happen with child custody, and whether or not alimony is on the table.

Once these factors have been discussed and agreed upon, you can finalize the paperwork with the court and the process will be finalized. At a minimum, the divorce process will take six months but can be longer depending on how quickly you and your spouse can come to an agreement about the terms of your divorce.

Do I Need an Attorney?

When going through a divorce, even if it seems amicable, it’s always best to retain the assistance of an experienced attorney. This ensures that the terms of your divorce are fair, as they can examine the financial disclosure forms to ensure your spouse has submitted the correct information and review any agreements to ensure your best interest is represented.

If you are ready to begin the divorce process, you should contact the Zitser Family Law Group. Our dedicated legal team has the experience you need to help you navigate this complicated process with ease. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to help you through this emotional time.

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