Approximate Timeline For A Divorce In California

The divorce process can be an extremely painful time for many couples. Sometimes one person may want the divorce while the other spouse is still hanging onto hope of saving their marriage. To legally begin the process, one of the spouses must be a resident of California for at least six months and a resident for three months in the county where the petition is filed. Either spouse must file a “Dissolution of Marriage” petition. Whichever party starts the divorce action, they are called the “petitioner” while the other is known as the “respondent”.

Legally Serving Divorce Papers

California law requires the petitioner to legally serve the respondent with the Summons and Petition for Divorce. This can be accomplished by hiring a professional process server or carried out by the local sheriff?s office. The first part of the petition will state the grounds being sought for divorce. In California, a no-fault divorce can be obtained by citing irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity. Once the respondent has been served with the petition, he or she has 30 days in which to file a response. If the respondent fails to file an answer to the complaint, the court will assume the he or she agrees to all the terms outlined. The second part of the petition will deal with child custody and support, spousal maintenance and how the couple?s debts and assets will be divided. Some courts will issue temporary orders if either party is requesting immediate financial support or a temporary restraining order. If a response is filed, the court will schedule a hearing date.

Child Custody and Support Issues

In many divorce cases, the spouses don’t often agree on issues such as child custody. One spouse may need immediate financial aid or an order of protection. When these types of issues need to be heard by the family court, an Order to Show Cause (OSC) petition must be filed. If the parents cannot agree on child custody terms, they will be required to complete Custody Mediation before the first hearing date. Once both parties can agree on all the terms and conditions of the divorce, they must complete a Marital Settlement Agreement. This document outlines how all community property, assets and debts will be divided between the couple. The timeline for a divorce in California can vary greatly depending upon the couple?s circumstances. However, there is a six-month waiting period in the State before a final divorce decree can be granted.

Why You Need a Legal Divorce Professional

The divorce laws in California can change quite often and understanding how these will affect your case is extremely important. Please contact the professionals at the Rupprecht Law firm to find out how we can help.

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