Generally, California has made the divorce process straight forward. The problem becomes most of the areas have subtle and sometimes complex rules and legal analysis.
It is always my strong recommendation that you consult with an attorney. A few years ago, California enacted laws that now permits an attorney to represent you, and charge you, for limited representation. This is commonly known as “bundled services.” This was enacted primarily to keep the cost of attorneys’ fees to a minimum, and to allow greater access to the court system for the people of California. Be sure when you consult with an attorney, ask him/her to explain the difference between “full representation” and “bundled services.”
A divorce in California can generally take anywhere from 6 to 18 months; and sometimes even longer. It begins when one of the spouses files a petition (FL-100) for divorce in a California Superior Court. Once served with this petition and the summons (FL-110), the other spouse has 30 days to file a response (FL-120) to the petition for divorce.
From this point until the case is resolved by way of settlement or goes to trial, there are a variety of things that happen. The first thing that happens is formal and informal discovery.
Additionally, the parties may try to narrow or expand their rights prior to settlement or trial through filing Request For Order (FL-300). These requests may include the following:
1. Child Custody and Visitation
2. Child Support
3. Spousal Support
4. Use of Certain Assets, like the family home, running the family business
5. Payment of Certain Debts, like the family home, or credit cards
6. Payment of Attorney Fees
7. Issuance of Restraining Orders, where there has been domestic violence
These above Requests are usually decided on a temporary basis by a judge after there has been a full hearing, usually involving the calling of witnesses and the presentation of evidence. A mini trial of sorts.
There are only a limited number of issues that can be raised in a family law case. Don’t fear the process, if you’ve decided to get divorced, please give us a call for a free consultation.
My name is Vincent Davis, a dedicated attorney with almost 30 years experience. If you’d like to consult with me, please contact my office. We offer:
2. Case analysis, where I review your case and give you a plan and a strategy to implement with your court appointed attorney;
3. Extended phone, Skype or in person consultations about your case, and what to do and how to do it; and/or
4. Full legal representation as your attorney (we represent people all over the state of California).