Are you thinking about ending your marriage? It is okay if you are, and it is even more okay that you find yourself doing some research before pulling the trigger. It is wise to understand what you’re getting yourself into if you decide to pursue a divorce in the state of California.
So, what can you expect if you file for divorce? What are your options? How long will it take? Let’s dive in.
What can you expect?
Well, you can expect to start by filing an official petition. With that petition, you’ll need to provide:
- Proof of residency
- A reason for the divorce
- Any other information the state requires
Legal counsel can help you file your petition so that it includes all the pertinent information. After submitting your filing, someone must serve it to your spouse who, then, must have time to respond. While you wait for his or her response, you may petition the court for any temporary orders desired — such as alimony, child support, custody or restraining orders.
What are your options?
Your divorce can go a number of directions from here. You and your spouse may negotiate a settlement through private negotiations, mediation or collaboration. If any of these options fail to produce desirable results, you may take your case to trial. You have to do what you feel will work best for you and help you achieve the best settlement terms possible. Every case is different.
How long will it take?
Again, every case is different. It depends on whether you and your spouse can agree to terms quickly or if you end up fighting things out for a while. On average, the divorce process takes roughly 12 months — but it could be longer or shorter.
Once you reach agreeable settlement terms, they must receive court approval. If everything looks good, a judge will sign off, and the divorce will be over. If you can’t reach agreeable terms and your case goes to trial, the court will get to issue a final judgment on the settlement terms and then issue the divorce decree. Either way, the courts have to sign off before your divorce becomes official.
While it is possible to work through the divorce process on your own, it may not be wise to do so. There is a lot involved in the process, and reaching fair and equitable terms may prove more challenging to do than you expect. With the right help in your corner, you can achieve a fair settlement as quickly as possible and in the manner that works best for your particular situation.