Your Guide To Divorce Filings
Deciding to end your marriage is an extremely emotional choice. During such a strenuous time, it can seem nearly impossible to figure out the logistics of how to file for divorce. The process is unique to every state and also depends on your individual circumstances, which means that no two processes will be the same.
The team at Rombro & Manley LLP is here to help you. We can guide you through the entire divorce process from start to finish, allowing you to focus on your family – while we focus on the rest. To speak to one of our helpful attorneys, request a consultation online or call our Manhattan Beach, California, office at 310-545-1900.
Can You File For A Divorce?
In the state of California, only one spouse has to want a divorce to begin the process. In other words, both partners do not have to agree about ending the marriage. Even if one partner does not want to divorce, he or she cannot stop the process from starting.
California is a “no-fault” state. This means that you do not have to prove that your spouse did something wrong in order to file for a divorce. However, one partner has to be able to state that the couple has “irreconcilable differences” and cannot reconcile the marriage.
To file for a divorce in the state of California, you or your spouse must have lived in California for six months. One of you should have lived in the county where you are filing your divorce for a minimum of three months as well.
You should also make sure that you do not qualify for a summary dissolution, which is a much simpler alternative. If you do not, you will generally need a lawyer to guide you through the more complex process of divorce.
The Importance Of Having A Plan
Even before filing for divorce, you should have a plan in mind. If you think you will need support orders, child custody agreements or property division, you will need a lawyer early on to guide you through this process.
Throughout the entire process, you can expect to fill out many forms, including a:
- Property declaration
- Declaration under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
- Child custody and visitation (parenting time) application attachment
- Local forms required by the court
A lawyer can give you advice on how to fill these out to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Once they are completed, your attorney will then turn them into the court clerk.
Getting Divorce Papers To Your Former Spouse
You will need to find someone to “serve” or present your partner or spouse with copies of the forms. You cannot be the person serving the forms. It must be a process server, sheriff or friend over the age of 18. If this is not done correctly, it can compromise your case.
The other party has 30 days to respond. At this time, you may ask the court to compose temporary child custody, child support or child visitation, or spousal support orders.
Financial Disclosure Forms
These need to be completed within 60 days of filing your petition for divorce. During this step, you and the other party will both fill out information about your expenses, income, property and debt so that the other party is fully aware of everything owned and so that you can more evenly divide your property. An attorney can help you complete this step.
What comes next will depend on if and how your spouse responds.
Do I Really Need A Lawyer?
In addition to guiding you through the entire divorce process, a lawyer can help you:
- Save time: By staying up to date with deadlines and paperwork, a lawyer can help you expedite the process.
- Protect your best interests: Filing for divorce on your own without a full understanding of the process puts you at risk of getting less than you are entitled to. A lawyer can help you secure favorable outcomes that help you in the future.
- Get answers: Filing for divorce requires a complex and sensitive set of steps that you must closely follow in order to ensure the best possible outcomes. A lawyer can help you get the answers you need.
The legal team at Rombro & Manley LLP has been aiding clients through divorce since 1980 and will strive for the best possible results, even in complex legal situations.
Get Started Today
If you are ready to file for a divorce, get started with the help of a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney. Schedule your consultation today by requesting an appointment online or calling our firm at 310-545-1900.