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James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys

The California Divorce Process

Are You Considering Divorce?

Divorce is incredibly stressful whether you’re just beginning to think about filing for divorce or if you’ve fully committed to separating from your spouse. There are numerous variables you need to consider, including finances, property, children, and your extended family. While it shouldn’t come as a surprise that changing your marital and family life is a complicated process, the process itself doesn’t need to be a complete surprise.

Fill out the form on our website to begin your free case assessment.

At James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, our San Bernardino divorce lawyers are dedicated to providing you with the top-tier legal assistance you deserve during this difficult time. James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo have helped hundreds of spouses reach successful and mutually-benficial divorce solutions, and continue to work tirelessly for each new client. Contact us today to tell us about your current situation.

What Is a Summary Dissolution?

California divorce isn’t an immediate process – you need to wait at least six months after filing the necessary documents with the court before it becomes official.

If you and your spouse have been married for less than five years, have minimal debts and property, don’t own real estate, and don’t have any children, you may be able to file for what’s known as a summary dissolution.

This process rarely requires a court appearance. Instead, you need to work together with your spouse to make an agreement over how you will divide your debts and property and fill out a joint divorce petition, along with any other required documents, and file them all with the court.

How Does the Divorce Process Work?

If you don’t qualify for a summary dissolution, then your divorce will likely follow these steps:

  • One spouse fills out and files a divorce petition with the court. Once that’s done, they must serve the papers to their spouse, also known as the respondent.
  • The respondent has up to 30 days to file their response to the petition with the court.
  • Either spouse may then file for an Order to Show Cause hearing so that a judge can make temporary support, child custody, and restraining orders as necessary.
  • Both spouses will then begin the discovery, where they exchange relevant documents and information, including all expense and income declarations. They must also complete the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure, a form where both parties list their separate and community property.
  • Following the discovery, both parties and their attorney will meet to discuss a potential settlement for their divorce. If the spouses can come to an agreement, one attorney will put together a Marital Settlement Agreement that lists all the terms of the agreement that will then be signed by both the attorneys and spouses.
  • If the spouses cannot come to an agreement, then they will need to take their case to court.
  • Once either the trial is complete or all parties involved signed the Marital Settlement Agreement, one of the attorneys involved will need to put together a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage that will then be filed. Each spouse’s attorney will be mailed a Notice of Entry of Judgment.

Speak with a San Bernardino divorce lawyer today by calling us at (909) 344-5704.

Hire a Qualified Divorce Attorney

Even if you expect a smooth and cordial divorce, it’s important to hire a qualified divorce attorney to help you with any negotiations and paperwork. At James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, our San Bernardino divorce attorneys have nearly two decades of experience and are ready to use that knowledge to help you reach the best possible outcome. Call us at (909) 344-5704 to speak with an attorney today, or fill out our online form to begin a free assessment of your case.

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