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
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
- 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.