Getting a divorce is never easy. Separation can be emotionally painful, financially draining, and time-consuming. Any disputes that arise can create unmanageable tension between you and the other party. However, you don’t have to go through it alone.
At the Law Office of Shelly Jean John, we're here to help you navigate your divorce as smoothly as possible while providing legal representation through issues such as separation of assets, child custody, and child support. Call my law firm today to get a free case assessment. I proudly serve clients throughout San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
Filing for Divorce in California
When filing for a divorce in California, there are several items you need to consider such as:
Contested vs Uncontested Divorce
The process for an uncontested divorce in California is relatively quick. It does not require a trial or discovery. The court fees and legal fees are less expensive and the outcome is generally based upon what both parties decide is fair and acceptable to each of them.
A contested divorce means that one or both parties have a dispute that must be resolved in court, where a judge decides the case. Contested divorces generally take longer, and where attorneys are involved, can be expensive. The results can be 100% determined by the judicial officer, but more often than not, they include some agreements of the parties and then the judge decides limited aspects of the disagreement.
In California, the divorce process begins when a spouse files a petition for divorce and fills out the required paperwork. The Respondent, or non-filing spouse, is served with a copy of the divorce papers and has 30 days to respond and either contest or agree with terms of the divorce.
If the respondent contests the terms of the divorce, then both parties try to negotiate the terms. Issues on the table may include:
- Paternity - parentage
- Property and debt division
- Spousal support
- Child custody
- Child support
If one or more spouses refuse to negotiate, the case will go to litigation where a judge decides the case and renders a final judgment.