Divorce Attorney in Ontario, California

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.  

Divorce Procedure

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.

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Grounds for Divorce in California

In California, there are three ways to end a marriage:

  1. Divorce
  2. Legal separation
  3. Annulment
  4. Death

Both spouses are not required to agree to the divorce for the proceedings to move forward. California is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that the petitioning spouse does not have to prove that the other spouse caused grounds for the divorce.

Divorce Timeline

California has a mandatory six-month waiting period for divorces to be finalized.  If parties have a written agreement, the agreement can be finalized before the six-month mark, but the parties will not actually be divorced until six months from when the Respondent was served.  Keep in mind, that the divorce does not happen automatically; certain forms for Judgment must be submitted.

If you and your spouse disagree on terms, it is likely that your divorce will take longer than six months to complete. The timeline includes initiating the divorce, responding to a petition, dividing the property, establishing child custody, determining the amount of any child support or spousal support, and either settling out of court or taking your case to court.

How a Divorce Lawyer Can Help with Your Case

Although it is possible to file for divorce without legal representation, an attorney can be a valuable asset to help you get through the process more smoothly. A divorce lawyer can manage your case, prepare and submit all paperwork, engage with all relevant parties, and help you work through any disputes.

An attorney can take the burden off of filing for a divorce so that you can continue with your job, children, or personal obligations. Whether you have an agreement with the other spouse or not, an attorney can help you understand your legal rights and obligations.  They can also protect your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process.

Get Help from a Divorce Lawyer in Ontario, CA

If you are going through a divorce and you need legal assistance then contact the Law Office of Shelly Jean John. Let me and my legal team go to work to represent you and protect your rights.  We can get you through an uncontested divorce, or zealously advocate for you in a contested matter.  Call today to get a free case review from a divorce lawyer in Ontario, California.  I also proudly serve clients in San Bernardino County, and Riverside County, California.