Dissolution in California
California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that evidence of fault is improper and inadmissible, unless allowed by statute. Generally, the courts will allow for dissolution upon a showing, by one party domiciled within the state, that there is an “irremediable breakdown” in the marriage. This is typically shown where there is serious disagreement or action that is adversely affecting the marriage that no amount of counseling or therapy could resolve. Other forms of dissolving a marriage include legal separation and annulment.
Divorce can be very complex, especially where high-value assets and children are involved. However, our firm provides innovative solutions to help you and your case move forward. We have more than 25 years experience in litigating divorces, child custody disputes, and issues relating to the division of property.
Dissolution Process and Timeline
If you are preparing to file for divorce or you were served with divorce papers, we can help you. Our firm provides aggressive litigation and mediation services for a reasonable price.
Generally, the Petitioner is the person who filed for divorce. The Petitioner typically has 90 days to serve the Respondent with the divorce paperwork. If the Petitioner requested a court date for child support, spousal support, exclusive use of the property, or attorney fees, then Petitioner must serve Respondent no later then 16 court days before the hearing. The Respondent has 30 days to respond to a dissolution, otherwise the Petitinoer can file a a request to enter default which allows the Petitioner rest their case on the declarations of disclosure that they filed. Typically, however, a request to set-aside a default is not uncommon. If the Petitioner also serves the Respondent with a Request for Order, then the Respondent has 9 court days in which to reply.
After the Petition and Response are filed, the parties will need to file their preliminary declarations of disclosure, which outline the parties fiduciary duties such as assets and debts in their name or the names of each other. If one party fails to disclose any asset or obligation, then the other party may, at a later date, file a request to set-aside the judgment, basically unavailing any work that has already been completed. On top of that the party who failed to disclose such property may also be liable for attorney fees and other costs in the form of a sanction.
After the parties exchange their preliminary and final declarations of disclosure, they may file a final judgment if there are no issues for trial. If there are issues for trial, such as property division, child support, spousal support, or attorney fees, then a Trial Readiness Conference and Trial date will be set. In no case, can spouses get divorced within 6 months of when the court first acquired jurisdiction (when the other party was served or when they responded.
This is the basic timeline for divorce in California. It is common for people to come to us and ask us to do the work even though they have agreed to everything. This allows the parties a great deal of freedom as they are able to detach from the situation and let the attorney handle all of the court appearances, if any, and time constraints. This allows for a very simplified and straightforward dissolution. The parties may also both use our firm if they have an agreement in place or are willing to let our office speak with both of them candidly.
The Experienced Representation You Need
We understand the stress and anxiety that often accompany divorce. We are here to take this burden off your shoulders so you can focus on building a happier future. To talk to an experienced California Divorce Attorney, please contact us online or by telephone at 951-683-2297