Understanding the Divorce Process in California
Many people who are wishing to end their marriage are unfamiliar with the divorce process. However, as in many arenas, knowledge is power. Being informed before entering into a divorce allows each divorcing party to make proactive decisions about their future.
The Divorce Process
Here are the necessary legal steps to obtain a judgment of dissolution — the legal term for a finalized divorce:
- Filing of petition and response — The party filing for divorce files a petition for dissolution. The papers are served to the other party, who then has 30 days to respond. Upon the petition filing, temporary restraining orders take effect, which ban a parent from moving out-of-state with a child, concealing and selling property and other acts.
- Temporary orders — Temporary orders only apply until a judgment is obtained. However, in that time it is necessary to make determinations about living situations, child custody, expenses/ bills and other issues. By filing an order to show cause (OSC), parties can set a court date where temporary orders will be determined.
- Domestic violence orders — If physical or emotional abuse is a factor in a divorce, either party can seek a domestic violence restraining order.
- Asset disclosure — Both parties must disclose assets to proceed with property division. There are consequences to not disclosing this information, so it is best for both parties to provide full and accurate information about finances. Find out more about California community property division.
- Seeking a judgment — The final step in the California divorce process is to finalize the divorce decree. A court date is set and settlement discussions are made. Once a settlement is made, parties will receive a Notice of Entry of Judgment, which indicates that the divorce is complete.
A California divorce can be finalized in as little as six months. To find out more about the divorce process, legal separation or the dissolution of marriage, contact a divorce lawyer at the West Los Angeles law firm.
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