Are you a husband or a wife that has been married for two years or 22 years and have reached a place in your relationship where you cannot see the two of you existing together as a couple? When one is looking to take a decision with regards to divorce, there can be a whole lot of apprehension, confusion, and uncertainty about the process of California divorce and their own future.
Here is an explanation of the California divorce process to help ease some of the uncertainty.
Step 1: The Period of Separation
The first step in the seven-step process of California is the period of separation. This step deals with the question of whether moving out of the house or staying put. It is important with regards to this step to point out that if you are the spouse who is likely to be on the receiving end of spousal/child support, you should leave the house only after clarity of issues such as finances and custody, etc. is resolved.
Step 2: Filing and Service
Formally, the divorce process in California starts from here. Either of the spouses that want to initiate the divorce proceedings needs to file the divorce petition in court. When you are filing in the Petition it is important to be careful with regards to the information being put in it and its factual accuracy. Once the Petition is filed, the court then assigns the number of the case which is then used in future correspondences.
Step 3: The Financial Disclosures
This is an important step in the divorce process. California family law courts require both of the spouses to be clear and open with the courts in terms of their financial positions. Disclosure usually includes the couples disclosing their own income, debts, expenses, and assets.
Step 4: Temporary Orders
The use of temporary orders is widespread in California divorce proceedings. Temporary orders are orders passed by the judge at the initial stage of the case. These orders will often be enforceable until the final judgment of the court isn’t given. The most common types of Temporary orders include:
- Spousal Support Orders
- Orders for Child Support
- Orders for visitation and custody of the child
- Orders regarding property and assets.
Step 5: The Process of Discovery
The discovery process is an optional process that courts can order on their discretion or the request of one of the spouse to obtain greater information with regards to any subject of the spouse or the relationship of the couples. The information for this method is likely to be gathered through direct questioning and providing of documents etc.
Step 6: Negotiations for Settlements
This is one of the final steps of the process. Settlement negotiations are when the spouses or their lawyers sit down to discuss the matters that they can conclude the divorce and agree on mutually acceptable answers to child custody, alimony payments, and division of assets and finances. The best negotiations of this kind tend to occur once the spouses are fully informed and try to keep emotions out of the negotiation process.
Step 7: Trial
If and when the settlement stage proves unsuccessful, the spouses come to the family law courts and put their arguments before the judge in the form of a trial. Trials are often one of the most emotionally-charged instances in a person’s life.
Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law lawyer and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.