The divorce process can be complicated, especially when two parties cannot agree on how to divide significant assets, such as the family home or shared property. Proper legal guidance, however, can help you to navigate the divorce process in a way that will benefit you financially in the long term. Getting divorced involves several core steps in California.
First, if you are filing for divorce, your petition for divorce will be served on your spouse, known as the respondent. Your spouse then has 30 days to file his or her response. Once the response has been filed, both you and the other party can start to negotiate a settlement. This period also typically involves asking for temporary court orders on a variety of matters, such as spousal support, child support, visitation and child custody.
Both parties can also begin to exchange information relevant to the issues being disputed during the divorce proceeding. This is called the period of discovery, and how long it lasts depends on how much property has been acquired during your marriage, including debts and assets, and how much of it is being contested by you and your soon-to-be ex. Following the discovery period, either you or your spouse can choose to request a mandatory settlement conference with the divorce court if you have not been able to reach a settlement on your own.
If mandatory settlement conferences are not productive, a trial must take place in order to address all unresolved issues between you and your spouse. Knowing what you can expect during the divorce process in California may help you to be better prepared to protect your interests. A qualified attorney can help you to make educated decisions in an effort to claim your fair share of marital assets and property.