With the stress of the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn, divorce rates continue to uptick steadily. With the number of unemployment claims falling in the millions every week, there isn’t a near or clear end in sight.
Economic instability aside, anybody who is getting or planning to get a divorce still needs to navigate the involved and complicated divorce process. We thought this would be a good opportunity to offer a refresher on the steps that divorcees take before their marriage is officially terminated.
Completing and Submitting the Correct Forms
First, you have to ensure that you’re eligible to get a divorce. You need to be a resident of California for at least 6 months and must have lived in your current County for at least 90 days. Once you’ve confirmed you can move forward, you need to get copies of several forms from the Superior Court’s website. These usually include:
- Family Law Certificate of Assignment – Venue Declaration
- Petition – Marriage/Domestic Partnership form
- Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
Once you’re ready to file with the court, note that you’ll be requested to pay a filing fee.
Serving your Spouse with Divorce Papers
Having submitted the forms, you then need to formally serve your spouse with divorce papers. This must be done via another person, someone who is over the age of 18, who will need to complete a Proof of Service of Summons once your spouse has been served. You can also serve the divorce papers over mail via a Notice of Acknowledgement of receipt, provided that another person mails the form on your behalf.
Serving divorce papers in a timely manner is important, as you both have the right to be given notice ahead of time and have your case heard, regardless of whether the divorce is amicable or unexpected.
You must then share detailed financial disclosure with one another in order to capture a complete picture of all shared and individual assets. This is key in ensuring that asset division is done in a fair and equitable manner. This information is also critical in helping both parties make informed decisions involving their children, their future plans, and more.
Finalizing the Divorce
Once these steps are done, you can then move onto what might be quick formalities. This is also where the real battle may begin if you expect to have a difficult divorce.
Sometimes, spouses can reach agreements and they can both agree to move forward. Other times, litigation is quick to follow as the couple fights to finalize details involving alimony, child support, custody/visitation, and more.
This is just a quick crash course on how a divorce might play out. Ultimately, it’s difficult to predict how any divorce might proceed, especially when it involves feuding spouses. Here’s where a qualified legal attorney can be a valuable ally, and no one should walk into divorce proceedings without proper representation.
Learn about how we at the Law Offices of James P. White help clients navigate any matter of divorce or family law matter in CA. Call us at 925-271-0999 to learn more, and to book a free initial consultation today.