San Francisco Bay Area Divorce Attorney
You are ready to start the divorce process, but it is already overwhelming. We can help.
Step-by-Step Guide to Divorce in California
There are normally four steps involved in a divorce:
Step One – Processing the Paperwork
This includes preparing the following court forms: Summons; Petition for Dissolution;
Temporary Restraining Orders (if necessary); and a Request for Order to set a court hearing and request relief, if appropriate.
Your spouse has 30 days after service to file their Response to the Petition for Dissolution. The earliest that a divorce can be granted is six months from the date the Petition for Dissolution is served on your spouse.
You and your spouse may settle the issues at any time. A settlement agreement and Judgment forms are prepared, signed and filed with the court.
Step Two – The Initial Hearing
The next step is preparing, filing and serving a Request for Order to address some or all of the following issues: Spousal Support; Child Support; Child Custody and Visitation; Restraining Orders; Use of residence; Joinder of any pension plans; and attorney’s fees and costs. The first hearing will occur approximately 25 to 45 days after the date the Request for Order is filed with the court.
Step Three – Disclosures & Settlement
The parties have to prepare and exchange financial disclosures detailing their income, expenses, assets and debts. By this time, some of the emotional intensity has gone down to a level where they are ready to seriously discuss and negotiate a settlement.
Step Four – Trial
If you and your spouse do not settle your case, it will proceed to trial. The court will hear testimony and review documents presented by both sides, and render its decision or judgment.
Contact Vallejo and Napa Divorce & Family Law Attorney Norbert U. Frost today at (707) 553-7356.