Whether you’ve known it was coming, or the decision was abrupt, getting divorced in California can be painful and frustrating to handle. Navigating the legal process correctly can help make it easier to deal with, letting you move forward with your life. Becoming familiar with the following six steps should help when you’re in this situation.
1. File the divorce petition
To begin the divorce process, file a legal divorce petition to ask the court to terminate your marriage. It includes a legal reason for divorce, a statement on residency requirements and other statutory information.
2. Request temporary court orders
Waiting for a divorce to be finalized can take time. Requesting a temporary court order regarding spousal support, child support and child custody gets these critical areas taken care of early.
3. File proof of service
After filing for divorce and requesting temporary orders, a copy of the paperwork should be provided to your spouse. You also need to file a document called proof of service with the court.
4. Negotiate a settlement
If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are having difficulty agreeing on essential matters related to property division, custody and support, the court may schedule a conference where you can negotiate a settlement. This meeting will include you, your spouse and your attorneys.
5. Go to trial
If you cannot negotiate a settlement, a divorce trial will be held. Evidence will need to be presented and witnesses called to settle this matter.
6. Finalize a judgment
The last step when getting divorced is for a judge to sign the judgment of divorce. Doing so ends your marriage and provides specifics related to spousal support, child support, parenting time and asset division.
Knowing how the divorce process works should help make it more efficient and easier for you to deal with if you’re in this position. Being prepared with these steps should also help relieve the stress that’s often associated with this process.