Divorce in Los Angeles County
When you and your spouse are considering divorce, it is important that you take the time to make yourself aware of your legal rights and how the process works. At Claery & Green, our attorneys are dedicated to providing you with the legal counsel and representation that you need to make sure that this transitional period in your life goes as smoothly as possible. Though divorce can often be a highly contested and emotional situation, your attorney will always work in a solution-oriented manner in order to help protect you and your family.
The Divorce Process in California
In the state of California, the grounds for marriage dissolution include the following:
- Irreconcilable differences
- Incurable insanity
Additionally, you must have been a resident of the state of California for 189 days or 6 months in order to file divorce in the state.
First, you must file a divorce petition and then serve your spouse with this petition. After this occurs, the spouse who has been served ("Respondent") has 30 days in which to respond to the petition. If you are the individual who has been served and you fail to respond, the divorce case can go on without your presence or participation. If this were to occur, the original petitioner would then request court orders regarding custody, support (both child and spousal), property division and other aspects of the divorce. There is then a waiting period of six months and one day after the Respondent was originally served.
If, however, the Respondent does file a response in the appropriate time period, the two spouses will exchange information about property, income and other relevant information.This is referred to as "Discovery."
After this point, the two parties can either resolve their agreements together or with the help of attorneys. One or both spouses can request that the case go before the court to order certain things before the trial by filing an Order to Show Cause. In this case, each individual will appear in court to discuss his or her "side" of the issue. Usually cases go to court over child custody, spousal support,
domestic violence issues (restraining orders) or even attorney's fees.
After Discovery, both parties will be encouraged to settle any matters they can outside of court during a Marital Settlement Conference. If all issues are not settled and it is still necessary to get court orders for some or all aspects of the divorce, a trial date is set. At the trial, your attorney will present your case and any evidence relating to the case in order to help ensure that you receive the outcome that you desire.
The court, after hearing both sides, will then make a judgment.
What if something needs to change after the divorce has been finalized?
Modification of orders can always occur when circumstances demand. Your Los Angeles divorce attorney at Claery & Green can help you with modification of orders.