Going through a divorce or any sort of legal separation is never easy. If you need to file for divorce, you might be wondering what you will need to make sure this process moves quickly including the subdivision of marital property. The good news is that by knowing the steps and understanding how normal divorce proceedings work, then you increase the odds of a relatively simple and drama-free divorce.
Below is a breakdown of the crucial information you need to pursue a divorce in California. This article should provide some clarity and guidance on the whole process. With this information, you can get through your divorce as amicably and quickly as possible and move on to bigger and better things.
How to Prepare for a Divorce
Whether it is both spouses or one, in particular, seeking the divorce, a divorce requires specific criteria to be met for the process to be initiated. To get started with a divorce, you first need to make sure you understand the process and prepare accordingly to fill the relevant divorce papers. This will help the divorce move smoothly and without delay. It, therefore, becomes a less complicated divorce.
Spouses need to go through five steps to formalize the actual divorce:
- Meet California residency requirements based on the existing divorce laws
- Gather necessary information for the divorce settlement
- Prepare the relevant forms and divorce papers
- Determine the correct procedure for divorce mediation
- Await final judgment following your decision to divorce
How Can We Simplify Divorce Preparation?
Various sources are available to the public that highlight the steps to take to file for divorce in California. These sources, such as the California court’s website, describe the whole process and the exact steps an individual must take to file for divorce and seek any legal advice concerning the divorce. The necessary documents are available for download and completion on the site, but you have to figure out which forms you need on your own if you go this divorce route.
Along with online sources, you can make use of self-help books or professional assistance from legal divorce teams. Both these sources can advise you on the necessary steps to take with your divorce considering the unique aspects of your marriage such as joint accounts and division of assets. This can provide clarity on how to proceed with your marital assets or children, for instance.
Tips on How to Prepare for Divorce
The most important tip for divorce is this: choose the most peaceful option to avoid a difficult time! If both spouses can agree on the terms of their divorce (collaborative divorce), it saves both time and money compared to battling it out in court that could lead you to challenging times. To make negotiations as effective as possible, both spouses should be organized and have all their assets and expenses listed before the start of a collaborative divorce process.
As you progress through your divorce, it is crucial to stay in control of the mediation process. Divorce can be an emotional process due to the difficult times; that’s why you should have some sort of support to keep you grounded and maintain your integrity. Remember to stay focused on the main goal, as it can prevent you from making emotional decisions that can affect both you and your kids in the long run when the discovery process creeps in.
Do You Need a Divorce Attorney?
The good news is, a divorce attorney isn’t always necessary when filing for divorce. If you and your spouse have both come to an amicable agreement regarding the terms and conditions of a divorce, then the services of an attorney won’t be necessary through any legal process. You could also use alternative services such as a legal document assistant to help with your divorce and make it a less difficult process.
The entire divorce legal process is not cheap, and bringing a divorce attorney into it can make things truly pricey. It is advised to reach an uncontested divorce with your spouse or use alternative legal help rather than an attorney that may lead to money issues. This saves you money and prevents any unanticipated complications from occurring during your divorce negotiations.
When to Seek Help from a Lawyer
Of course, sometimes a divorce attorney is the only viable option in case you need a divorce professional. When a couple has to deal with complicated financial issues and family matters in a divorce, then bringing in a divorce family lawyer may be for the best. This can help ensure that the filing is correct and the settlement agreement benefits both spouses. A divorce lawyer can also help by finding any problems that can occur because of the divorce’s complexity.
In the event of child custody, visitation rights, assets, and finances that a couple cannot agree on, it is sometimes a difficult process to resolve these matters without the help of a lawyer (or at the very least, a mediator). These instances would only apply in very one-sided cases during divorce mediation. Fear of domestic violence from a spouse should also call for the use of legal representation by a divorce family lawyer.
How Much Does a California Divorce Cost?
The cost of living in California is one of the highest in the country due to the high monthly expenses. With such high costs for housing and transport, you can expect the cost of divorce to not be cheap. Thus, if you’re looking for a divorce in California, you may naturally be wondering how much it would cost you to seek the help of a divorce professional.
Every case is unique, so the cost can vary depending on the aspects and circumstances of the marriage. This may also entail evaluating the possible divorce options. The initial filing fee for a divorce is $435. From there, the cost of your divorce will depend on the situation of divorce mediation (such as whether you hire a lawyer). Make sure to be aware of your financial information as it is your primary focus in your divorce checklist.
Divorce and Personal Financial Information
When going through a divorce, you must be aware of your finances. You need to understand the extent of your marital estate—the assets and debts that have been acquired throughout the marriage by both spouses. By identifying and developing a clear financial statement, you can determine your future financial needs and know what to bargain for during the collaborative divorce process.
Have access to copies of financial documents such as tax returns, financial accounts, loan forms, and deeds to community property. It’s beneficial to both parties to list their personal property, income, and expenses to make sure that these are divided fairly in the divorce.
How to Gather Your Documents for Divorce
To file for divorce in California, you need to complete certain forms provided by the court. These forms can be found on the California court’s website and are easily accessible. You need to make sure that all documents are completed accurately and are comprehended to avoid delays in the process. A legal document assistant service like A People’s Choice would be able to help by preparing all the documents you need to file for divorce, helping you avoid extra fees or delays caused by errors.
What Documents Do You Need?
Generally, there are two types of documents involved in a divorce. The first is the spouse who is actively filing for divorce or the petitioner. The second is for the spouse who is being served with the divorce or the respondent to the divorce file.
Once you have decided to file for divorce at your local courthouse, you must file at least two documents as part of your divorce checklist. The petition and summons forms are used in every divorce and are compulsory documents you need to file with the court. There are other documents you may need as well depending on the unique aspects of the marriage.
Once you have completed the forms, you have to submit them to the clerk at the court to initiate your dissolution of marriage. The clerk stamps these forms and provides you with copies upon payment. Once you have these copies, you can now serve your spouse the stamped documents once you leave and initiate the decision to divorce.
Divorce and Kids
Spouses who divorce with children need to determine how they’ll care for, spend time, and house their kids once the dissolution of marriage has taken effect. Parents need to agree about child custody and visitation, as it is a crucial aspect of a divorce involving children. Proper financial decisions also need to be made regarding the normal day living expenses for the children after divorce.
Compared to divorce with no children, there are more documents and additional agreements in a divorce involving minor children. If possible, parents should reach an amicable agreement regarding their children in a divorce. This not only benefits the spouses but the emotional integrity of the child or children, and it leads to a faster and cheaper divorce process.
Divorce When There Are Children Involved
If you have minor children, then there are a few extra steps to complete in your divorce. You need to complete forms relating to child custody, child visitation, and a property declaration with the help of a financial professional. These forms are a significant part of a divorce with children and are one of the most crucial sticking points for couples seeking to reach an agreement regarding the separate property.
Child custody and visitation take a long time to determine for many divorcing couples due to the critical issue involved. As you seek an arrangement that works for everyone, be aware of your parental rights and keep yourself protected after your dissolution of marriage. Using mediation is one of the best ways for parents to reach an amicable agreement and avoid child custody battles regarding the divorce financial aspect. Mediation is a long process, however, and learning about it can help you know what to expect. This may also entail the guidance of a marriage counselor.
Divorce When There Are No Children Involved
Divorce without children can be less challenging depending on the circumstances. Spouses can avoid extra documents and save money hence avoiding a difficult time during the divorce process. Regardless, it is still advised to have an amicable divorce to make the process move faster and easier after ending your domestic relations.
Legal Document Preparation: The Best Assistance
Divorce doesn’t have to be overwhelming or challenging. With the right preparation and guidance, you can easily go through the process in the quickest time possible without taking much deep dive. By making use of affordable legal help, you can increase your chances of success by ensuring that you have all problems identified and covered.
Consider using A People’s Choice as you prepare for divorce. We are a team of legal document assistants that have all the necessary forms related to your divorce prepared and at the ready. You will receive quality guidance on the steps you need to take to have a quick and pain-free divorce, all while saving money. Don’t waste any more time; contact A People’s Choice today!
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