Filing a Divorce Petition and Serving Your Spouse With Divorce Papers
No matter how long you and your spouse have been living apart, and no matter how much you have discussed getting divorced, the divorce process does not begin until one spouse files a divorce petition with the court. After you file the petition, you must serve your spouse with a copy of the petition. This requires you to have another adult deliver the petition to your spouse, in person if possible. The six-month countdown to when your divorce can become official begins on the day you serve your spouse with the divorce papers.
Contested and Uncontested Divorce
The difference between contested and uncontested divorce is whether your spouse files a response to the divorce petition. If your spouse does not file a response, the divorce is uncontested. The court understands that your spouse agrees to all the terms you listed in your petition. There is no reason to hire a lawyer in an uncontested divorce. If your spouse files a response, the divorce case becomes contested. Therefore, you and your spouse will have to reach an agreement about alimony, child custody, or other points of disagreement. If you cannot come to an agreement on your own, you will need to go to mediation or hire lawyers.
Division of Property in a California Divorce
In California, each spouse gets to keep half of the marital property and becomes responsible for half of the marital debts. Marital property is anything you acquired or any income you earned during the marriage. If the parties’ incomes were very unequal during the marriage, the higher-earning spouse might have to pay alimony.
Summary Dissolution of Marriage in California
California offers a simplified divorce process called summary dissolution of marriage. It is simpler, cheaper, and faster than conventional divorce. It only applies to couples who were married a short time, do not have children together, and own very little property.
A People’s Choice Helps Get the Divorce Process Explained
For most people, it makes more sense to hire a legal document assistant than a lawyer for divorce cases. Contact A People’s Choice to get your divorce process going. You can reach us at 800-747-2780.
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