Reliable Family Law Attorneys in Los Angeles & Ventura Counties
We offer compassion as well as legal knowledge and skill to the clients we represent facing the divorce process in Simi Valley. We are here to ensure that you understand your rights while providing the personal attention and counsel you need at every phase of the process. Through decades of experience, we know that every divorce is unique, with its own set of circumstances and challenges. That is why each must be met with an individualized approach aligned to your specific needs. Our aim is to help you resolve your divorce optimally yet as quickly as possible to help you retain the financial resources needed for transitioning to life as a single person in Los Angeles County.
At Sua Law Group, we know that divorce can be one of the toughest challenges you will ever face. Having a trusted and proven attorney throughout this journey is essential. Our legal team is here for you. We will do everything possible to help you get to the other side of the divorce process with the least amount of stress and the right amount of support. Learn more by contacting us for a free, initial consultation.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Divorce?
If you are considering filing for a divorce in California, you may be wondering if you need to hire an attorney. The simple answer is that it depends on the individual circumstances. If there are complex assets and debts involved, complex custody arrangements, or potential legal disputes between parties, hiring an experienced family law attorney could make the process easier and could signal to the court that all parties had equal access to representation. An attorney can also help draft documents, negotiate settlements, provide strategizing advice for problem areas, and inform clients about their rights during the divorce process. Ultimately, every case is different and deciding how to proceed with a divorce will depend on the individual circumstances of each party.
What is the Divorce Process in California?
In California, the process of getting divorced can be complex. The first step is to fill out an official court form known as the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. After the required documents have been filed and served on your spouse, you then must wait a minimum of six months which is known as the waiting period before a divorce is finalized in California. During this time period, both parties are required to attend mediation to try and reach an agreement about important issues such as spousal support or division of property. If no agreement can be reached in mediation, then a trial will be conducted where a judge will make all the necessary decisions based on their interpretation of the law. This can take several months until the final settlement and judgment are entered in court by the judge which legally dissolves your marriage.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in CA
Divorce in California can either be contested or uncontested.
- In uncontested divorce, issues can be resolved between you and your spouse through discussion or negotiation, formalized into an agreement, and submitted to the court for approval.
- In contested divorce, spouses cannot come to an agreement on all issues involved in the split,. This means you will need to proceed to trial in a family law court, where the contested issues will be decided by the judge based on evidence presented by both sides.
These basic issues include:
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- The division and distribution of community marital property and debts
- Spousal Support
In California, How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced?
In California, your divorce is not final until six months have passed since you formally delivered ("served") your divorce papers to your spouse. (Cal. Fam. Code § 2339 (2022).)
It depends on the circumstances of your case how long your divorce will take. In a contested divorce, you'll have to go through a number of legal steps that can extend the process by several months. If your spouse and you aren't able to reach a settlement agreement at some point (more below), you'll have to go to trial, which usually takes more than a year. The entire process can also be slowed down by court backlogs.
Am I Eligible to File for Divorce in CA?
If you or your spouse resides in the state of California, then you may file for divorce there. In order to be eligible for filing for a divorce in California, both parties must meet certain requirements, such as residency and an acceptable reason (also known as "grounds") for the dissolution of marriage. Knowing these necessary qualifications will help you decide whether or not to pursue a divorce in California.
Residency Requirements in CA
In order to file for divorce, either you or your spouse must have resided in the state for at least six months and in the county where you file for at least three months. Different residency concessions exist for same-sex couples based on where the marriage occurred and in what state the couple currently live.
Is CA a Fault-Based or No-Fault Divorce State?
California is a no-fault state meaning that the grounds for divorce do not require any proof of misconduct or fault on either side; instead, only that the marriage is irretrievably broken by irreconcilable differences holds true. Either spouse can decide to end the marriage without the agreement of the other spouse. Your spouse cannot stop the process by refusing to participate. Non-participation will lead to a “default” in which you will obtain a divorce decree without the involvement of your spouse.
Grounds for Divorce in California
Obtaining a divorce in California can be both a complicated and emotionally taxing process. It is important to know, however, that there are particular grounds in order to qualify for a divorce in the state. Generally speaking, these grounds include (but are not limited to) irreconcilable differences, incurable insanity, and adultery. If couples agree on the ground of irreconcilable differences, they must be living separate and apart for six months in order to get the divorce written up by a lawyer or court. In cases of incurable insanity, it must be proven that one spouse has been medically certified as insane over five years before filing in court. Adultery must also be proven as having taken place in order for it to become a legitimate ground for divorce. It is essential to remember that all divorces are unique and what may apply to one individual may not apply to another; therefore consulting with an experienced Simi Valley divorce attorney is highly advised when navigating this difficult process.
Simplified Divorce in CA
California also offers a Simplified Divorce, referred to as Summary Dissolution. These are only available to those who qualify. Eligibility factors include having been married for less five years, not having children, restrictions on joint debt, community property, and more.
The divorce process involves an exchange of financial disclosures to ensure fair and sufficient child support and spousal support and to achieve a proper division of community and quasi-community property and debt.
Protect Your Rights and Interests During Divorce
Divorce can be a complex and emotionally challenging process. It's important to have a knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorney on your side to protect your rights and interests throughout the proceedings. At Sua Law Group, our team of divorce attorneys in Ventura, CA, is dedicated to providing reliable legal representation and guidance to clients going through divorce.
Here are some reasons why hiring a divorce attorney is crucial:
- Expertise in family law: Our attorneys specialize in family law and have a deep understanding of the legal complexities involved in divorce cases.
- Objective advice: A divorce attorney can provide you with objective advice and help you make informed decisions during negotiations and settlement discussions.
- Legal documentation: We will ensure that all the necessary paperwork is properly prepared and filed, minimizing the risk of errors or omissions that could delay the divorce process.
- Protection of rights: Our attorneys will advocate for your rights and interests, especially when it comes to child custody, spousal support, and division of assets.
- Mediation and negotiation: We can represent you during mediation or negotiation sessions to help you reach a fair and favorable settlement agreement.
- Court representation: If your divorce case goes to court, our attorneys will provide strong and effective representation to present your case and protect your interests before the judge.
Don't navigate the divorce process alone. Contact Sua Law Group today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced divorce attorneys in Ventura, CA.
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