How To File For Divorce In California
Figuring out how to file for divorce in California can be confusing and overwhelming during an already difficult time for you and your family. With an office in San Rafael, attorney Kate Rockas has over 25 years of experience helping her clients through their divorces. As a specialist in family law, Ms. Rockas has more experience and training in divorce law than most lawyers in the state. She will consider every aspect of your case, including child custody, spousal support, division of property, and debt responsibility. With her compassionate understanding and attention to detail, she can create the smoothest process possible and can protect the interests of your family.
A Step By Step Guide To Filing For Divorce
Although every divorce case is different, there is a set legal protocol in place. You can rest assured that Ms. Rockas will help you through all these steps:
- Prepare to file for divorce — After making the painful decision to divorce, you should take precautions to protect yourself, your property and your children. Make copies of all important documents, including tax returns, bank statements, insurance policies and similar materials. Be sure to make three copies — one for yourself and two for your legal records.
- Serve the divorce papers — Once you have filed the paperwork, you need to present your spouse the petition, summons, and, if you have children, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) documents.
- Respond to the divorce — After you have been served with paperwork, you have 30 days to make your response. In your official document, you will state whether you agree or disagree with the claims made in the petition. If you have minor children, you will also need to fill out the Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act papers.
- Request temporary orders — This step is not necessary in all cases. However, in some instances, you may want to ask for temporary court orders, especially related to child custody or financial support.
- Make financial disclosures — For a fair financial settlement, it is important to fill out the appropriate paperwork, listing all shared assets, debt, expenses and income.
- Begin the process of discovery — Discovery helps you to obtain all pertinent information about your spouse. This step includes interrogatories, or a series of questions that your spouse must answer truthfully under penalty of perjury. This process is optional but can ensure a more equitable outcome.
Once you have taken these steps, you can begin the process of settlement. If you cannot reach a mutually agreed upon compromise outside of court, your case will go to trial.
Filing For Divorce In California
Like every other state, California adheres to no-fault divorce laws. This means that one party can file for divorce simply because of “irreconcilable differences.” A spouse’s wrongdoing cannot affect the divorce decree, except in limited circumstances. For example, if one party was guilty of domestic violence, this would impact to whom the court awards child custody.
Length of residency is an important consideration when it comes to divorce proceedings in California. To obtain a divorce, you must have lived in the state for at least six months and you must have lived in the county where you plan to file for at least three months.
Why Choose Kate Rockas For Your Legal Counsel?
Filing for divorce can be complex and requires detailed legal knowledge. Ms. Rockas has over 25 years of experience with divorce cases, and she offers a full scope of family law services. She has been certified as a family law specialist by The State Bar of California since 1999, making her one of a select group of California attorneys with these credentials. Most importantly, she is committed to her clients’ well-being. She understands that getting a divorce is an incredibly stressful time. With her calm and rational demeanor, she can help you make the best decisions for your family, settling out of court whenever possible.