Divorce is a difficult and complex process, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. From filing paperwork to understanding legal terminology, there are many steps involved in the divorce process that you should become familiar with to understand your rights and make informed decisions about your future.
In this blog post, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the divorce process- from how long it takes until everything is finalized to what costs might be associated along the way- so that you have a clear understanding before starting this journey.
1. How Long Does a Divorce Take?
The time it takes to get divorced depends on the complexity of the case and how long it takes for both parties to reach an agreement.
If both parties can reach an agreement without going to court, the process may be completed more quickly than if there are disagreements that need to be resolved by a judge. In some cases, couples may complete their divorce within a few months if they can agree on all issues without going through litigation.
2. How Much Does a Divorce Cost?
The cost of a divorce varies depending on several factors, such as possible complications and whether there are disputes over property or child custody.
In most cases, couples who file for divorce in California must pay a filing fee of between $435-$450 to the Superior Court in their county. Other legal costs may be incurred along with the filing fee, such as attorney’s fees, court reporter fees, service fees, and more.
If disputes need to be resolved, such as disagreements over child custody or division of assets, then additional costs can quickly add up. Couples may also have to pay for mediation sessions and counseling sessions.
3. Can Divorce Proceedings be Stopped?
Yes. If one party filed for divorce and the other party never responded, the process can be stopped without the other spouse needing to sign anything.
However, if they did file a response to the divorce petition, they must sign paperwork stating that they agree with the dismissal.
It’s important to note that after the case is dismissed, the process starts from the beginning if either party initiates files for divorce again.
4. When Is The Divorce Final?
In California, you must wait at least six months after filing for divorce before it is finalized. This waiting period is known as the “cooling off” period and gives both parties time to agree on issues such as child custody, division of assets, and alimony payments. During this time, couples may also choose to attend mediation or counseling sessions to resolve any disputes.
5. How Do I Start the Divorce Process?
To start the divorce process in California, you must first meet the residency requirements. You or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. Additionally, you will need to file a petition for dissolution of marriage with the court.
After filing the petition, several steps must be taken. These include serving your spouse with the paperwork, attending any required hearings or mediation sessions, and finalizing all financial matters, such as the division of assets and debts. If children are involved, an additional step is required to address child support payments and custody arrangements.
If you are considering a divorce, it is best to consult an experienced family law attorney who can guide you and ensure all legal requirements are met. Our attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri represent people throughout San Jose and the greater Bay Area. We understand that this may be a difficult time, so we will be there with you through each step of the process. Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation by calling 408-553-0801.
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.