At the Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles divorce attorneys know that our clients’ marriages typically dictate the type of divorce they pursue in California.
For instance, if the marriage was a contentious one, the divorce may be contested by one of the spouses. If the relationship was one that simply grew apart, the spouses may agree on the terms of the divorce before filing an uncontested divorce. In some cases, the spouses could even use mediation to negotiate their divorces or hire an experienced family law attorney in Los Angeles County to pursue a collaborative divorce
Here is a closer look at each divorce option, and what types of relationships they may be right for when it is time to dissolve the marriage.
What is an Uncontested Divorce in California?
An uncontested divorce is for spouses who want to negotiate the terms of their divorce in private, even in their own homes.
Once the details are outlined, the petitioner the person filing for divorce must serve the other spouse with a notice of divorce that includes the details they previously agreed upon in the petition.
The respondent, the person served with divorce papers, has 30 days to respond.
If he or she fails to respond within that timeframe, the petitioner can pursue a default judgment to finalize the divorce without the respondent being present.
Once the paperwork is served, both parties must disclose their financial information to the court.
This process helps ensure that the division of marital assets and liabilities is equitable for both parties.
Once the judge has reviewed the financial disclosures and terms of the agreement — and agrees to its contents — the spouses will sign the agreement, which will finalize the divorce.
Even if you and your spouse agree on the terms for the divorce without needing extensive negotiations, you should still speak with a skilled divorce lawyer in Los Angeles to ensure your rights are protected before you sign anything.
The terms of your divorce will heavily impact your future, so it is important to get it right.
What is a Contested Divorce in California?
Filing for a contested divorce in California begins much like an uncontested divorce — until the respondent is served with the divorce petition.
Once the respondent is served, he or she can then contest the terms of divorce proposed by the spouse who filed the paperwork.
Next, both parties may be asked by the court to attempt to resolve their differences during mediation, especially if there are minor children and custody disputes involved.
If mediation is unsuccessful, the court will hold temporary order meetings to determine how the spouses manage things like property division and child custody while the divorce is ongoing.
Finally, if each of the details of the divorce cannot be settled outside the courtroom, litigation will ensue.
During the trial, each party’s divorce lawyer can present witnesses and evidence supporting their client’s position.
Once the judge has heard all arguments and reviewed all the submitted evidence, the court will decide the terms of the divorce agreement based on their findings.
The court will then issue and sign a court-ordered divorce decree, finalizing the divorce.
Can I Reach a Divorce Agreement During Mediation in California?
During divorce mediation, the spouses work with a neutral third party— the mediator — to compromise on the terms for their divorce.
That may include property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support.
The mediator cannot give either party legal advice. If you would like to ensure your rights are protected throughout the mediation process, contact our skilled Los Angeles divorce lawyer for help.
Understanding how to negotiate effectively with your spouse during mediation can lead to far more favorable results than pursuing a divorce in court.
It is also more cost-effective and quicker than a contested divorce.
Who Can Pursue a Collaborative Divorce in California?
Collaborative divorce provides both spouses with an open forum for good faith negotiations to determine the terms of the agreement.
During a collaborative divorce, there is no mediator.
Instead, each party hires a Los Angeles family law attorney, and the couple and their legal representatives will hold a series of meetings to discuss the terms of the divorce.
Collaborative divorce often becomes more in-depth than mediation, as third parties may become involved in the process. That could include forensic accountants, who can evaluate assets and pursue an equitable outcome while dividing property, or other professionals required by the couple’s unique circumstances and/or needs.
Collaborative divorce gives the couple more time to determine how they want to manage divorce-related processes, as opposed to mediation, but can produce a similar amicable outcome.
Are You Considering Divorce with Children in California? We Can Help.
If you are seeking a divorce in California and would like to understand how the proceedings work in their entirety, contact our skilled family law attorneys in Los Angeles at the Land Legal Group today at 310-552-3500 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your unique needs and to learn how we can help.