Corona Family Law Attorney
951.547.1937

Corona Office
1101 California Ave, Suite 210
Corona, CA 92881

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Divorce: Frequently Asked Questions

Corona Divorce Attorney

How is a legal separation different from a divorce?

If you wish to remain legally married for the time being, you can choose to become legally separated. This means that you can legally reside in separate households without having a single status. When pursuing a legal separation, however, you will still need to decide on issues of child custody and support like you would in a divorce case. To have the marriage fully dissolved, you must break ties by filing separately for a divorce in the California family court.

What are the conditions of a "no-fault" divorce?

In the state of California, divorce cases are considered to be "no-fault." This basically means that anyone can file for divorce without having to prove that their spouse did something wrong and provoked the divorce. The only requirement necessary in order to grant a divorce in California is that the petitioner is able to prove that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" and that there are irreconcilable differences between the two parties. Since there is no need to prove fault or wrongdoing of either party, if would not make a difference if one spouse had an affair. The California court will not award the other party more custody, support or property because of the other spouse's misconduct.

How does the court decide on property division issues during a divorce?

When facing divorce, you will find that property division can easily become one of the more contentious issues in the case. In California family court, one thing that helps to determine the distribution of assets and property is by categorizing it as community and non-community. The term community property refers to all belongings, assets and properties that were acquired during the longevity of the marriage. Some examples of community property would be retirement funds, 401(k) plans and things of that nature. Non-community property on the other hand, is everything that was accumulated before the marriage or things that were given to a spouse as a personal gift or inheritance. Anything that falls in this category is considered to be separate property and will not be divided between the two parties.

What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce?

If you and your spouse are unable to agree on all the terms and conditions of the divorce, then you must file what is called a contested divorce Cases of this nature are typically much more lengthy and complex because the court must make the final judgment on behalf of the parties. When litigation is involved, the process can become much more difficult and expensive because you have to dispute the issue at trial. When both parties are able to reach an amicable agreement themselves and settle the issue in mediation, then it is considered to be an uncontested divorce. This route is usually the better choice considering that the parties have more control over the outcome, it is less expensive and you don't have to go to trial so you can move on with your life quicker.

How long will it take for my divorce case to conclude?

When you first file your divorce case with the California court, your spouse has 30 days to respond. Once they respond, the state requires that you sit through a six month waiting period. During the waiting period you can decide if divorce is the best option and work through the terms of the divorce such as child custody, child support, spousal support and things of that nature. If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement by the time the waiting period is over, you will need to notify the court and ask to resolve the matter at trial. In short, if you have an uncontested divorce, your case could be settled in as short as six months. An uncontested divorce however, will typically take anywhere up to a year to fully conclude.

How much will it cost me to file for divorce?

The filing fees may vary slightly, but the typical court filing fee is around $300. If you request to have certified copies made of the petition however, the court may charge you an additional fee. There are some instances the court to waive the filing fee if you submit a fee waiver petition with your divorce petition, but there is no guarantee that the court will grant it. If you are one filing for the divorce (the petitioner) then you may also have to pay a service fee to have the papers served to your spouse, the papers can be served in person or by mail. Usually, a law enforcement official can serve the papers or you can opt to have a private process serve deliver the papers.

Is it possible to change my mind and stop the divorce proceedings?

There have been times on occasion when clients choose to reconcile with their spouse and don't go through with the divorce. If you and your spouse are able to work things out, the court asks that you file a request for dismissal form to cancel the divorce. If a response has already been filed with the court, both parties must sign the dismiss form, otherwise only the petitioner is required to sign.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your divorce case, please do not hesitate to contact a Corona divorce lawyer from our firm today for a free case evaluation!

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