San Jose Divorce Attorneys
San Jose Divorce Attorneys
Learn How to File for Divorce in California
If you are considering filing for divorce, have already begun the process or have been served by your spouse, then you may have questions and concerns about your future. You may wonder what will happen to your children. You may have concerns about property division, spousal support or many other issues. In fact, the complex issues, both legal and personal, involved in dissolving a marriage can and likely will impact your future in many ways. Our San Jose divorce attorneys can advise you of your rights and obligations under the laws of California, no matter where you are in the divorce process. We will listen to your concerns and consider your unique situation in offering legal advice. Then, if you retain our services, we will act as advisers and supporters as we work toward your goals, together.
What Are California’s Divorce Laws?
Under California Family Code §2335, the state adopted “no fault” divorce standard. In a no fault divorce, neither spouse need demonstrate any wrongdoing in order to file a petition to dissolve the marriage. This means that the grounds for divorce are relatively easy to establish. Generally, a spouse will petition for divorce based on “irreconcilable differences” under California Family Code §2310(a). In very rare circumstances, a spouse may also base his or her request on “incurable insanity” per California Family Code §2310(b). These are the only two choices when naming a reason to file for divorce in this state and you do not have to justify these reasons to the court. Either way, California divorce law does not allow one spouse to prevent the other spouse from ending the marriage, if they so desire.
Even though California is a “no fault” divorce state, each party’s conduct during marriage and separation may have a significant effect on issues of spousal or child support, visitation rights and even community property distribution.
In addition to the dissolution of marriage, the court may hold that a valid marriage never existed and is therefore void or voidable.
What Is Contested Divorce in California?
In a contested divorce, the two parties cannot come to an agreement as to the terms of divorce. Generally, a contested divorce involves significant disputes pertaining to child custody and visitation, spousal support, child support, and asset distribution. Asset distribution may include dividing interests in the marital home, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, and/or community owned business.
Many contested divorces eventually settle amicably. However, avoiding a trial over the disputed issues may require complicated negotiation and a qualified team of San Jose divorce attorneys advocating for your interests. Depending on your situation, you may benefit from family law mediation. In this process, the mediator acts as a neutral third party who facilitates discussion, while your divorce attorney advocates for you. The Certified Family Law Specialists at Hoover Krepelka can provide you with the savvy, sophisticated legal support necessary to ensure the most favorable outcome of your divorce. We can help you assert your rights, protecting your financial and legal interests in a contested divorce.
What Is Uncontested Divorce in California?
An uncontested divorce involves spouses who fully agree as to the separation and the terms of the dissolution of marriage. Specifically, the parties come to an agreement on all applicable issues in their divorce case. Depending on your unique case, this may include child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, and division of community property and debts.
It is not unusual for a couple to think that they have an uncontested divorce, only to realize that they disagree on several key issues once divorce proceedings begin. The reason for this is may be that both parties assumed they were on the same page, or they simply failed to consider all relevant issues. A divorce attorney can review your situation and go over all important details of your separation so that you feel fully informed. If any issues arise, then your lawyer can advocate for your interests in negotiation, mediation and/or the courtroom.
On the surface, an uncontested divorce may seem simple and straightforward. However, you should always consult with an attorney before proceeding. While you and your spouse may wish to separate amicably, there can be complex issues that require legal guidance to resolve. The San Jose divorce attorneys at Hoover Krepelka, LLP can review your case in-depth, ensuring that nothing is overlooked and that you get what you deserve. We can also assist you in drafting your marital settlement agreement while working to finalize the dissolution process quickly and smoothly.
What Is Summary Dissolution in San Jose?
In California, a divorce is usually a “regular dissolution,” which requires a formal court hearing. However, in certain circumstances, you may qualify for “summary dissolution,” a similar but expedited process. This process is usually cheaper and faster. However, it only works when there are very few issues which could be in dispute. Therefore, you only qualify for summary dissolution in California if you and your spouse:
- Do not have children.
- Have been married for less than five years.
- Have few community debts and/or assets.
- Are not seeking spousal support from one another.
- Can agree on the division of property and assets.
The San Jose divorce attorneys at our law firm can advise you on whether your situation meets the requirements for summary dissolution. If so, then we can assist you in filing your joint petition.
What Are the Residency Requirements For a Divorce in California?
Under Family Code §2320, the court will not grant a judgment for dissolution of marriage unless one of the spouses has been a California resident for at least 6 months. At least one spouse must have been a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for a minimum of 3 months.
If you and your spouse do not meet the residency requirements, then you may still be able to file for legal separation. In California, a legal separation is not a divorce. However, it does allow a spouse to seek child and spousal support orders, custody orders, attorneys’ fees, and community property distribution orders. Then, once you meet the domicile requirements, the court can convert the legal separation into a dissolution of marriage proceeding.
What Is the Waiting Period for Divorce in California?
Most people considering divorce want to know how long the process will take. Under California Family Code §2339, the finalization of a divorce can only happen after:
- Six months from the date when the other spouse received the summons and petition for the dissolution.
- Six months from the first appearance of the respondent spouse.
If these dates are different, then you must wait six months from whichever occurred first. So, roughly six months is the minimum amount of time that the divorce process will take in California.
However, if you cannot resolve all divorce issues after six months, then the court may rule on the issue of marital status while preserving the court’s jurisdiction the unresolved issues. This allows you or your spouse to terminate your marital status and resolve other pending issues late. If you wish to explore this option, then you should definitely consult with a team of San Jose divorce attorneys. Our law firm can advise you about the protections that you may request or the court may order.
Need San Jose Divorce Attorneys? Call Our Law Firm Today
In California, you may be able to proceed with a divorce without a lawyer. However, in both uncontested and contested divorces, you may encounter unforeseen issues that can significantly impact your future. You may also not be familiar with your rights and responsibilities under California’s divorces laws. Retaining an knowledgeable and experienced San Jose divorce lawyer to represent your interests is critical.
The San Jose divorce attorneys at Hoover Krepelka, LLP understand that separation and divorce can be financially and emotionally difficult. During this trying time, our divorce lawyers will remain by your side throughout the entire process and take control of the daily legal tasks and discussions that cause conflict and emotional distress. If you have any questions and concerns about your divorce case, call us at (408) 389-7099. for a risk free consultation.