31 March 2011 0 Comments

When is a divorce final?

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All divorces are different in California, depending on specific legal issues involved.

All divorces begin with one spouse filing a divorce petition in his or her local family courthouse.  That person is now known as the ‘petitioner’.  Once the paperwork is filed, the petition must be personally served to the other spouse – now known as the ‘respondent’.

The respondent has 30 days to file a response.  Once the respondent responds, the two spouses will pull together information about their property and incomes.  Either spouse can file an Order to Show Cause, which is a request for temporary orders – such as child custody, child and/or spousal support, visitation, etc.

Best Case Scenario – If the parties are cooperating with each other and agree on divorce terms beforehand, they may not have to go to trial and will prepare and sign a Marital Settlement Agreement or divorce judgment.   The case is over. 

A California divorce has a six-month waiting period before the marriage is over.  The waiting period begins once the divorce papers are filed and the divorce is served.   It is designed for a couple who may have doubts about a divorce and decide to reconcile. 

If you and your spouse are talking divorce, contact an experienced Riverside Family Law attorney who can walk you through the steps and discuss your options with you – options that are in the best interests of you and your children.

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