Divorce & Legal Separation
Divorce and Legal Separation can be one of the most dreaded and difficult life events married couples face. It can be mentally, emotionally and financially exhausting. Having a strong and supportive attorney by your side can make all the difference in this process. From the emotional support to thorough knowledge of the law, it is essential that your attorney can cover all the bases.
No matter the complexity of the divorce, the attorneys at The
Soleymani Law Firm Attorney are equipped with the experience, knowledge and compassion to
handle your case and advocate for you. They are prepared to settle your case, or go to trial if
necessary. Reach out to us today.
California Residency Requirements
Getting a Divorce or Legal Separation in California has specific residency requirements that must be met before an action can be started.
The first requirement is that ONE spouse must have lived in California at least for the 6 months preceding the filing of the action. Additionally, ONE spouse also must have lived in the county where the action will be filed for at least the 3 months preceding the filing of the case.
Spouses have the option to file in another county, if either party lived in California for at least 6 months but lived in a different county for at least 3 months.
Divorce and Legal Separation have a lot of moving parts. Often times unanticipated concerns arise throughout the process which can be confusing and strenuous. Issues such as asset and debt division, child custody, child support, alimony, domestic violence and sometimes even pet ownership may surface during the process. While these issues can be painful to an already excruciating situation, the resolution. Couples can settle all of these issues with the help of the attorneys at The Soleymani Law Firm. It can even be done without ever setting foot in a courtroom.
A Divorce or Legal Separation case can be resolved in four different ways. Typically, the complexity of the case and each party’s expectation will determine how the case is handled. The types are: uncontested divorce, mediation, collaborative divorce and litigation.
One approach to the divorce process is mediation, a process that occurs without a Judge making orders. During the mediation process, a neutral mediator guides the couple toward reaching a fair and reasonable agreement. Alternatively, we work together with the opposing party or counsel to come to an agreement.
The Soleymani Law Firm participated in hundreds of mediations. Our success of settling cases through mediation is astounding and is a true testament to our expertise in the field of family law. The attorneys at The Soleymani Law Firm can tell you if your case is right for mediation and if it is, we can guide you through every step of the way.
When appropriate, we often utilize the services of retired family law judges to help our clients reach a settlement. This process is especially beneficial to those who want to circumvent the expensive, arduous and lengthy trial process, but when the issues of the case are sufficiently complex and need the assistance of a neutral third party.
The benefit of mediation is that not all aspects of a case must be settled in mediation. Meaning that certain issues can be settled in mediation, while other more complex issues can be litigated in Court. Often, even settling part of a case reduces stress and costs associated with a case.
Having a sympathetic and knowledgeable attorney by your side during this difficult time is vital in helping you reach the best outcome for you and your family. Even though we may aim to settle your case in mediation, we are prepared and ready for trial when settlement is not feasible.
Couples who want to avoid taking their case to court, can elect for a type of divorce known as a Collaborative divorce. A collaborative divorce entails each party separately hiring a divorce attorney whom helps the parties reach the terms of the divorce. In addition to each individual’s attorney, this process can also include a team of other experts, such as forensic accountants, mental health experts and child custody experts. The experts often collaborate with each other to establish the terms of the agreement.
Additionally, another step involved in a collaborative divorce, is that an agreement must be signed by both the lawyers and the spouses, agreeing to not go to court if a settlement cannot be reached. In an instance where a settlement cannot be reached, and the case must be challenged in court, the parties will have to retain new attorneys to represent their case in litigation.
If you are looking to go through the collaborative divorce route, The Soleymani Law Firm will always put your interests and needs first, and will always assure that the agreement reached is in your best interest.
The California Divorce Process
California is a “no fault” divorce state. This means that the spouse who initiates the divorce action does not have the burden to prove that the other spouse was at fault for anything or did anything to trigger the divorce. This means that issues like infidelity are irrelevant to the case and have no bearing on any issues in the case.
To initiate a divorce, one spouse must only express that there are irreconcilable differences or other grounds.
The attorneys and the rest of the team at The Soleymani Law Firm guide you through the challenges and hurdles involved in Divorce and ease the stress off your shoulders. You are already facing a difficult time; having the right attorney by your side will give you peace of mind.
Overview of Divorce Process in California
The divorce process commences by the filing of a Divorce or Legal Separation by one spouse. The, the other spouse is personally served with the requisite documents filed in Court. The spouse on the receiving end must file a formal Response to the Divorce Petition within 30 days of being served.
Each spouse provides the other with relevant and requisite information and documents that are pertinent to the divorce. This packet of forms and documents is called the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure and encompass a full disclosure of all income, expenses, assets and debts. This is a requirement for any Divorce of Legal Separation in California.
The parties and their attorneys try to negotiate a settlement. The agreement will be drafted and signed and then sent to the Court for the Judge’s approval. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, a motion will be filed for Court orders and the case may ultimately proceed to trial.
When the agreement is signed by both parties or when the trial has come to a close, a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage of Legal Separation containing the terms of the agreement or the court’s orders will be prepared, signed and entered into the court record.
In California, a divorce cannot be legally completed until 6 months has passed. The 6 month time period begins on the day that the spouse whom initiates the divorce serves the other spouse. In some situations, when the necessary paperwork is completed and the Judgement is finalized before 6 months have passed, the Court may post-date the divorce so that it is official on a future date.