Family Law Attorney Serving Riverside County, Corona, and Moreno Valley
A divorce is a serious and life-altering decision; it can be highly emotional and stressful. At the Law Offices of Gary S. Austin, we pride ourselves on finding creative solutions to complex situations. During this trying time in your life, you can count on sound advice and customized service. Our dedicated Riverside divorce firm has years of experience handling complex divorce cases and we may be able to help you as well. We represent individuals and families in Riverside County, Corona, Moreno Valley & the surrounding areas.
There are some specific conditions that you must qualify for in order to file for divorce in the state of California. If you have been a resident of California for at least six months or more you may file for divorce in the state. California is a no-fault, community property state, which indicates that a divorce action can be granted for any reason. Unless otherwise agreed to in a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement, all assets and debts acquired during marriage will be divided equally. The court will make orders regarding property (both real and personal), debts, assets, businesses, child custody/visitation, child support, and spousal support depending on each couple’s individual situation.
The Divorce Process
Upon filing a summons and petition form, it is the petitioner’s duty to have the respondent served with divorce papers. When you work with the Law Offices of Gary S. Austin, we can have the other party personally served for you so you do not have to worry about this potentially stressful situation. Once the respondent is served, two timeframes begin:
First, the respondent has 30 days to file his/her response with the court.
Secondly, you will have the mandatory six month, one day minimum placed on your case. After this timeframe is over, you will be able to legally divorce from your spouse.
These timeframes run concurrently and both start the day that the Respondent is personally served. Parties cannot be returned to single people until at least six months and one day have passed – even if all issues are settled and the judgment is filed with the court. However, all other issues can be resolved before this date.
If the respondent fails to respond to the petition forms, the case can continue without his or her cooperation. A request for default is submitted to the court prior to, or along with, the judgment forms permitting the case to proceed and be finalized without the respondent. This process can be lengthy and confusing, which is why it is important to contact the Law Offices of Gary S. Austin. to receive further guidance.
Common Questions and Answers Regarding Divorce in California
I want to get a divorce. Does one of us have to move out of our house to start the process?
No one has to move out of the residence for the separation to begin. Separation can begin when one or both spouses decide that they no longer want to be married to the other. You do not have to file anything. It is based on your intent.
We do not have any kids or property and we were married for only a short time. Do we still have to wait six months for the divorce to be final?
Yes. In California one cannot be returned to single status until six months have passed from the date of service of the summons or the filing of a summary dissolution petition.
We agree on everything. Do we have to go to court?
Not necessarily. The court actually prefers that parties come to an agreement through mediation. If you are able to agree on all issues, a judgment can be prepared and submitted to the court. You most likely will not be required to appear before a judge.