How does a divorce case begin and move forward?

On Behalf of Griswold LaSalle Cobb Dowd & Gin LLP

For most California residents who decide to get divorced, there are a number of legal issues to address in the case. Property and debt division, alimony, child custody, child support – all of these issues may be present in any given divorce case. But, no matter what issues you expect to encounter in your divorce case, there is a structure to how these types of legal cases move through the courts. How will your divorce case start and proceed through the family law courts in California?

Well, for starters, one spouse or the other will need to actually file a petition for divorce. This is a document that states the reasons for the divorce, that the spouses are eligible to proceed in the court where the case is filed and states the proposed manner in which the marriage will be dissolved. This starting point is obviously a crucial moment and sets the tone for how the case might play out.

From there, the documents need to be served on the other spouse, who will then likely file a responding document. Once these initial documents are filed with the court, the case could proceed in any number of ways. Some couples engage in mediation to attempt to get a settlement in the case, while others may push the case to the point where the family law judge must make hard decisions. In yet other cases, the spouses engage in out-of-court negotiations and, oftentimes, reach an agreement on how best to settle the various issues in the divorce case.

Your case, your results

At our law firm, we understand that your divorce case and the issues that come up in it are unique to you and will likely impact your life for years to come. For more information about how we attempt to help California residents with these cases, please visit the family law overview section of our law firm’s website.


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