If it has been years or only months, you have come to realize it is time to free yourself of an unhappy and unhealthy marriage. Yet, you have no idea where to start. Below are five steps to initiating a divorce in the state of California. After reviewing the first steps contact the Law Office of Anne Dowden Saxton to get you divorce underway.
1. The first step is to have one party file for divorce. This person becomes the petitioner. It is important to know that California is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. Therefore, there is no need to prove who is at fault for the divorce. It is simply a matter of figuring out the details of the termination of the union. If necessary, a Request For Order can be filed once divorce papers have been filed.
2. The next step is to arrange to have the other party served. This person becomes the respondent. Service needs to be done one of two ways, either in person or by mail. All required paperwork must be included.
3. Once the respondent has been served, he or she has 30 days to respond. They can choose to not respond if they are willing to let the divorce be finalized with no contest.
4. Once the 30-day period has passed, the petitioner can file default paperwork if there was no response from the respondent. For a divorce with a response, the petitioner will then go to court and receive a ruling from a judge. The divorce can also be finalized without a court appearance. Either way, after this step, the divorce can be finalized.
5. If the respondent responds within the 30-day period, the divorce is considered contested. It then may be necessary to request a trial date and then prepare a trial brief.
For those who can make an agreement prior to a trial date, the trial becomes unnecessary. If you are looking for an experience Family Lawyer, contact the Law Office of Anne Dowden Saxton. She has handled numerous divorce cases and can help you better understand your specific situation.