California Divorces: What to Expect When You’re Going Through One

California Divorces: What to Expect When You’re Going Through One

California Divorces: What to Expect When You’re Going Through One

The divorce process has a reputation for being challenging. However, being prepared can help relieve a massive amount of the stress that a divorce can potentially bring. By having a general idea of what to expect in a California divorce, you can better prepare yourself for the complex agreements and proceedings you’ll have to address. If you’re considering getting divorced or were served papers in California, it is crucial that you understand what to expect.

5 Things to Expect When You’re Going Through a Divorce

While every divorce is unique, depending on the circumstances of a couple’s situation, you can generally expect the following during a California divorce:

  1. You Will Need an AttorneyIn every divorce, the separating couple has to discuss matters such as property division, spousal support, and child custody. These issues can be burdensome to navigate, especially if you and your soon-to-be ex cannot come to agreement on your own. Whether your divorce is uncontested and amicable or it is contested and full of conflict, it’s important to hire an attorney with experience in dissolving marriages. A divorce lawyer can aid you in:
    • Filing for divorce
    • Gathering personal records
    • Negotiating settlements on divorce issues
    • Helping you fight for your desired outcomes
  2. An Abundance of Personal Information Will Be Needed
    Because a divorce permanently dissolves a legal relationship between two people, the court has to make sure that their personal information and belongings are also separated. If you are going through a divorce, you’ll most likely need, among other things: 

    • Records of your employment
    • Pay stubs
    • Copies of your monthly bills
    • Important childcare invoices
    • Records of your marital property

    Gathering as much personal and financial information as you can is critical to ensure that you receive the property that you are entitled to during a divorce. It also helps ensure that your partner does not attempt to hide any property or information.

  3. Conflicts Can Be Hard to Avoid
    Divorces involve sensitive subjects, difficult emotions, and large amounts of stress. This often creates an environment where two separating partners struggle to get along. If you’re involved in a California divorce, it’s important that you mentally prepare for conflict. Whether you know your partner won’t want to give up the family home or you both can’t agree on a child custody order, you both need to attempt to compromise when possible. While conflict can be hard to avoid, you and your lawyer can work together to find solutions for your case.
  4. If Children Are Involved, They Are Always the Priority
    California law states that the family court is legally required to prioritize the interests of children when they are involved in a case. In a divorce, this means that a judge will make their decisions on child custody based on what they believe is ideal for the child’s welfare. Child custody and child support agreements are commonly the most disputed areas of any divorce, so it’s fundamental that you are ready to represent why you believe that you should have custody.
  5. The Divorce Process Will Take a Long Time
    No divorce happens overnight. Because there is a mandatory waiting period after filing for divorce in California, you can expect your case to take at least six months to finalize. The type of divorce that you are involved in will also affect how long your overall divorce takes. Because uncontested divorces don’t involve much conflict, they are generally finalized quickly after the six-month waiting period. Uncontested divorces, however, can take anywhere from six months to over a full year to finalize.

Things to Consider Before Filing for Divorce


Q: What Is the Date of Separation, and Why Is It Important?

A: The date of separation is the official day when you and your spouse separated. This date is important for a variety of reasons and is used to dictate multiple divorce matters. The date of separation not only determines the length of the marriage but is also used during the property division process to identify separate and marital property. This date is used to mark when the lives of each spouse became separate.

Q: How Do You Serve Your Spouse Divorce Papers?

A: In California, you must serve your spouse divorce papers through one of the state’s legally approved methods. You are not allowed to serve your spouse papers directly. Instead, you can either do so by sending them through the mail or having another uninterested party deliver the papers in person. You may ask your county sheriff, a professional process server, or any adult over the age of 18 who is not involved in the divorce.

Q: Do You Have to Pay Spousal Support in a California Divorce?

A: Similar to other states, California does not automatically award spousal support when a couple divorces. If one spouse believes that they should receive alimony, they must request payments officially through the family court. To receive payments, they must be able to demonstrate that they have some sort of financial need. This could be because:

  • They don’t have a job at the time of separation.
  • They don’t have the funds to meet their basic needs.
  • They need assistance to go back to school and get a job.

A judge will make the ultimate decision as to whether alimony should be granted.

Q: What Does Sole Custody Mean?

A: If a couple who has children together gets a divorce, they will have to form a child custody agreement. In cases of sole custody, one parent is given the “sole” responsibility of physically caring for their child. This means they also have their child living with them full-time. The noncustodial parent, or the parent who did not receive sole custody, may be granted visitation rights.

Bickford Blado & Botros: San Diego’s Divorce Lawyers

With the help of one of our accomplished family attorneys, you can receive consistent guidance and compassionate support throughout your California divorce case. Our lawyers have decades of experience combined and have worked through countless high-conflict divorces. If you’re looking to file for divorce, or need representation in your current situation, contact Bickford Blado & Botros today.




Feel Free to Contact Our Office with Any Questions


Contact Information