Family Law Attorney Assisting Residents of San Jose
If you are considering a divorce, you probably have numerous questions about how the process works in California and what you need to do to protect your rights. Each divorce is unique and presents distinctive challenges that need to be resolved. San Jose divorce lawyer Elainie Honjas has assisted many spouses with understanding their options and choosing an appropriate way to proceed, based on their situation and their ultimate goals.
California Divorce Laws
California has created three methods for terminating a marriage or a registered domestic partnership in the state: divorce, legal separation, and annulment. To obtain a divorce, the parties do not need to agree about ending the marriage. A divorce can be granted when only one party is seeking the termination of the marriage. Even if the other spouse refuses to participate in the legal proceeding, the party seeking the divorce will be able to obtain it. Also, there is no preference or advantage given to the party who files for the divorce.
Like many states, California takes a no-fault approach to divorce, which means that you do not need to show that the other party engaged in some type of wrongdoing in order to obtain a divorce. Instead, you can state that the parties have encountered irreconcilable differences. This is a legal way of saying that the spouses are no longer capable of getting along.
One of the best ways to ensure that your divorce proceeding is efficient and cost-effective is to sit down with a seasoned divorce attorney in the San Jose area to create a plan that covers important aspects of the divorce, such as spousal support, the division of assets, and child custody. To be eligible to file for a divorce in California, at least one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for at least six months, and one of the spouses must have lived in the county in which the papers are being filed for at least three months. You can still seek a legal separation if you do not meet these requirements.
Filing for a Divorce in California
This process will involve filling out numerous forms, including a petition for dissolution of your marriage. There are also forms that require you to list the property that your spouse and you own in the marriage, as well as forms regarding any minor children shared between your spouse and you, including legally adopted stepchildren. Once you file the required papers with the court, you will need to have them served on the other spouse. This is a key step because if the other spouse does not have proper notice of the divorce proceeding, it cannot move forward. A San Jose divorce attorney can ensure that service is properly completed.
The court will schedule hearings to hear testimony from each spouse regarding the marriage and any requests regarding the division of the marital property, spousal support, and child custody. You will need to disclose a number of things in the process, such as your finances, work history, current employment, and any separate property that you owned before the marriage or inherited during the marriage. Some of these issues can become contentious. The judge has the power to issue a final decision after taking into account testimony from both parties and considering admissible evidence.
Meet With a Dedicated Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is often a painful and emotional situation for spouses, even if they are entering the process in a relatively amicable way. Our goal is to provide you with the responsive and compassionate legal advice that you need during this phase of your life so that you can close this chapter and move forward to the next. We proudly represent people considering or navigating divorce proceedings in cities such as San Jose, Santa Clara, Redwood City, San Mateo, Fremont, and Hayward. Call us at (408) 292-4849 or contact us online to schedule your confidential consultation with a divorce lawyer in the San Jose area.