When you married, you felt and believed it was going to be forever. Sure, you knew of people divorcing; maybe your own parents divorced. But that wouldn’t happen to you. Years later and, unfortunately, it is happening to you.
Does that mean you have to go to war with the person you thought would be your life partner? Is everything confused, confusing? Where to start? Obtaining a divorce can be confusing. But we’re here in San Diego to help you cut through the process of divorce and we’ll also do our best to make sure it is not a “war” but a peaceful process. Life does go on.
You can end a relationship by an annulment, divorce, or legal separation. An annulment is when the court can say your marriage was “void or voidable”. A divorce, what we call in California a “dissolution of marriage” terminates a valid marriage. A legal separation makes all the orders that you would expect in a divorce but, upon entry of judgment, the parties are still married to each other. In all instances, orders are made regarding property, support, children, possible restraining orders and all facets of “moving on”.
In California we utilize what is known as the “no fault” concept. This means that you do not need to say your spouse did something wrong; in fact the court is not interested in a party’s conduct except insofar as it might have a bearing on child custody and/or visitation or involves domestic violence. To obtain a divorce in San Diego one party simply has to allege that “irreconcilable differences” have arisen. In other words, “we no longer get along”. You cannot stop a divorce from happening if the other party wishes to proceed, nor can the other party stop you.
To commence the process, one party will file a Petition and become the Petitioner. The other party will be the respondent. As you can imagine, there is quite a bit of paperwork to be prepared, served and filed. This is true even in the case of “simple” family law/divorce actions. The Law Offices of Matthew M. Kremer, with over 35 years of experience in San Diego in handling divorce and all manner of family law matters, is well aware of what forms need to be filed, how and when.
If you wish to be self-represented, you can gain some assistance from the Court’s Facilitator’s Office. Those are hard-working and competent individuals who will do their best to give you the help you feel you need. Bear in mind, however, that it is far less expensive to get it right the first time, than to try to fix it later. The maxim that applies might be “measure twice, cut once”.