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The Basics of a San Diego Divorce


When you stood at the altar and said your vows it probably never entered your mind that you would be standing in front of an attorney asking about divorce. Every state has different laws which govern the way in which divorce proceedings must be handled. The first step any person facing divorce should take is to visit a San Diego divorce attorney. Here are a few of the basics governing the laws concerning divorce in the state of California.

Consult an Attorney

If you are planning to file, or if your spouse has already filed you need to consult a divorce lawyer. Attorneys are best equipped to prepare you for what will occur from the decision to file, through the process of filing, and finally the end of the marriage. When you consult with your lawyer, ask them questions.You’ve likely never done this before, but your attorney has and will be familiar with the process. Your divorce lawyer will know the specific laws governing divorce in San Diego County.

It would benefit you to take a few documents with you when you consult an attorney. This will help your attorney to familiarize you with how the separation process will begin. When you have your initial consultation take bank records, tax records, a list of assets and properties, and lists of any other valuables you can think of. Take a notepad so that you can make notes of how the proceedings will go because you likely won’t remember everything you spoke about that day.

California Laws

In California, as in most states, divorce is referred to as a “dissolution of marriage.” In order to file for a divorce in the state of California, you have to have been a resident for at least six months. Either party can be granted a divorce if the reason is irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity. When you or your spouse file for divorce, keep in mind that California is a communal property state, so your belongings will be split as evenly as possible. If you have children you need to consider how to handle custody. If it is left to the courts, they prefer to have joint custody. If joint custody is not an option, the courts will determine which party could provide the most stable environment for the children and that party will be granted custody. The courts will also determine a proper amount of child support, taking into consideration income, expenses, and disposable income.

San Diego Divorce Laws

In order to be granted a San Diego divorce, you must have been a resident of San Diego County for a minimum of three months. You, or your spouse, will file a petition for a dissolution of marriage with the Superior court in the appropriate county. Once the paperwork has been processed, your spouse will be served and has thirty days to respond. If they do not respond the divorce will proceed and your marriage will officially be dissolved in thirty-one days. If your spouse responds you will be required to submit relevant paperwork concerning assets. You then will have to agree with your soon to be ex on how to separate your assets, if you cannot agree on who gets what, this matter will go to trial. If it goes to trial both your divorce attorneys will present a case before a judge as to why their party should receive the assets they are requesting. The judge will then decide how to divide the property. These are the basic proceedings of a San Diego divorce, your specific circumstances may require different litigation to take place.

If you are in a situation where you are facing a divorce, you need to contact a San Diego divorce attorney. They will be able to walk with you through the specifics of your situation. They know the laws governing divorce in the state of California and San Diego. You divorce lawyer can help you manage this difficult season in your life.


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