When couples decide to separate and divorce, there are two outcomes, which you can do in a typical uncontested divorce process or through a contested divorce process.
If you decide to go with the uncontested divorce process, there are several things to consider for the divorce process to be successful. If you seek a divorce in California, be mindful of the advantages of an uncontested divorce, the procedures involved, and how the process will unfold. It helps if you have a good understanding of where your marriage is at the moment and how you arranged with much deliberation.
This article is a perfect guide for you about everything that you need to know about uncontested divorce in California.
Basics of Divorce in Family Law
In California, a court can grant a dissolution of marriage if the court finds that the marriage has “irreconcilable differences.” This assumes that a married couple may dissolve the union regardless of whether the other partner desires to remain together.
In California, the person who starts divorce proceedings is the Petitioner, and the other party is the respondent. Divorce is filed in the county’s Supreme court, where the Petitioner lives.
Basics of Uncontested Divorce
It is possible for the divorce that you have files in California to be contested at first but changed to uncontested if both parties have agreed to a settlement. An uncontested divorce can also become contested when both parties disagree. If you reside in the greater Los Angeles area, a family law attorney in Woodland Hills, Ca can help you find the right strategy to proceed.
Divorce that is amicable and uncontested is usually the shortest, safest, and most cost-effective choice. An uncontested divorce in California will mean one of two things:
- Both parties have agreed about managing the property, finances, and parental concerns.
- The other party does not argue with you on your demands and cannot submit forms in court expressing his or her disagreement. If the partner cannot respond, the Petitioner may be awarded a “default” verdict.
If you want to get an uncontested divorce in California, you must satisfy the following residence conditions:
- All parties may have lived in California for a minimum of six months prior to filing for divorce.
- You must have lived in the county where you plan to file the divorce for at least three months prior.
Since the complainant begins the divorce proceedings by submitting a motion for divorce and serving it on the other partner (respondent), the respondent has 30 days to respond. As mentioned above, if the respondent does not submit a response within the time frame, the court will give a default judgment, and the divorce case will proceed.
Couples who can avail uncontested divorce:
- Without assets and children;
- With fewer assets and children; and
- Who has agreed on the following conditions::
- division of their assets,
- get the physical custody of the children,
- get the legal custody of the children, and
- amount to be provided to the child and spousal support
Couples who cannot avail of uncontested divorce:
- With physical or emotional abuse in their marriage;
- Where child abuse is/was present in their marriage;
- When one side conceals profits and properties or is accused of concealing them;
- When either or more partners are trying to alienate the children’s affections;
It is critical in these situations to have an impartial third party present to provide sound legal counsel and guarantee that your rights are completely secured.
Going to Court
If your divorce is uncontested, you can avoid going to arbitration. However, these can change. Suppose you and your partner file the marriage compromise arrangement with the court and send all necessary legal paperwork. In that case, the judge may examine the case and can offer a judgment by letter. However, the judge can order an informal or formal trial.
And if disagreements arise about land separation and child custody, the attorney will often resolve them without going to court by negotiation, consultation, and the help of an advocate.
Getting a Lawyer
If you are pursuing an uncontested divorce, you can get legal counsel. There are some explanations why there is a need to get an attorney throughout the uncontested divorce period.
- Representation–An attorney can protect your rights and assist you with resolving problems that occur during the uncontested divorce proceedings.
- Administrative–A lawyer will ensure that the documentation is filed correctly and on schedule, relieving you of the pressure. It would therefore ensure that your rights are protected during a dynamic structure.
- Unexpected Developments–Legal counsel, would be beneficial if the uncontested divorce becomes contentious. Divorce is a complex procedure that rarely goes as planned.
Hiring an attorney may assist you in resolving matters to which you cannot negotiate and may even draw your attention to areas of asset division, child custody and support that you might be unaware of.
Duration of the Process
In California, the divorce procedure takes about six months from the moment the suing individual notifies his or her partner legally of the divorce. It includes filing the paperwork correctly and servicing the partner through a courthouse representative or local sheriff. Please keep in mind that the divorce delay time cannot be less than six months. It would be highly dependent on the situation and the questions before the judge.
There is one caveat: if you and your partner have not resolved all the problems in your divorce but want to expedite the process, you can petition the court for a bifurcated divorce. The court approves the divorce, so it allows you to work on those matters afterward. It is the only way to expedite the divorce process in the state of California.
While a judge must approve both the settlement (and the divorce), the judge would usually accept a divorce deal unless the conditions are overwhelmingly favorable to one party or agreements are made under duress.
Benefits of Uncontested Divorce
However, not all divorces must be too expensive. The primary advantages of an uncontested divorce are it is often more affordable and amicable because it takes less time, fosters better contact between the parties, and gives them more power over their eventual divorce settlement.
If there is no simple understanding in your divorce, reaching an arrangement can prove challenging. If this is the case, visit the Law Offices of Leon F. Bennett today and get professional counsel from our experienced legal team.