Divorce or “Dissolution of Marriage” involves a number of issues that may affect your future greatly. As a result, a San Jose divorce attorney should be consulted to identify the issues in your case and to advise you on your rights and obligations under California law.
General Information about California Divorce Law
Under Family Code §2335, the state of California has adopted “no fault” divorce. A no fault divorce means that neither spouse needs to demonstrate wrongdoing in order to obtain a divorce. In California, the grounds for divorce are relatively simple to establish. Typically, a spouse will request a divorce based on irreconcilable differences under Family Code §2310(a). Alternatively, a spouse may base his or her request on the rare grounds of incurable insanity per Family Code §2310(b). Accordingly, a key aspect of California divorce law to remember is that one spouse may not prevent the other spouse from obtaining the divorce they desire. However, even though California is a “no fault” divorce state, it should be noted that the parties’ conduct during the marriage and after the marriage may have a substantial impact on issues of support, divorce attorney’s fees, and even property distribution.
In addition to the available relief of dissolution of marriage, the Court may also determine that a valid marriage never existed and is therefore void or voidable. See Nullity page for more information on void and voidable marriages.
A contested divorce occurs when both parties do no agree to the terms of the divorce. Generally, there can be significant disputes regarding child custody and visitation, spousal and child support, and dividing property such as the family home, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, and/or a small family business. Contested divorces often can be settled amicably, but many times, a contested divorce involves complicated negotiation and tenacious advocacy. The San Jose divorce lawyers at Aeschleman Law are ready to provide you with the firm and aggressive legal support necessary to ensure the most favorable terms of your divorce. Aeschleman Law will fight to protect your financial and legal interests as well as your family’s future.
An uncontested divorce arises when spouses agree to the separation and the terms of the divorce. Specifically, the parties will agree on all relevant issues in their case, including issues such as custody and visitation, child and spousal support, and the division of assets and debts. When parties do not agree on these issues, litigation is often required to resolve the dispute.
Although an uncontested divorce appears to be simple and straightforward, it is important to hire an experienced San Jose divorce attorney as early as possible. While spouses to an uncontested divorce may want to separate amicably, there are often complex issues that need legal guidance. The divorce attorneys at Aeschleman Law will review your case thoroughly to ensure that no fine details are overlooked and that your interests are protected. The San Jose divorce lawyers at Aeschleman Law will stand behind you every step of the way in drafting your divorce agreement, while helping to finalize the process quickly and smoothly as possible.
Summary dissolution is an inexpensive option for spouses or domestic partners who are able to meet specific requirements. In situations where the parties have been married for less than five years, have no children, do not own real property, and have limited assets and debts, summary dissolution is appropriate. Additionally, summary dissolution has the advantage of allowing spouses or domestic partners to procure a divorce without formal court hearings or appearances.
Under Family Code §2320, a spouse cannot obtain a judgment for dissolution of marriage unless one of the spouses has been a resident of California for a minimum of 6 months and of the county where the proceeding is filed for a minimum of 3 months.
If a spouse does not meet the residency requirements above, you may alternatively file for legal separation. Filing for legal separation will allow the spouse to obtain child and spousal support orders, custody orders, attorneys’ fees orders and property distribution orders. Then once the spouse meets the requisite residency requirements, the legal separation proceeding can be converted into a divorce proceeding.
Often parties want to know how long a divorce may take to be finalized. Under Family Code §2339, a divorce cannot be finalized until six months from the service on the other spouse of the summons and petition for dissolution or six months from the appearance of the other spouse, whichever occurs first.
If not all issues are resolved after six months have lapsed, and a spouse or both spouses wish to terminate their marital status, the Court upon request of a party may bifurcate the issue of marital status, form the other issues, and order termination of marital status. If you are interested in pursuing a termination of marital status while other issues are still pending, or if your spouse is pursuing this option, you should consult with a lawyer about protections that may be ordered by the Court. The family law attorneys at Aeschleman Law can walk you through the orders that may be made by the Court and/or help you in making the request for these orders.
Why do I need a San Jose divorce lawyer anyway?
Do-it-yourself divorces can be extremely risky. In both contested and uncontested divorces, you may run into unforeseen problems that can dramatically affect your long-term future. You also may not be familiar with all of your rights and or the obligations that may be placed on you. Consequently, hiring an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to represent your interests is paramount.
The San Jose divorce lawyers at Aeschleman Law know that separation or divorce can be emotionally and financially difficult. During a time of significant change, the divorce lawyers at Aeschleman Law can be by your side throughout the process and take over the daily tasks and discussions that can cause emotional stress and attendant conflict. We are here to help you with committed, compassionate, and personalized representation.
Aeschleman Law is located in San Jose and serves Santa Clara, Alameda, and San Mateo Counties. Call us today for an initial consultation at (408) 724-8930. You may also contact us by filling out the form on the bottom of this site.