Making the decision to terminate your marriage can be extremely difficult, or sometimes it can be a decision made for you by the actions of your spouse. It is possible to dissolve your marriage without a drawn-out legal battle. If parties are on speaking terms the process can be done through mediation. A decision to mediate your divorce can be made prior to filing any paperwork, or during the divorce process. During the divorce process people often realize the value of being able to reach an agreement, as opposed to litigating and having a court make all the decisions. Even in the case where mediation is not possible, there are many aspects that can be resolved without extensive litigation.
The divorce process will begin with one party filing the requisite paperwork. Depending on the issues of your case, the typical divorce process will include the following:
It is important to note that in California your marital status cannot be terminated any earlier than six months from the date the Respondent is served with the Summons and Petition, but be prepared for the process to last longer than six months especially if it is a high conflict case with extensive litigation.
There are circumstances wherein people choose to file for a legal separation instead of a divorce. Some common examples include if they do not meet the residency requirement to file for a divorce, they want to maintain health insurance under a spouse’s coverage, or for religious reasons. The process for a legal separation is the same as a divorce but at the end you are still legally married.
In order to file for an annulment, you must prove to the court that you meet very specific qualifications and have legal grounds to file. If the court grants the annulment, then the marriage is treated as if it never existed.
Kim has over 20 years of experience in family law in San Diego County and is best equipped to answer your questions and help you work through the process. Contact Kim at 858-649-1009 for your free consultation.