The general steps for filing a divorce in California:
- A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed by one spouse (known as
the Petitioner) and served on the other spouse (known as the Respondent).
- The Respondent has 30 days to file a Response.
One of the parties may file an Order to Show Cause requesting that the
judge make temporary orders regarding
child custody, visitation or support terms. The judge may even issue a restraining order
against one of the spouses.
- Throughout this process, both parties may request an exchange of documents
and information, including the disclosure of income, expenses, and assets.
Written questions and depositions may also be given at this time.
If children are involved in the
divorce, the court will send the parties (Petitioner and Respondent) to mediation.
- Both parties discuss the settlement terms. If an agreement is reached,
a Marital Settlement Agreement will be filed and signed by the spouses
and their lawyers. If an agreement can't be reached, the case will
proceed to trial.
- After signing the agreement or once the trial has ended, one of the divorce
lawyers will prepare and file a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
- If you need assistance in filing for divorce or responding to a divorce
petition, please contact our office and set up a free consultation.