Your Divorce Preparation
Divorce is as much a mental exercise as a legal one. Before you begin the process, it’s important to ask yourself if this is the right approach for your marriage. It might feel like it in the heat of the moment, and that “heated moment” could last for several months before things change. In fact, we have seen couples divorce and then remarry several years later.
If you are sure you want a divorce, then it’s also important to spend time considering your current situation. Doing so helps you create a sustainable plan that addresses your concerns from the start. Here are some important questions you need to address:
- What is your financial situation when it comes to assets, debts and credit history?
- Do you have independent access to the documents you need to begin the process or does your spouse keep all the records?
- Do you believe your spouse will allow for an amicable divorce or is a contested divorce more likely?
- Do you fear that your spouse may attempt to injure you, your children or other loved ones if you try to leave?
- Is there a mistress, substance abuse or other similar factors involved that may negatively affect divorce proceedings?
Once you have addressed these concerns, you can have a clearer idea of how to proceed. A McCunn Law attorney is then in the best position to advise you. If you find that you struggle to address these questions, we can work with you to get the answers you need.
Our 5-Step Process
After years of handling divorce cases in Rocklin, we find that couples feel less anxious when we break the steps down into manageable parts. Otherwise, it can start to feel as if the divorce lasts for much longer than it actually does. During that time, you are likely to experience elevated levels of stress, which benefits no one.
Step One: Open Your Case
The first big step is filing your case with the court. This officially begins the divorce proceedings. Note that many of the deadlines that follow begin from the moment of filing the petition, so be mindful of this when deciding to get started.
Step Two: Produce Disclosures
California requires financial disclosures from both parties within 60 days. The state makes no exceptions, even if you have no assets or recently filed for bankruptcy. You may also believe that no financial disclosures are necessary if you don’t want spousal support or child support and you agree on all terms. In these cases, the court still requires disclosures but may waive the final disclosure if both parties agree.
Step Three: Determine Temporary Orders
One of the ways we help reduce anxiety during the divorce process is to ensure there are temporary orders in place. Ideally, these orders address everything the divorce eventually might. Key matters include spousal support, child custody and property division. Temporary orders are especially important if the case involves domestic abuse. Protective orders offer some peace of mind for the victims involved.
Step Four: Receive Final Judgments
Final judgments tend to occur in one of two ways. First, you and your spouse can decide to settle outside of court. This involves an uncontested divorce filing or mediation. These are generally the fastest and cheapest options for divorce. If both parties cannot come to an amicable agreement, then the final judgment usually takes place in a courtroom with the assistance of a judge. There is rarely a jury involved.
Step Five: Implement the Judgments
When final judgments come into play, they replace any temporary orders that existed before. In many instances, couples retain the arrangements from temporary orders and the final judgment merely confirms them. This is most common in uncontested and mediated divorces. In other cases, you may find yourself back in court, trying to compel your ex to respect protective orders, honor custodial arrangements or pay alimony.
The Most Frequently Asked Questions
Despite the many different relationships and divorce reasons in Rocklin, we find that couples tend to share the same concerns. The only person who can provide advice for your specific situation is the McCunn Law attorney handling your case. Even so, here are some general answers to the most common questions we receive.
What is a petition?
A petition is filed in step one of our divorce process. It generally involves filling out the FL-10 form, which acts as a formal request to end the marriage. The document does require some personal information, such as residency and the date of separation. You may also need to provide your general stance on five main issues:
- Arrangements for children of the marriage
- Spousal support
- Property division
- Debt allocation
- Attorney fees