Divorce in California is not always simple. And if you have children, it will be a lot more involved than two people simply agreeing to go their own ways. Before you begin to considering divorcing your spouse, you should think about the consequences! One or both parents will have to decide where they will be living and where the children will be living. Should you be experiencing financial difficulties, this step alone can be a hurdle that may stop you from taking further action. And what about the children? Who will they live with? Where will they go to school? How will the parents share time with the children?
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In California, you may qualify for a simple divorce which is quick and less costly should you not have any of the following unresolved issues.
In a dissolution of marriage (divorce) where the parties have children, your divorce will address the following issues: child custody, child support, alimony or spousal support, property distribution, and the divorce. To add to the complexity, any divorce can become extremely problematic should there be an act of domestic violence.
The question I most often hear from potential clients is: “Do I have to go to court?” The quick answer is: “it depends on the willingness of the parties to negotiate a settlement.” I encourage all of my clients to negotiate and to listen to the arguments and offers presented by their, soon-to-be, former spouse. The alternative is court which is very expensive, time-consuming, and often considered only when one of the party is under emotional stress. There are times when court is a must but, then again, there are more times that court can be avoided. A party’s willingness to negotiate will save them money they may have to pay for attorney fees and court costs.
Going to court should not be taken lightly. If you do not hire an attorney and have never been in court, you will be subjected to a process and to procedures that are not easily grasped. You will be required to understand and know all time limits, what evidence to produce, and the witnesses that need to be called for your case.
If you have children and end-up in court, it will add stress not only to your life, but to the lives of your children. No matter how much you try to separate the children from the divorce process, they will still experience the stress you are enduring.
Settle Your Case
In the end it will be you, the client, who decides to settle your case. And, there are some steps you can take in regards to custody and visitation for your children; the disposition of property, and support. Remember, judges just do not have the ability to do an in depth investigation of your case and only you will know the specific details that need to be addressed. Take time to consider what actions the court may take and how any action will affect you and your children. The parties to a case often come to a point where they are willing to sit down with their spouse and talk about an agreement. After the parties have had input from their attorneys and, possibly, the court, they often have a much better understanding of the issues are willing to negotiate a reasonable resolution.
If either party has committed an act of domestic violence, there are additional laws that apply and which will dramatically affect the outcome of your case. Should your divorce escalate with an act of domestic violence, you may face other court costs and fees for counseling and therapy. You will not only be spending more money but you will be experiencing an even greater amount of stress.
Again, if you are willing to negotiate and be reasonable, you may qualify for a simple divorce.
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