At the law firm of Virginia H. Gaburo & Associates, San Diego lawyer Virginia Gaburo offers more than 20 years of experience representing clients throughout Southern California in divorce and family law matters. To learn more about what to expect in a California divorce, contact our law firm online or by calling 858-546-0183.
Procedure: What Happens in a California Divorce Proceeding
A divorce, legally described as a marital dissolution proceeding, is a lawsuit. It is initiated by one of the parties filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the family law division of the California Superior Court. The court opens a case, assigns a judge and a case number, and issues a summons directed to the other spouse.
Typically, the other spouse is served with copies of the summons and the petition. He or she must then file a response. Interim orders – orders that will be in place only while the case is pending (for spousal and child support, child custody and visitation, and possession and use of property) – are put in place, either by stipulation of the parties or as ordered by a judge at an Order to Show Cause (“OSC”) hearing.
The parties exchange and respond to requests for documents and information, and serve subpoenas for documents on third parties-i.e., employers, banks, stock brokerage accounts, etc. This process of gathering facts and information relevant to the issues in the case is called “discovery.” When both of the parties have completed discovery, the California divorce case is ready for trial. At trial, the parties put on evidence to support their respective requests. At the end of the trial, the trial judge makes a final ruling on all of the issues presented, judgment pursuant to that ruling is entered, the case is concluded, and the parties are officially divorced.
Settlement Benefits Both Parties
Most marital dissolution cases do not go to trial; of the ones that do, most of the issues have been resolved before trial by agreement of the parties. In fact, ethical and properly motivated California family law attorneys are looking for ways to settle the case and issues that can be resolved by agreement and without litigation from the very first meeting with their client. The proper goal for the attorneys is to facilitate agreement and minimize controversies and conflict, especially where the parties themselves are too emotionally distraught and angry to reach agreement on their own.
Your California Divorce Case Is Unique
Each particular divorce proceeding is unique in the personalities, histories and preferences of the parties; the children and extended families involved; and the property, support, custody and visitation and other issues to be resolved. No one can tell you in advance exactly how your divorce will go. You can expect, however, feelings of hurt, and failure, and a sense of loss of control, and you can look forward to a new beginning and a happier future.
While military divorces are similar to civilian divorces, there are several differences. For example, you and your spouse will need to divide military benefits. You may also need to determine where the service member legally resides and in what state the children will live after the divorce.
Contact Our San Diego Divorce Lawyer
If you are considering divorce, or if you are involved in a California divorce proceeding, contactthe California family law offices of Virginia H. Gaburo & Associates. We will discuss your divorce and what to expect during the divorce proceeding.