Divorce (Dissolution of Marriage) in San Diego County
This is your request to restore your marital status as a single person, divide property, and request financial support. The primary ground for requesting restoration of your marital status is irreconcilable differences, which have caused the irremediable breakdown of your marriage. The court does not consider whose fault it is that caused the breakdown of your marriage. Irreconcilable differences means that even with counseling and or the passage of time, your differences will not be resolved.
Issues Resolved in a Divorce Filing
Child Custody and Visitation
Restoration of Maiden Name
Attorney Fees & Costs, and
Three Methods To Divorce
Self-Represented: When you think you have a simple divorce, then you want to represent yourself through your divorce. You may never need to go to court, and it is a matter of filling out Judicial Council forms. When you are a self-represented, then you are also known as being an in pro per litigant. Also, you can use the free services of the Family Law Facilitator's office located in each courthouse that hears family law matters to assist you in completing forms. This free service also assists you in finalizing your settlement agreement with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse.
Limited Scope Representation: This is when you pick-and-choose what issues you want to handle on your own, and what issues you want an attorney to handle for you. When you need an attorney for specific issues in your case, then you are requesting limited scope representation. Limited issues are, but not limited to, child custody and visitation, finalizing your preliminary declarations of disclosures, appearing at hearings or trials for you, or negotiating a settlement. You are self-represented for all other issues. This could be the most cost effective method because your attorney can handle the most difficult aspect of your case, thereby paving the way for you to separately finalize the remainder of your divorce on your own.
Full Scope Representation: When you need an lawyer to handle your divorce from point A to Z, then your attorney is providing full scope representation. Your attorney strategizes every aspect of your case, from filing the Petition for divorce to scheduling emergency hearings for immediate court order to exchanging your financial disclosures to litigating at trial. You can request full scope representation at any point in your divorce case.
Three Processes to Divorce
Mediation: The purpose of mediation is to settle all or parts of your divorce. You can negotiate all issues of your divorce with a neutral mediator. The mediator is an experienced attorney and does not represent either spouse. Instead, the mediator assists in filing for divorce, exchanging the spouses financial disclosures, negotiating an equitable marital settlement agreement and files that agreement with the Court. Each spouse may have their own attorney, or participate in mediation on their own. It is very important that each spouse genuinely intends on settling the divorce in an equitable manner, otherwise, you are paying thousands of dollars for a mediator who is unable complete the goal: to settle. Any issues remain unsettled will be litigated in Court so that the Judge makes the decision.
Collaboration: Pursuant to California Family Code Section 2013, “Collaborative law process” means the process in which the parties and any professionals engaged by the parties to assist them agree in writing to use their best efforts and to make a good faith attempt to resolve disputes related to the family law matters...on an agreed basis without resorting to adversary judicial intervention." This process focuses on settlement, learning new ways of effective communication, reduce negative financial impact and co-parenting. You would work with your divorce attorneys, your spouses divorce attorney, a joint mental health specialist for you and your spouse, a mental health specialist for your children, and a joint certified financial planner or certified public accountant.
Litigation: When you cannot settle any one issue in your divorce, then you will need to litigate it, meaning the Judge needs to make the decision for you. In order to have a Judge decide any issue for you, you would need to have your Petition for divorce filed, exchange financial disclosures, attend Family Court Services mediation counseling, and appear at your hearings and or trial. You can litigate on your own or hire a divorce attorney to do it for you. When your attorney litigates for you, then you may not need to personally appear at your hearings. You must attend trial however.
All approaches results in a Divorce Judgment
Default Divorce: When the other spouse does not file a Response to your Petition for divorce, then you may submit a proposed Default Judgment. This means everything you requested in your Petition would become part of your Judgment (final divorce order). This does not require the other spouse to provide you with their financial disclosures. However, you must provide your financial disclosures to your spouse in order to obtain a Judgment. This can also be used when the other spouse agrees with your requests in the Petition, and therefore does not need to participate. It is always best practice, however, to have their agreement on a notarized document and submit it to the Court as a uncontested divorce (also known as Default with Agreement).
Default with Agreement: When the other spouse does not file a Response to your Petition for divorce, but you have reached an agreement on each issue in your divorce. The agreement must be notarized by the other spouse. In order to submit the agreement to the Court, however, both parties must exchange their preliminary financial disclosures.
Contested Divorce: When the other spouse files a Response to your Petition (or appears in the divorce case in some other manner), then any Judgment would stem from a contested divorce. The spouses can reach an agreement in writing, or the Judge decides on the unresolved issues. There is a requirement that each party exchange their preliminary financial disclosures in order to obtain a Judgment in their divorce.
Summary Divorce: This is the easiest and quickest way of divorcing. This is when you and your spouse have been married for no more than 5 years (this is calculated from your date of marriage to your date of separation). You must file a joint Petition for divorce, have no children together, no one is requesting spousal support from the other, have minimal assets, have little debt, and have no disagreements regarding property division. You must submit your marital settlement agreement at the same time of filing your joint Petition for divorce.
With My Legal Warrior, there is no losing.
We offer strategic, cost effective and compassionate representation. We educate to empower you to make the best decision for your family, so that you can move forward in your life. We tell you the reality of your case, and not what you simply want to hear.
My Legal Warrior is a huge proponent of settlement, especially since it's the only measure to maintain control in an uncertain process. In San Diego County, approximately 90% of cases settle. If you fall within that 10%, then My Legal Warrior is already sharpening her blades to ensure the best result possible for you.
Schedule a free consultation with My Legal Warrior today, and learn what is the best possible strategy for you.