Campbell Divorce Lawyer
Helping You Get Your Divorce Done the Way You Want and Need
Divorce in California is “no-fault,” and it’s not hard to prove the grounds needed for divorce here. Courts in California recognize that spouses might agree between themselves that the marriage is no longer working and decide to end it. Even if just one party thinks the marriage is over, that’s usually enough for the court to find “irreconcilable differences” giving rise to the grounds for divorce.
It might not be that difficult to dissolve the marriage, but there may still be lots of issues to resolve that require careful consideration and legal assistance. Issues such as the division of community property, the payment of spousal support, child custody/parenting time and child support might all need to be resolved before the divorce can be granted. If the parties disagree over how to handle these matters, getting a divorce finalized can take months or even well over a year.
The Campbell divorce lawyers at Hepner & Pagan, LLP are here to help you through the divorce process in an efficient and cost-effective way. As much as possible, we offer our guidance and support to get your divorce done amicably, with minimal conflict between the parties and shielding the children from any potential harm that exposure to the divorce process can cause. We offer different levels of support to help you control the costs, the process, and the timeline as best suits your needs. Contact us for assistance resolving a divorce in Santa Clara County, whether you need a legal coach, mediation support, or full representation from a committed and dedicated legal advocate.
California Divorce Process
The typical divorce process begins with one party filling out a petition, filing it with the court, and serving a copy on the other party. At least one of the spouses has to have been a California resident for at least six months to file in California. For filing within a specific county, they have to have been a residence for 3 months within that particular county.
The petition filed with the court sets out the grounds for divorce (irreconcilable differences) and tells the court what the party wants in terms of custody, support, property division, etc. The other party files an answer to that petition in court admitting or denying the allegations in the petition and letting the judge know where the parties disagree.
Once these papers have been filed, the judge cane issue temporary orders as needed to keep the status quo between the parties as the divorce process moves forward. These orders can include temporary spousal support if requested and approved. Both parties will be required to make financial disclosures and provide information for child support if applicable. As the parties prepare for trial, they will have ample opportunity to settle any issues between them outside of court or in mediation. Any issues left unresolved will have to be resolved through a trial. At the conclusion of a court hearing, the judge can grant the divorce along with court orders regarding property division, custody and support.
If you and your spouse can decide together on the division of marital property, child custody/parenting time, child support and spousal support, you can put your decision into a written marital settlement agreement that you file with the court. If acceptable to the court, the divorce can be concluded much more quickly without the expense and conflict of an adversarial litigation process.
At Hepner & Pagan, LLP, we see uncontested divorces as a clear winner for the whole family whenever possible. We aim to educate our client’s about the benefits of mediation. We’ll work with you and your spouse through negotiation, mediation, legal coaching or full representation to advise you, advocate for you, and offer technical assistance to keep things on track and help keep an uncontested divorce stay uncontested. Our experienced divorce lawyers can review a marital settlement agreement created by the parties or another attorney to make sure it meets your needs and is likely to be approved by the court.
If your divorce is uncontested and you meet certain other requirements, you can get a divorce even more quickly and less expensively than a standard uncontested divorce. This process is called summary dissolution. The California courts website provides a booklet that tells you what summary dissolution is and how to get one. Basically, the following conditions have to be present for summary dissolution to be an option:
- The parties have been married for less than five years
- The couple has no children together and neither one is pregnant
- Neither party owns any real estate
- The couple have a maximum of $6,000 in marital debt, other than car payments
- The couple have a maximum of $47,000 in marital (community) property or $47,000 in separate property each, not including vehicles ($47,000 is the statutory limit as of 2022, but this amount changes over time)
- Neither party is requesting spousal support (alimony)
- The parties agree on how to divide the marital property
If you are up for it, you might be able to handle a summary dissolution proceeding without hiring a lawyer. Our services as a legal coach can be ideal here to answer your questions and help you with any part of the process you find confusing or overwhelming.
Sometimes couples having marital difficulties need to take a break and take some time apart to think things through and evaluate their relationship. They might end up reconciling, or they might decide to move forward with a divorce. Other couples might be convinced the relationship is over but feel the need to stay married for other reasons, such as religious dictates, economic circumstances, or immigration issues.
In cases like these where the parties stay married but decide to live apart, executing a marital separation agreement can be important to decide matters such as the use or division of marital property, or the payment of spousal support or child support. A separation agreement can help ensure both parties understand their continuing obligations to each other and pave the way for a future reconciliation or divorce without conflict, animosity, or unnecessary complications. Hepner & Pagan, LLP can assist you in drafting or reviewing a marital separation agreement that meets your needs.
Call Our Campbell Divorce Attorneys to Get the Right Level of Help for Your Santa Clara County Divorce
The Campbell divorce lawyers at Hepner & Pagan, LLP are here for you to help you achieve the goals in your divorce fairly, efficiently and cost-effectively with minimum conflict. Call our Campbell office at 408-429-8336 for help with divorce in Santa Clara County.