Steps for a Divorce
By Henry F. Lewis on July 10, 2019
Sometimes couples can’t make their marriage work. In these situations, the best option is the dissolution of the marriage, which is the official phrase for divorces in the state of California. Attorneys Michael A. Gardner and Henry F. Lewis have helped numerous Oakland, CA couples end their marriages in a host of different circumstances.
Sometimes clients are unsure where to start when they want to get divorces. The lawyers of Gardner & Lewis, LLP would like to go over the steps for filing a divorce in the state of California. The process is more involved than what follows below, but this should give you an idea of what happens and the order in which it occurs.
Check California Residency Requirements
Residency requirements for the dissolution of a marriage will determine the state and county in which you have to initiate the proceedings.
In order to file for a divorce in the state of California, you must be a resident of the state for at least six months. Additionally, when filing a divorce in the city of Oakland, you must live in Alameda County for at least three months.
Gather All of Your Information
If you meet the residency requirements, it’s important to next get your financial information and all supporting documentation in order. This includes all bank statements, tax returns, income tax forms, credit card statements, deeds, and so forth.
See If You Qualify for a Summary Dissolution of Marriage
A summary dissolution of marriage can expedite the divorce process. You qualify for a summary dissolution of marriage if:
- You and your spouse agree to end the marriage
- You have no children
- Your marriage lasted less than five years
- You do not own any real estate
- You have no debts in excess of $6,000 outside of auto loans
- Marital property totals less than $41,000 each
- Separate property totals less than $41,000 each
- You and your spouse have a written agreement regarding the division of assets and debts
- The right to spousal support has been waived
Couples that do not fulfill all of the above requirements must proceed with a traditional divorce.
Prepare the Necessary Divorce Paperwork
All of the divorce paperwork must be obtained and filled out, including a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and financial disclosure forms.
File the Complete Divorce Paperwork
Once all of the divorce paperwork is completed, it must be filed at the clerk’s office of the Superior Court. A filing fee will need to be paid as part of this process.
Notify Your Spouse
Your spouse must be notified that the divorce papers have been filed. If your spouse has not signed the paperwork with you, they must be served with copies of the court papers. If your spouse cannot be located and notified, a proper legal notice will need to be published.
Attend Court Hearings as Scheduled
For couples in a traditional divorce proceeding, one or more court hearings will be scheduled. These must be attended, and documents must be provided to the judge as required. The divorce is finalized when the judge signs the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
Learn More About Filing for Divorce
If you live in Oakland and want to learn more about your legal options in a divorce, be sure to contact a skilled family law attorney. The team at Gardner & Lewis, LLP is here to help you. Reach us by phone at (510) 451-4822.
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“The needs of your family are always at the forefront of our legal services. Whether through litigation or mediation, we believe that reaching a fair, efficient solution with minimal negative impact to your family is of the utmost importance.” Henry F. Lewis