Few things are more emotionally challenging than getting a divorce. And when children are involved, the situation becomes even more complicated. The termination of a marriage can impact you financially, emotionally, and physically. You are faced with issues such as where to live, how will your income be affected and how often will your children be with you.
California is a “no-fault” state in which the dissolution of a marriage does not require a showing of wrongdoing by either party. The divorce process can be all-encompassing where a person can ask the Court to issue orders about:
- Custody and visitation of the minor children of the marriage, if any
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Confirm or divide property and debts (separate and community)
A divorce begins when one of the parties files a petition for dissolution of marriage. Once a divorce is filed, either party may ask the court to schedule temporary hearings to obtain custody of the children, child support, alimony, exclusive use of a home, the payment of debts, and request for attorney’s fees and costs, until permanent orders can be made. When couples are going through litigation, they end up asking the court to make orders twice. First, through temporary order and then a permanent order, which is made only when the parties agree to a settlement or after a trial.
In Divorce Mediation or Collaborative Divorce, the “temporary” order is the final order because the professionals involved are always seeking to resolve each issue in a manner that results in a permanent and lasting agreement. If the couple can agree on these processes, they do not have to ask the court for a final order. This reduces the cost of the divorce significantly
It is important to have a clear understanding of the divorce laws if you are contemplating a divorce. The divorce process can be difficult, costly, and emotionally traumatic but you do not have to do it alone.