Escondido Divorce Attorneys
Filing for Divorce in Escondido, CA
The process of obtaining a divorce can be difficult to navigate. Having legal counsel you can trust on your side as you work to dissolve your marriage will decrease the stress associated with your divorce, enabling you to focus less on the dissolution of your marriage and more on your future.
At Griffith, Young & Lass, our Escondido divorce lawyers are dedicated to helping you get the best outcome in your divorce case. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at 858-951-1526.
The Elements of a Divorce in Escondido, CA
Ending a marriage is never easy, but it may be the best (or only) option for a couple that has grown apart or faces circumstances that make it impossible to stay together. Because marriage is legally binding, divorce is a legal process as well. There are many moving parts that must be managed both strategically and compassionately in order to secure an ideal result. A well-managed divorce can pave the way for a brighter, better future.
As Escondido divorce attorneys, we can help you manage every element of your divorce:
- Property Division Property and assets must be divided in a divorce. In California, the principle of equitable distribution will apply. First, it must be determined which property is “separate” and which is “marital.” All marital property will be subject to division in a fair and equitable manner.
- Child Custody and Visitation If you have children, a parenting plan will need to be established. This will determine custody and visitation, including where your child or children will live and who will have the right to make key decisions about issues like school and medical care. In most cases, California courts will work to keep both parents equally involved.
- Child Support Child support must also be determined. In an Escondido divorce, this will be decided using a set child support calculator, although there are some exceptions and variations depending on the custody arrangement and unique circumstances. Child support will usually apply even when parents share custody.
- Spousal Support Often referred to as alimony, spousal support is a payment from one ex-spouse to another after a divorce. Spousal support payments are meant to help the lower-earning spouse maintain their lifestyle and achieve independence. For marriages under 10 years, spousal support will usually last no longer than half the length of the marriage. For marriages of 10 or more years, a longer duration of spousal support may apply, although this will be determined on a case by case basis.
How Will My Escondido Divorce Play Out?
To file for a divorce in California, you must have lived in the county you’re filing in for at least three months, and you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months.
If you fail to meet these residency requirements, you may need to file for divorce in the state or country you moved to California from. However, interstate divorce can be significantly more complex than an average divorce, so it may be best to wait until you meet the residency requirements to file for divorce if you don’t currently.
If you agree with your spouse on how to resolve your divorce, you can work together to draft a divorce agreement containing terms for processes such as property division, spousal and child support, and child custody. One of you can then file the agreement with the court when you file for divorce. As long as the other spouse waives their right to respond and the court agrees that the terms set forth in the divorce agreement are equitable, the court will use the agreement to draft the divorce decree that finalizes the divorce.
Alternatively, if you disagree with your spouse on any aspect of your divorce, you must file for a contested divorce instead. In a contested divorce, one party (the petitioner) files a petition for divorce with the court, and serves it to the other party via a third party such as a process server or a sheriff. The petition contains the petitioner’s terms for the divorce. After being served, the other spouse (the respondent) can then file a response containing their own terms for the divorce. If the respondent fails to file a response within 30 days of being served, the court may enter a default judgment against them, resolving the divorce on behalf of the petitioner.
Once the petition and response have been filed, the divorce case begins in earnest. Both parties must supply the court with a wide range of paperwork, including a complete disclosure of their separate and marital properties (essentially, a summary of their assets and liabilities).
The court may hold temporary order hearings throughout the divorce. At these hearings, the court can establish temporary orders that discern how the parties handle processes such as child custody and property division while the divorce is ongoing.
The court will also schedule a trial date for the divorce. At the trial, both parties will present evidence supporting their cases, as well as call upon any witnesses they have. After the court hears from both parties, the judge presiding over the divorce will evaluate the case and determine what would constitute an equitable outcome for both spouses. After deciding how the divorce should resolve, the court will then incorporate those terms into a divorce decree. Once the court issues the decree, the divorce is finalized.
Of course, circumstances change over time. If you or your ex-spouse experience a significant change in circumstances that makes complying with a court order infeasible, such as job loss or remarriage, the affected party can file for an order modification to obtain a more reasonable outcome for their case.
Having an attorney who will support you in your divorce is vital if you want to secure the best outcome in your case. At Griffith, Young & Lass, our Escondido divorce attorneys are committed to providing our clients with the highest possible level of service.