The family courts refer to divorce as a dissolution of marriage. This means you will be officially dissolving the marital relationship, which includes separating your finances and then dividing assets and debts. Depending on the circumstances, this process may be relatively straightforward, or may present serious legal challenges. If your marriage was short and you have few or no assets to divide with your spouse, then your divorce may be quite simple. However, divorces involving children, substantial assets and/or businesses can be complicated, both legally and emotionally. Spousal support, child custody issues and child support negotiations tend to drag the divorce process out, especially if serious disputes arise. Therefore, it is wise to retain an attorney if you are filing divorce in Santa Clara.
At Gomez Edwards Law Group, LLP, we work with clients navigating the divorce process to help obtain the best possible outcome. Our Santa Clara divorce attorneys clarify issues for our clients, formulate strategies, and then implement a plan of action. Diligence and open communication with our clients throughout the process is what makes us successful. We understand that divorce proceedings are emotionally draining and overwhelming. Our lawyers are here to listen and take action. As members of your team, we will strive for a swift and successful resolution of your case.
Perhaps you know someone who went through the divorce process on their own with little trouble. You may also know someone who went through a nasty divorce that dragged on and on. However, every divorce is different; the best way to find out what difficulties and legal issues you may face when dissolving your marriage is to consult with a divorce lawyer. In addition, our Santa Clara divorce attorneys can:
The first step to ending a marriage is actually deciding that it is over. In California, many people decide to file for legal separation before actually filing for divorce. The process for legal separation and divorce is the same. The main difference is that the court does not officially terminate your marital status during legal separation. However, you still divide your assets and debts and determine child custody arrangements, if the divorce involves children.
If you legally separate from your spouse, then you can later obtain a divorce and legally dissolve your marriage, if you wish. A divorce attorney can help you petition the Santa Clara divorce court to amend your petition for legal separation to a dissolution. Completing, filing, and serving the petition, summons, and accompanying dissolution of marriage judicial council forms gets the process started. What happens next depends on whether your spouse files and serves an answer.
If your spouse files an answer, then the case may proceed like any other divorce in California. However, if your spouse fails to file and serve a response within 30 days, then you can move forward with a default. A “true default” case involves a spouse that refuses to be a part of the process. In these circumstances, your spouse gives up his or her right to make any decisions or agreements. In other default cases, agreements on asset division, child custody, and support can still be made even when the other party does not file a response but does agree to dissolve the marriage. Always consult a family law attorney before signing any agreement, especially if you have concerns about your family’s best interests.
Gomez Edwards Law Group, LLP is a Santa Clara family law firm. We represent petitioners and respondents in family law matters in Santa Clara and throughout California. Our experienced divorce lawyers and friendly staff work together to minimize your cost and expenses. Call 408-413-12000 or contact our office online to speak with an attorney who can explain how the divorce process works.