There are several ways to get married, ranging from having a service at a religious facility like a church to exchanging vows in front of a judge. When it comes to divorce or the end of a marriage while spouses are still alive, going through family court is the only option. There is no way to legally divorce without a family law judge reviewing the case.
However, there are actually three different ways in which those hoping to divorce can go from the thought of ending their marriage to having divorce papers in their hands. What are the three means of securing a divorce judgment in California?
Technically, divorce can occur quite quickly and with no conflict if one spouse does not respond to the other’s filing. The spouse who files for divorce will typically propose specific terms for all applicable concerns, including property division and custody. They must provide verifiable legal service of the divorce paperwork to their spouse. Their spouse then has a chance to respond.
When someone does not contest the two terms suggested in the initial divorce paperwork or otherwise respond to their legal service for 30 days, the courts may grant a divorce judgment by default in which the spouse who filed essentially receives the exact terms they requested.
Through an agreement
Spouses can negotiate with one another to settle issues like how they divide their property and custody arrangements for their children. Even if they do not initially agree, they can negotiate or mediate to resolve their dispute.
If couples successfully solve their own disagreements either through negotiations, mediation or a pre-existing marital agreement, they can secure a divorce through an uncontested filing, which is often fast and lower cost than litigated divorces.
When couples do not agree about what is fair for their family, they may need a judge to help them. Contested divorce filings often lead to hearings where spouses present evidence about their marital circumstances and ask a judge to make a determination about what would be appropriate.
A judge will apply California’s custody laws and community property rules to the family and create orders that reflect their interpretation of the family’s circumstances.
Understanding the three different ways to secure a divorce judgment in California can help you decide the right approach to take for your family.