If you are in the midst of a divorce or legal separation, you are likely experiencing uncertainty about the future and the impact your divorce will have on your family relationships. Divorce and legal separation can also create disagreements over the division of property, custody of children, and the amount of child support or spousal support that will be required.
These issues can be extremely difficult to navigate during the emotionally-charged process of divorce. Having the support, advocacy, and counsel of a trusted divorce attorney in Los Angeles will never be more important than during this sensitive and personal legal matter.
Step-by-Step Guidance Through the Divorce Process
At TRABOLSI | LEVY | GABBARD LLP, our experienced Los Angeles divorce attorneys are here to walk you through the divorce process. We provide responsive legal services tailored to your needs, communicating with you using a personalized approach to help you understand your rights and options.
Backed by 100 years of combined legal experience—and the leadership of two Family Law Specialists certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization—our premier family law firm brings legal excellence and superior service to everyone we represent in divorce cases and their attendant issues.
Our clients include men and women with simple to complex estates who we represented in cases such as high net-worth divorces and matters involving family businesses and professional practices. Our Los Angeles divorce lawyers serve our clients’ best interests in mediation proceedings and other alternate dispute resolution methods. When negotiations appear futile, we are prepared to zealously advocate for your rights.
TRABOLSI | LEVY | GABBARD LLP handles all types of legal issues related to divorce in California, such as:
- Uncontested divorce
- Contested divorce
- Legal separation
We dedicate our efforts to help you settle your divorce without protracted and stressful litigation. However, in cases where it becomes necessary, our Los Angeles divorce attorneys are highly-experienced trial lawyers who will aggressively protect the rights of you and your family.
Make Sure You Meet the Requirements
Before you can file for divorce in California, you will need to verify that you and your spouse meet the following requirements:
- You or your spouse must have been a California resident for at least six months prior to the divorce.
- You or your spouse must have lived in the county where you plan to file for divorce for at least three months.
File the Required Paperwork
Once you are certain that you meet the state’s divorce requirements, you will then need to file the required paperwork (a Form FL-100, Petition for Dissolution, and a Form FL-110, Summons) with the court in your jurisdiction. If you have children together, you may need to complete additional forms.
After filing the paperwork, you or another adult (aged 18 or older) will need to serve your spouse with the divorce documents. Your spouse will need to respond within 30 days. If your spouse does not respond, the court may issue a default judgment.
Wait for Six Months
California has a mandatory six-month waiting period to allow spouses the opportunity to resolve their conflict and reconcile.
Receive a Judgment and Termination
After the six-month waiting period, the court will issue a judgment which will outline the division of assets, custody, and other terms.
Divorce Issues You May Encounter
In every divorce, you and your spouse will have to decide on how to divide marital property, assets, and debts. If you and your spouse care for a minor child, you will also face issues concerning child custody, visitation, child support, and spousal support. If you have a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, some of these issues may be subject to its terms. If you and your spouse can agree on all the issues relating to your divorce, you can take advantage of the uncontested divorce process.
Contested divorces involve couples who cannot agree on the pertinent legal issues at hand and must find a way to reach a mutually satisfactory arrangement—otherwise, a judge will have to intervene and decide for you. In California, if you and your spouse cannot agree on the issues of your divorce, you may have to go to mediation. Our law firm includes volunteer mediators for the Los Angeles Superior Court, who have extensive experience in helping divorcees find a mutual compromise.
For various reasons, some clients prefer marriage separation instead of divorce. In the state of California, a married couple may enter into a separation agreement governing the rights and responsibilities of each party during the period of separation. We can develop legal separation agreements to help protect your interests while saving you time and money.
Grounds for Divorce in California
When filing for divorce, you will need to choose a "grounds" (legal reason) for ending the marriage. Like other states, California recognizes no-fault divorce based on the irremediable breakdown of the marital relationship. The only other divorce option in the state involves grounds of incurable insanity.
California also provides for summary dissolution, which is a streamlined divorce process for qualifying cases.
Qualifications for summary dissolution include:
- Marriages lasting no longer than five years
- No minor children
- No real estate
- Foregoing spousal support
- Specific financial restrictions as to property and debts
Who Can Be Subpoenaed in a Divorce Case?
Subpoenas are used to compel unwilling individuals into participating in a legal dispute. There are three different types of subpoenas used in California family law: court appearance, production of documents (such as bank statements and tax returns), and a mix of both. Subpoenas can be used by either the plaintiff or defendant in any family law proceeding and may be served to the other spouse or a third party who may have information or evidence that is relevant to the divorce case.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Divorce in Los Angeles If Both Parties Agree?
The amount of time the divorce process takes is based largely on the amount of issues that need to be worked on by the court and the two parties. The divorce process in California can take at least six months—even if both parties agree to ending the marriage immediately—due to the state’s divorce requirements and mandatory six-month waiting period.
Talk to a Highly-Qualified Divorce Attorney in Los Angeles
Fully understanding the consequences of all your decisions concerning your divorce issues is key to moving forward with less stress and other emotional concerns. Our Los Angeles divorce lawyers have an outstanding track record for successfully delivering legal counsel and representation for all types of divorce cases in the greater LA area.
Call our Los Angeles divorce lawyers at (310) 455-8364to receive legal assistance as soon as possible.