How to File for Divorce in Stockton or Manteca, CA
Concerned family law attorneys explain the divorce process
Since California is a no-fault state, it’s fairly easy to get the process started. What’s more difficult is getting results — through a settlement or a court order — that leave you on solid footing emotionally and financially. A married person can file for divorce in California if at least one of the spouses has been a resident of California for six months by filing a petition in the superior court of the county of residence.
Basic steps for divorce in Stockton and Manteca
Your petition includes your request for the rulings you want the court to make regarding distribution of assets, alimony, child support, and child custody and visitation. The steps that follow include:
- Service of process — You must arrange for someone to serve your spouse with the divorce petition and a summons which calls for response of pleadings.
- Response — Your spouse responds to your petition, also making a request for a court ruling on the ancillary issues.
- Financial disclosure — You must file preliminary disclosures detailing your assets and debts within 60 days of filing your petition. As with the petition, you must arrange for these papers to be served on your spouse.
- Hearing date — The court schedules a hearing to check on your progress toward a settlement agreement.
At this point, your divorce either moves smoothly to a successful conclusion through a Marital Settlement Agreement or gets stalled because there continue to be contested issues. The court may hear motions on limited issues or set the case for trial.
Determined representation throughout the divorce process
If a marital settlement agreement resolving all issues or a stipulation on limited issues is not possible, we can file a motion with the court to address limited issues such as custody, support and visitation. When property issues are contested a trial is usually necessary to present the testimony, law and evidence the judge needs to make a proper ruling. Having an attorney well-versed in the evidence code and able to effectively present evidence is an absolute necessity for these very important issues.
Get better results by starting on your divorce before filing!
A divorce is always quicker and more cost-effective without a trial, and the best way to avoid a trial is to plan your divorce before filing. In most cases, serving divorce papers out of the blue is no way to get your spouse in a cooperative mood. Strategy and tact are important to obtaining positive results at an affordable cost. Of course, no matter what you do, your spouse may still fight you on it, but preplanning your divorce with the help of a skilled attorney improves your chances of a smooth procedure.
Contact our dedicated and responsive Stockton divorce lawyers for a free consultation
San Joaquin Family Law provides trustworthy advice and effective representation to help you avoid the pitfalls of a protracted divorce. To get the process started on the best possible footing, call our Stockton office at 209.478.2700 or contact us online. We offer free initial appointments for new clients.