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The Basics of San Diego Divorce

A San Diego divorce is a life-changing event, and the more you know, the more prepared you will be. If you are thinking about filing for divorce or if your spouse has already filed for divorce, we can explain the basics here.

California Divorce Laws

Before you can file for divorce, which is also called a dissolution of marriage, you must be a resident of San Diego County for three months and a California resident for six months.

Under California divorce law, either you or spouse can get a divorce just by citing irreconcilable differences. Incurable insanity is another grounds, or reason, for divorce.

California is a community property state, which means that all your marital property will be divided equally when you get divorced.

If you have minor children from the marriage, you will need to consider child custody and child support. In California, the courts prefer sharing custody between the parents, unless that kind of arrangement will hurt the child.

When considering a custody agreement for your family, the courts will take into account the best interests of the child.

When it comes to child support payments, the courts determine the amount. The court will look at each parent’s net disposable monthly income and how much time the child spends with each parent.

Meeting with Lawyers

An experienced lawyer can offer you San Diego divorce help and answer your questions. He can explain about divorce and San Diego procedures for ending your marriage. During your initial consultation with attorneys, you should ask the lawyer a lot of questions. This will help you understand what is involved and decide whether you should hire this particular attorney.

Along with a list of questions and something to take notes with, you should also bring some financial information, like deeds for property you and your spouse own, income tax returns and retirement account statements.

Ask the lawyer to walk you through the divorce process. If it’s relevant, find out how child custody and child support works. Find out how long he has been practicing San Diego divorce law and how many clients like you he has helped.

Ask about his fees. Find out how he charges and how much he charges.

Filing for a San Diego Divorce

The divorce process begins when you file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Superior Court in San Diego County, Imperial County or wherever the appropriate jurisdiction is.

Your soon-to-be ex will then be served with the paperwork and has 30 days to respond. From there, the process depends on your particular situation.

If your spouse doesn’t respond, the case will proceed anyway. The petitioner, or the one asking for the divorce, requests orders from the court regarding the division of property and attorney’s fees and, when appropriate, alimony, custody, visitation and child support.

In this situation, the divorce will become final six months and one day after the respondent is served.

If your spouse responds, the two of you will exchange information about assets, debts, property and other relevant items. If you and your ex can agree on how to divide up your assets and debts, along with child custody and support, you won’t need a trial. But if you two can’t agree, you will need to have a court hearing.

During the hearing, your attorney and your soon-to-be ex’s attorney will present evidence and make arguments before the judge. Then, the judge will rule on any unresolved issues.

Once you understand the basics of how San Diego divorces work and the right attorney is on your side, you can begin to get on with the process.