California Uncontested Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

Below is an overview of common questions we receive regarding San Diego uncontested divorces.

1. What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree to the settlement terms of a divorce. This includes the division of assets, debts, child custody and visitation, child support, retirement benefits, and alimony. An uncontested divorce means no issues are in contest for the court to resolve.

2. What are the benefits of an uncontested divorce?

There are many benefits of filing an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce usually saves both spouses thousands of dollars in court and attorney fees. Both parties remain in control of their divorce. You, as the petitioner or respondent get to decide how your marital property will be divided, the best parenting plan for your child custody and visitation schedule, and how marital debts will be settled. Uncontested divorces help couples reduce the anger and hurt associated with the divorce process.

3. How long does it take to settle an uncontested divorce?

Most uncontested divorces can be resolved within 7 to 12 months. California family law requires a six-month period from the time the respondent is served with the court summons and divorce papers to allow a divorce to be finalized. This means a judgment for divorce can be entered six months from the day the respondent is properly served.

4. Am I obligated to pay my spouse’s health insurance?

Yes. You must continue to provide health insurance coverage to your spouse until your divorce is finalized. You can face serious penalties if you remove your spouse from your plan. When in doubt, keep your spouse on your health insurance plan.

5. Does it matter who files for divorce first?

No. If your spouse filed for divorce first, it does not impact the case. Other factors that are not taken into consideration upon filing for divorce include matters of adultery or why either party wants to obtain a divorce.

6. I am not a California resident. Can I file for divorce?

It depends. California law requires a person to live within the state for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. You can file for legal separation if you do not meet the state’s residency requirements. Once you have lived in the state for six months, you can amend your legal separation documents and file for divorce.

7. How can I settle my divorce without going to court?

San Diego Esquire recommends parties attend mediation to resolve divorce disputes. Mediation allows each party to discuss issues that need to be resolved. If divorce issues are settled through mediation, then both parties will likely not have to appear in court. You may have to attend an FRC to provide a judge with an update of your case. Most parties go to court to obtain emergency or temporary orders regarding child custody and visitation, property control, move out order, or spousal support. Contact us if you have questions about how to settle your case without going to court.

8. How will my marital assets and debts be divided?

California community property laws require courts to divide marital assets between both spouses in a fair and equitable manner. This means everything acquired during marriage will be divided 50/50 between each spouse. This includes retirement accounts, bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, and household furnishings. A case will become contested when a spouse seeks to obtain more than his/her fair share. Consult with an attorney to protect your legal rights if you believe you will not receive the property you are entitled to.

9. How can I obtain a spousal support order?

You can file a Request for Order to obtain a temporary spousal support order. You can meet with your spouse through mediation to reach an agreement regarding spousal support. If your spouse does disagree with your request for spousal support, the matter can be litigated before the judge. Contact us for help resolving your spousal support dispute.

10. How can I obtain a child custody and support order?

You can file a Request for Order to obtain a temporary child custody and support order. You must attend a mandatory mediation session. Most child custody disputes are settled through mediation. Once a parenting plan is determined (by the parents or the court), the judge will set a child support order. The court considers many factors when ordering child support. This includes the amount of time each parent will spend with the child, the parent’s income and expenses, and the child’s living expenses.

11. Do I have to pay my cheating spouse child support?

Possibly. California family law requires both parents to pay child support. However, one parent may pay more support than the other if he/she earns more money and spends less time with the child. Contact us for more information on how to obtain a child support order.

12. Do I need to hire an attorney to file for a divorce?

No. You do not need to hire an attorney to file an uncontested divorce. Most people can navigate through the family law system on their own accord. However, you should consult with an attorney prior to signing a marital settlement agreement. If you need help preparing your uncontested divorce forms and the final judgment, or would like legal representation through the uncontested divorce process, contact us for a consultation.

13. How do I complete an uncontested divorce?

Several steps must be taken to complete the uncontested divorce process. Contact us today for more information about the process.

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