Frequently Asked Questions When Finishing a Divorce

Below are frequently asked questions we receive from customers finishing their California divorce. Contact us for more information about our flat fee divorce service

1. I filed for divorce.  How long will it take to finish?

In California it takes a minimum of six months to finish a divorce, but most take longer depending on your circumstances.

2. If I file for divorce, does this mean my marriage will be automatically divorced in 6 months?

No.  There are many additional court filings and issues that must be decided before the divorce can be finalized.

3. My ex refuses to give me a divorce.  Can I finalize the divorce without her?

Yes.  In California a divorce does not require consent from both spouses.

4. My ex and I have come to an agreement on all divorce issues.  What do we do next to finalize the divorce?

You or your attorney will need to draft a marital settlement agreement.  Both you and your spouse will need to sign the agreement and have it notarized.  Then you must attach the agreement to the Judgment and file it along with several other required forms.  If the agreement is fair and consistent with California law, a judge will sign it, and the divorce will be final.

5. My ex and I are having problems coming to an agreement, but we still don’t want to go to court.  Is there any way to avoid court?

There are several alternatives to going to court.  You and your ex can opt for mediation, where a neutral party, usually a family law expert, will review your case and prepare an agreement.  The agreement is non-binding and either party can reject it.  If your spouse is obstinate, mediation might not work.  Another alternative is arbitration, which is similar to mediation except the agreement is binding.

6. Our case will have to go to trial.  How do we get a trial date?

One spouse must file a form with the court to request a trial date.  Within 45 days of the trial, each spouse must file a final financial disclosure.  You and your ex must attend a mandatory settlement conference to try to come to an agreement.  If you still do not have an agreement, the case will go to trial and the judge will decide any outstanding issues.

7. Can we modify our divorce judgment after the divorce is final?

Child custody, visitation, and support issues can be modified by filing a Stipulation to Establish or Modify Child Support Order (FL-350) and/or Stipulation and Order for Custody and Visitations of Children (FL-355).  If you and your spouse cannot agree to a modification, you will have to file a motion with the court.

Spousal support can also be modified with a written agreement signed by both parties and filing the agreement with the court.  If you and your ex cannot agree to a modification, you will need to file a request for a modification with the court.  There must be a change in circumstance to justify a modification, such as a reduction in the paying spouse’s income or an increase in the supported spouse’s income.

Terms of the Judgment dealing with property division cannot be altered once the divorce is final.

SD Esquire Flat Fee Divorce Service

SD Esquire provides flat fee uncontested divorce services. We will prepare the legal documents you need to file for and complete your divorce.  This includes preparing and filling your divorce petition, completing your financial disclsoures, and drafting your marital settlement agreement (MSA). Our uncontested flat fee divorce service starts at $1500 for standard divorce (you are responsible for paying court filling fees).  The fee also includes service of process fees. You can make installment payments as your case progresses. It costs $500 to start your matter. Sign up today to get started.

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