With some luck, you and your spouse have come to some simple agreements on your divorce proceedings and can avoid the messy drama that comes to be of so many Orange County divorces.
Unfortunately, you’re still here reading and looking for answers, so let’s move on to the next stages of the California divorce process.
Assuming you’ve had your divorce Petition served by an Orange County process server, taken the chance of delivering yourself or by someone else your spouse likes about as much as they like you right now, or attempted to mail it, the court will require a response before moving on any further.
California Divorce Step 3 – Responding To The Divorce Petition
After the Respondent receives the divorce Petition, they will have 30 calendar days to file their response to the details outlined in the Petition. At that point, the court will schedule a hearing for your case in which you will go over any and all disputes you and your spouse have regarding property, alimony, custody and other issues.
In the event of custody disputes, the court will require you to perform Custody Mediation before any other hearings take place.
An Order to Show Cause will also need to be filed if these disputes cannot be resolved between the two of you and your lawyers. If this is the case, a hearing will be scheduled earlier so the court can deliver judgment on support, custody and even restraining orders if need be. Both parties will receive a copy of the judge’s verdict.
You’ll most likely need to call the court clerk and confirm you’ve been notified of your Custody Mediation and Hearing dates in order to proceed. If you miss your Custody Mediation hearings, the court can levy fines against you, or worse, come to judgment without your participation.
California Divorce Step 4 – Dividing Of Property
If you’re hoping for a speedy divorce, completing a Marital Settlement Agreement in a timely manner is crucial. This document outlines how you will go about dividing your property and splitting custody and support.
If both parties are unable to agree on these issues, you’ll need to request a trial for the judge to decide these issues for you. No matter how you feel about your spouse, their financial history or vice versa, California state law states that all community property and shared obligations be split equally unless both parties agree to an unequal split, which then and only then will be granted.
While dividing of property and debts from a divorce can be very complicated, it doesn’t need to be finalized in an apples to apples split. For example, your spouse may prefer taking proceeds from the sale of your home while you may prefer to have your assets held in an investment account of equal value instead. Your shared debts can be handled the same way, for example, if one party accepts debt that belongs to both of you, that amount is then deducted from assets gained by the other party.
Remember: Your shared debt is both of your responsibility, up to and sometimes even after the final judgment is made. Once you’ve both signed the Marital Settlement Agreement, filed it with the court clerk and received the judge’s signature, your agreement becomes a legally binding court order.
Call us today at (866) 754-0520 and see how our professional Orange County process servers can serve your divorce papers, quickly and affordably.
Orange County Divorce Process: Part 1