Questions About Divorce? Trust the Law Offices of Shauna M. Albright

Getting a Divorce in Riverside, CA?

Attorneys Handling Divorce Proceedings in Riverside County & San Bernadino County: (951) 400-5273

Getting DivorcedA divorce is a serious and life-altering decision; it can be highly emotional and stressful. At the Law Offices of Shauna M. Albright, we pride ourselves on finding creative solutions to complex family law situations. During this trying time in your life, you can count on sound advice and customized service.

Our dedicated Riverside divorce lawyers and team have decades of combined experience handling complex divorce cases, and we may be able to help you as well.

We represent individuals and families in Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Hemet, Murrieta, and the surrounding cities.

There are some specific conditions that you must qualify for in order to file for divorce in the state of California. If you have been a resident of California for at least six months or more you may file for divorce in the state. California is a no-fault, community property state, which indicates that a divorce action can be granted for any reason.

Unless otherwise agreed to in a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement, all assets and debts acquired during marriage will be divided equally. The court will make orders regarding property (both real and personal), debts, assets, businesses, child custody/visitation, child support, and spousal support depending on each couple's individual situation.

What Is the Divorce Process in California?

Upon filing a summons and petition form, it is the petitioner's duty to have the respondent served with divorce papers. When you work with the Law Offices of Shauna M. Albright, we can have the other party personally served for you so you do not have to worry about this potentially stressful situation.

Once the respondent is served, two timeframes begin:

  • First, the respondent has 30 days to file his/her response with the court.
  • Secondly, you will have the mandatory six month, one day minimum placed on your case. After this timeframe is over, you will be able to legally divorce from your spouse.

These timeframes run concurrently and both start the day that the Respondent is personally served. Parties cannot be returned to single people until at least six months and one day have passed - even if all issues are settled and the judgment is filed with the court. However, all other issues can be resolved before this date.

If the respondent fails to respond to the petition forms, the case can continue without his or her cooperation. A request for default is submitted to the court prior to, or along with, the judgment forms permitting the case to proceed and be finalized without the respondent. This process can be lengthy and confusing, which is why it is important to contact our divorce attorneys in Riverside, CA to receive further guidance.

Things to Think About Before Divorce in Temecula

There are several things that you should know about divorce as you consider starting the process.

  • Weigh your options: Some times after a big argument or dramatic event, we feel that divorce is our best option. Many times, this is not true. Time to cool off, time to consider the other person’s position or even consider counseling. An alternative to divorce includes Legal Separation. This option prohibits re-marriage (because you are technically still married to each other) and allows you to remain on health insurance plans as well as beneficiaries for retirement plans and death benefits. The process for a Legal Separation is the same as a divorce.

  • Get a support team in place: Regardless if your divorce is mutually agreed upon, completely unexpected, or a long time coming, it is still a very stressful and emotional transition. If you have children, you must also be sensitive to their needs as the family goes through this transition. Having a support team in place, be it family, friends, church members, or co-workers, will help you manage life during the divorce process.
  • Get your finances in order: What are your assets and debts? Approximately how much money do you need each month to cover monthly expenses for you and your children? Can you keep living in your current home, neighborhood, or city without receiving support? It may be beneficial to hire an attorney to prepare some support calculation estimates for you to assist you in determining your ability to pay your monthly living expenses.
    • Gather the names and contact information for all bank accounts and investment/retirement accounts.
    • Make a copy of the most recent credit card statements and valuations of vehicles and other property.
    • Know how much you and your spouse earn individually and if either of you gets bonuses, fringe benefits (car allowances, health benefits, life insurance, cell phone service, etc.), or pay raises regularly.
  • Make a list of your “must-haves” and “can-haves”: Knowing what you are adamant about keeping and what you can live without will make the process less stressful for you. Really take the time to determine what is most important to you so that you can focus your energy on that. This will also help conserve attorney fees.
  • Research attorneys: Finding an attorney who will fit your needs may require multiple consultations and doing your homework (checking reviews, asking for referrals, sitting at the courthouse, & knowing your financial limitations). Hiring a “cheap” attorney may get you what you paid for; but, on the other hand, not all “expensive” attorneys will give you the greatest results. Know what you can afford, and consider that you will likely have to pay more than the initial retainer. Find an attorney who you feel will help you to get the results you are seeking. Divorce, in general, is not positive, but having the right attorney will help to minimize some of the negativity.

Common Questions and Answers Regarding Divorce in California

I want to get a divorce. Does one of us have to move out of our house to start the process?
No one has to move out of the residence for the separation to begin. Separation can begin when one or both spouses decide that they no longer want to be married to the other. You do not have to file anything. It is based on your intent.

We do not have any kids or property and we were married for only a short time. Do we still have to wait six months for the divorce to be final?
Yes. In California one cannot be returned to single status until six months have passed from the date of service of the summons or the filing of a summary dissolution petition.

We agree on everything. Do we have to go to court?
Not necessarily. The court actually prefers that parties come to an agreement through mediation. If you are able to agree on all issues, a judgment can be prepared and submitted to the court. You most likely will not be required to appear before a judge.

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