Do I need a lawyer when filing for divorce in California?
You do not have to hire a lawyer when filing for divorce in California. As with any court proceeding, you are allowed to represent yourself. There are many resources available to help when filing for divorce in California, if you want to go through the process alone.
Deciding to divorce is not easy. But once you have made the decision, it is important to safeguard your interests and protect the well-being of any children. A divorce lawyer will help you understand the legal issues raised by a divorce and what you need to do to protect your rights. If your spouse has a lawyer, you may want to find a lawyer as well.
What do I have to prove to get a divorce in California?
California is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that either spouse can get a divorce in California without having to prove the other spouse did something wrong. The two official grounds for a no-fault divorce in California are “irreconcilable differences” and “incurable insanity.”
“Irreconcilable differences” is used most often and is also the simplest to obtain. “Incurable insanity” is difficult to prove and the non-insane spouse may be obligated to financially support his or her former spouse for that person’s lifetime.
How can we divide our assets when we get a divorce?
Spouses are generally free to divide their property as they see fit. This is typically done using a marital settlement agreement (MSA). An MSA is a contract between divorcing spouses. It divides their property and debts, and resolves other issues of the divorce such as spousal support.
Once the parties agree to the terms of their MSA, the court makes it into an order. Once it is an order, if either spouse fails to abide by the terms of the agreement, he or she can be held in contempt of court.
If the spouses cannot agree on how to divide their property, the court must divide it equally. The rules of equal division have several exceptions, however. For a thorough explanation of how your property will be divided, contact a divorce lawyer.
Where can I find a San Francisco divorce lawyer or a California divorce lawyer?
Contact a San Francisco divorce lawyer at Heath-Newton LLP. Our lawyers serve both the San Francisco area and elsewhere in California. We will help you understand the legal issues raised by your divorce and represent you during this challenging time.