As your divorce attorney, we’ll help you pursue the means of dissolving your marriage that is best for your family
California is a no fault divorce state, meaning that either partner may initiate divorce proceedings at any time and for any reason. The other partner’s consent is not necessary to complete the divorce proceeding, but the process will be easier, quicker, and less expensive if the divorcing spouses can work together to resolve their issues outside of court.
There are three main methods for completing a divorce. Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP is very knowledgeable about all three of these methods. As your divorce attorney we can provide the expert advice you need to come to acceptable agreements regarding child custody, child support, alimony, and property division through:
When a divorcing couple cannot agree on terms, the case will be presented in family law court so that a judge can make a determination on the contested matters. Each spouse will retain their own divorce attorney to handle the preparation and presentation of their case.
If the divorce is not contested by either party, the spouses can work together to reach a divorce agreement outside of court. This may be done with the assistance of a professional mediator, or you may retain an attorney to negotiate with your spouse’s attorney outside of court in basically the same process. If you choose to use a mediator, it is important to make sure you also seek advice from a divorce attorney who can prepare you to understand and defend your rights during the mediation.
It is possible to represent yourself in court during a divorce case. While some individuals choose to do this in an effort to save on legal fees, be aware that self-representation may cost you more in the long run if your inexperience in legal matters results in an unfavorable judgment regarding support or property division. Our divorce attorneys are willing to provide limited assistance with self-representation to help prevent costly errors from occurring.
Other Ways to Legally Separate From Your Spouse
In addition to providing the services of a divorce lawyer, Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP can also assist you with other legal means of ending a marriage or domestic partnership:
Technically, a legal separation does not end a marriage; however, it does entitle the two spouses to live apart and have the court issue orders regarding child custody, child support, and spousal support. Couples often choose this method of separation if they want to live apart but do not want to actually divorce for religious, financial, or personal reasons.
An annulment can be used to terminate a marriage that was never truly legal in the first place. For example, if the marriage was incestuous, bigamous, involved someone under 18, or was entered into as a result of force or fraud, it can be declared null and void by a judge. It will be as if the marriage never happened.
A summary dissolution is basically a simpler divorce proceeding for couples who have been married less than five years, have no children together, and have very little debts or assets. No spousal support orders may be given in a summary dissolution case, and the parties will have to sign a property division agreement before filing.