Contested vs Uncontested Divorce in California
Generally, in California there are two types of divorce or dissolution cases- Contested and Uncontested. As would be expected, the uncontested divorce is simpler and can have a faster resolution. Be aware though, that in California there is a minimum 6 month waiting period from the date the other party is served with the divorce paperwork until the date the court will legally terminate your marriage. This applies even if you already have your Judgment filed with the court.
What is a “contested” divorce? Generally, if you and your spouse cannot mutually agree on the standard main issues in a divorce case, such as division of assets/debts; child custody; visitation; child support and spousal support, you will end up with a “contested” divorce where the court (Judge) will end up making the final decision.
If your case is contested, you most likely will need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to assist in dividing up the assets and debts of the marriage (the marital estate); and if applicable, handle your custody, visitation, child support and spousal support issues. With the assistance of your attorney, hopefully the parties can reach a settlement agreement and avoid going to court. However, with the process in a contested divorce, just know your case may take longer to finalize based on the complexity of your unresolved issues.
Many parties believe they may have an “uncontested” divorce and attempt to rush through it and fail to cover all the related issues. This may sound like a good idea just so each party can move on with their life. However, many times an issue not covered in your divorce Judgment arises many years down the road and the parties may end up back in court anyway to resolve the issue(s). Therefore, it is always best not to rush through the process and make sure all your bases are covered the first time. No one wants to re-live their divorce once they thought it was final.
That is why it is in a person’s best interest to have an experienced family law attorney on their side to protect their interests. At the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Stearman, located in Huntington Beach, Orange County, CA., we can assist. Attorney Stearman has been in practice for over 38 years and is well versed in family law matters. Call (714) 871-7778 now for a FREE initial telephonic consultation.