- General Questions About Divorce And Mediation
- Divorce Information For Same-Sex Couples
- The Differences Between Legal Separation & Divorce
- Questions About Mediation And How It Can Work For You
- Handling Division Of Property In Divorce
How long will it take?
Do I have to retain an attorney?
When you hire an attorney, he or she will ask you for a retainer fee. This rarely covers the total costs involved, so it seems to get used up quickly and you are required to put up another retainer just to keep things going.
Fortunately, you do not need to retain an attorney (or go to court) to receive expert legal advice and obtain a fair settlement. Our attorneys work on a “use us as you need us” basis.
Getting good practical legal advice and a personalized “road map” are always recommended to at least start your divorce properly and also help you through any hurdles you may encounter. Our attorneys empower you with the knowledge and options you will need so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
Do I have to go to court?
What If I’m already involved in divorce litigation?
In California, are there any differences in the laws regarding same-sex couples seeking a divorce?
What if my same-sex marriage occurred in a state other than California?
What if my same-sex spouse is living out of state or out of the country?
If I was married in California, but my same-sex spouse and I no longer live in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage and we want to split up, do we have to get a divorce?
Legal Separation vs. Divorce
What is the difference?
There are several significant differences between a legal separation and a divorce. For instance, both spouses must agree to a legal separation. If not, a legal separation becomes a divorce. Second, there is no “waiting period” for a legal separation. In the state of California, a divorce requires a mandatory six month “waiting period” between when a divorce is started and the earliest possible date when a divorce can be complete. However, a legal separation can happen immediately. Another important difference is that legal separation does not carry the same six-month California residency requirement as divorce. In some cases, coupes file for legal separation and then later amend the petition for a dissolution of marriage, i.e., divorce, once the six-month residency requirement has been met. Consulting with an attorney regarding legal separation can help you determine whether this may be an option that would work best for you and your spouse.
The attorneys at Divorce Helpline can educate both spouses on the benefits, if any, of a legal separation, help you decide if legal separation is the right choice and then help you as much or as little as you need to make the process as fast and inexpensive as possible while making sure all of your legal rights are protected.
Contact Divorce Helpline today at 800-359-7004 for a free case evaluation of your situation.
Why would someone choose legal separation?
What is mediation?
Do my spouse and I have to be in agreement to come to mediation?
Will mediation work even if there are some complex issues such as child custody or complicated assets and debts?
What if my spouse won’t come to mediation?
Who decides how we divide our assets?
If there are issues regarding your assets that can’t be decided upon by both spouses in mediation, you can still avoid going to court by using a Private Judge who will make the decision. Divorce Helpline offers this service and you and your spouse can interview and select your own Private Judge.
If you cannot come to an agreement in mediation, and you decide not to use a private judge or arbitration, then you will need to go to trial where the court will make the ultimate decision about the division of assets.
Who is responsible for our debts?
One of the mandatory disclosure forms that each spouse must file with the court as part of the divorce proceedings is a schedule of assets and debts, providing a complete, factual inventory of each. This is one of the documents that Divorce Helpline can prepare and file for you as part of our Divorce Packages.
Final determination of who will ultimately be responsible for paying off any debts, as well as receiving specific assets, once you and your spouse divorce will be spelled out in your final settlement agreement, and is one of the key issues that couples often negotiate and decide through Mediation.