Your Advocate For A New Life

Julia M. Garwood • Certified Family Law Specialist

Frequently Asked Divorce Questions


Welcome to our FAQ page for frequently asked divorce questions and questions regarding other family law matters. We have tried to answer the most common questions visitors to our web site may have. If you find that your question is not answered on this page, please email us at info@garwoodfamilylaw.com or call us at 619-627-0274.

Divorce frequently asked questions

Who shouldn’t use mediation? Can it work for couples who argue a lot, for instance?

Everybody should use divorce mediation; it's a question of whether you canor not. Some people (i.e. one spouse in the divorcing couple) use divorce mediation just to gather information to use against the other party later. Or if there's a lack of trust, your spouse may use it to get information to use against you later. So what you may want to do first is to visit a divorce attorney and find out what you need to do, how you need to do it, and whether it would work for your situation after you explain it, and then make a decision. You have to remember that whenever you see a divorce attorney, it's confidential and private. They can't repeat what you've said to anybody else, so don't worry about that. But you have to tell them the makeup of the type of divorce lawyer. Some attorneys have a sixth sense if they've been practicing for a long time: if you tell them a little bit about the person, they have a good idea of what that person's like. And if divorce mediation will work, that's the first thing they should try.

Will it affect my divorce if I date other people?

It shouldn't affect your divorce if you date other people. As a practicality, we have irreconcilable differences as a reason for dissolution in California divorce law, and of course the other reason is incurable insanity. However, as a practical matter, it can tend to affect your divorce if the other person feels spurned or jealous, or gets emotionally upset to the point that they want to punish you. So what you might want to do is keep a relationship, if you have one, very close to the vest until such time as you work out either a settlement or finish your divorce case in its entirety.

Who should consider using Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is a really interesting concept. Basically, both parties have a divorce attorney, and often, both parties have a coach. If there are children, there's a therapist for them. And if there's a business that might be owned by one or both parties, there could be a forensic CPA to value the business, help you with the assets of the business etc., and even to divide the business. All of this works together. Who should? For anybody that can afford to use collaborative law, it would be a great thing to do. But it also has a lot of retainers and costs attributable to it. So you have to decide if it's right for you.

I am just starting my divorce. Can you give me your best tips?

If you have children, keep a journal of the timeshare -- and perhaps also statements the kids are making if it's going to be an issue of someone going to brainwash the children or anything of that nature. Also keep a journal of how often you have the children or how often your spouse has the children. As far as other tips: start making copies of all of the documents, even if you think they may not be that important: all the bank statements, all the credit-card statements, loan statements, mortgage statements, property tax, life insurance, etc. All of that becomes important. Anything you think that might be an asset, copy it. Even if you think it's not worthy of it, copy it, because you never know -- it might be important.

My spouse just asked me for a divorce. What should I do first?

Number one, you don't need to ask for a divorce in the state of California. If someone wants a divorce, they get it. But if that does happen to you, I would suggest that you start collecting and copying all bank statements, copies of insurance, all statements regarding any bills due, mortgages, copy deeds: anything that you might not even think is important, copy it. If it's not important, that's fine, but at least you've got it. If you are the person that pays the bills, you've probably got it anyway. But you can't take the risk that it might disappear. So copy everything, move it to someplace safe, call a divorce attorney, and make an appointment. Let's say you're not sure you want the divorce: that's fine, just get your information. It's like preventive medicine -- there's preventive law. Just have your information so that you feel safe and comfortable.

General frequently asked questions

What if I am currently out of the county, state, or country, but my Family Law case is within the San Diego Court’s jurisdiction?

If your Family Law case is within the San Diego County Superior Court jurisdiction and you are currently out of the county, state or country, the Law Offices of Julia M. Garwood, APLC will be able to work with you, as long as you are available to communicate regularly by alternate means such as telephone, facsimile, e-mail, or mail. Please contact the Law Offices of Julia M. Garwood, APLC to discuss further how we may be able to efficiently handle your case.

What if I cannot make an appointment during business hours?

Although the business hours of our firm are from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, we are happy to meet with you after-hours in order to accommodate your schedule. Please email us for an after-hours appointment.

Who will be working on my case?

Our firm consists of legal assistants, paralegals and attorneys, all of whom will work together as a team to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

What is an initial consultation?

An initial consultation is your first meeting at our firm. During the meeting you will explain your situation and we will discuss how your case may progress. Our firm offers a free 30 minute consultation.

How do I schedule an appointment with the Law Offices of Julia M. Garwood?

To schedule an appointment, please contact our office via phone or email. Our receptionist will ask for some general information and set up a convenient time for you to come in and talk to our attorney.

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