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What Do I Do Now?

California divorce laws can be confusing – especially when you are dealing with all of the emotions related to your divorce. We can help. At Garwood Reeves, our divorce and family law team will not only expertly represent you, but also will treat you as we would treat members of our own family. Whatever your situation, let us compassionately get you through this difficult time and get you back to your life.

When to Choose Divorce Mediation

The end of your marriage is a difficult time – even when it is the best thing for all parties involved. Divorce mediation may be a good choice if you and your spouse need assistance coming to an agreement on topics including child custody and visitation, division of assets, and spousal and/or child support, but when you wish to avoid additional costs and lack of control of a courtroom divorce. At Garwood Reeves in San Diego, we believe that divorce mediation may be a great solution for a difficult situation.

When Litigation Is Required for Your Divorce In San Diego

Sometimes, the emotions involved with your divorce can make it difficult for you and your spouse to agree on the details – even with the assistance of a skilled negotiator. In this case, you and your spouse will need to go before a judge who can make decisions regarding support, child custody and visitation, alimony, and division of property. When you need to resolve your divorce with litigation, you need a San Diego divorce lawyer who understands the court system and will fairly and aggressively fight for your rights.

What a Legal Separation Really Means

Some couples find themselves in a situation where they do not want to be divorced, but there is a financial reason to separate. Legal separation allows the parties to create a date of separation without actually dissolving their marriage. Similar to divorce proceedings, legal separation may require that a judge make decisions regarding spousal and child support, restraining orders, and other issues. Get a better understanding of legal separation with the help of the San Diego divorce lawyers at Garwood Reeves.

How You Can Get an Annulment

Are you wondering if you should file for divorce or seek an annulment? It can be confusing. California divorce laws allow marriage annulments for several reasons including:

  • fraud
  • bigamy
  • incest
  • age (one spouse under the age of legal consent at time of marriage).

There are various factors you should consider when deciding between a divorce and an annulment. We can help you make an informed decision.

How to Deal with Complex Property Division

Even though California is a community property state, it does not mean that division of assets is always a simple process. Property and assets accrued during a marriage are treated differently than those acquired before marriage. Learn more about complex property division and contact our experienced San Diego divorce attorney to ensure you are being fairly treated.

How to Modify Your Existing Divorce Agreement

If you already have a finalized California divorce, but realize that you need clarity on a vague order, or to update child custody or support (child or spousal), we can help. Circumstances change and your divorce agreement should reflect those. Our skilled San Diego legal team can help you modify your finalized divorce agreement. We can also help you enforce standing orders.

What You Need to Do First Is Contact A San Diego Divorce Attorney Today

The first thing you need to do is to take a deep breath and to try to not worry about everything at once. This is a process. Then, contact our family and divorce law firm to schedule a consultation a San Diego divorce lawyer. We will help you to prepare for your divorce and help you decide where to begin. Our clients report all the time that they feel better after talking to us. Take the first step toward a positive new life. Contact us today at (619) 692-8100.

Divorce FAQs

How long does the entire divorce process take in California?
The minimum ‘waiting period’ for a divorce in California is six months. This is a mandatory time period given to the couple to help them reconsider their marriage and reconcile. The divorce proceedings start only after the waiting period is over. After that, the actual time depends on how well both parties are agreeing on the divorce terms. If the divorce is uncontested (you and your spouse agree on all the divorce terms), the divorce is granted almost immediately. However, if there’s a legal battle involved regarding property, custody of children, and more, the divorce can drag from some months to even a few years.
How can I expedite my divorce process?
The only way to expedite your divorce process in California is by opting for an uncontested divorce. For this, you and your spouse must agree on all terms of your split. If you have a disagreement on certain terms, through divorce mediation, we at Garwood Reeves can help. Through expert counseling, we can help you navigate a difficult situation with ease, helping you make your divorce quick and convenient.
How much does a divorce cost in California?
It completely depends upon the route you are taking: contested or uncontested divorce. There’s no single figure. If it’s an uncontested divorce, the legal process is pretty quick. The cost can be as low as $435, which is the filing fee. However, if you are heading for a contested divorce, be prepared to shell anything between $15,000 and $38,000. The amount actually depends on how long it takes for the dispute to resolve, how much your attorney charges, and how far apart you and your spouse are from the agreement.
If I do not want a divorce. Is there a way to prevent it?

Sorry, the short answer is No. California is a no-fault state and allows anyone to get a divorce at any time and for any reason. So, even if you do not want a divorce, but your spouse does, the court will grant the divorce over “irreconcilable differences.”

At Garwood Reeves, we can help you save your marriage. Our expert divorce mediators can work with you and your spouse to help you resolve your conflicts outside the court and rebuild your relationship.

Is separation mandatory before divorce in California?
No, California Law does not require couples to live separately before their divorce proceedings. Couples, however, can choose legal separation in California before the divorce.
Can I get a divorce without going to court?
Yes, in California, you can get divorced without legal proceedings. This is called an uncontested divorce. For this, you and your spouse need to mutually agree to all the divorce terms, create a marital settlement agreement and submit it to the court for approval.
How is spousal support calculated in California?
In California, spousal support or “alimony” is ordered by the court to help spouses keep up with their previous living standards until the divorce is finalized. The formula used for the calculation of spousal support is 40% of the high earner’s monthly income minus 50% of the low earner’s monthly income. The best part is that California laws on spousal support are gender-neutral.