Anyone who has gone through a divorce before can tell you that the process can be complicated and frustrating, even in uncontested divorces where the spouses agree on all or many of the issues at hand. By hiring an attorney to help guide you through your uncontested divorce, you can reach an agreement with your spouse outside of court and save yourself a great deal of money, time and unnecessary stress. Our divorce lawyers at (619) Divorce have practiced divorce and family law in Los Angeles for more than a decade and we can assist you with all matters related to your uncontested divorce, including child custody and visitation, spousal support, property division and child support issues.
Table of Contents Los Angeles Uncontested Divorce Lawyer
Skilled Uncontested Divorce Lawyer in Los Angeles
Most couples pursuing a divorce want the process to be completed as quickly as possible so they can put the divorce behind them and move on with their lives. When you hire (619) Divorce to handle your Los Angeles uncontested divorce, our lawyers will pursue the fastest and most productive resolution to your divorce. We offer affordable and reliable representation at every stage of the uncontested divorce process and our divorce lawyers are prepared to handle your case with the compassion and discretion you deserve. Whether your divorce is amicable or not, don’t put yourself at a disadvantage by not hiring a reputable divorce attorney to handle your case. Every divorce case is different, and we can advise you on the best way to proceed with your case based on your specific circumstances. Whether you need help preparing your divorce paperwork, negotiating a settlement agreement or determining the proper payments for alimony or child support, our Los Angeles divorce lawyers can help. Consult our law firm today to schedule a free uncontested divorce consultation.
How Divorce Works in Los Angeles
When pursuing a divorce in Los Angeles, there are two distinct paths you can take: uncontested divorce or contested divorce. Whenever possible, most divorcing couples prefer to end their marriage amicably through the uncontested process, which is generally less complicated, expensive and time-consuming than the contested process. In an uncontested divorce, before the divorce can be finalized, the spouses must come to an agreement on any divorce-related issues, such as spousal support or alimony, division of assets and debts, and if they have children, child custody, visitation and child support. If you and your spouse can agree to end your marriage and also agree on all or most of the financial, property and child custody issues pertaining to your case, you will likely qualify for an uncontested divorce. Compared to uncontested divorces, contested divorces are inherently more complicated and litigious, which is why such cases take longer and tend to be more expensive. Also, in contested divorces, a judge makes the final decision about any issues the spouses are not able to negotiate on their own, which means the spouses have far less control over the terms of their divorce settlement.
Filing for Divorce in Los Angeles
In order to file for divorce in Los Angeles, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of California for at least six months and a resident of Los Angeles County for at least three months before filing a petition for divorce. The divorce process begins when one spouse, known as the petitioner, files the divorce petition and serves the other spouse, known as the respondent, with the papers. The respondent then has 30 days to act, which can happen in one of four ways:
- You file a petition for divorce and your spouse fails to file a response within 30 days and you do not have a written notarized agreement in place. In this situation, your spouse is “defaulting” and won’t be involved in the case. As a result, you will likely receive whatever you are asking for in your divorce petition.
- Your spouse does not file a response, but you have a written notarized agreement in place where you both agree on the terms of your divorce. In this situation, your divorce is considered a “default with agreement” case.
- Your spouse files a response with the court and agrees to the terms of the divorce, which means you are not fighting over the issues. This is considered an “uncontested” divorce.
- Your spouse files a response with the court in which he or she disagrees with what you are asking for in the petition. This situation is considered a “contested” divorce, because you and your spouse do not have an agreement and you will need the court to resolve any disputes about property, finances and other issues.
If you plan to pursue a divorce in Los Angeles County, you will file your divorce papers with the appropriate division of the Los Angeles Superior Court based on where you live. In California, it doesn’t matter which spouse files for divorce first. The court doesn’t give any preference to the petitioner, nor any disadvantage to the respondent in an uncontested divorce case.
How Long Will My Divorce Take?
All uncontested divorce cases in Los Angeles are different and the amount of time it takes for your divorce to be finalized depends on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. Uncontested divorce is generally the faster of the two options and can several months to complete, while a contested divorce that ends up in litigation can take much longer, possibly even years if there are numerous issues that must be resolved. Whether your Los Angeles divorce is contested or uncontested, there is a mandatory six-month waiting period for divorces in Los Angeles, per California Family Code § 2339(a). Under this law, your divorce cannot be finalized “until six months have expired from the date of service of a copy of summons and petition or the date of appearance of the respondent, whichever occurs first.” This is the case even if you and your spouse come to an agreement on the terms of your divorce in less than six months. The purpose of this waiting period, which is longer in California than in most other states, is to ensure that both spouses are fully committed to ending their marriage and to give them the opportunity to reconcile if decide they don’t want to go through with the divorce.
How a Los Angeles Uncontested Divorce Lawyer Can Help
To obtain an uncontested divorce in Los Angeles, you and your spouse will have to work together to reach an agreement on all property, debt and support matters, and that is no simple task for many couples navigating the complicated emotional and financial aspects of divorce. If you have children, you will also have to agree on all child custody, visitation and support issues, which can make the divorce process even more challenging and emotionally draining. After all, the decisions that are made in your divorce case can affect you and your loved ones for years to come. California law says that you don’t have to hire an attorney to complete an uncontested divorce, but if you choose to represent yourself, you could end up making a mistake and delay your divorce or make it more costly. Our lawyers at (619) Divorce can help ensure that your uncontested divorce goes as smoothly and quickly as possible and can represent you in court if you end up having to litigate your divorce through the contested process. The best way to be fully prepared for your divorce case is to plan ahead and learn as much as you can about the divorce process so you can gauge how your case will proceed from filing to finalization. After all, a successful uncontested divorce is more than just filling out the necessary forms and filing them with the court. It takes first-hand knowledge of the Los Angeles court system and its procedures, as well as the rights afforded to you under the law, to be successful in your divorce. No matter how simple your case may seem at the start, there are issues that could arise during the divorce process that require the expertise of an attorney with extensive experience handling divorces in Los Angeles. By consulting a knowledgeable Los Angeles divorce lawyer at the beginning of your case, you can gain valuable information about the steps involved in preparing for divorce and improve your chances of getting the outcome you want.
Contact Our Los Angeles Divorce Lawyers Today
An uncontested divorce is a less expensive and time-consuming option for ending your marriage in Los Angeles. Uncontested divorces also tend to be less hostile than contested divorces, which is beneficial for everyone involved. For more than 10 years, our divorce lawyers at (619) Divorce have skillfully represented clients in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas in a wide variety of divorce cases and we have the experience necessary to help you navigate your uncontested divorce. Filing for divorce is a life-changing decision and you will want a skilled divorce attorney to help get you through it. To schedule a free consultation with our team of divorce attorneys, call (619) Divorce today at (619) 503-3050.