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Los Angeles Divorce Attorney

There are many reasons why a couple decides to divorce. California is a “no-fault” state, meaning that when you file for a divorce, you do not have to state the reason for the divorce in detail.

In California, you can get a divorce if there are irreconcilable differences, such that no counseling will save the marriage. Read some tips on how to tell your spouse you want a divorce and how to file for a divorce in California.

Types of Divorce Proceedings

In California, there are four main types of divorce proceedings: (1) Mediation, (2) Arbitration, (3) Litigation, and (4) Uncontested Divorce.

Divorce Mediation

Mediation is designed to be a less stressful experience and more cost-effective than divorce litigation. During mediation, you and your spouse will meet with a neutral mediator who assists in resolving various issues of your divorce, such as child custody, child support, property division, and alimony. The mediator does not issue a ruling. Instead, the mediator helps you and your spouse settle by fostering communication and facilitating as you work through your differences. Call a California divorce lawyer at our law firm for more information.

Divorce Arbitration

Arbitration is typically less formal than litigation. During the arbitration, an arbitrator, who plays a role similar to that of a judge, is tasked with resolving the issues in a divorce. Arbitration is usually binding, which means an arbitrator's decision cannot be appealed. However, unlike divorce litigation, the parties can tell the arbitrator what rules they would like them to follow.

Divorce Litigation

When a couple cannot resolve their divorce amicably, their case will be sent to the divorce court for litigation. Litigation can quickly become highly contentious, emotionally draining, and stressful. As it may take months before even one issue can successfully be resolved, litigation tends to be much more expensive.

Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorce is a general term applied to any divorce in which the parties resolve or settle their divorce amicably and without conflict.

The Divorce Process

The first step in the divorce process is to file a divorce petition and then serve the spouse with the petition. To file for divorce in California, you must have been a state resident for 189 days or six months. Further, the grounds for the dissolution of marriage include irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity. If you need help with attorney fees in divorce proceedings, California Family Code § 2030 allows you to ask the judge to divide the litigation expenses.

After the spouse has been served, they will have 30 days to respond to the petition. If the individual who has been served fails to respond, the divorce case can proceed without their presence or participation. If the individual who has been served files a response in the appropriate time period, the spouses will exchange discovery documents, which include information about property, income, and other relevant information. See our blog: List of Steps Before a California Divorce is Finalized.

The spouses can either resolve the matter through agreements or request the case go before the court, like who gets child custody while the divorce is pending. Usually, cases go to court over child custody, spousal support, child support, and domestic violence issues (like restraining orders). In some cases, a subpoena may be needed.

Spouses are encouraged to settle any matters possible during a Marital Settlement Conference. If all issues are not resolved, a divorce trial date is set. At trial, attorneys present their client's case and any related evidence to ensure the desired outcome. The court will then make a judgment.

If circumstances change and the original divorce order is no longer suitable, a new order can be requested by filing for a post-judgment modification. The court may grant a modification to child custody or visitation, child support, or spousal support because of circumstances like loss of job, changes in the child's needs, or a severe illness. Contact an experienced Los Angeles divorce attorney at our office to closely examine all the details and discuss potential legal options. See our blog: What Is a Summary Dissolution Divorce in California?

Divorce Court Fees

In most divorce cases, fees must be paid for filings and motions with the court. To file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to initiate a divorce case or file a Response to a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is about $435. On top of that, there are fees and costs for all the supporting documents and preceding filings.

If you cannot afford the filing fees, you may qualify to have the court fees and costs waived by the court. Our divorce attorneys can help you request your fee waiver by assisting you in completing the necessary fee waiver forms.

Fee Waivers

If you are low-income and cannot afford to pay the fees, you can request a “fee waiver.” There are three ways to qualify for a fee waiver:
1. If you are receiving public benefits, including medical, food stamps, general assistance, and SSI.
2. If your household income is less than a certain amount.
3. If the court finds that you do not have enough income to pay for your household's basic needs AND the court fees.

If your fee waiver is denied without a hearing, you have ten days from the clerk's Certificate of Service date to pay your fees, file a new request if the prior request was incomplete, or ask for a hearing to provide more information. Our attorneys can help you file a new request or request a hearing to give you more information.

Types of Divorces We Handle

Contact a Los Angeles Divorce Attorney

Los Angeles family law attorneys Mariya Furman and Lee Zavatsky are experienced and distinguished divorce lawyers in Los Angeles County. Not only have we represented countless clients during divorce and family court proceedings, but we are also dedicated to obtaining the best possible results for our valued clients. Our Los Angeles divorce lawyers can confidently guide you through the divorce process, aggressively advocating on your behalf before the courts.

Divorce is often a highly complex issue, and the matters that spouses must deal with can lead to a great deal of tension, financial expense, and wasted time. A divorce can turn into a long, drawn-out battle over every minor detail if not correctly handled. But it does not have to be this way! There are some key steps to take when divorce is on the horizon.

With one of our experienced divorce attorneys at your side, you will have the opportunity to handle your divorce promptly and reach an agreement that works best for you and your spouse. You might want to pursue a collaborative divorce, resolving your differences out of court.

In filing for divorce, specific deadlines must be met, and procedures must be followed precisely. Any deviation may delay your case or result in an unfavorable outcome. Our Los Angeles divorce lawyers will ensure all deadlines are met and all procedures followed to ensure you obtain the most favorable for you and your family.

Our attorneys understand that this is a difficult and emotional time for you and your loved ones, so they believe you deserve attentive and effective legal counsel. Our law firm also handles divorce cases with special need children. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you might be able to obtain a kick out order during your California divorce. Learn the steps to take if you are emotionally abused during a California divorce.

We at Furman & Zavatsky have represented hundreds of clients filing for divorce in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. We understand that a divorce can significantly and dramatically change your life. We experienced and understand the anguish and suffering that accompanies divorce.

We can guide you during all steps of a divorce, from advising you of your rights before filing, assisting you after the case has been filed, representing you through the finality of a divorce judgment, and even changing your name.

We are experienced in representing clients through both contested and uncontested divorces. We have also handled matters involving businesses and same-­sex marriages. Even if children are involved, you will be able to be confident knowing that we will be there to help you deal with issues such as custody, visitation, and child support.

If you are interested in learning more about filing for divorce or requesting a post-judgment modification, please contact our offices, where our experienced divorce attorneys will happily discuss your options.

Related Pages: Divorce Mediation | Child Custody

Call a Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer

Family law disputes have the potential to have a significant impact on your quality of life and overall happiness. As a result, it is critical for you to protect your rights to the fullest extent possible when involved in a dispute related to family law. The lawyers of Furman & Zavatsky have the skill and experience to resolve your case as favorably as possible and provide compassionate and understanding legal counsel and representation. We also offer flat fee legal services for divorce and family law issues.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles divorce attorneys, call our office today at 818-528-3471. Read our blog on how to prepare for your first meeting with a divorce lawyer.

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Encino, CA 91316
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