Because marriage involves a legal contract between two individuals, state law plays a significant role in divorce. Although the technical requirements for divorce are not as rigid as they once were, it is important to meet all of the requirements before filing a petition. Fortunately, a skilled family law attorney could help you meet all of these requirements and address any challenges that may arise during the marriage dissolution process.
If you are considering dissolving your marriage, moving forward on your own could result in costly delays and unnecessary headaches. Let a Simi Valley divorce lawyer guide you through the court system and help you with this process in a timely manner.
There are only a few requirements related to securing a divorce under state law. An attorney in Simi Valley could help a couple meet these requirements before the divorce petition is ever filed.
One of the most important qualifications is the residency requirement. Before filing for divorce, at least one spouse must have resided within the state for a minimum of six months. The failure to meet the residency requirement could result in the dismissal of a divorce case.
Like with any legal action, the filer must formally serve their spouse with a copy of the petition before the divorce may proceed. In some cases, that spouse might agree to waive service to speed up the process. It is important to note that there is also a waiting period that applies to the final divorce decree. Before the courts agree to officially dissolve a marriage, at least six months must pass from the date the non-filing spouse is served.
One of the most important aspects of divorce is the distribution of marital property. Unlike many jurisdictions, courts in Simi Valley divide marital property using a community property statute.
With community property, the marital assets are divided equally between the two parties. Conflicts can arise during the valuation process, as an overvalued asset could result in an unfair distribution. However, a skilled attorney in Simi Valley could help resolve these conflicts during a divorce case.
Sometimes it is impossible for the court to evenly split the assets of a married couple. When this happens, the court could order the sale of marital assets to allow for an even split. Spouses are likewise able to “buy out” property from the other with cash in an effort to make a settlement work.
It is important to remember that not all assets owned by a married couple are considered marital assets. Only assets accumulated after the marriage and prior to separation are typically divided in this way. Separate assets are maintained by the spouse who owned them prior to the marriage.
While the breakdown of a marital relationship is difficult, the process of divorcing should not have to be. In many cases, the right choice of attorney could reduce the stress and delay that come with ending a marriage. Before you file your petition, discuss your options with a Simi Valley divorce lawyer. Reach out today to get started.
Hoffer Family Law Firm