Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, and Board of Legal Specialization

When a marriage ends in divorce, important legal matters must be resolved in addition to personal and emotional issues between the spouses. Going through a divorce can understandably be a trying time, especially when there are children involved. You may be feeling like you are making difficult decisions that you were never equipped to make or have questions about what the future holds after your divorce is finalized.

A compassionate Ventura County divorce lawyer could accurately assess your circumstances and work diligently to protect your best interests. A skilled family law attorney could assist you in matters involving child support, spousal support, property division, child custody and visitation, and even post-divorce modifications, regardless of how challenging or complex your case is.

What is the Role of an Attorney in a Ventura County Divorce?

Experienced lawyers understand the applicable law, are familiar with the local divorce process, know the ins and outs of the courtroom, and could handle every aspect of a divorce case. Cases attorneys can represent divorcing spouses in include but are not limited to:

If someone is seeking a divorce or their spouse filed a divorce case against them, hiring a lawyer may be the best way to ensure that their legal rights and interests are protected in and out of the courtroom.

Filing for Divorce

It is important to prepare properly for divorce court in Ventura County. Before preparing divorce papers, however, you should know that in order to file for dissolution of your marriage, at least one spouse must have:

  1. lived in California for a minimum of 6 months, and
  2. lived in the county where the divorce will be filed for at least 3 months.

The fee to file a petition for dissolution or to respond to the dissolution of marriage or domestic partnership is $435.00. The papers and fee will be filed with the clerk of the court. There must be one original and two copies of the petition and accompanying papers.

No-Fault Divorce Laws

California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that couples do not have to provide proof of misconduct (i.e. adultery, abandonment, abuse, etc.) to dissolve a marriage. However, a judge may consider proof of misconduct when making other determinations, such as the calculation of spousal support. Overall, “no-fault” means the court will not blame either party for the breakdown of their marriage and instead attribute it to “irreconcilable differences.”

Steps to Dissolve a Marriage in Ventura County

There are several steps involved in dissolving a marriage, which include the following:

  • Filing the divorce petition and serving the divorce documents on the other party (known as the respondent)
  • The respondent has 30 days to respond
  • Either party may request a temporary arrangement regarding such matters as child custody and support
  • The discovery process begins, and the parties exchange information and documents relating to the divorce
  • Discussing the settlement of the case, possibly resulting in marital settlement agreement
  • Going to trial if the parties cannot settle
  • Signing a spousal agreement or a Judgement of Dissolution of Marriage

Under California Family Code §2320, for a judge to grant a divorce in Ventura County, one of the spouses must live in California for at least six months and in the county where the action is filed for a minimum of three months.

Additionally, CA Fam. Code §2339 imposes a waiting period of six months beginning on the date that the divorce petition is served on the non-filing spouse. This time is given to spouses so they can determine whether they are serious about wanting a divorce. It also gives the parties the time to retain a divorce attorney, investigate certain issues, and gather key financial documents to prepare for a settlement or trial.

A well-versed Ventura County lawyer could guide you through every step of the divorce process and ensure that you are able to make informed decisions along the way.

Important Issues When Dissolving a Marriage

When you move to dissolve your marriage, there are a number of other issues that will be determined during this process – of course, each “issue” is dependent on your specific circumstances. Below is a list of some of these dissolution matters:

  • Asset division, which is the process to identify assets and debts and distribute them;
  • Child custody and visitation, which is the process to determine who, where, and when a child lives with a parent, is visited by parents, among other things;
  • Child support, which is the process to determine whether and how much one parent will provide financial or other support (e.g., health insurance) to the child;
  • Spousal support, which is the process to determine whether and how much one former spouse or partner provides financial or other support to the dependent ex-spouse.

There are other matters that may need to be addressed, too, like prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. These agreements can have a serious impact on the distribution of property. Sometimes, however, these agreements can be challenged. If challenging the divorce agreement is to your benefit, your attorney in Ventura County will discuss options with you.

Contact a Knowledgeable Ventura County Divorce Attorney Today

Choosing whether to get divorced can be a difficult decision, as it involves restarting life in a new direction. By hiring a compassionate Ventura County divorce lawyer, you could receive the personalized representation you need to navigate and finalize the dissolution of your marriage. Contact the firm today to learn more about your legal rights and option.

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