In California, the termination of marital status requires a court case for a divorce or legal separation. To get a divorce, a spouse must file a case in the Superior Court, which will be resolved either through settlement or trial. For a legal separation, both spouses must agree to terms for resolving their financial obligations and any custody issues, while allowing the marriage itself to remain in place. Over 95% of divorce cases are resolved through settlement, with less than 5% decided through trial.
After the case is filed, a divorce or legal separation begins with a summons and initial orders to freeze assets and protect each spouse and any minor children while the divorce or separation is pending. Either spouse may request pretrial orders, which may be approved by mutual agreement or through a contested pretrial hearing. Each spouse must exchange financial disclosures, and either spouse may also request more detailed disclosures through formal discovery. Most divorce and separation cases are settled after these initial stages, and only a small percentage of these cases are resolved through trial.
At Next Legal, our attorneys and legal professionals have expertise in the full range of issues involved in complex divorce and legal separation cases. We have the experience and specialized knowledge to successfully handle divorce and separation litigation, but are settlement oriented and work hard to resolve cases at the early stages without the time and expense of court proceedings. In our experience, early settlements can be achieved in even the most high-conflict divorce and separation cases, when the attorney and client are well prepared for success in the courtroom but are focused on conflict resolution.
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