Divorce can be complicated and tumultuous, especially when children and property are involved. If you need an experienced legal team to represent your legal, financial, and personal interests during a Petaluma divorce, call the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C.
At the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., we are:
- Client-centered and focused on individual needs;
- Committed to quality and excellence in legal services; and
- Respectful and compassionate.
We handle all types of divorces, from uncontested, agreed divorces to high-asset, complex litigation. Contact us in Petaluma now to discuss your divorce concerns and have your most pressing questions answered.
Our Petaluma Divorce Attorneys Can Help
Divorce is a complex process, and divorce attorneys help clients manage much more than paperwork. At the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., our skilled divorce attorneys provide you with educated legal advice, advocate for your interests, and ensure any agreements you come to with your spouse will not adversely impact you in the future.
- Identify, value, and assist in dividing your marital assets and debts;
- Advise you of potential tax consequences of asset division;
- Review your case for the possibility of spousal maintenance and support;
- Finalize any real property transfers;
- Prepare proper orders to divide retirement accounts accurately;
- Act as a buffer between yourself, your spouse, and your spouse’s attorney;
- Calculate child support payments or agreements;
- Assist in developing a realistic, manageable child visitation and custody plan;
- Negotiate your final divorce agreement; or
- Move forward with a divorce trial on your behalf.
Never enter the divorce process alone when you can have a team of professionals by your side. Call the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. for advice you can count on today.
No-Fault Divorce in Petaluma
California is a no-fault divorce state. Therefore, neither spouse is to blame for the divorce. Instead, a couple can divorce due to irreconcilable differences or the inability to get along.
The Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
In a divorce, the spouse who initially files the divorce documents is the petitioner. The other spouse is the respondent. A divorce begins when the petitioner files a Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court clerk. There are additional forms that must be included when children are involved.
The petitioner is legally required to notify the other spouse of the divorce proceedings. Typically, the divorce papers are served on the respondent through a non-interested adult like a professional process server or peace officer. The court requires proof of proper service before divorce proceedings can begin.
Once the respondent is served, they have thirty days to respond to the court. The respondent must use this opportunity to present their requests and raise any concerns regarding the petitioner’s proposals. Failure to submit a response can cause the court to grant the divorce per the petitioner’s wishes alone.
Types of Divorce in Petaluma
There are four types of divorce in Petaluma. These are default, default with an agreement, uncontested, and contested divorce.
When the respondent fails to answer the divorce papers, the court can grant a default divorce. These are usually done by granting the petitioner’s requests per their original petition.
In a default with an agreement, the spouses determine an agreement before the divorce process starts. The respondent does not answer the petitioner’s petition because an agreement is already in place.
If spouses agree on all terms, the respondent may choose to file a response that does not contest or take issue with any items in the petition. This is called an uncontested divorce.
A contested divorce involves a respondent who files a response disagreeing with at least one of the petitioner’s terms of divorce as presented in the petition.
Dispute Resolution in Petaluma
When a divorce dispute needs to be resolved, there are multiple ways to do so in California. When spouses cannot agree amongst themselves, they may try the following:
- During mediation, a neutral third-party works with the spouses to clarify their remaining issues and work together to create their solutions;
- When other methods are unsuccessful, spouses can take their case to court to make final decisions. Since spouses know their situations best, it is generally better to come to their compromises rather than have the court decide on their behalf.
Final divorce orders are binding and must be followed to avoid court sanctions. Some modifications are available by petitioning the court.