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Uncontested Divorce in California

What Does Uncontested Mean in a Divorce?

If a couple is filing an uncontested divorce, it generally means that they have agreed on all of the terms of their divorce, such as property division, child custody, alimony payments, and so on.

Child support payments are determined using a specific set of calculations decreed by the state. This objective formula is based on your income and your spouse's income, how much time your child will spend with each of you, and so on. If you are able to consent to the other terms of your marriage dissolution, your divorce is known as uncontested and can move fairly quickly and painlessly.

Because of California's no-fault divorce laws, you may be able to dissolve your marriage without dealing with a lengthy court process. That means that in an uncontested divorce, you do not need to undergo the litigation process which usually accompanies drawn-out disagreements.

It is still a good idea to retain legal counsel, however, because a good divorce lawyer will be able to make sure that all of the necessary paperwork is properly filed, your property is divided fairly and equally, and your marriage is actually dissolved. A divorce attorney in Torrance can help make sure that nothing is overlooked and all your interests are properly looked out for.

If you and your spouse are seeking an uncontested divorce, our Torrance firm can help! Contact us today!

Do I Have to Go to Court for Uncontested Divorce?

If your divorce is uncontested, it is possible you will not need to go to court. However, this will vary case by case. If you and your spouse file the marital settlement agreement and submit all necessary legal documents to the court, then the judge will review the case and could issue a judgement via mail. However, the judge can also decide to request an informal hearing or formal hearing if needed.

Even if some disputes come up regarding matters such as property division and child custody, these can often be solved without going to court through arbitration, mediation, and/or and attorney.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in California?

For an uncontested divorce in California, it will take approximately six months from the time the person filing officially lets his or her spouse know about the divorce for it to be finalized. This entails properly filing the paperwork and serving the spouse via courthouse representative or local sheriff.

Please note, that the divorce waiting period may take longer than six months, but not shorter. It will largely depend on the circumstances and what issues are being presented before the court.

Should I Get a Lawyer for an Uncontested Divorce?

Yes, you should get a lawyer even if you are seeking an uncontested divorce. There are a few reasons you will want a lawyer throughout the uncontested divorce process.

  • Representation – A lawyer will represent your interests and help negotiate on your behalf when issues arise during the uncontested divorce process.
  • Administrative – A lawyer can also make sure all the paperwork is filed properly and on time, which will take the burden off your shoulders. This will also make sure your interests are taken care of amid a complex system.
  • Unexpected changes – Having legal representation will be helpful in the case that your uncontested divorce becomes contested. Divorce is a complicated process, and the process does not always go exactly the way we think it will.

What's the Difference Between Uncontested Divorce and Dissolution?

Dissolution of marriage is just the legal term for divorce, and the two phrases can be used interchangeably. However, there is also a summary dissolution, which can be a more streamlined divorce process. In order to qualify for a summary dissolution, the spouses must meet the following requirements:

  • Have been married for five years or less.

  • Do not have any children.

  • Neither one owns a home or other real estate.

  • Value of community property is not more than $40,000 (excluding motor vehicles).

  • Combined debt does not exceed $6,000 (excluding auto loans).

  • Both spouses waive spousal support.

  • Have a written agreement on division of assets and debts.

A couple that does not meet the criteria for a summary dissolution can file for an uncontested divorce if they’ve already resolved all major issues, such as child custody/support, spousal support and the division of property.

Can a Judge Change an Uncontested Divorce?

Although both the settlement (and the divorce) will need to be finalized by a judge, the judge will typically approve a divorce agreement unless the terms completely favor one person or if the arrangements were made while one of them was under duress. Having an experienced divorce attorney review the agreement will help the uncontested divorce process run smoothly.

Getting a Divorce in California? Call Our Torrance Law Firm Today!

While uncontested divorces are usually fairly straightforward, it is crucial that you have legal representation that can help you make sure that you aren't forgetting any crucial details. Colleen and Patricia Barberis of Patricia Barberis, A Law Corporation have worked with men and women around California's South Bay to help ensure that the process is as smooth and painless as possible.

No matter how few legal complications accompany your divorce, this may still be an emotionally difficult and turbulent time for you and your family. It is crucial that you have the support and counsel you need during this process. Our competent, successful legal team has 70 years of collective experience serving families and individuals in Torrance and the greater South Bay region. We are dedicated to client communication and determined to be helpful and compassionate during each step of your marriage dissolution.

Give us a call today at (310) 904-6648 and find out what we can do to help you navigate your situation.

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