Divorce is hard on all fronts. If you’re going through divorce, have gone through divorce, or are about to file, you need to do things that will allow you to move on. These things very well might feel impossible on most days. Take each day at a time. Give yourself some grace. And take a look at our tips for keeping your head up.
Moving Forward After Divorce
Divorce will change your life in more ways than one. Regardless of how strong you are, divorce is challenging – in ways you never even expected. As you face a range of emotions – from anger to relief, to confusion and humiliation, depression, and fear, you need to remember one thing: you WILL get through this.
Some Tips to Help You Move On
- Focusing on what you don’t have and what you can’t do will drive you insane. Focus on what you have control over and let the rest pass on by.
- Forgive yourself.
- Find ways to treat yourself.
- Celebrate the victories.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This can be so difficult. Learn to set your pride aside and ask for help when you need it.
- Journal and record your thoughts and feelings from day to day. When you’re able to look and read back where you were, you’re able to see what progress you’ve made.
- Go for walks.
- Don’t be afraid to consult a therapist.
- Learn patience.
- Focus on your children and their happiness.
- Be proactive in your moving forward process and do everything you can to stay on track. This means working out, eating well, getting enough sleep.
- Take yourself out on dates.
- Remind yourself of what really matters.
- Take up a new hobby – maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to try but were never able to.
- Find a support group.
- Know that you will feel lonely sometimes. Find new and fun ways to deal with those feelings.
- Search for inspiration.
- Stay involved in the things that make you feel good.
- Find something new that makes you feel good.
- When you feel like you can’t go on any further, dig deep. You never know how strong you are until you hit that bottom.
- Remember that you are not alone.
Hiring an Attorney
Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult, stressful and emotionally draining experiences in a person’s life, and hiring an attorney early in the process can help avoid the mistakes that inevitably occur when parties seeking divorce represent themselves in court. The legal system can be confusing for anyone without an extensive legal background and family law cases, in particular, can become complicated and messy when not dealt with properly. Our attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles have the experience and resources necessary to handle high-asset divorces in L.A. and the surrounding areas, and the competence to resolve critical disputes, including those that involve marital property division and child custody and visitation arrangements. Whether your California divorce case requires aggressive negotiation, mediation or representation at trial, hiring a knowledgeable attorney to represent your case can help ease any concerns you may have about the outcome of your case and may even help resolve your case more quickly.
How to File for Divorce in California
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either party in a marriage has the right to file for divorce for no other reason than “irreconcilable differences,” and property settlements in CA divorce cases are not influenced by the behavior of either spouse, although child custody and visitation rights can be. Under California Family Code § 2320, in order for a judge to grant a divorce in California, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for six months, and in most cases, the individual seeking divorce must file in his or her county of residence, where he or she must have lived for at least three months. Once the divorce papers have been filed, California law dictates that the filing party must wait at least six months from the date the other spouse received the paperwork before the divorce can be finalized.
The Divorce Process
The steps you need to take to file your divorce will depend on the particulars of your situation and circumstances. A divorce where the parties have been married for a relatively short period of time, have no children, and little property or debts is typically less involved than a divorce where the parties have been married for a long period of time, where there are minor children, or where there is significant property or debt to divide.
The divorce process is also made simpler in cases where both parties want to and agree to divorce. In cases where one party wants a divorce and the other does not, the opposing party might choose to prolong the process as much as possible.
If both parties are able to agree to the terms of the divorce, the process will be smoother as opposed to one where both parties are constantly disagreeing and fighting over the terms.
Filing a petition
The first step in the divorce process is filing a petition. Even when both parties agree to divorce, one of them will need to file a petition that states the grounds for the divorce. The grounds for divorce vary depending on the jurisdiction. All jurisdictions allow for some type of no-fault grounds such as “irreconcilable differences”, but only a few states still consider fault grounds for divorce, such as adultery or abandonment. California is a no-fault state so the grounds will be “irreconcilable differences.”
Next, temporary orders will need to be put in place. These orders are for spousal and/or child support and custody. A temporary order is usually granted within a few days and remains in effect until a full court hearing.
Service of Process
The party that files the divorce also needs to file proof of service of process. This is a document that shows a copy of the divorce petition was given to the other party. If you are working with an attorney, he or she will be able to arrange this.
The party who receives service of process then needs to file a response to the petition. The responding party may choose to assert a defense to the grounds. If there is disagreement as to property division, support, custody, or any other issue, this should be set out in the response.
If the parties don’t agree on all the issues such as child custody or spousal support, they will need to try to negotiate their differences. A court may schedule settlement conferences in an attempt to have the parties resolve their issues. If the parties disagree on child custody and visitation, the court may also choose to order mediation, evaluation of the children and parents by a social worker or other court employee and that a lawyer or guardian ad litem be appointed to represent the children. Other issues that may need to be negotiated are the property division and any spousal support.
Any issues the parties cannot resolve between themselves will be decided at a trial. However, going to trial takes longer, costs more money, and may have less predictable results.
Order of Dissolution
The order of dissolution ends the marriage and spells out how property and debts are to be divided, child custody, support and any other issues. When the parties negotiate their own resolution to all of the issues, they draft the order of dissolution and submit it to the court. If the order of dissolution complies with legal requirements and both parties entered into it knowingly and willingly, then a judge approves it. Otherwise the court will issue an Order of Dissolution at the end of the trial.
How an Experienced Divorce Lawyer Can Help
Not all divorce cases in California go to court. In some cases, couples can resolve their divorce disputes through negotiation or mediation, during which an attorney can make sure your best interests are being represented. Too often, couples filing for divorce believe they can handle the proceedings on their own and end up making a bigger mess of their situation than they started with. While we do encourage spouses filing for divorce to reach an agreement outside of court and try to avoid divorce litigation altogether, especially when children are involved, our experienced Los Angeles divorce attorneys can assist with every aspect of the divorce process and will aggressively represent your case before a judge if it comes to that. Whatever the circumstances surrounding your case, we still stand by your side and ensure that your legal rights are protected throughout the process.
Free Divorce Consultation in Los Angles
Divorce proceedings are not always simple and straightforward, especially when children are involved. In many cases, the consequences of a divorce can affect a person for the rest of his or her life, possibly resulting in a significant loss of financial support or reduced child visitation rights. A qualified divorce attorney however, can help you navigate the complex intricacies of family law and can negotiate the best settlement on your behalf. For more information about California divorce law and the divorce process, contact Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles for a risk-free initial consultation. Our main goal as divorce attorneys is to help you evaluate your options under California law and make informed decisions that protect your interests and legal rights. Don’t wait to get help, call our Los Angeles legal team today at (213) 550-4600.
Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles
5455 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: (213) 550-4600