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The California Divorce Process; Vincent W. Davis, California Divorce Attorney
Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis & Associates
150 N Santa Anita Ave., Suite 200
Arcadia, CA 91006
888-888-6582 (Ph.)

The California divorce process. Come with me and I’ll give you an explanation of it. In California, the legislature has made getting a divorce fairly straightforward. There are some complicated areas in the terms of child custody, the division of certain assets, the valuation of certain assets. For the most part, it’s a fairly straightforward process. It begins with one of the parties filing a petition for divorce. It ends by way of settlement or by way of trial for all of the issues that haven’t been settled. In California, I’d say there may be 12 to 15 major issues in every divorce case. What happens during the pendency of the case, parties come to an agreement as to some or all of the issues in the divorce case. Anything that is not agreed to, of course, as I said, you have to go to trial in front of a judge.

In California, you’re not entitled to a jury trial in a family law divorce case. After the case is filed, generally one of the parties files what’s called an RFO, a Request for Order. That takes care of temporary orders pending the final resolution of the case. At the request for order hearing, you are going to cover topics like child custody, who’s going to have custody of the children temporarily until the end of the case? You’re going to cover child visitation. What is the other spouse’s visitation going to be while the divorce case is pending? You cover child support, spousal support, the temporary use of the family home, the payment of certain debts by one or both of the spouses. Also, you could cover domestic violence if there is any domestic violence is involved in the case. The other thing that you might cover is who’s going to pay who’s attorney’s fees.

In California, there is a family code section 2030 that permits the higher income earner to pay part or all of the lower-income earner’s attorney’s fees. But the amount paid is up to the judge’s discretion. After the first request for order, in most cases, cases resolve because the judge’s already made a temporary order. If the case is not resolved, what happens is something called Discovery Practice and Motion Practice. Discovery Practice is where both sides exchange information so that they can know what the value of the family law community estate is so that there can be an equitable distribution. Motion practice is where the attorney’s jockey for position inside the courtroom in trying to expand or decrease certain issues in the family law case. After the family law discovery practice and motion practice is completed, then the court usually orders a mandatory settlement conference where you go see a mandatory settlement judge and you try to settle the case.

That judge is not permitted in most counties to talk to the trial judge, but if you don’t settle all of the issues, the issues that you don’t sell, it will go to trial. In Los Angeles County, getting a trial date in family law has been historically difficult because there are so many cases and not enough judges. For all of the issues that aren’t resolved at the mandatory settlement conference, there’s going to be a trial. After the trial, any party that’s not happy with the judge’s decision is entitled to file an appeal and have a higher court review the judge’s decision. That’s the general process of the family law case in the state of California. If you have any questions, give me a call at the number listed below, (888) 888-6582, or go to my website and get a free copy of my book, Surviving Divorce in California. In your next email, I’m going to be sending you a video about whether you need an attorney in a California divorce case.

For your free consultation, call the law offices of Vincent W. Davis & Associates today, 1-888-888-6582. That’s 1-888-888-6582. Thank you for watching.

I encourage you to watch our educational videos at

Youtube: Vincent W. Davis

If you have any legal questions and would like to receive a free consultation please call our office at 888-888-6582. We look forward to speaking with you.

Our staff speaks the following languages:
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Offices near you in the following Counties:
Los Angeles
San Bernardino

Law Offices Of Vincent W. Davis & Associates
150 N Santa Anita Ave, Ste 200
Arcadia, CA 91006
(888) 888-6582


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