Everlasting love is a romantic sentiment, but it’s often not aligned with reality in our modern society. According to the American Psychological Association, nearly 50% of marriages in 2022 ended in divorce, while second marriages were dissolved at an even higher rate of 67%.
Essentially everyone is aware that divorce is an option when they enter into a marital agreement, but how many truly know the steps of the process?
Vonnah Bagner, the East Bay area’s premier family law attorney, outlines the process and provides much-needed answers to help possible future divorcees understand what they’re in for when they utter the magic words, “I want a divorce!”
File a Petition and Lawyer Up!
Does the divorce begin when you say the words to your spouse?
That might plant the seed in regards to your relationship, but the divorce is not truly in process until one spouse files a petition for a divorce with the court. At this early juncture, it’s crucial to hire your representation, as they will provide personalized insight and recommendations regarding every future step from this point on.
If the two involved parties of the divorce are amicable, the initiating spouse may feel comfortable serving divorce papers to their future former partner. In some scenarios, this may be unrealistic or unsafe so, in these situations, their lawyer or a process server will serve the papers on your behalf.
Discovery and Negotiation
Now it’s time to get down to the heavy lifting. It’s time to divvy up the assets, hash out the child custody arrangement, and negotiate spousal support.
It all begins with a discovery process that will aim to disclose all assets, liabilities, and income. They won’t simply take your word for what you have; you will likely be asked to provide documentation, depositions, and interrogatories during the discovery process to truly determine what you have on the table.
Once the discovery process wraps, the two involved parties, and their representation, will undergo negotiations and possibly mediation if there is a possibility of settling out of court. If the couple can reach an agreement without going to trial, the divorce could be finalized during this period.
Trial and Judgment
If they are unable to reach an agreement out of court, a hearing will be scheduled and decisions regarding property division, spousal support, and child custody will be left to a judge to decide upon.
On the one hand, this option is the only option if the two divorcing parties vehemently disagree about fundamental conditions of the divorce. In some divorces, opposition is omnipresent, and thus leaving it to the judge and the state of California is the only option.
On the other hand, leaving it up to the judge leaves you vulnerable to the possibility of losing more than what you consider fair. That’s where having the right representation in place matters most, as your family lawyer will advocate for your rights and fight for your best interests.
In the East Bay area, that representation should be Bagner Law, PC, as they have a proven track record and boast decades of applicable experience that will guarantee you the best outcome possible.
Find out more today. Call Bagner Law, PC now!