California does not have any law requiring you to appear in court for your divorce. You have a few options for how to handle your divorce and some do not involve appearing in court at all.

First, if you and your spouse can agree on all issues in the divorce, you may simply draft up your agreements, sign off on them, and submit them, along with the appropriate documents, to the court. However, it is often the case that some issues are still in dispute.

If you disagree with your spouse on some major issues, like custody or property division, you may want to think about mediation. Mediation may still involve attorneys however is done outside of a court room and with the assistance of a neutral third party, the mediator, who does not act in an authoritative role. You do not have to agree with what the mediator says or suggests, as you would a judge.

If you do not want to mediate, you may choose to litigate in court. If you hire an experienced family law attorney to represent you, you may have to appear in court very little. Your case itself will be heard in court and you will have to deal with court documents, however you may be spared the stress of appearing before a judge and arguing for your case while in the presence of your spouse. Many times, both parties to the divorce will appear at the final judgment hearing, where the divorce itself is finalized.

For the hearings leading up to this hearing, many clients choose to have their attorney appear in court for them, either because they do not want to deal with the stress or they are unable to appear due to work or other commitments. Some clients choose to appear at some or all of the court hearings to make sure their voice is heard or wish to be kept in the loop. How you handle your divorce is up to you. A skilled family law attorney will be able to tailor your divorce roadmap to your desires and comfort level.

Are you in the Los Angeles County area and have questions about the divorce process? Attorney Mark Karney, Certified Family Law Specialist, can help you navigate the divorce proceeding process and can help ensure the outcome is favorable. Mark Karney has experience handling complex and high-asset divorces in Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades and Beverley Hills areas. Contact our office at 310-564-5710; email us at or contact us through our online form to schedule a free consultation today.