If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Los Angeles, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to do so. Ideally, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney to get an idea of the road map of divorce in California and what your initial filings will be.

Initial Filings to Commence a Divorce Case

Try to get an overview of the process so you know what to expect and what to prepare for. Typically, a divorce will begin with the Summons and Petition for Dissolution. These are the first two forms filed in a California divorce case. These are generally filed by one spouse, the petitioner, and then served upon the other spouse, the respondent. Filing these documents then serving your spouse with them sets in motion the court process of divorce.

Along with the Petition and Summons, if you have minor children, you will also have to file a declaration regarding the custody of your child and, if you want, a custody and visitation application, which will outline in detail the custody and visitation arrangement you are proposing. These are necessary to ensure any children of the marriage have an official custodian and place of residence while the divorce is worked out.

What Happens After Serving Your Spouse?

After you serve your spouse, you must file a proof of service, filled out by the process server, with the court. This is also a very important document because it is required for the actual divorce process to begin.

It also sets in place deadlines for various steps in a divorce that must be completed. For example, once your spouse is served with the Petition and Summons, they must respond to them within 30 days if they want to contest any of the issues at hand in the divorce.

Temporary Orders After Initial Forms Have Been Served

Also, once these forms have been served, you can ask for temporary orders in your case. These orders can be for custody and visitation arrangements, child support or spousal support. They can outline the timesharing distribution you and your spouse will adhere to or order you or your spouse to pay for child support and living expenses just while the divorce is being finalized. When the divorce is finalized, you can get the final versions of these documents.

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 you take all the right steps. 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 intake@cfli.com or contact us through our online form to schedule a free consultation today.