California is a no-fault state when it comes to divorces. If you have irreconcilable differences with your spouse and there is no hope or chance for reconciliation, it’s reason enough to get a divorce. However, not all divorces are that simple. For instance, when people have an abusive spouse, they usually start by filing restraining orders before initiating divorce proceedings. Before you start the divorce process, there are two steps that you need to take –
- Check if you meet the residency requirements
- Consult an attorney
Here’s more on how an attorney can help your divorce.
Getting a restraining order
Abuse can be in any form. If you fear for your life or when your spouse has threatened you, you may want to get a restraining order. The order will prevent the abuser (your spouse in cases of divorce) from contacting you or your children. It may also prevent them from processing guns, and depending on the situation, your spouse will have to move out of the house. Restraining orders usually include details about child custody and visitation orders too.
Dealing with the legal process
While you may feel emotionally charged during the divorce process, you need to understand that this is a legal process. There is considerable paperwork involved, and if you and your spouse are in disagreement on key matters, you may have to negotiate and discuss all pointers before getting the divorce. This may delay the process, but an attorney can help in sorting issues amicably. Remember that you wouldn’t want the court to decide everything related to child custody, assets, and alimony, because things could go against your expectations. Attorneys can avoid common mistakes and ensure that issues are ironed out through discussions with your spouse and their lawyers.
Attorneys have experience
Probably the biggest reason why you need an attorney is their experience. Lawyers have been to family courts for years, know the judges, other attorneys, and the local staff, which can be handy for your case. Your lawyer is out there to protect your rights and interests, and they may have an aggressive stance when needed.
Most of the top law firms in California charge an hourly rate for divorce and family matters. If your divorce is a simple one, you should still consult an attorney to understand your legal options, and it doesn’t have to cost much. Just get an estimate in advance.