There are a number of variables in a San Diego divorce situation, any of which can have devastating emotional and financial consequences. Is the decision to divorce a response to a sudden crisis or the inevitable outcome of months or years of increasing dissatisfaction? Is the divorce initiated by you or your spouse? Does either party feel substantial bitterness or seek vindication for real or imagined wrongdoings? What assets and debts exist? Will the parties be able to agree on custody, visitation and support issues? When should you consult a San Diego divorce attorney? As a general rule, it’s a good idea to consult an attorney as soon as possible if divorce is imminent, especially if the marriage has existed for ten years or more, if you own a home, have children or may need spousal support. An attorney’s education, experience and expertise will allow him to advise you of your rights and responsibilities and may be able to help you with strategies and techniques to help you reach your goals and objectives while minimizing stress and disruption to your life.
There are two types of divorce: summary and non-summary. Marriage can also be ended by annulment or legal separation. Each has specific procedural requirements, advantages and disadvantages. Divorce is a highly emotional experience; however, approaching issues as business decisions instead of emotional issues can help expedite resolution. An experienced San Diego divorce attorney can meet procedural requirements and provide guidance in making necessary decisions.
There are four locations in San Diego County for filing divorce actions: the main courthouse in San Diego, Chula Vista, El Cajon and Vista. Each courthouse has a clerk’s office for filing pleadings. Judges are assigned at random and the same judge will hear the case from beginning to end.
There are also four types of representation in divorce cases. Representing yourself is referred to as “in pro per” and can result in substantial delays, errors and complications. Each of the courthouses has a Family Law Facilitator that can assist unrepresented persons in filling out forms and meeting procedural requirements. This can help you avoid unnecessary delays due to procedural errors at no cost; however, not having adequate legal advice may cost you more in the long run. You can also hire a paralegal to prepare documents. While this alternative is cheaper than an attorney, you will not have the representation in court. Hiring an attorney is often the best solution as you will benefit from both his guidance and representation.
For a confidential complimentary initial consultation, call us at 858-312-8500 or contact us online. By reviewing your unique circumstances with an experienced San Diego divorce attorney, you can be better prepared to make decisions that can impact the rest of your life.