When a married couple divorces, there are certain procedures that must be followed in order for the divorce to be valid. A divorce may be contested or uncontested, depending upon whether the parties agree on the terms of the divorce. The processes are different for a contested divorce than in an uncontested divorce. In either scenario, you should seek out the assistance of a Pleasanton CA family law attorney to ensure that the divorce is complete and legal.
What is an uncontested divorce?
When both spouses agree to all terms of the divorce, or if one spouse chooses not to challenge the requests of the other, then it is considered to be an uncontested divorce. When a divorce is uncontested, paperwork is submitted to the court to open the case. If the parties agree to all terms of the divorce, then they may sign a stipulation or agreement to memorialize the terms of the divorce. The parties may then request the court to enter a judgment or decree of divorce.
If one party files for divorce and the other fails to respond after being served with the divorce papers, then it may also be considered an uncontested divorce. In this circumstance, the party who petitioned for divorce will apply for a judgment by default. After applying for default, a court will enter an order granting the divorce and awarding the terms petitioned for by the party who filed.
What is a contested divorce?
If one party files for divorce and the other spouse does not agree to all of the terms proposed by the filing party, then they can file an answer to contest the divorce. When a divorce is contested, the parties have a right to conduct discovery, file motions with the court, and have a trial. Each party can seek legal representation from a Pleasanton CA divorce attorney to advocate for their respective positions.
In an uncontested divorce, the parties will ask the court to address a variety of issues related to the marriage of the parties. This may include:
- The grounds for divorce
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- Property and debt division
- Alimony and spousal support
During the process, each party will be required to disclose certain information to the other party. The parties may also be required to participate in mediation and other methods to facilitate a resolution.
While the case is pending, the parties may file motions with the court to address issues that may arise before the divorce can be finalized. This could include:
- Temporary child custody
- Temporary support
- Issues regarding property
- Attorney fees and costs
If the parties are unable to resolve the case, then a trial will be held. At trial, each party will have the right to present witnesses and evidence to support their positions on various issues. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will make a decision and set forth how the remaining issues are to be resolved.
How can an attorney help?
Divorce can be complicated and stressful. To ensure that your rights are protected, you should contact a Pleasanton CA divorce lawyer. An uncontested divorce attorney in Pleasanton CA can provide legal representation to assist you in the process. A Pleasanton CA contested divorce attorney can advocate for you in court and protect your interests.
A Pleasanton CA uncontested divorce attorney from Tierney Law Group can provide legal advice and representation to assist you with your divorce. We will help you understand your options and provide insight into what to expect. If you are considering divorce or have been served with divorce papers, contact us to schedule a consultation.