Protecting Your Rights & Interests
At The Buncher Law Corporation, our job as family law attorneys is to help our clients navigate the divorce process as successfully as possible. Divorce is often known to be the most stressful event in a person's life, especially when the divorce was unexpected or involves dramatic changes for the children. We recognize that each aspect of a divorce presents its own unique challenges for you and your family. We know that at the heart of each case is a client who is in need of assistance in dealing with the way these new circumstances will impact his or her life.
Each case can be an emotional and challenging process. We are here to assist you with integrity, compassion, and a personal touch in every step along the way. We provide highly skilled and competent legal representation at a reasonable fee. Our firm recognizes that each client has a unique set of circumstances, and we work to quickly and successfully resolve your family law issues. We identify our client's needs, maintain contact with you throughout the process, and protect your interests.
What Happens During the Divorce Process in California?
The divorce action is begun with the filing and service of the Summons and Petition for Dissolution in your county of residence. Sometimes, it is necessary to have the court set the temporary terms and conditions regarding children or finances for both parties to follow during the period leading up to the divorce. In these cases, an Order to Show Cause for Temporary Order and an Affidavit for Temporary Order will be filed concurrently with the Summons and Petition, or shortly thereafter.
Prior to the first hearing, you will need:
- A completed financial statement (referred to as a Declaration of Income and Expenses)
- Copies of your wage statements for the previous eight weeks
- Federal and state tax returns for the previous two years
The draft financial statement form should be forwarded to your attorney as soon as possible after filing the action, but no later than one week before the first hearing to allow time for verification, corrections, and typing. Whether or not the first hearing in your case has been scheduled, the financial disclosure statement must be prepared within 90 days of the start of the action.
If a settlement cannot be worked out, the case will ultimately need to be tried. The trial may be on all issues in your case, just one, or for some limited issues that could not be settled. Many attorneys are hesitant to try cases and push towards settlements regardless of the client’s best interests. Others push for court as a way to generate more fees. At The Buncher Law Corporation, we always act in our clients’ best interests, and we’re prepared for whatever action that may require.
Enforcing Orders of Contempt
If either you or your spouse fail to abide by any court order including temporary orders made by the court (for example, failure to pay child support or refusal to grant visitation), the court may be asked to hold the offending spouse “in contempt” and to impose appropriate sanctions (punishment). Contempt actions are very serious, as they are quasi-criminal in nature, and can result in fines and imprisonment. You should inform your attorney immediately if your spouse does not follow through on any orders of the court.
Divorce Mediation: An Effective Alternative to Divorce
Mediation is an option for attempting to settle a contested divorce outside of the courtroom. We are often successful in settling a case without the added cost of a mediator. However, when necessary, hiring a mediator can be a better alternative to litigation in many cases.
Mediation utilizes a neutral third-party specially trained to assist parties in reaching agreements on:
- Spousal support
- Child custody
If you would like more information about the divorce process and how we can assist you, our divorce lawyers can help you become better informed about your rights and options. We are here to help and are available to serve clients throughout Orange County, Northern San Diego County, and the surrounding areas.
Recommended reading on Divorce:
- Who Pays for Divorce Attorney Fees in California?
- Is a “Quick & Simple” Divorce Possible?
- Why Should I Consider Mediating My Divorce?