Do I Need To File a Lawsuit For an Orange County Divorce?

divorce-orange-countyA divorce is, by definition, a civil suit in a court of law. No matter the situation – even if both parties agree that amiably separating is the best thing for everyone – you must always file a lawsuit for divorce in Orange County. Even under amicable circumstances, working with an attorney during this process enables both parties to position themselves for an auspicious new beginning. While the term “lawsuit” does sound a bit jarring, you needn’t be afraid of the process. Here’s everything you need to know about filing a lawsuit for divorce.


When you file for an Orange County divorce, is it a lawsuit?

Under California law, every Orange County divorce requires filing a lawsuit. Still, there is a crucial distinction between divorces and other kinds of lawsuits: divorce cases do not have to be as contentious, because both parties have mutual interests. 

Pursuing an amicable solution is often mutually beneficial to preserve relationships and maintain stability and security for everyone involved. However, despite shared interests, collaborative divorce mediators are still essential when filing for divorce. 

Spouses can introduce mediators before filing for divorce to help navigate the complicated filing process, facilitate negotiation, settle disputes, reach agreements, and determine who should be the plaintiff and who should be the defendant.

Collaborative mediators enable both parties to avoid costly, exhausting, and damaging litigation by facilitating a peaceful and healthy resolution and, ultimately, mitigating the chaos in what is already a tumultuous period.


Why filing for divorce in Orange County is necessary

You must file a lawsuit for an Orange County divorce to commence the dissolution process. People inevitably perceive this as a hostile and hurtful legal action, but the process protects your rights, ensures things go smoothly, and prohibits either spouse from:

  • Removing children from the state without prior written consent or court orders.
  • Creating new debt.
  • Cashing, borrowing against, canceling, transferring, changing, or disposing of insurance beneficiaries.
  • Transferring, encumbering, concealing, dividing, or disposing of property without written consent or court orders.
  • Hiding assets.

Only a skilled, collaborative divorce mediator can achieve an equitable, peaceful, and healthy divorce while preserving relationships and parental rights; protecting children, assets, and property; mitigating stress and emotional turmoil; and much more. 


The process of filing for an Orange County divorce 

Divorce is deeply personal, emotionally complex, and replete with opportunities for communication lapses and uneven settlements. There are several avenues available when pursuing an uncontested or contested divorce. Typical proceedings include:

  • Litigation
  • Negotiated settlements
  • Mediation
  • Collaborative divorce

California is a ‘no-fault state’, so everyone has the unilateral right to seek and acquire a divorce. Most divorces adhere to the following timeline: 

  1. One party files and serves the Summons and Petition.
  2. There is a 30-day response deadline.
  3. You can request temporary orders.
  4. Financial disclosure. 
  5. You commence the discovery process.
  6. Terms negotiation. 
  7. You settle or go to trial.
  8. You finalize your divorce or receive final judgment. 

Filing for divorce in California also has several legal and eligibility requirements that are imperative to understand, including: 

  • Having lived in California for the past six months.
  • Having lived in the county where you are filing for the past three months.
  • A mandatory six-month waiting period for any divorce to be final.


Begin the process of achieving a peaceful divorce in Orange County

Divorce is an emotional journey to endure. On top of the bitterness and anger which often result from a formal separation, the subsequent legal battles tend to make the whole process even more painful. At the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, we revel in the power of choice. When spouses face divorce, they’re presented with a slew of decisions with a handful of potential outcomes. Our attorneys are believers in the best possible outcome, where a former couple chooses peace over destruction, so that they can finally move onto their next chapter. We can help with that. No matter your desired path – mediation, a negotiated settlement, or even litigation – The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens will achieve the best possible outcome by reaching a settlement that keeps all involved parties in mind. Visit our website to review our family law services or contact us online for a free consultation.

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