Divorce attorney Bruce A. Mandel has handled California divorce cases for close to three decades, and he knows that no two divorces are alike. When spouses decide to end their marriage, there are different types of divorces that they may pursue, depending on their unique facts and circumstances. If you have decided to end your marriage, we can help you determine the best way to proceed in your marital dissolution.
Contested, Uncontested, And Default Divorces
Contested divorces occur when spouses are unable to agree, and they look to the court to decide the terms of their divorce. Contested divorces are often lengthy and expensive, which is why many couples attempt to settle divorce matters without court intervention.
Uncontested divorces occur when both spouses agree to divorce terms, and they both participate in the court proceedings. This type of divorce is often preferable because spouses can avoid the stress and expense associated with contested divorce litigation.
Sometimes one spouse files for divorce and the other spouse fails to respond to the divorce filings. Once the response filing deadline has passed, the court may grant a default divorce. Choosing not to respond to a divorce petition is risky because you then have no say when it comes to decisions related to divorce terms, such as spousal support, child custody matters, and debt and asset division.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
When divorcing spouses want to avoid court litigation, they pursue other methods to resolve divorce issues. See below for types of alternative dispute resolution methods.
- Arbitration allows spouses to argue their cases to a neutral third party outside of the court system. The arbiter, often a retired judge or attorney, then makes decisions regarding divorce matters. People frequently choose the arbitration route because it is less formal and more private than a divorce trial.
- Mediation is similar to arbitration except that the neutral third party does not make decisions related to divorce terms. The mediator hears from both sides and works with them to settle divorce matters without court intervention.
- In a collaborative divorce, each spouse hires specially trained collaborative divorce attorneys to help them negotiate settlement terms. Like arbitration and mediation, when collaborative divorce is successful, spouses may avoid the expensive and time-consuming divorce litigation process.
Alternatives To Divorce
Under some circumstances, divorce alternatives may work better for couples. When spouses want or need to stay legally married, but they do not want to live as though they are married, they may choose legal separation instead of divorce. Couples often choose legal separation when they need to be married for insurance purposes, or when they are not confident that they want to end their marriage permanently.
Couples may also choose summary dissolution in California for an expedited and simplified divorce, but only certain circumstances will make couples eligible for a summary dissolution. Similarly, only some couples will qualify for a marriage annulment. When an annulment is granted for specific reasons, such as incest or fraud, the marriage is declared invalid, and it is like the couple was never married.
California Divorce Attorney
If you are considering divorce in California, contact divorce attorney Bruce A. Mandel at 424-250-9130 or online to schedule a consultation. We will discuss your case and divorce options to pursue. Follow us on Facebook to learn more about our firm and the types of family law matters that we handle.