Whether you have a lot of assets and children or no assets and no children, divorce is hard. When it breaks down, in most cases, you don't have to prove one spouse was at fault. No-fault divorces are the most common type of divorce today as opposed to fault-based divorces. To have the divorce approved, however, you still need to have all matters pertinent to asset division, child custody, child support, spousal support, and (sometimes) attorney fees worked out. That can be done either by agreement of the parties or by a judge's decision.
At The Geller Firm, our no-fault divorce attorney in California will make sure your rights and interests are represented and upheld. Contact us online or call us at 415-840-0570 if you are thinking about a divorce or have received divorce papers, and we will help you determine your next best steps in the process.
What is a No-Fault Divorce in California?
A no-fault divorce occurs when one spouse files for divorce from the other spouse without alleging and having to prove the other spouse was at fault for the marital breakdown. This is often referred to as an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” or “irreconcilable differences” between the parties. All states recognize no-fault divorces in one form or another.
Uncontested versus Contested No-Fault Divorces in California
An uncontested no-fault divorce is one where the parties are able to come to an agreement as to the terms of their divorce. In other words, they are able to determine amongst themselves (with or without the assistance of counsel) the matters related to their divorce, such as child custody, child support, division of assets, and alimony. As long as a judge finds that the terms are equitable, the final decree of divorce will reflect the agreed-upon terms of the parties.
A contested no-fault divorce occurs when the parties (with or without the assistance of counsel) are not able to reach an agreement regarding the matters related to the divorce. It is possible the parties disagree about everything, or just one or two items. When the parties disagree, many states require they attend mediation. Either way, when there is no agreement, the court must become involved, and the parties will proceed to trial. A judge will hear the case and make a ruling that the former spouses will be required to follow.
Do You Need a Divorce Attorney in California for a No-Fault Divorce?
Many people incorrectly assume that if their divorce is not fault-based, they do not need to seek advice from a divorce lawyer. However, if you are filing for a no-fault divorce, or if your spouse has filed for a no-fault divorce, it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer to represent you throughout the proceedings. Benefits of retaining counsel include the following.
- Your attorney will know the laws of your state and what is required to be successful in a no-fault divorce.
- An attorney will provide you with invaluable advice that is specific to your situation.
- An attorney can ensure you are not given the short end of the stick when negotiating with your spouse, especially when your spouse is represented by counsel.
- It is possible your spouse has not been forthcoming regarding their assets. An attorney can help you investigate to make certain everyone comes to the table with clean hands.
- Most divorces involve the things in life that matter most to you, such as your children and your money. A divorce is not the time to cut corners when your most valuable possessions are at stake.
Whether your no-fault divorce is contested or uncontested, hiring an attorney can bring you peace of mind in knowing you have someone looking out for your best interests.
Contact a No-Fault Divorce Attorney in California Today
Whether or not you think you can handle a no-fault divorce on your own is your decision. But we know from experience: that getting smart legal advice helps make sure your rights and interests are protected. A divorce is a life-changing event, and how it proceeds can affect you today and tomorrow. Contact The Geller Firm online or at 415-840-0570 to schedule a consultation. It's the least you can do to make sure you are headed in the right direction.