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San Francisco Divorce Attorney

Helping Clients Going Through Divorce in San Francisco

Divorce is one of the most difficult and emotional experiences many people face. In addition to the emotional toll, the process can be legally complex and financially challenging as well. Divorcing couples must make important decisions about property division, child custody, and support, and spousal support that will affect their lives for years to come.

At Gill Law Group, PC, we understand every challenge our clients face during a divorce. Our San Francisco divorce attorneys provide the caring, compassionate, and experienced representation our clients need to get through the process efficiently and effectively. We work closely with our clients to understand their unique needs and goals, and we develop customized strategies that are tailored to their specific circumstances.

To learn more about how we can assist you with your divorce, call us at (888) 392-1941 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

What is the Divorce Process in California?

Divorce, which is also referred to as dissolution of marriage, is the legal process of ending a marriage. In California, either spouse can file for divorce, and they do not need to have a specific reason. California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that the court will not consider either spouse’s misconduct when deciding whether to grant the divorce. The spouse who files for divorce is known as the petitioner, and the other spouse is referred to as the respondent.

The divorce process in California typically involves the following steps:

  • Filing of Petition: The petitioner files a petition for divorce with the court. The petition will state the grounds for the divorce and will include information about the couple’s children, assets, and debts. The petitioner must also serve the respondent with a copy of the petition and a summons, which notifies the respondent that they have been sued for divorce. The respondent must then file a response with the court, in which they can agree or disagree with the terms of the divorce.
  • Temporary Orders: Either spouse can ask the court to issue temporary orders for child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, and restraining orders. These orders are intended to maintain the status quo until the divorce is finalized. The court may hold a hearing to determine whether temporary orders will be issued.
  • Discovery: The spouses must exchange financial information and other relevant documents. They may also need to obtain appraisals of their property and businesses. The spouses may agree to exchange documents voluntarily, or the court may require them to do so.
  • Settlement Negotiations: The spouses, with the assistance of their attorneys, will try to negotiate a settlement of their issues. They may attend mediation, where a neutral third party will help them resolve their disagreements. If the spouses are unable to reach an agreement, the court will schedule a trial.
  • Finalizing the Divorce: If the spouses are able to reach an agreement, they can submit a marital settlement agreement to the court. The agreement will state how the couple’s property and debts will be divided, whether spousal support will be paid, and the terms of child custody, visitation, and support. If the court approves the agreement, it will become an enforceable court order. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement, the court will hold a trial, at which the spouses can present evidence and witnesses. The judge will then make a final decision about the terms of the divorce. Once the divorce is finalized, the court will issue a judgment of divorce. The marriage will be legally dissolved, and the spouses will be single and free to remarry.

How Long Does a Divorce Take in California?

The length of time it takes to get a divorce in California will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Whether the spouses have reached an agreement: If the spouses are able to reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce, the process can be completed more quickly. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement, the case will need to go to trial, which will take longer.
  • Whether the spouses have children: If the spouses have children, the court will need to make determinations about child custody, visitation, and support. These issues can be complex and can take more time to resolve.
  • The court’s schedule: The court’s schedule can also affect how long it takes to get a divorce. The court may need to schedule hearings, which can take time. In some cases, the court may have a backlog of cases, which can cause delays.

In general, it will take at least six months to get a divorce in California. This is because California has a mandatory waiting period of six months from the date the respondent is served with the divorce papers until the divorce can be finalized. In some cases, the divorce may take longer.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in California?

The cost of getting a divorce in California will depend on a number of factors, including whether the spouses have reached an agreement on the terms of the divorce and whether the case needs to go to trial. In general, the more complex the case, the more it will cost. Divorce costs can include court filing fees, attorney’s fees, and the cost of hiring experts, such as appraisers and business evaluators.

The following are some of the factors that can affect the cost of a divorce:

  • The complexity of the issues
  • Whether the spouses have significant assets or debts
  • Whether the spouses have children
  • Whether the spouses are able to reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce
  • Whether the case needs to go to trial
  • The hourly rate of the attorney
  • Whether the attorney requires a retainer

In general, it is less expensive to get a divorce if the spouses are able to reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce. An uncontested divorce is typically less expensive than a contested divorce. A divorce that goes to trial is likely to be more expensive than one that is settled out of court.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in California?

California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that the spouse who files for divorce does not need to prove that the other spouse engaged in misconduct. The only ground for divorce in California is that there are “irreconcilable differences” between the spouses, which means that they are no longer able to get along. The spouse filing for divorce is not required to give specific reasons for the divorce, other than that they have irreconcilable differences.

There are two types of no-fault divorces in California:

  • Uncontested Divorce: If one spouse does not respond to the divorce papers, the divorce is considered uncontested, and the court will grant the divorce. The divorce will be based on the petitioner’s statement that there are irreconcilable differences between the spouses.
  • Contested Divorce: If the other spouse does respond to the divorce papers and disagrees with the terms of the divorce, the divorce is considered contested. The petitioner will need to prove that there are irreconcilable differences between the spouses, but they will not need to prove that the other spouse engaged in misconduct. If the court finds that there are irreconcilable differences between the spouses, it will grant the divorce.

Although California is a no-fault divorce state, the court may consider either spouse’s misconduct when making determinations about child custody, visitation, support, and property division. For example, if one spouse committed domestic violence, the court may be more likely to grant the other spouse sole custody of the children.

California also recognizes the grounds of permanent legal incapacity to make decisions. This means that one spouse is unable to make decisions about their own health and safety and the court can grant a divorce based on this ground. The court will typically require a medical or psychological evaluation to determine whether this ground exists.

Contact us today at (888) 392-1941 to let us help our San Francisco divorce lawyer guide you through the divorce process.

Our Client Testimonials

See Why People Choose the Gill Law Group, PC
    “I would highly recommend this professional firm and his staff.”
    “I would highly recommend this professional firm and his staff.”
    - Kathleen H.
    “I could not have survived the divorce without this team.”
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    I wholeheartedly endorse this lawyer. I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Mr. Gill for the last few years and am also proud to call him a friend. He is knowledgeable and cares about his clients.
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    “Mr. Gill can handle the most complex matters; cases that will leave other attorneys in the dark.”
    Raja Gill is an exceptional lawyer with the requisite knowledge, experience, and compassion to deliver superior results for his client. Possessing an eye for detail, Mr. Gill can handle the most complex matters; cases that will leave other attorneys in the dark. If you are looking for an attorney who will far exceed your expectations, look no further than Mr. Gill.
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    He is good and on top of everything. He contacted me frequently and got me what I wanted. I'll recommend him to anyone that needs professional help.
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