8 Common Divorce Questions Answered

Divorce is a significant decision with a variety of legal and emotional implications involved. Navigating the complexities intertwined in ending a marriage can be overwhelming when you’re already grappling with your emotions and uncertainty of what’s to come. As you begin to transition out of this phase of your life, you might be asking yourself a myriad of questions you don’t have the answer to!

This blog, “Eight Common Divorce Questions Answered,” can offer you guidance through both the legal intricacies and the emotional terrain of divorce so that you can feel empowered to make informed decisions that will affect your next chapter of life and many more to come. Let’s dive in!

8 Common Divorce Questions Answered

Question 1: “Is There More Than One Way To Divorce?”

There are two main methods of divorce: contested and uncontested.

Contested divorce occurs when two people cannot agree on any of the divorce-related issues like child custody, child support, alimony, or property and debt distribution. This will require traditional litigation, where a judge will be the one to ultimately decide on the terms of your divorce.

Uncontested divorce is when a couple agrees on the divorce-related issues. While uncontested divorces are usually civil, conflict can still arise, in which case mediation (a divorce method to help resolve disputes informally) may be beneficial.

If you and your spouse are on amicable terms, an uncontested divorce will allow you to keep the power in your hands when it comes to the future of your assets, debt, property, and custody of children (if you have them).

Question 2: “Who Gets What And How Is That Decided?”

In California, there is separate property and community property. Separate property is what you and your spouse each own or owe individually from before you married or after you separated, including any gifts or inheritance. Community property is what you own or owe together during your marriage. If you and your spouse are able to agree on the terms of your divorce outside of court, it will not only save you time, money, and stress, but it’ll give you a higher chance of approval from a judge. If you’re having a hard time deciphering what is separate property and what is community property, enlisting the help of an experienced divorce lawyer can save you the hassle and headache. 

Question 3: “What About Child Custody And Support?”

The emotions attached to the divorce process tend to be amplified when there are children involved. If you’re considering divorce and need to create a custody arrangement, you’ll need to work with a family law attorney who can explain your options and advise you on creating an agreement that will be best suited to your family’s unique needs. It’s easy to let your feelings take control during such a challenging time, but it’s important to keep your children’s well-being and best interests at the forefront. Even if you’re married to someone who is non-compliant, mediation is applicable to custody as well, so an attorney can help initiate negotiations. If matters are too contentious, they can protect your parental rights and help you fight for the best possible outcome.

Question 4: “How Long Does The Divorce Process Take?”

Divorce in California takes at least 6 months as there are 4 major parts to the process; starting the case, sharing financial information, making decisions, and finalizing the divorce. There are also factors that can influence the duration of divorce proceedings like issues serving your spouse with divorce papers, conflict between you and your spouse, history of domestic violence, hidden assets, and more.

While there isn’t much that can be done to speed the process along, an uncontested divorce traditionally takes far less time than a contested divorce does.

Question 5: “Do I Need A Lawyer For My Divorce?”

If you haven’t figured it out by now, yes, you need to hire a divorce lawyer. Professional representation can make the difference between a favorable outcome and a stressful, drawn-out legal battle. The state of California may not require you to hire a lawyer, but it is your best interest! Forgoing professional help and using online templates might save you a few bucks and seem like a more convenient option, but it can also lead to mistakes that prolong your case and end up costing you even more than if you’d hired an attorney from the start.

A skilled divorce attorney can help you navigate the intricate process of divorce while protecting the things that matter most to you. They’ll ensure you understand the terms of your divorce and how they’ll impact your future. They can also offer you peace of mind in the midst of emotional turbulence.

Question 6: “How Much Does A Divorce Cost?”

The average cost of divorce in California is $17,500. That being said, what you end up spending during divorce is primarily based on what kind of divorce you get. As previously mentioned, uncontested divorce is quicker than contested, thus requiring less of an attorney’s time, and avoiding court fees and other legal costs.

Question 7: “What Happens To The Family Home?”

Like all other assets, it needs to be determined if your family home is separate property or community property. If the home was acquired during your marriage, then it’s considered community property, and your options are as follows:

  • Spousal buyout – One spouse pays the other for their portion of the home.
  • Immediate sale – You may agree to sell the home and split the profits.
  • Deferred sale – Co-own the home and sell at a later point in time.

If a couple cannot agree on what to do with their home, many courts will order them to sell it. 

Question 8: “What About Spousal Support (Alimony)?”

There are two types of spousal support in California: temporary and long-term. Temporary spousal support is an order for payments prior to the finalization of your divorce, while long-term support is an order made at the end of your case.

If you are financially dependent upon your spouse and are concerned about receiving the proper amount of spousal support in your divorce, OR if you are the primary earner and are concerned about being taken advantage of in your divorce, a divorce attorney can help protect your financial interests.

How The Grey Legal Group Can Help You!

Whether you know it’s time to divorce, or you’re still considering your options, The Grey Legal Group is here to help. Our seasoned divorce attorneys have the skills and knowledge needed to help you reach your ideal outcome in divorce. We empathize with what you’re going through, so we strive to lessen the impact this difficult process can have on your life. When you’re ready to move forward, call The Grey Legal Group to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team.

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The Grey Legal Group

At The Grey Legal Group, we believe in helping all families with their legal needs so they can be protected on your journey back to a calmer, happier place of stability. Whether it is divorce, child custody, guardianship, domestic violence, or adoption, we have seen it all before and we can help you through it. With the legal knowledge and experience we bring to the table, we will be certain to find the best and most efficient solution to your situation.

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