A Primer on the Divorce Process in CA

Pleasanton CA divorce attorneyWe’re nearly halfway through 2023, and the hot summer months are upon us. Generally, summer months are peak divorce months, with August having on average the highest number of divorces throughout the year. With this in mind, we thought it would be a good time to offer a quick primer on the divorce process from beginning to end.

Here’s what the divorce process looks like in CA:


  • File the petition for divorce. The process is initiated when you file petition for dissolution of marriage with the family law courts. You’ll include basic information about the family with your petition, including whether children are involved as well as the grounds for divorce.



  • Serve the other party. Next, you have to provide your spouse with a copy of the petition and a summons. This is often delivered via a third party. Once your spouse has been served, he/she has 30 days to respond. 



  • DIsclose all required financial details. Next, both parties have to fully disclose every last detail regarding their income, expenses, debts, and all assets. This is done via financial disclosure forms and this info is used to divide property and debts between both parties.



  • Come to a settlement if possible. A large percentage of divorces end up with an agreement between the parties, or a settlement. This settlement details out all the specifics on spousal or child support, asset division, and every other aspect of the resulting agreement to your divorce. Note that a settlement needs to be submitted to the court for approval.



  • Proceed to a court hearing. If you and the ex cannot come to an agreement, you’ll move forward to the trial phase. Here, a family law court judge hears all evidence and helps make a decision on any disputes or disagreements.



  • Finalizing the divorce proceedings. Once all the details are finalized, a judgment of dissolution of marriage is handed down by the courts. This officially terminates the marriage.


Talk to a Divorce Attorney in CA Today

This is the divorce process in a nutshell, though things don’t always play out quickly within 6 efficient steps. Even if you expect a straightforward separation where you and the ex can come to an agreement with minimal complications, it is critical that you show up prepared with your own legal representation. 

Learn about how our experienced divorce attorneys at White Oak Law help clients navigate every step of their divorce, from filing the initial petition to the finalized dissolution of marriage. Call our expert lawyers today to discuss your specific legal needs and book your appointment by calling us at 925-271-0999.