One of the most often questions asked of our family law attorneys is How to File for Divorce in California. In this state, there are numerous ways to file for divorce. The most common divorce filing is when one spouse files and serves a “petition for dissolution” A person can also file a “petition for legal separation” if they do not want to fully commit to a divorce. A judicial council form FL-100 can be utilized for both the filing of a “petition for dissolution” and “petition for legal separation.”
A petition for legal separation is similar to petition for dissolution except a petition for legal separation will not actually terminate the parties marital status. It separates the parties, divides property, assigns custody schedules, calculates and orders support, and resolves all other issues that are typically tied to a divorce action.
A divorce proceeding can also be started through the filing of a request for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. Often, with domestic violence cases there is insufficient time to prepare a full petition. The seriousness of the domestic incident requires an immediate filing to protect the victim of abuse.
A good tip to remember when looking to hire a lawyer is to make sure you find a lawyer that has the necessary experience that you’re looking for. If you’re going to court soon for a criminal case, it wouldn’t make sense to bring on a divorce lawyer, you’ll need a criminal lawyer. Same goes for divorces. You generally want to hire an attorney who has handled hundreds if not thousands of divorce cases and generally focuses in the area of family law.