Divorce Helping You Find the Best Path Forward

Kern County Divorce Attorneys

Experienced & Dedicated Divorce Representation

Couple signing divorce papers in BakersfieldFiling for divorce is daunting. From collecting documents to considering how your marriage's dissolution could impact your personal relationships and financial stability, navigating the divorce process can be exhausting.

At Divorced by Design, our experienced, compassionate Kern County divorce lawyers are here to help you every step of the way. We'll work with you to customize a case strategy to your needs, fighting for your rights and providing you with the skilled legal representation you deserve. Having a divorce attorney by your side can be of tremendous help for all parties involved.

Your lawyer will provide you with the clarity, support, and legal guidance that you need to effectively get you through this challenging time. Your attorney will also be able to help you with various family law matters, such as child support and child custody, to help to ensure a smooth divorce process.

To work with a Kern County divorce attorney on your case, contact us online or via phone at (661) 760-2872.

Requirements to File for Divorce in California

To file for a divorce in California:

  • You or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months;
  • You or your spouse must have lived in the county where you file for divorce for at least three months.

In a divorce, there are two parties. The party who files for divorce is called the "petitioner," while the other party is called the "respondent."

The petitioner must file the following forms:

  • FL-100, a Petition for Dissolution of the marriage.
  • FL-110, a Summons.
  • FL-115, a Proof of Service of Summons.

The Petition for Dissolution contains the bulk of the information about the divorce, including why the petitioner wants the divorce. California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that the petitioner only needs to cite "irreconcilable differences" with their spouse as the reason for filing for divorce. The Petition for Dissolution also contains the terms the petitioner wants for the divorce, such as proposed terms for property division, child custody and support, and spousal support or alimony.

The Summons form acts to notify the respondent of the divorce filing and summon them to court for hearings (if necessary). The petitioner needs to serve the respondent with the divorce forms, after which they can file a Proof of Service of Summons to verify that the respondent was notified of the divorce.

After receiving the Summons, the respondent can file a Response to the Petition for Dissolution. If the respondent does not file a Response, the court can award the petitioner with a default judgment.

To schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney in Kern County, contact us online or via phone at (661) 760-2872.

Uncontested Versus Contested Divorce in California

Whether the respondent files a response (or how they respond) often depends on whether the parties have a contested or uncontested divorce.

In an uncontested divorce, the parties agree on terms for divorce-related processes, such as the division of community property, child custody and support, and spousal support and alimony.

If the parties disagree on such terms in any way, they must file for a contested divorce.

  • Uncontested Divorce: In an uncontested divorce, the parties typically draft an agreement detailing the terms they have settled on for their divorce. This can happen either before the petitioner files the Petition for Dissolution, or after the respondent files a Response through negotiation. A judge will examine the divorce agreement to assess whether it is equitable. If they approve of the agreement, they can sign a divorce decree that finalizes the divorce with the terms the parties agreed to.
  • Contested Divorce: the parties may need to litigate the outcome of their divorce in the courtroom. Typically, this means that each party attends hearings for temporary orders, which determine how processes such as custody or spousal support are handled while the divorce is ongoing. Eventually, the parties attend a trial where they present their evidence to the court. The court uses that information to make a judgment and draft a divorce decree that finalizes the divorce.

Generally, uncontested divorces are less expensive, time-consuming, and combative than contested divorces. For that reason, many attorneys attempt to facilitate uncontested divorces using methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as mediation or collaborative divorce.

However, sometimes a contested divorce is the best way for each party to protect their rights and interests.

Divorce is an incredibly complex process, and no two divorces look the same. At Divorced by Design, our veteran Kern County divorce lawyer understands the California divorce process inside and out. We'll work with you to ensure you pursue an outcome that enables you to thrive in the short and long term, seeking the best results for your future.

To schedule a consultation with an experienced Kern County divorce attorney today, contact us online or via phone at (661) 760-2872.

What to Expect With
Our Firm on Your Side

Customized Approach Tailored to Your Case
  • Family-Centered

    Our team is here to shoulder the legal burden of your case so that you can focus on caring for your family.

  • Free Consultations

    We understand you have questions, our firm provides free consultations to help get you started in the right direction.

  • Flexible Schedules

    We understand that dealing with a family law dispute is never easy. We want to help ease that burden by making ourselves available when you need us most.

  • Customized Strategies

    Our attorneys will customize their strategy to you and your needs, helping you identify and pursue a positive resolution in your case.

Your Family Is in Good Hands

See What a Former Client Has to Say About Their Experience With Our Firm
  • There are those few times over the years that I have had the honor to work with a professional who I knew as soon as they began speaking—this is an outstanding professional and an incredible person—working with you was one of those times. - Beverly

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