Brad Hague Attorney (951) 340-2842 Divorce Attorney Brad Hague
Home >> Divorce

Divorce will impact nearly all aspects of life. Some considerations that need to be evaluated to have an equitable distribution will be Property Division, Tax Ramifications, Accurate Assessments of Assets, Family Owned Businesses, Children (visitation, custody, and support), Health Insurance, Retirement and others.

Decisions made during this time may have a LIFE-LONG impact.

Whether you are in agreement with your spouse or your divorce is contested, you should have an attorney to advise and educate you as to your rights.

In California, divorce is known as "dissolution of marriage." Through this site the terms divorce and dissolution of marriage can be used interchangeably.

The grounds for dissolution of marriage are: Irreconcilable Differences and Incurable Insanity.

The Irreconcilable Differences clause is basically what provides the right to a divorce without demonstrating fault by the other party. Thus the term “no-fault” divorce.

Legally speaking Dissolution of Marriage begins when a party to the marriage files a Petition and supporting documents with the proper court and serves the other marital party with the same.

The party who files becomes the Petitioner and the person who is served becomes the Respondent. There are no legal benefits to being either party.

The Respondent has 30 days to file a written response with the court.


Contested Divorce

If the party who was served is not in agreement with the terms of the Petition, they are required to file a timely Response and contest the Petition. To do this they must file a Response and tell the court what they believe to be fair.

Contested divorces are like standard civil trials where a third party, a judge, will decide all issues addressed in the Petition and Response.

If there are no minor children involved, these issues usually include property valuations, division, and future support.

When children are affected, California requires Mediation as part of the proceedings. Both Petitioner and Respondent, without attorneys or a judge, must meet a Mediator in an attempt to resolve the issues involving the minor children.

During Mediation, the parents try to come to an agreement regarding visitation and time share. They discuss issues such as holiday schedules. If they cannot come to an agreement, the Mediator creates a report based on what they believe is in the best interest of the child regarding terms of visitation, custody, etc. This is forwarded to the judge handling your case.

Without a compelling reason supported by evidence, the judge will usually use this report as a basis for the decision rendered regarding the minor children.

Uncontested Divorce

IIf both parties are in agreement with the initial filing, OR the Respondent fails to respond in a timely manner (usually 30 days) a Default Judgment will be entered, making everything the Petitioner sought now a court order. This type of action is usually considered an Uncontested Divorce.

If you have been served with "divorce papers," seek legal advice immediately. In the eyes of the court, failure to act is the same as being in agreement.


There are certain circumstances where Nullity (nullifying the marriage) may be the better course of action. This may be appropriate in cases that involve incest, bigamy, age issues (minors), prior existing marriage, unsound mind, fraud, force or incapacity. By discussing your exact situation, Brad can advise you on the best course of action.

Legal Separations

A Legal Separation case is similar to Dissolution of Marriage or Dissolution of a Domestic Partnership in terms of the range of issues that are resolved in the case, except that the parties remain married or registered to each other.

Home  |  About  |  Site Policies  |  Site Map | Teminology
  Copyrights 2008 All Rights Reserved.