Dissolution of Marriage • Divorce • Agreements • Family Law

Divorce is generally one of life’s most traumatic events. While an uncontested divorce may be resolved without undue stress, the legal process of dissolving a marriage becomes complex when children, considerable marital assets or an uncompromising spouse are involved.

In an effort to reduce the numerous conflicts surrounding divorce, California was the first state to enact a no-fault divorce law. In no-fault divorce, neither spouse is blamed for the breakdown of the marriage. And either spouse can petition the court for a divorce based on irreconcilable differences or on incurable insanity. However, the petitioning party must be a resident of California for at least six months and a resident of the county of filing for at least three months. The marriage can be terminated whether or not the other spouse agrees to it.

Every divorce proceeding begins with a petition that one spouse serves to the other. In California, once the petition is served, the earliest a court can finalize the divorce is six months. If aspects of the divorce such as child custody, visitation, support and division of debts and assets are in dispute, naturally, reaching a final agreement may take considerably longer. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, the judge will resolve any outstanding disputes upon conclusion of a trial. Interim (temporary) orders regarding custody and support; however, can be sought immediately.

At the Law Offices of James T. Raetz, where our focus is solely on family law, a major portion of our practice is devoted to assisting individuals with issues involved in dissolving a marriage, from child custody and child support to alimony and an equitable division of assets.

Various technicalities and formalities must be satisfied before a judge will grant a divorce. When you seek our help in obtaining a divorce, Mr. Raetz will work with you personally, getting to know you and your individual needs. We educate you about the legal issues involved in your case, explain your rights and carefully address your concerns. If appropriate, we seek temporary orders so that your urgent needs are taken care of immediately. Throughout the divorce process, Mr. Raetz encourages your participation so that you remain in charge of the decisions that affect your life for years to come.

Whether you are contemplating divorce or have made a decision to end your marriage, it is vital that you understand the legal and financial ramifications involved. Treating your private matters with the utmost discretion, Mr. Raetz offers trusted legal advice and guidance to resolve your marital conflicts. We invite you to call our office at (310) 292-3087 or (949) 623-8410 to arrange a consultation.