San Diego Divorce Family Law Firm, Griffith, Young & Lass Discuss Pros and Cons of "One Day Divorce"

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San Diego Divorce Lawyer John Griffith Discusses the Keys to a Quick and Easy Divorce

San Diego Divoorce Lawyer

"Even the simplest of divorces can drag out if either spouse allows emotions to cloud better judgment."

The downtown Family Law Division of the San Diego Superior Court now offers unrepresented litigants to a divorce the opportunity to complete and finalize their divorce in just one day--without paying divorce lawyer. This may be a responsible option for many divorcing couples. However, many divorce litigants are much better served hiring a divorce lawyer in order to protect their rights and interests.

The requirements to participate in the one day divorce program are as follows:

1. Six months must have passed from the filing of the initial Petition for divorce.
2. The Summons and Petition for divorce must have been served on the responding party.
3. Proof of service of the Petition must be filed with the court.
4. Neither party may be represented by a family lawyer.
5. Either all issues in the case must be settled or the responding party has chosen not to participate in the divorce. The issues that need to be settled include: Property division, debt division, spousal support, child support, child custody and visitation.

California Law has very strict legal and procedural requirements when it comes to divorce. The basic requirements include the filing and service of a Petition for divorce, a full and accurate financial disclosure by both parties of all income, assets and debts whether jointly or individually owned, and either an agreement between the parties or a ruling from the Court on all issues related to the marriage. The difficulty for many self-represented parties is the paperwork and forms required to be filed by the Court prior to a divorce being granted. If the proper forms are not filled out in the proper manner and filed in the proper order then the divorce will be rejected until the paperwork is filed correctly. This process often leads to frustration and often results in the party simply hiring a divorce lawyer to get the job done. Sometimes hiring a lawyer is the smart thing to do.    

The three issues that most influence whether a divorce case will be quickly resolved or drawn out for some time are Complexity, Cooperation and Courtesy. In fact, the more complex a case, the more influential effective cooperation and common courtesy will be on successful mediated resolution.

The complexity of a divorce case is an obvious indicator as to whether or not the case can be quickly resolved. Generally, the more complex the case, the more time is needed. Complex cases aren’t necessarily cases involving a great deal of issues. A complex case is one in which one or more of the issues require complex legal analysis and information gathering, or one or more of the issues require the advice or recommendation of an expert in order to influence or encourage settlement. Complex cases include issues such as dividing or valuing a business, determining the validity of prenuptial agreements, determining the income of a self-employed individual, and even child custody issues.    

Cooperation between the parties is essential to a quick resolution to a divorce. Effective cooperation requires transparency. In order for a divorce to go smoothly, everything must be laid out on the table. The second one party believes that the other party is hiding something things get ugly. The job of a divorce lawyer is to obtain all relevant information and to advise her client as to his or her legal options. If something is being hidden, be it money or information, it will eventually come out. Sadly the truth often comes out after years of litigation and college funds being spent on legal fees. Cooperation and transparency from the outset of the case not only builds trust between the parties and lawyers (which influences settlement), but also alleviates the need for depositions, subpoenas and other information gathering devices that keep divorce lawyers fully employed.

“Whether it’s hiding a bank account or a DUI, a good divorce lawyer is going to find it and make you pay” says John Griffith, a San Diego divorce lawyer. The penalties for non-disclosure of information in a divorce are not worth the potential benefits assuming the information is never found.

Oftentimes the simplest of divorce cases can become outrageously expensive and drawn out for far too long merely because the husband and wife do not get along. Heightened emotion is always expected during a divorce. However, curbing that emotion so that it does not cloud good judgment is one key to success. “I have seen divorce cases last for over five years and cost the parties tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars”, says Griffith.

Whether you think you need to hire a lawyer or not, it is always a good idea to at the very least consult with one so that you can gain a basic understanding of your rights. The San Diego family law firm of Griffith, Young & Lass practices exclusively in family and divorce law. Call now for a free consultation at 858-345-1720 or visit our website for more information on all divorce and family law related matters

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