What Needs to Be Done?

Everyone knows that  a divorce/dissolution terminates the marital relationship but not everyone knows what needs to be done.  It is far easier to get married than it is to get a divorce/dissolution.  In California your marriage needs to be terminated by a court order called a Judgment of Dissolution.  In other states the courts grant a divorce judgments or divorce decree.  Divorce was also the term that was used in California in years past.    In California (and in other states as well), the judgment the court enters must address certain basic issues:

  1. The dates of marriage and the dates of separation.
  2. The nature and extent of your community and separate property.
  3. How the community property is to be divided. (This is often called marital property in states that do no follow community property rules)
  4. If there are children, their names and ages and the parenting plan for those children who are still minors.
  5. It must provide for how much child support is to be paid–whether it is $0 or some amount; and
  6. It must provide information regarding  spousal support or alimony as it is sometimes called. 

How you go about getting that judgment is your choice.  However you decide to proceed, there are two basic steps that need to be followed: 

  •  The first step consists of many small steps:  You must file all of the necessary documents, sometimes called pleadings or forms, that the Court requires before it can be grant the judgment.
  • The second step is to either (1) agree, or (2)or to get a court order.  The agreement or order should  address all of the issues and be stated in the necessary documents which are filed with the court–usually the Judgment of Dissolution.