Full Service Divorce
Dissolution results in the termination of a marriage or domestic partnership. Single status is restored allowing parties to remarry or enter a new domestic partnership.
Legal Separation is an option for couples who don't necessarily want a divorce, but want to live apart from one another. Legal Separation will not terminate a marriage. If you are legally separated you will not be able to remarry or enter a domestic partnership.
In both instances, the court can decide on issues relating to:
Spousal and Domestic Partner Support
Community and Separate Property
Community and Separate Debt
Summary Dissolution of Marriage
If you are the party filing for the divorce or legal separation, you are the Petitioner. The other party in the matter is the Respondent.
As the Petitioner there are specific forms you must file with the court and serve to the Respondent. The Respondent then has 30 days from the date of service to file a response. If the response is not filed in the required 30 days, an entry of default can be requested to be entered by the Petitioner. The matter can then be completed without the Respondent's participation.
If the Respondent files the necessary response, the matter then proceeds as contested or uncontested.
Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) vs. Legal Separation
Contested vs. Uncontested
A contested matter is one where the parties do not agree on all or some of the issues. These unresolved issues must then be settled by the court. Once settled, a judgement can be entered and signed by the court.
An uncontested matter is one in which parties agree on all of the issues in the matter. In this case, the judgement is entered and signed by the court.
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