Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

Q: How long does a divorce take?

A: While every divorce case is different, in California there is a mandatory six-month waiting period. That means a couple must wait at least six months after the respondent is served or appears in court before their divorce case is finalized. However, if you are able to work with your spouse, it is possible to submit a proposed judgment to the court prior to that date resolving all issues in your case. The court would then restore you to single status once the statutory six-month window has passed without you ever having to appear in court.

Q: Do I have to prove fault to get a divorce in California?

A: No. It is not necessary to prove that one party is at fault or did something wrong in order to get a divorce.

Q: Is mediation an option in my divorce?

A: Mediation may be an effective means of settling your divorce-related disputes. Mediation encourages divorcing spouses to work together to come to an agreement on all applicable issues such as custody, support, property division, etc.

When mediation is not successful, we can help you identify other options. If necessary, we can aggressively represent your interests in court.

Q: My circumstances have changed. Can I modify a divorce decree?

A: Yes. A significant change in life circumstances — the loss of a job, a change in income, remarriage, etc. — may warrant a modification of child custody, child support or spousal support. We can discuss whether pursuing a modification is a viable option for you.

Q: How is child support determined?

A: Child support in California uses a complex formula commonly referred to as the DissoMaster program. There are many factors considered, including the disposable income of each parent, the amount of time spent with the child, expenses, taxes and more.

Our law firm will take into consideration any additional factors that may influence the amount of child support you may receive or may be required to pay.

Divorce creates complications you may not have previously considered:

  • If my spouse is not motivated to work, do I still have to pay support?
  • Who is responsible for paying the bills while we're getting divorced?
  • What happens to my health insurance?
  • Who gets to live in the house during the divorce process?
  • How do you impute income from assets?
  • How do you account for self-employment income, bonuses, commissions, or stock options?

Divorce is more than just a simple Q&A. To understand the full complexity of the facts of your case, your rights, and your options, speak with Michael P. McDeavitt, a Certified Family Law Specialist with over 20 years of experience. Contact our firm in Pleasanton for a free consultation with our Certified Family Law Specialist. We also represent clients in Dublin, Livermore, San Ramon, the Tri-Valley and throughout East Bay.