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You’ve filed for a California divorce. What happens next?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2014 | Divorce

Orange County divorce lawyer

When a marriage is in turmoil, or at a more friendly parting of the ways, the decision to proceed with a divorce can be a huge step. That’s an affirmative move.  Even the actual filing can seem a tremendous milestone, so to speak.  That’s another move forward. So now, suppose you’ve taken those two big steps:  deciding to divorce, and filing for divorce.  Now what happens?  Well, first of all, stop everything!

California, just to refresh your memory, is a no-contest divorce state, and a community property state.


Upon filing for a California divorce, the Standard Family Law Restraining Orders immediately take effect.  And that means the following sanctions begin:

▪ Stay local. If you have children, you may not take them out of California without either the court’s permission or the consent of the other spouse/parent.

▪ Sorry, no change. You may not make alterations in or change the already listed beneficiaries of any form of insurance you now hold.  That means transferring, canceling, cashing out, and the like.  The forms of insurance included in this “hold” range from life insurance, disability, health insurance, even vehicle insurance; any form of insurance that covers the divorcing parties and any children they may have.

▪ This is not the time for a yard sale.  You may not dispose, hide, transfer name/title to, or downsize in any way, any type of property without a court order or permission of the other spouse/party in the divorce.  This includes community property, separate property, or quasi-community property.  There can be exceptions, of course, such as property involved in operation of a business, or some day-to-day needs of everyday life.

▪ Notice is required.  Should a transfer of property occur (not including any probate matters), with permission of the court and/or other divorcing party, notice of that property transfer must be filed with the court and duly served on the other party involved in the divorce.

▪ Drop the shopping.  Divorcing parties must notify one another in advance of any “extraordinary expenditures.”  Should any extravagant spending take place during this period, the party responsible is accountable to the court.  That isn’t to say that your assets may not be used at all; hiring an attorney and paying court costs are two examples of expenditures you may handle using your own separate property or community property.

▪ Seem overwhelming?  The actions and details surrounding a divorce certainly are wide-reaching, not to mention potentially stressful, confusing, and frustrating. Why add any obstacles to what you are already dealing with?  If you have questions or concerns about proceeding with a divorce, or at any step of the way, your best move may be to talk to an experienced California family attorney at Dinnebier & Demmerle.  We’re here to help and to resolve any and all your divorce-related issues.  We’re just a phone call away, here in Tustin, at 714-598-3714.