Divorce FAQ

Divorce can be a difficult and stressful process. Understanding the basics can help pave the way for an easier transition as you move forward. At Cannon Legal Group, a Pasadena divorce attorney offers experienced and dedicated legal help for those facing the prospect of divorce, those who have already divorced, and for divorce-related issues. To assist you in understanding some of the aspects of divorce, we have provided the answers to some basic questions below. For a more detailed understanding of your potential divorce, we recommend that you contact our offices to arrange for a consultation.

What are the grounds for a divorce in Pasadena?

California is a no-fault divorce state which means that either spouse can initiate the divorce process based on irreconcilable differences. This means that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and no hope for reconciliation exists. It also means that no wrongdoing on anyone's part will need to be proven before a judge. A divorce can also be granted in cases where one of the spouse's has been deemed incurably insane. In such a case, medical evidence of the insanity must be presented to the court.

Will I need a lawyer?

That depends on the specifics of your case. It is possible to represent yourself, especially in cases where there are no children and little property. In these circumstances, you may qualify for a summary dissolution which is a simplified process which does not require courtroom appearances. In other types of cases, however, you may make expensive mistakes without legal counsel, especially if your spouse has hired an attorney. Where you and your spouse are in conflict concerning the divorce or its various issues, you should seek the advice and guidance of a reputable attorney. By doing so you can ensure that you fully understand the consequences of all that you agree to and that your legal rights and benefits are protected throughout the process. This is important as the effects of your divorce may impact your life for many years to come.

How can I avoid a long drawn-out battle in court?

Less contentious methods can be used to navigate the difficult process of divorce. One of these methods is divorce mediation where a neutral third party (the trained mediator) helps you and your spouse come to agreeable terms. At Cannon Legal Group, we also provide collaborative divorce. In this process, each party retains an attorney and both sides meet in four-way sessions to problem solve their way to mutually acceptable divorce terms. This is done through constructive communication, a desire to cooperate, and an urge to keep the disruption of the family to a minimum. All issues surrounding the divorce, such as child custody and visitation, alimony, and the division of marital property and debts, can be decided and arranged through this more user-friendly method instead of in adverse courtroom litigation.

How are assets and debts divided?

California is a community property state. That means that marital assets and property are divided in a 50-50 manner or as close to that as possible unless you and your spouse create a different agreement. Any agreement about how you split the property and debts, however, must be fair as it will be presented to the court for approval. Where you and your spouse cannot agree on how marital property should be divided, a judge will decide for you. You may each receive property of closely equal value. The judge's decisions also may be based on other considerations, such as who retains primary custody of children, whether either spouse has caused financial jeopardy or loss to the other, and more.