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Petsas & Stephens
divorce attorneys

Divorcing in California

Pulling you out of the muddy trenches of tough family situations

Don’t let the heat of the moment fog your thinking and lead you down the wrong path to your family’s future. Often couples going through a divorce aim their weapons at each other without fully understanding what’s at stake and the risks they face in making emotional decisions.

At the Law Office of K.J. Petsas, PC, our San Mateo divorce attorneys know that a clear head is the best tool in your arsenal. When you have full knowledge of your rights, the process and the decisions you must make, you are in the best possible position for your future and that of your family.

We stand by you through every step of the divorce process.

What you should be aware of when pursuing divorce in CA

You must be a California resident for six months and a county resident for three months in order to file for divorce, or a dissolution of marriage. California is a no-fault state, meaning that grounds aren’t necessary to file — irreconcilable differences between spouses is enough. A no-fault divorce frequently allows divorces to move through the courts more swiftly.

The expenses and hassle of trial can be avoided entirely if your divorce is uncontested, where both you and your spouse agree to all terms. But if one of you contests the divorce, the following process is in place:

  • Petition for dissolution of marriage — The petitioner (plaintiff) files the petition with the court.
  • Serving of the petition — The respondent (defendant) is served the petition and often retains counsel shortly thereafter.
  • Response to the petition — The respondent files his or her written response with the court within 30 days of being served.
  • Discovery — Discovery is the legal process used to determine the value of assets and debts of the community estate.
  • Pretrial motions — Pretrial motions are filed with the court for a decision by the judge relating to custody, support or division of assets/debts.
  • Trial — If an agreement still has not been reached, the divorce goes to trial and a final judgment is issued by the judge.

Your kids are our priority

Children of divorcing spouses too frequently become innocent casualties. It is every child’s right to grow up in a healthy and happy environment, and their well-being needs to be protected. We fight with you for that protection. The earlier in the process our lawyers can help you attack and resolve the legal matters of your divorce — such as division of property, child support, child custody and visitation — the sooner and more easily your children can adapt to their new family structure.

Know your rights

Serving clients throughout the San Francisco Bay area, the Law Office of K.J. Petsas, PC offers the experience and attentive counsel you need to successfully tackle difficult family law issues.  We are conveniently located in South San Francisco and encourage you to give us a call at 650.273.4924 or contact us online to take advantage of our free initial consultation. We return calls within 12 hours.   

San Mateo

Reserved for those who have obtained verdicts or settlements of a million dollars or more.