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If you and your spouse are facing a unilateral or contested divorce, you may have to go to court to resolve your differences through divorce litigation. While you might not like the idea of having to litigate your issues, it may be the only way to secure your best possible outcome.
Contact a San Francisco divorce attorney at the Moradi Saslaw family law group to help you with your case.
Divorce has no one-size-fits-all solution. 80% of divorces are unilateral, which makes litigation the most commonly used divorce procedure. But litigation covers a range of legal strategies – some of which involve limited or no court appearances. Litigation simply refers to the act of filing a lawsuit for divorce, even if you end up ultimately agreeing to a settlement.
The litigation process tends to be more adversarial than other alternatives like mediation or collaborative divorce. Divorce litigation may be the best option for successfully ending your marriage if you and your spouse simply cannot see eye-to-eye or communicate effectively.
Every divorce is different and deeply personal. Divorce litigation often has high stakes on the line, especially for professionals with extensive assets and investments. The best litigation strategy for you may not be right for someone else, which is why our lawyers treat every client’s needs with a personally tailored approach.
As your attorney, our Bay Area law firm is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals throughout your divorce. Our award-winning family law team specializes in successfully navigating the unique challenges of high-net-worth divorces. Call our San Francisco offices today at (415) 625-4587 to discuss your best options for litigating your divorce.
As soon as either you or your spouse decide that you want a divorce, your first step should be to speak to an experienced local family lawyer you can trust.
When you work with Moradi Saslaw, we’ll sit down with you in an initial interview and listen to your situation. We’ll ask you to gather all the documents that are relevant to your finances, assets, childcare, and any other marital issues. We’ll discuss all of your goals and concerns and evaluate the best strategy for you moving forward.
After the initial interview, your attorney will prepare your divorce petition and file it with the court. In the divorce petition, you will tell the court your desired outcome regarding:
Your attorney will notify your spouse of the divorce petition by serving them process either by mail, in person, or through your local sheriff’s office. In California, your spouse has 30 days from the time of service to respond to your divorce petition. If your spouse files the divorce petition first, your attorney will help you craft a response within the 30-day timeframe.
If your spouse fails to respond to your divorce petition within the required time limit, the court will grant you a default judgment in your favor with uncontested terms.
In the discovery stage, you and your spouse will exchange detailed information about:
The discovery stage could involve document requests, depositions (out-of-court witness testimony), or written questions (interrogatories) asking for specific information.
Both spouses are expected to cooperate fully and honestly with discovery. Failing to cooperate, hiding assets, creating unnecessary roadblocks, or giving the other side the runaround could land the offending party in violation of court orders. If the behavior is bad enough, the offending party may even lose on certain terms in the final divorce judgment as a result.
At your divorce trial, the judge will hear both sides of the case in order to come to a decision about all of your issues. You can expect your legal team to:
You may also have to attend temporary custody, support, or alimony hearings. During the course of your trial, the judge will encourage both parties to settle if possible.
At the end of the trial, the judge who presided over your case will announce their legally-binding decisions in their final judgment order. Their decisions will cover:
After the judge makes their decision, you will have a limited amount of time to make a post-trial “motion for relief” from the terms of the judgment. If your motion is approved, you’ll argue to the judge why it’s unfair to carry out their ruling as it stands.
Below is a generalized example of the divorce litigation process:
Divorce litigation can take anywhere between several months to years depending on the complexity of your case. Even in the most complicated cases, our dedicated team of lawyers will work to get you the best outcome as efficiently as possible.
Yes. Once a final judgment has been entered, you can file an appeal to have a higher court review the outcome of your case. Your attorneys will help you file a brief with the proper appeals court. Your ex-spouse will then have a chance to submit a response.
At Moradi Saslaw, we know how much your privacy and family matter to you. Divorce is a challenging process no matter what. But contested divorce litigation could end up risking all of the things that you hold dearest in your life.
The Moradi Saslaw team of divorce trial lawyers has decades of combined experience in court. Our attorneys specialize in custody, visitation, parenting issues, and high-net worth divorces. We maintain a respected network of exemplary experts in custody, child psychology, forensic accounting, wealth management, estate planning, and mental health. When you work with us, you can expect creative and effective strategies to reach your goals in even the most contentious divorce.
Call our stellar team of San Francisco and Bay Area divorce lawyers today at (415) 625-4587 or contact us online to discuss whether litigation is the best option for you.