Whether you and your spouse are willing to work
together or you are completely at odds regarding the terms of your divorce, at
some point you will have to take your divorce to court. So, what can you expect
when you are standing in front of the judge?
California divorce judges like to ask questions.
Whether simply confirming that divorcing spouses understand the implications of
their decisions or trying to discern why feuding spouses have been unable to
come to terms, divorce judges ask questions so that they can make their own
informed decisions. After all, getting divorced is a legal matter with
significant implications for everyone involved, and the California courts have
limited resources for hearing disputes between spouses who are unable or
unwilling to come to terms on their own.
What does Do California Judges ask During Divorce Hearings?
The types of questions you are likely to be
asked will be heavily dependent on the nature of the proceeding at which you
are appearing (i.e. whether you are seeking final approval of your settlement
agreement or you are involved in an ongoing contested divorce). With this in
mind, some general examples of questions California judges might ask during a
divorce hearing include:
- How long were you married? This is a fairly
standard question that judges will ask for a variety of different reasons, from
simply gathering background information to trying to gain insight into the
issues involved in the spouses’ divorce.
- Has the “cooling off” period expired?
California has a six-month waiting period (or “cooling off”) period
between the date that one spouse files for divorce and the date that their
divorce can become final. The judge may want to know how long you and your
spouse have been working to resolve your differences in good faith; or, if you
have negotiated a settlement, the judge may simply need to confirm that he or
she can finalize your divorce.
- Do you have children from your current marriage? Understandably, one of any judge’s top concerns during a divorce is
going to be protecting the best interests of any children involved. If you have
children from your current marriage, the judge will want to know that you are
giving due consideration to California’s
best interests factors.
- Do you have children from a prior relationship? Having children from a prior relationship can potentially impact your
divorce in a number of different ways. The judge will want to know about all
children who have the potential to be affected by your divorce so that he or
she can review the terms of your parenting plan and child support payments
- Have you consulted California’s Child Support Guidelines? As a general rule, divorcing parents must calculate child support
according to California’s Child Support Guidelines (the
“Guidelines”). The judge will want to know that you have applied the Guidelines
and not arbitrarily arrived at a child support amount.
- What efforts have you undertaken to negotiate a resolution? If you and your spouse are not in agreement on the terms of your
divorce, the judge will want to know why. He or she will also need to assess
whether further negotiations (or mediation) may be fruitful, or whether
judicial intervention may be necessary.
Discuss Your Situation with
San Diego Divorce Lawyer Richard M. Renkin
Getting divorced is an involved process, and it
is important to make informed decisions before taking your divorce in front of
a judge. If you have questions and would like to speak with a San Diego divorce
lawyer in confidence, please call 619-299-7100 or request
an appointment online today.
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