In California, one party initiates the dissolution proceeding by filing a Petition. The respondent will then be served the Petition (either personally or by mail). The party originally filing the Petition is known as the"Petitioner" and the other party is known as the "Respondent". Following receipt of the Petition, the Respondent has 30 days (unless granted additional time by the Petitioner's attorney) in which to file his or her responding statement. After the 30-day period the case can be set for a Court hearing.
At our first meeting, we generally prepare all necessary paperwork in order to either initiate the divorce or to respond to the Petition filed by the spouse. These pleadings are then generally served upon the other party. Once the pleadings are served upon the other party, the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage can be granted dissolving the parties' marital status, at the earliest six (6) months from the date of service. The purpose of the six-month waiting period is to encourage reconciliation between the spouses, and if in fact a reconciliation occurs during this period, kindly contact our offices and we will see that all paperwork is stopped.
For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/