Westlake Village Divorce Timeline
Call a Westlake Village Divorce Lawyer Today!
Getting a divorce is a long process with a number of steps along the way.
It can be intimidating to think of the journey that may await you if you
are considering filing for divorce, but you shouldn’t allow this
to dissuade you. Instead of staying in an unhappy marriage, my firm and
I can help you find the legal solution you need to end your divorce successfully
and start a new, independent life on your own.
My name is
Jeffrey S. Graff, and as your Westlake Village divorce attorney, I can provide you with
more than 30 years of experience practicing family law. I have helped
numerous clients find the resolution they have needed to all types of
family law issues, including child custody, child support, and other issues.
I have even served as a family law Judge Pro Tem, which stand as a testament
to my mastery of my craft and dedication to my community. Whether you’re
considering a regular divorce or one of the many divorce alternatives,
such as mediation, I can help you create and obtain the solution you and
your family need to start the next chapter of your life off on the best
Considering a divorce? Call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff today!
My team and I are standing by and can provide you with a
free initial consultation; dial 805-633-4999!
The 10-Step Divorce Process
Filing & Serving a Petition
The first step of the divorce process is to formally file your request
for a divorce and then serve notice to your spouse. This may be done personally,
but you may also opt to have a close friend, law enforcement, or even
a petition-serving service do this for you if you fear your own safety.
The Other Party’s Response
Once the petition has been served, the other party must respond. This
is similar to the original petition and often asks for a lot of the same
information, which is then entered as one of the first steps in the discovery
process, which we’ll discuss more in a moment.
Requesting Temporary Orders
It''s not uncommon for the lower-earning spouse to request alimony
on a temporary basis while the divorce proceedings are ongoing. Parents
can also request custody of their children on a temporary basis in the
same way. A judge will only grant this request if the requesting party
can demonstrate a valid reason for it. If granted, these orders will end
as soon as a divorce is finalized.
Response to Temporary Order Requests
Just like in the initial petition, the spouse who receives the request
for custody or support will be given the opportunity to respond and plead
their case, which will factor into the judge’s ultimate decision.
Attend a Custody/Support Hearing
Once the request and response have both been received by the court, the
judge will then consider the requests at a formal hearing that both parties
(and their attorneys) will be required to attend. Usually any granted
requests are given at this hearing.
Declarations of Disclosure
At this point, both spouses are required to disclose any and all assets
they own, including all marital and individually-held property, debts,
income, and other expenses. These are submitted to the court using a “declaration
of disclosure” form. It’s advised you have your lawyer help
you with this.
The discovery process is when both spouses request information from each
other, including things such as work schedules, important documents, admissions,
depositions, and more. This will allow both sides to formulate their case.
This could be a fairly long process, with both sides requesting further
information on certain subjects multiple times.
Expert Witness Testimony
This isn't always a mandatory step, but if one spouse requests testimony
from an expert, such as a forensic accountant, a child psychologist, or
even a law enforcement professional, their testimony is then heard at
this point and entered into a case for consideration with the final agreement.
Create a Resolution
Once all of these factors have been considered, both parties pursue a
judgement or settlement in order to create the foundation for their divorce
agreement. This could involve a ruling from a judge, but could often involve
terms that were agreed upon outside of court. These terms could have an
effect on the final agreement so they must be entered before a final ruling.
The final part of a divorce involves a divorce trial, at which point all
of the evidence and agreed terms will be presented and your judge will
give the final ruling. Once the final agreement is made, the judge will
sign off on it, making it legally enforceable. At this point, you marriage
will be officially dissolved and you will be able to go your separate ways.
In total, this entire process will take a minimum of six months, but it
could take longer depending on the complexity of your case. It’s
strongly advised that you seek an attorney who can help you through every
step of the divorce process.
Contact my firm now and let my team and I stand with you through every step of the way!