Divorce brings both emotional and financial challenges and navigating the complexities of the divorce process can sometimes feel impossible. The process is filled with many different steps and requirements that must be properly completed for you to obtain your divorce.
Property division is often the most complicated aspect of a California divorce. Although the law regarding property division is the same, generally, the more property you own, the more complex your divorce can potentially be.
You and your spouse are always free to come to your own agreement on how you will divide your marital property, as well as other issues, such as child custody, spousal support or tax matters.
Hearings address an issue that you cannot settle
However, issues sometimes come up that cannot be resolved and you must let the court decide. When this happens, a hearing is scheduled on the issue.
Hearings are different from a full-blown divorce trial. While your case may eventually proceed to a trial, where all or many different issues are litigated, hearings are meant to resolve only one issue.
For example, you may have filed for divorce and separated from your spouse. Your divorce case might be pending and the yearly tax deadline coming up. You and your spouse could disagree about whether you should file taxes jointly or married but separate.
A hearing would be necessary to resolve this issue. Hearings are meant to address only one issue and last approximately 20 minutes.
Long cause hearings are reserved for complicated issues
Since divorce involves many different issues, there are times when more than one issue, or one complicated issue, must be addressed and a hearing is likely to take more than 20 minutes. When this happens, you are scheduled for a long cause hearing.
An example of when a long cause hearing may be necessary is in a high asset divorce case where there is a disagreement over the value of a piece of property.
In a case like this, testimony from different financial experts might be necessary. Long cause hearings can sometimes last for a day or more.
There is no set formula or situation that determines when a long cause hearing must be held. It typically depends on the specific aspects of your situation.
At the conclusion of your long cause hearing, a judge makes a ruling on the issue. You are then free to negotiate the rest of your issues or proceed to a divorce trial if you cannot come to an agreement.
You have up until the day of your divorce trial to come to your own agreement. Although you can come to an agreement at any point, even the day your divorce is filed, there is a six-month waiting period from the date of filing until your divorce can be finalized.
This waiting period allows you and your spouse time to determine if divorce is what you really want. It also gives you time to analyze and negotiate divorce terms that are in your best interest.